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Supplemental forage options?

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  • Supplemental forage options?

    I'm looking for opinions on forage substitutes (chopped hay, alfalfa pellets etc) for an older hard keeper mare. My field has some grass but not all that much, and I am having a hard time finding quality hay consistently in my area. I have been looking into the bagged forage substitutes to add calories to her diet without adding more concentrates.

    I have tried alfalfa cubes, but she refuses to eat them soaked. She likes them dry, but I am not comfortable feeding them that way.

    What are other good options? My feed store carries that chopped Dengi (sp?) hay, but I have heard it has a lot of sugar/molasses. They also have bagged alfalfa pellets and a few chopped hay varieties. Is there a general consensus over which is best?

    She is currently eating 3 quarts Purina Senior am and pm, plus all day turnout on grass. I supplement with bahia grass hay (about 3-4 flakes a day) when grass is sparse. She is the one that gets picked on the most, so I'm not sure she is getting all the hay she should, and it's not the best quality. I am going to start keeping her in during the day to feed some extra hay and hay substitute.

  • #2
    Dengi is good. If she doesn't have any metabolic issues I wouldn't worry about the molasses, and they probably have some low-sugar products if it is a concern for you. Triple Crown also makes some nice forages.
    Pellets are fine too, but I prefer to soak them before feeding and it sounds like she may not be a fan of that.
    As Peter, Paul, and Mary say, a dragon lives forever.

    Comment


    • #3
      My favorite is Triple Crown Safe Starch forage - it is considered a complete feed so if you feed the recommended amount you don't have to supplement with anything else (though feeding just that can get expensive - it runs around $26/50 lb bag). It's super low in NSCs and molasses free. Lucerne Farms also makes forages - they also make a molasses free version - Hi-Fiber Gold. Both companies make forages with molasses if your mare is ok eating that.

      http://www.lucernefarms.com/

      http://www.triplecrownfeed.com/

      Personally if I were you and had access to Triple Crown then I'd ditch the Purina Senior and go with TC Senior - it is a much better feed!
      "When a horse greets you with a nicker & regards you with a large & liquid eye, the question of where you want to be & what you want to do has been answered." CANTER New England

      Comment


      • #4
        My 27 yo Arab decided he wasn't eating soaked alfalfa cubes anymore. Just up and decided one day he thought he knew best.

        I now feed him Standlees straight alfalfa pellets and he eats them just fine.

        He has four missing molars and also gets supplements, so I add a little bit of water.

        Tractor Supply carries Standlees and the straight alfalfa pellets come in a purple 50 lb bag

        I've been using Standlees forage products for a couple years. I can say every bag has been consistently clean and dust free

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        • #5
          We had a old pony mare that didn't have many (if any) teeth left. She couldn't process any stem forage at all. We put her on the Standlee's timothy/alfalfa mix pellets as well as Triple Crown Senior and she did fantastic on both of those. The pellets do need to be soaked, so if your mare is not a fan of that, it may not work. But I would try it and maybe she will start to like it. We also added water to her TC Sr. just to make sure we didn't end up with a choking problem. I also have a mare with perfectly fine teeth that loves the soaked pellets.

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          • #6
            Beet pulp? Rice bran mix?

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by kitty65 View Post
              We had a old pony mare that didn't have many (if any) teeth left. She couldn't process any stem forage at all. We put her on the Standlee's timothy/alfalfa mix pellets as well as Triple Crown Senior and she did fantastic on both of those. The pellets do need to be soaked, so if your mare is not a fan of that, it may not work. But I would try it and maybe she will start to like it. We also added water to her TC Sr. just to make sure we didn't end up with a choking problem. I also have a mare with perfectly fine teeth that loves the soaked pellets.
              I second the TC Senior, as well. My elder Arab has done fantastic on the TC Senior, along with the alfalfa pellets. For reasons I don't get, he has done a lot better on the TC Senior than he ever did on EquiPride and I hate having to say that

              Comment


              • #8
                Bale in a Bag ~ several different type of hay varities available ~

                My senior mare will still eat soaked alafalfa cubes `` may be only a temproary "like" with her

                SO instead her breakfast includes

                'Bale in a Bag' ~ many varieties of hay available

                I use the alfalfa type `` yes has molasses but that's ok for this particular mare ~

                I wet it slightly ~~~ its a dry chopped forage looks terrible but All 'testers', as well as old
                ROSE ~ have loved this product ~
                Zu Zu Bailey " IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE ! "

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by ryansgirl View Post
                  My favorite is Triple Crown Safe Starch forage - it is considered a complete feed so if you feed the recommended amount you don't have to supplement with anything else (though feeding just that can get expensive - it runs around $26/50 lb bag). It's super low in NSCs and molasses free.
                  We use the T C Safe Starch Forage for my insulin resistant horse and it is nice stuff, and everyone in my barn laps it up. The price must vary a lot by area as I pay a lot more! I have to special order as no one keeps it in stock due to the price and it is ~$40 a bag.

                  Triple Crown has timothy cubes that I have used in the past to supplement when the boarding barn hay wasn't enough for some of mine. They soak quickly so I could do them while at the barn, and seemed pretty well accepted.

                  I also will used soaked beet pulp as a forage supplement. Great stuff as it is, for one, relatively cheap, but some find the soaking too much of a hassle. Some horse turn their noses up at it, but I've rarely had a horse not come around to eating it .

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by horsepoor View Post
                    We use the T C Safe Starch Forage for my insulin resistant horse and it is nice stuff, and everyone in my barn laps it up. The price must vary a lot by area as I pay a lot more! I have to special order as no one keeps it in stock due to the price and it is ~$40 a bag.

                    Triple Crown has timothy cubes that I have used in the past to supplement when the boarding barn hay wasn't enough for some of mine. They soak quickly so I could do them while at the barn, and seemed pretty well accepted.

                    I also will used soaked beet pulp as a forage supplement. Great stuff as it is, for one, relatively cheap, but some find the soaking too much of a hassle. Some horse turn their noses up at it, but I've rarely had a horse not come around to eating it .
                    Ouch! ~$40/bag?? Wow. I'm in New Hampshire and its usually around $26/bag. The TC Timothy Cubes are great! The cubes tend to be smaller and slightly softer than normal hay cubes. My mare isn't a fan of soaked cubes either but she'll eat these as long as they aren't too mushy. They are excellent for horses with metabolic issues.
                    "When a horse greets you with a nicker & regards you with a large & liquid eye, the question of where you want to be & what you want to do has been answered." CANTER New England

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      TC Safe Starch is great stuff. My horse thinks it's horsey candy. It's around $21 or $22 a bag here and well worth it. As a supplement to grain and regular hay, a bag lasted me a week and a half to two weeks.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I've fed pellets and cubes dry with no trouble to several different horses. the bag suggest feeding low and I generally do, but not all the time.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I'll have to ask why the safe starch is so spendy here. That's a huge difference! I checked and last time it was ~$37 plus sales tax, so that puts it right at $40. I have a friend who fed that and ONLY that to her Cushings horse and I was astounded by the cost! I use it just as a supplement for mine, so not much per day, or I'd go broke.

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