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Easy keepers and RB's

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  • Easy keepers and RB's

    I know this has been done before a million times -Sorry! But this is my first time feeding an easy keeper (used to the hard ones).

    I've been feeding this horse about 1/2 c. Progressive RB 2x's per day with just a bit of beet pulp mixed in and he is still kinda chubby. He's out 24/7 on pasture with no hay right now. He's in moderate work 5-6 x's per day.

    I was reading the other threads and think I'd like to try something else for him in place of the RB. He does have a little fat behind the shoulders and he really barely gets much to eat.

    So, in the previous threads no one mentions just a regular vit supplement like vita flex. Why is that? I'm not familiar with the min/vit supplements in 50lb bags.

    If I feed him a small amount of beet pulp and add alfalfa pellets in (1c?) what else do I need for him in terms of a supplement. He has a mineral block in his run-in.

  • #2
    I'm not sure which threads you are reading, but whenever folks are talking about easy keepers and bare minimum food they almost always include a complete vitamin in the mix I feed my easy keepers 2-3 cups of soaked beet pulp (yes, after soaking) and Ultra Elite Pro-Form as my vitamin/mineral supplement (fed at the rate of 1 ounce per day). Of course, some get other stuff such as MSM or hoof supps but that's my vit/mineral supp. I pulled all of my horses off of their RB last year due to them looking like they were bloated or pregnant. They had some sensitivity to the soy in the RB. I mentioned it on another thread, but most RBs use Soybean meal for the protein value and some horses have sensitivity to it. Like mine (not all of them but 3 of the 6). The UE Pro-Forrm doesn't have any soy in it which is why I feed it. But the level of vitamins in it isn't very high. My horses are on pasture 24/7 and are not ridden so I feel it suits them just fine. If your horse is in work, I'd go for a bit higher quality vitamin.

    If you're going to feed BP and alfalfa pellet, I'd just put them on that and a general vitamin/mineral supp. There's plenty out there. I'd also recommend adding Tri-Amino by Uckele to help them utilize the protein content of what they get as well. I've seen amazing results in my horses and they've only been on it 2 months and in no work. Pot bellies disappeared, and backs began to lift once the muscles filled in. It's good stuff. Other than that, you should be fine. Just find you a good vitamin supp Smartpak has the comparison charts that are quite helpful when choosing supplements.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Serigraph View Post
      I've been feeding this horse about 1/2 c. Progressive RB 2x's per day with just a bit of beet pulp mixed in and he is still kinda chubby.
      Did you expect him to lose weight? Is this a reduction in the amount of food he was getting, it maybe he was getting 2lb of a grain product, and now just 1lb of a rb?

      He's out 24/7 on pasture with no hay right now. He's in moderate work 5-6 x's per day.
      Muzzle Seriously.

      I was reading the other threads and think I'd like to try something else for him in place of the RB. He does have a little fat behind the shoulders and he really barely gets much to eat.
      He's eating grass 23 hours a day Or, more likely, he's out 23 hours a day, eating grass probably 16-18 hours a day. He's getting lots to eat

      So, in the previous threads no one mentions just a regular vit supplement like vita flex. Why is that? I'm not familiar with the min/vit supplements in 50lb bags.
      Which previous threads? I know I've posted on many of them about a "homemade" ration balancer - vit/min supplement, added Tri-Amino with, for the easy keepers, 1c alfalfa pellets. Oh, I also add Poly Copper and Poly Zinc. That's my negligible calorie "ration balancer". There's another thread right now about what are good vit/min supps, so you can take a look there. I use Dynamite

      If I feed him a small amount of beet pulp and add alfalfa pellets in (1c?) what else do I need for him in terms of a supplement. He has a mineral block in his run-in.
      See above re: vit/min
      ______________________________
      The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by JB View Post
        Did you expect him to lose weight? Is this a reduction in the amount of food he was getting, it maybe he was getting 2lb of a grain product, and now just 1lb of a rb?

        She said 1/2 c (which I take to mean cup). Not 1/2 lb.

        Comment


        • #5
          Why feed him beet pulp if you're trying to get him to lose weight?

          If his needs are being met by the pasture--and THAT, IMO, is the biggest question to ask--he may not need anything else. Can you get the pasture tested, see what's in it? Or, failing that, why not just a vitamin/mineral supplement to cover the bases and grass only?

          And if that keeps him too fat, add a muzzle.
          Click here before you buy.

          Comment

          • Original Poster

            #6
            I'm not sure which threads you are reading, but whenever folks are talking about easy keepers and bare minimum food they almost always include a complete vitamin in the mix
            No, what I meant was why some feed a vit/min type pellet in a larger quantity like Blue Seal - instead of the vit supps that are smaller/supplement type servings like Vita line?? What is the difference?

            Comment


            • #7
              If you need a suggestion for a good multivit/min for easy keepers, I use Mega Cell and love it. My mare gets that, grass 24/7, and about 1 cup of TC Senior every day. But she's also not obese right now or anything, if she was I'd remove the bit of Senior. All that's for is to make the supps into a treat, really. They're pelleted though so could easily be fed on their own.
              Tell a Gelding. Ask a Stallion. Discuss it with a Mare... Pray if it's a Pony!

              Comment

              • Original Poster

                #8
                Yes, Jamie is right. I am only feeding him 1/2 c. 2x's per day at most. This is after 2 reductions in RB. He went from 2c's 2x's per day, to 1 c. 2x's per day to now 1/2 c. 2x's per day and I still feel he is chubby. I only use a tiny amount of BP to mix it in...like 1/4-1/2 c soaked.

                I have noticed pot bellies on both my horses. One is not an easy keeper and he gets much more RB. Is this a soy intolerance symptom?

                I've also used Uckle Tri amino and while I'd love to say I got the wonderful resutls some have, I didn't see much difference.

                So I guess for my easy keeper, I can feed him a small amt of BP, 1 c. alfalfa pellets (2x's per day for protein) and a vit supplement. (Plus grass)

                The vet has seen him and others and have not commented he needs to slim down, but I think he could use a few less pounds.

                If I take my moderate/hard keeper off the RB, what would you replace that with? He was getting 2 cups 2x's per day. he also gets alfalfa pellets, oats and a fat supp as needed.

                Comment

                • Original Poster

                  #9
                  Yes, sublime, that is what i was looking for. I check into that one.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Serigraph View Post
                    Yes, sublime, that is what i was looking for. I check into that one.
                    Smartpak seems to have the best deals on it.
                    Tell a Gelding. Ask a Stallion. Discuss it with a Mare... Pray if it's a Pony!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Serigraph View Post
                      No, what I meant was why some feed a vit/min type pellet in a larger quantity like Blue Seal - instead of the vit supps that are smaller/supplement type servings like Vita line?? What is the difference?
                      The difference is, generally what's in a 50 lb bag IS a ration balancer when folks are talking about vitamin supps. A ration balancer is nothing more than a protein/vitamin/mineral supplement meant to be fed at the rate of 1-2lbs. That's it. How you are feeding it right now at 1/2 cup, the horse isn't getting the correct amount of vitamins anyway. With vitamin supplements meant to be fed at the rate of 1-2 ounces a day, those are meant to be top dressed on feed, don't add a lot of calories, and supply the vitamins/minerals. I feed powder supps mostly so I use the beet pulp to carry the supps in them only. At 2 cups of soaked, it definitely doesn't add a bunch of calories. If you get a pelleted vitamin supp, you could probably just hand it to him like a treat and he'd be fine.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Serigraph View Post
                        I have noticed pot bellies on both my horses. One is not an easy keeper and he gets much more RB. Is this a soy intolerance symptom?
                        It could be. But it could also be a number of other things. Could be a protein issue, but you would have noticed a difference with the Tri-Amino if that was the case (I would think). Could be sand in the gut. Could be parasites. Could be not enough work. Could be genetics. Could be a lot of things, but if you are just now noticing, I'm willing to point towards the RB. I've heard soybean hulls don't have the same effect as the soybean meal, and it's the soybean meal that generally causes the problem. As for helping with the harder keeper, I wish I had advice. I have nothing but fatties that stay on diets.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          IME the horses that have suspected soy intolerance just look sort of fat and "puffy" but not pot bellied unless there is something else going on. Most otherwise healthy horses that look pot bellied are that way because they are out of shape or they are eating very coarse (ie very fibrous) forage which they have to eat massive amounts of to get the nutrients they need.

                          ETA: to the OP, I would switch your horse to the concentrated RB (ProAdd Ultimate) fed at the recommended amount and use a grazing muzzle for at least part of the day.
                          Liz
                          Ainninn House Stud
                          Irish Draughts and Connemaras
                          Co. Westmeath, Ireland

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I don't understand. The horse needs to lose weight and he is being fed beet pulp and alfalfa cubes? I have used these to put weight on or maintain weight with HARD keepers, but never on easy keepers.

                            I have a hard keeper that gets BP, alf. hay, probiotics, etc. He maintains.

                            Then I have an easy keeper (air fern!) who lives 24/7 on good grass pasture ONLY. No grain. No supplements. His coat is ALWAYS shiny and he has great feet.

                            It just depends on the horse.

                            If it were me, I would let the easy keeper stay on pasture and cut out the grain, etc. Or at least cut out the BP and alf cubes. From what I have experienced, both of these help to increase weight.
                            Member of My Balance is Poo Poo Clique

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by SmallHerd View Post
                              I don't understand. The horse needs to lose weight and he is being fed beet pulp and alfalfa cubes? I have used these to put weight on or maintain weight with HARD keepers, but never on easy keepers.

                              I have a hard keeper that gets BP, alf. hay, probiotics, etc. He maintains.

                              Then I have an easy keeper (air fern!) who lives 24/7 on good grass pasture ONLY. No grain. No supplements. His coat is ALWAYS shiny and he has great feet.

                              It just depends on the horse.

                              If it were me, I would let the easy keeper stay on pasture and cut out the grain, etc. Or at least cut out the BP and alf cubes. From what I have experienced, both of these help to increase weight.
                              Beet pulp is not just to put weight on a horse. Actually, you have to feed quite a bit to put weight on a horse or maintain weight on a hard keeper. For those with easy keepers, it's a good way to get supplements in them WITHOUT putting a lot of calories to them. You must have missed the spot where she said the horse get 1/4 to a 1/2 cup of soaked beet pulp. That's not going to put weight on a horse. The 2 cups of soaked BP my horses get actually helped them lose a significant amount of weight coming off the RB. They aren't gaining from it. When my horses get too fat, I limit the grass access, don't change a thing with what their 'meal' is, and they lose weight. Also, alfalfa is low in calories, high in protein. In small amounts, it too is not very likely to put weight on a horse. Now, I have a horse VERY sensitive to alfalfa. He ballooned up on Farriers Formula due to the alfalfa in it. So, sensitivities can play a part in trying to get weight off a horse as well. The amount of food the OP is giving the horse is more than likely not effecting his weight at all. It's the access to grass in my opinion.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Define "low" in calories. At 1000 cal/lb, roughly, it's not exactly "low". Sure, it's lower than just about any grain/"grain" product, including ration balancers, but it's about 20% higher in calories than grass/grass hay. Beet pulp is in the same caloric range, give or take.

                                So, neither are "low" in calories, but since it takes such a relatively small volume, especially when soaked, to carry a few supplements, the actual calories being ingested is low. The a-pellets I get are about 3c/lb. My easy keepers get 1c (dry), which is then soaked. 330 calories or so. Pittance compared to the muzzled grass they get. My shredded bp is about 9c/lb, so even 1c of the soaked stuff, which is well under 1c dry, so less than 100 calories, is also nothing.
                                ______________________________
                                The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by JB View Post
                                  Define "low" in calories. At 1000 cal/lb, roughly, it's not exactly "low". Sure, it's lower than just about any grain/"grain" product, including ration balancers, but it's about 20% higher in calories than grass/grass hay. Beet pulp is in the same caloric range, give or take.

                                  So, neither are "low" in calories, but since it takes such a relatively small volume, especially when soaked, to carry a few supplements, the actual calories being ingested is low. The a-pellets I get are about 3c/lb. My easy keepers get 1c (dry), which is then soaked. 330 calories or so. Pittance compared to the muzzled grass they get. My shredded bp is about 9c/lb, so even 1c of the soaked stuff, which is well under 1c dry, so less than 100 calories, is also nothing.
                                  That's why I said 'when fed in small amounts' Should have made myself more clear.

                                  I'm basically saying, for easy keepers, soaked BP or alfalfa pellets in small amount isn't going to amount to much calories. Especially when a horse digests thousands of calories on grass, I really don't think a handful of BP or alfalfa or a handful of both is going to make a difference. And when you feed them soaked, they sure make your little fatso think he's getting a meal. Or just feed a pelleted vitamin and be done with it.

                                  Comment

                                  • Original Poster

                                    #18
                                    [QUOTE]
                                    Originally posted by jaimebaker View Post
                                    The difference is, generally what's in a 50 lb bag IS a ration balancer when folks are talking about vitamin supps. A ration balancer is nothing more than a protein/vitamin/mineral supplement meant to be fed at the rate of 1-2lbs. That's it. How you are feeding it right now at 1/2 cup, the horse isn't getting the correct amount of vitamins anyway. With vitamin supplements meant to be fed at the rate of 1-2 ounces a day, those are meant to be top dressed on feed, don't add a lot of calories, and supply the vitamins/minerals. I feed powder supps mostly so I use the beet pulp to carry the supps in them only. At 2 cups of soaked, it definitely doesn't add a bunch of calories. If you get a pelleted vitamin supp, you could probably just hand it to him like a treat and he'd be fine
                                    Perfect. That is what I was wondering. It seemed to me like these 50lb bags of vit supps were ration balancers. And I also felt at the small amount I was giving him, he probably was not getting all he needed in Progressive RB, but I don't want to add more calories.

                                    Now this is what is interesting to me though. I got this horse in January. He was not skinny, but could use a little help. He had a belly. He had worms. I wormed him and continue to. I was told he was a hard keeper in the winter and that he's always been out 24/7 on nice pasture with no fatty problems. He was getting fairly large amounts of SafeChoice (cannot remember the amount). He was a pasture puff then with horrible feet.

                                    Now I have him and he is being worked decently and being fed less and his feet are doing much better. He's muscled up nicely, but I would think he might need more being in work, but he needs less.

                                    I guess this probably does point to the grass being the culprit. As I said before, I was told he's used to being on pasture that was decent. My pasture is pretty good, but there is a lot of grass for the two horses. Maybe he is just getting more volume of grass then before I had him. I guess I might have to look for a muzzle for the first time ever.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Stick you an electric fence up and cut the pasture amount down. My stallion and his gelding were horribly obese and have been air ferns all their lives. They simply had too much pasture. No matter what I did to cut their 'meals' back, nothing changed. And I'm talking 1 1/2 cups of soaked BP once a day. I cut the pasture into a third, and gave them the weedy side so that they would really have to walk around and find some stuff to eat. It's been so wet here I haven't been able to even lunge them (they aren't ridden, just ground worked). They have managed to drop weight with no change at all in their meals and no work, but just by cutting the pasture down. That kept me from going the grazing muzzle route. Certainly if you have a hard keeper and easy keeper together, this might not be a great option. However, nobody ever said it was dangerous for a horse to be a bit on the thin side. It certainly can be dangerous for them to be on the fat side. If I could see a hint of ribs on all my horses I would rejoice.

                                      It might not have to do with the volume of grass he's getting, it could be what's in the pasture itself. My horses could probably eat bermuda all day long and not gain a ton of weight. But 3 hours in a couple of clover patches and they balloon up.

                                      Comment

                                      • Original Poster

                                        #20
                                        So I guess Winter Rye for an easy keeper is a no-no...? I was just planning my fall/winter pasture maintenance routine and going to overseed a small section with winter rye as I did last year.

                                        Comment

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