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Senior Feed for Non-Senior Horses?

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  • Senior Feed for Non-Senior Horses?

    I have 4 horses. Two are teenagers. The other two are 4, and 7. Right now I feed Purina Senior (complete feed) to the two older horses. They used to be feed Strategy. I noticed with my TB especially, when I switched he become much calmer. He's been doing well with the Senior.

    I've mixed some of the senior to the Strategy for the younger horses, and they seem to really like it. Is there a problem feeding senior feed to younger horses? I am contemplating switching them all exclusively to Senior.

    Does anyone one know if that would be detremental to young horses to be on Purina Senior? They seem to be a bit more calm when eating it. My 4 year old is VERY excitable and silly on Strategy.

    Thanks in advance.

    “Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.”
    ¯ Oscar Wilde

  • #2
    I don't think it is detremental at all. In fact, Senior feed probably helped save the life of my 6 year old gelding after colic surgery, as he cannot eat hay for the rest of his life or risk another small intestine impaction, so he lives on Senior feed and all the pasture grass he can eat (24x7 turnout). This was on the advice of my vet.

    You might feed less of the senior as it is easily digested, so that might actually be a plus.
    There are friends and faces that may be forgotten, but there are horses that never will be. - Andy Adams


    • #3
      I've asked a lot of vets and they all agreed that Senior feed can be good for horses of all ages. Easy to digest, lower sugars/starches, higher fat, higher fiber. I started feeding my TB TC Senior at age 5 and it's just wonderful stuff.


      • #4
        You can, but I'm not sure why you would as the senior feed is so much more expensive than strategy.


        • Original Poster

          Well, if the horses do better on it, I don't mind paying the extra 2 bucks.

          “Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.”
          ¯ Oscar Wilde


          • #6
            We used to use Nutrena Safe Choice and have now switched everyone to TC Senior. They all love it, even the pickiest eaters, and I've found I'm able to feed less of it (higher protein, calories). I was having to supplement the SafeChoice with Empower at $30/bag, so I'm actually saving money.


            • #7
              What kind do you feed?


              • #8
                My horses range in age from 4 to 24 and they are all on TC senior. It keeps even my hardest keeping TB in good weight. It's highly palatable and I also feed less of the senior than when I used to feed Stretegy.


                • #9
                  I used to feed all my horses (from age 3 to age 20) senior feed. The reason was that I wasn't really able to separate them and they all lived together in a pasture, and the old guy preferred the feed I gave to the youngsters so would switch pans until he had eaten all of theirs. The nice thing was I hardly had to give the youngsters anything to keep them at a good weight and shiny and healthy. The old guy ate a lot more but he's the boss and he wasn't sharing! My vet said it was totally okay and while it is a bit more expensive, I had to feed so little that it wound up being about the same cost.
                  exploring the relationship between horse and human


                  • #10
                    Half of my 20 horses are teens, 20's and 30's, so I have tried all the senior feeds. I like the TC the best, but it is also the most expensive. After peaking with a feed rep, I was told the Agway Superior Senior is the same exact grain, produced at the same mill even, and it is 2.00 cheaper. I switched to Nutrena Life Design over the winter, as it is all pelleted, though, as the moist beet pulp laden senior freezes completely solid!!! I also have my oldest horse who does not like the beet pulp amd leaves a handful of crumbs in his bucket every day.

                    On the topic of young horses on senior, I have one OTTB who I got as a 4 yr old stallion, gelded and in training now. Over the summer, he was dropping weight terrible, fussing from flies, leaving his breakfast, running the fences. I switched him to half senior, half his regular grain. He gained his weight right back, settled down, and finished almost every meal! He does have ulcers from his racing days, but I treat them as well and have not had problems from them in a long time.


                    • Original Poster

                      I've noticed a lot of you mention using TC Senior. Can you tell me why you like it better than Purina Senior? And do you find it more or less expensive than Purina? Right now I'm paying 14.99 for Purina Senior.
                      “Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.”
                      ¯ Oscar Wilde


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by ParadoxFarm View Post
                        I've noticed a lot of you mention using TC Senior. Can you tell me why you like it better than Purina Senior? And do you find it more or less expensive than Purina? Right now I'm paying 14.99 for Purina Senior.
                        Loved Purina SR - but inconsistancy from one bag to another plus their 2008 problem (http://www.animaltalknaturally.com/2...e-feed-recall/) was caused me to move to TC Senior.
                        Have both my 31 & 15 on TC SR now. Was feeding combo of TC 10% + TC SR to old horse (she still has good teeth) & TC 10% only to the 15 year old. Stopped the TC 10% mainly becuase 15 year old has ulcers & doesn't need the grain. He is happier & calmer with the TC SR. My old girl eats every bite.
                        FYI - due to her age, I do wet her feed, another way to get fluids in her, and she doesn't leave anything.
                        "Never do anything that you have to explain twice to the paramedics."
                        Courtesy my cousin Tim


                        • #13
                          My now 3 yr old has been eating Seminole Wellness Sr. since he was 19 mos old (along with the now 18 year old). As others have said, a good senior feed is usually more calorie dense, more TDN, higher fiber and in many cases, lower starch (which usually translates to higher fat and at least 10-12% protein). That would be my goal in finding a feed for a young growing horse, regardless of how it was labeled.

                          My only caution would be that not all senior feeds are low in starches, or as low as you would hope for, so you need to consider the ingredients, not just that it is a senior feed. However that logic applies to older horses even more so than younger ones!
                          Your crazy is showing. You might want to tuck that back in.


                          • Original Poster

                            Thanks for the advice everyone!
                            “Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.”
                            ¯ Oscar Wilde


                            • #15
                              I'm using LMF Senior for all the horses.

                              The young horses only get a tiny bit, enough for their vitamins and so they don't get annoyed when the older horses get a bucket. I used to use A&M (alfalfa and molasses meal) for that, but when feed prices shot up, I noticed that 50 lbs of A&M cost the same as the LMF Senior, which I was already buying for one of the older horses. WTF!?!! So now I just buy the Senior for everyone, figuring that I'm getting higher quality for the 50 lbs and similar calories.
                              If you are allergic to a thing, it is best not to put that thing in your mouth, particularly if the thing is cats. - Lemony Snicket


                              • #16
                                One thought is that if it's a complete feed (and Purina Senior is) then you need to feed much higher quantities of it to get the same nutritional levels. It's mostly fiber.

                                So if you're needing more protein or fat for your growing/working young ones, feeding for the same level of calories and nutrition means feeding probably 4 times as much senior feed as you would the Strategy.

                                Also, many of hte senior feeds have molasses...so you're getting more sugar which can cause some horses to be a little more hot.

                                If you're just giving them a handful as a "treat" at meal time, then I see no problem. But if your younger horses really NEED the added calories and nutrition from grain, I would not give senior complete feed.
                                A good horseman doesn't have to tell anyone...the horse already knows.

                                Might be a reason, never an excuse...


                                • #17
                                  My IDSH filly grew up on Equine Senior, from the time she was weaned until she was two.
                                  Click here before you buy.


                                  • #18
                                    Started Star on Purina Sr when he was three and fed it to him on and off (more on than off) for the next six or so years. Also fed Strategy on and off. Then, last winter he decided that he would not eat Purina products. Tried Ultium - would not eat. Ran into a Star Milling rep at a clinic who gave me free samples of their Integrity Adult/Sr product. He devoured it and has been on that since last spring. Keeps the weight on. Horse is not loco. Don't think it's available too far out of SoCal.
                                    The Evil Chem Prof


                                    • #19
                                      I feed a low starch to both my horses-aged gelding, and younger OTTB. Agway brand of senior feed, if you will. Both love the feed, keeps weight low on the gelding, and up on the OTTB. Added plus, the OTTB is MUCH calmer on the low starch. Worth its weight in gold!