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Feed Gurus: Come out come out wherever you are! Need opinions

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  • Feed Gurus: Come out come out wherever you are! Need opinions

    I am moving my guy to a place where everyone supplies their own feed. Below is some basic information about him and what he is currently getting and what I am thinking of giving him, but I need some opinions from those of you much more educated in this subject than I am!

    Stats
    10 year old TB gelding. Light-Moderate work (2-3 days/week about 45-60 min per ride). On an "easy keeper" scale of 1-10 with 1 being super easy and 10 being super difficult, I give him about a 6-7. He does well, I just need to make sure he gets his food.

    Current Program
    3 lbs Nutrena Life Design Compete AM & PM
    3 lbs Manna Pro Performance 10 Pelleted AM & PM
    2 flakes Timothy AM & PM

    Turn-Out = 12 hours per day, sometimes on grass, sometimes on dry lot, they rotate the paddocks, he has access to hay when on the dry lot


    Possible New Program
    2 1/2 lbs whole oats AM & PM
    1/2 Seminole Equalizer AM & PM
    5 lbs. Coastal Hay (fed in hay net, he can be ulcery so this will help keep hay in front of him all day) AM & PM (so 10 lbs total)

    Turn-Out = 12 hours per day on grass (they have TONS!)


    My concern is that the oats will give him WAY too much energy! He needs NO help in that area! I was hoping you guys might have an idea for something that is nutritionally and economically similar. Also, do I need to look into a multi-vitamin, or would the Seminole ration balancer take care of that? I liked the idea of the ration balancer because I could feed him less while still giving him all the nutrition he needs. He also gets probios and Omega Horseshine as well as a few ulcer preventative sups. I thought about SafeChoice, but the amount I would have to feed him to keep weight on would likely bankrupt me!

    So what do you all think? I freely admit that I do not know enough about feed and was hoping you guys would help to fill in some of my knowledge gaps. Any help or suggestions you can give would be appreciated. Thanks!
    Last edited by FolsomBlues; Apr. 10, 2010, 09:29 AM. Reason: changed feed to lbs instead of quarts and updated feed

  • #2
    Would rather see soaked Plain Beet Pulp to go along with the Equilizer, rather than the oats. Lower NSC/starch factor, you know
    <>< Sorrow Looks Back. Worry Looks Around. Faith Looks Up! -- Being negative only makes a difficult journey more difficult. You may be given a cactus, but you don't have to sit on it.

    Comment


    • #3
      Its hartd to compare weight with volume!

      Originally posted by FolsomBlues View Post
      I am moving my guy to a place where everyone supplies their own feed. Below is some basic information about him and what he is currently getting and what I am thinking of giving him, but I need some opinions from those of you much more educated in this subject than I am!

      Stats
      10 year old TB gelding. Light-Moderate work (2-3 days/week about 45-60 min per ride). On an "easy keeper" scale of 1-10 with 1 being super easy and 10 being super difficult, I give him about a 6-7. He does well, I just need to make sure he gets his food.

      Current Program
      2 quarts Nutrena Compete AM & PM
      2 quarts Manna Pro Performance XL AM & PM
      2 flakes Timothy AM & PM

      Turn-Out = 12 hours per day, sometimes on grass, sometimes on dry lot, they rotate the paddocks, he has access to hay when on the dry lot


      Possible New Program
      2 1/2 lbs whole oats AM & PM
      1/2 Seminole Equalizer AM & PM
      5 lbs. Coastal Hay (fed in hay net, he can be ulcery so this will help keep hay in front of him all day)

      Turn-Out = 12 hours per day on grass (they have TONS!)


      My concern is that the oats will give him WAY too much energy! He needs NO help in that area! I was hoping you guys might have an idea for something that is nutritionally and economically similar. Also, do I need to look into a multi-vitamin, or would the Seminole ration balancer take care of that? I liked the idea of the ration balancer because I could feed him less while still giving him all the nutrition he needs. He also gets probios and Omega Horseshine as well as a few ulcer preventative sups. I thought about SafeChoice, but the amount I would have to feed him to keep weight on would likely bankrupt me!

      So what do you all think? I freely admit that I do not know enough about feed and was hoping you guys would help to fill in some of my knowledge gaps. Any help or suggestions you can give would be appreciated. Thanks!
      It would be far easier if you used the same for each diet, e.g. both weights or both volumes, not one in lbs and one is qts!

      That way you could match the calorie input better. Try converting all the available feeds to cal/lb and then see how much you need to feed to match the cals /day.

      If he has trouble keeping weight on you don't need to worry about the NSC levels, though beet pulp is a very good feed and can help maintain weight.

      5 lbs of hay is not very much, about half of what you were giving before. If your 'flake' of timothy is like ours, each one is about 4-5lbs.
      So it's best to convert everything to weight and then do a comparison.
      MW
      Melyni (PhD) PAS, Dipl. ACAN.
      Sign up for the Equine nutrition enewsletter on www.foxdenequine.com
      New edition of book is out:
      Horse Nutrition Handbook.

      www.knabstruppers4usa.com

      Comment


      • #4
        I'd like to see more hay. Is coastal all that's available? For a very simple program, you can go with TripleCrown Senior (and it's NOT just for seniors). They do need to get at least 4 lbs a day. It's high in fiber (which is great if the hay quantity is a problem), low in NSC and keeps them shiny and most importantly, not hot. We do soak our TCSenior; they like it better that way, but it's not necessary. Everyone gets it...from the 5 year old to the 17 year old. All in perfect weight (except my piggy QH who only gets a sprinkling anyway).

        Comment

        • Original Poster

          #5
          Thanks for the replies so far. I had been thinking about the TC Senior, but don't know much about it. Can I feed it on it's own, or would it need a ration balancer? I am having them wet/soak his feed anyway because he eats his supplements better that way, so that's not a problem.

          Also, to clarify, I meant to put 5 lbs. coastal AM & PM, so 10 lbs total per day. I don't know the weight of the current feed and hay, but I will try to find out. It makes sense to compare the calories/lb, so I will try to get that information.

          I had been thinking about beet pulp as well. How long does it need to soak before it can be fed? Could I set it up the night before and the BM could feed it in the morning? Or do you think it would sour? If I were to feed BP in addition to the ration balancer, how much BP would I need to feed? Should I be feeding hay cubes/pellets in addition?

          Thanks again for the responses, any other ideas would be appreciated, I'm trying to look at all my options. I will try to get the weights for you guys and post them this evening.

          Comment


          • #6
            I don't like feeding much grain or prepeared sweet feeds. I would not feed whole oats, but that's just me. I feed beet pulp, black oil seeds, rice bran, ground flax, and a little Wellsolve or Ultium accordingly. And lots of hay.

            Comment

            • Original Poster

              #7
              I just looked at the Ultium and WellSolve. The Ultium is a little pricey given it recommends I feed 7.5 lbs of it per day. The Wellsolve was in the same category for me because I would have to feed 9 lbs per day!

              Has anyone heard of or used Platform feeds? Here is a link to their website. Their feed had a lot of the things I was looking for, but the range of what I would need to feed (0.5-1.0 lbs per 100 lbs of body weight) is so variable and could really change the overall cost.

              With any of the above mentioned feeds (WellSolve, Platform, Ultium, etc.) it seems to me it would be unnecessary to feed a ration balancer, is this correct? Do you only feed a ration balancer when they are on something plain such as hay cubes/pellets, oats, or beet pulp?

              Thanks again for the ideas and suggestions! Keep them coming, I'll get the weight of his current feeds posted tonight.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by FolsomBlues View Post
                Thanks for the replies so far. I had been thinking about the TC Senior, but don't know much about it. Can I feed it on it's own, or would it need a ration balancer? I am having them wet/soak his feed anyway because he eats his supplements better that way, so that's not a problem.

                Also, to clarify, I meant to put 5 lbs. coastal AM & PM, so 10 lbs total per day. I don't know the weight of the current feed and hay, but I will try to find out. It makes sense to compare the calories/lb, so I will try to get that information.

                I had been thinking about beet pulp as well. How long does it need to soak before it can be fed? Could I set it up the night before and the BM could feed it in the morning? Or do you think it would sour? If I were to feed BP in addition to the ration balancer, how much BP would I need to feed? Should I be feeding hay cubes/pellets in addition?
                A ration balancer is fed to supplement a diet when a horse is getting an insufficient amount of vit/mins and certain proteins. If you feed the recommended amount of any complete feed, such as TC Senior, you should not need a ration balancer. Hence the term "complete" feed.

                You'll get a million different opinions about soaking beet pulp. I would never feed it dry, personally, but some do. I used to just wet it down for a few minutes before mixing in grain and never had problems with that, but now I soak it overnight. I've never had issues with spoilage. Is there an air conditioned tack room or feed room you could keep it in if it gets really hot?

                I'm wondering why you feel the need to change feeds if your current program is working? If it's just to save money since you now have to pay for feed, it isn't really worth messing with something that's proven to work.

                5 lbs of oats per day is a lot. Also, there's much less fat in your "new" program than in what you're currently feeding. If your horse is getting free choice forage, then I wouldn't add hay cubes.
                "Why would anybody come here if they had a pony? Who leaves a country packed with ponies to come to a non-pony country? It doesn't make sense!"

                Comment


                • #9
                  Not much to add, but if you can't stick with the timothy and must change to coastal please do so slowly as if it were a grain. That can sometimes be a hard switch for them.
                  A lovely horse is always an experience.... It is an emotional experience of the kind that is spoiled by words. ~Beryl Markham

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Asking for feed advice is like asking what is everyone's favorite color - you are going to get a million of opinions. Personally, I don't like to feed beet pulp - not every horse likes it, you have to soak it (which can be annoying for the staff) and I've also seen it go bad pretty easily. If you have other people feeding for you, they don't always notice it. I've seen barn staff feed moldy beet pulp; I've also seen beet pulp that had been sitting out soaking all day with a ton of flies in it, making me wonder what foulness had gotten in there. Now, that being said, a lot of people love it and work around the issues. I personally just like to keep things as simple as possible when I'm dealing with barn staff.

                    I am a Buckeye fan and also a Seminole fan. For your horse, I would recommend Buckeye Cadence (your horse should be in the 6 lb per day range, give or take) or Seminole Perfect 10. You can feed less then the daily recommended amount on the bag and supplement with 1 pound of Seminole Equalizer per day. To make up the calorie difference, I like to feed alfalfa pellets, which is great for "ulcery" horses, BTW.

                    Hay should be as plentiful as possible - especially coastal. If you are starting him on lush pasture and he's not used to it, consider a grazing muzzle so he doesn't founder on you. Good luck, I'm sure you'll find just the right combination for your horse!

                    Comment

                    • Original Poster

                      #11
                      Ok, I updated the feed amount to weight instead of quarts. I don't really have a way to weigh the hay, unless any of you have clever ideas for that. I don't own a hay scale and neither does my barn owner.

                      The reason I'm looking into changing his feed is that I'm moving to a new barn that requires everyone to supply their own feed. I wanted to look into different options out there. Maybe there is something that is more affordable, maybe there is something that has better nutrition for him. I don't know, so I thought I would ask. The feed he is on right now is working fine, but maybe there is something better out there. I just wanted to ask and see what ideas everyone had.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I would do no oats, beet pulp instead but only enough to down mineral and supplements.....and way more hay than 5 lbs depending how much pasture he is actually getting.

                        Dalemma

                        Comment

                        • Original Poster

                          #13
                          I've definitely scrapped the oats idea. I like the idea of beet pulp, but I'm not the one feeding him and while they are willing to wet down his feed to mix in the supplements, they are not willing to wait what I consider long enough for the beet pulp to soak.

                          And he will be getting 10 lbs of hay total while in his stall, plus 12 hours of turnout on grass pastures. I should probably update my first post. It says 5 lbs AM & PM, so 10 lbs total.

                          I'm going to a few different feed stores today to see what they offer and what their opinions are. Thanks again for the ideas! Let me know if you guys have any others.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I soak my beet pulp in really hot water and I can serve it in about 30 minutes.

                            Also depending on your weather and storage (like a fridge) you could make the beet pulp up in cold water so it was ready for the next day......I don't like holding beet pulp for more than 6 to 12 hours in a warmer climate and where we live in the winter 24 hours is acceptable.

                            Dalemma

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by FolsomBlues View Post
                              Ok, I updated the feed amount to weight instead of quarts. I don't really have a way to weigh the hay, unless any of you have clever ideas for that. I don't own a hay scale and neither does my barn owner.
                              To weigh hay, I use a standard $5 kitchen scale. Take the little bowl off the top, and lay down a square of sturdy cardboard. Zero the scale out, then lay one typical flake of hay on top of the cardboard. The typical flake that I get around here is 3-5 lbs. depending on the type and cut.

                              This way you can get a feel for what your typical flake of hay weighs. If it's 4 lbs, and you're feeding 6 flakes of it, then the horse is getting about 24 lbs. of hay a day.

                              Of course that system isn't "exact" but it's close enough. When you switch hay suppliers, or get a new load of hay in, take the time to weigh some flakes of the new stuff and find out about how much each flake runs.

                              It works quite well for me.

                              For soaking beet pulp - it really depends if it's shreds, crumbles, or pellets. The shreds are the quickest. Hot water and they're ready in 10 minutes. Crumbles and pellets take up to about 30 minutes in hot water. I know a couple of people that use a regular Coleman cooler and set their buckets of soaked beet pulp in that. It is dark, cool, and free of flies. It will stay fresh for 24 hours that way (but use cold water for soaking, not hot.)

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                The other thing that works great for weighing is a fish scale and then I just hang a plastic muck bucket from it then just drop the hay in.......you can either 0 it out or just subtract.

                                Dalemma

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by Dalemma View Post
                                  The other thing that works great for weighing is a fish scale and then I just hang a plastic muck bucket from it then just drop the hay in.......you can either 0 it out or just subtract.

                                  Dalemma


                                  I use a hay net and fish scale.

                                  Grain is meant to add calories to a horse that needs it and to supplement for min/vits that may be lacking in hay/grass. When I got my hay tested, it was extremely revealing. I found out that my horses didn't need nearly as much grain as I was feeding them, and found out exactly what to supplement for. I've since cut a lot of the grain, added some vit/min supplements, and my horses look better than ever.

                                  You've already nixed the oats, which is good. Some people say it can be a part of a balanced program, but to me, it is too high in NSCs and too low in protein to be worth the supplementation it would require. There are tons of feeds out there to choose from that I'm sure would work for your horse, but if you don't know the values of the hay, you're going to be guessing what your horse needs. The feeds that have been mentioned are all good choices. For me, beet pulp is too much of a hassle. If I were the one feeding my horses instead of my BO, maybe I would reconsider, but I can find other ways for my horses to get what they need. I feed CarbGuard to the horses who I feel need it, which is low in NSCs and has pretty much everything else that I need, and is $13-14 a bag where I live.

                                  I do have to ask--why were/are you feeding Manna Pro and Nutrena Life? Their basic values look VERY similar. Is there a reason you didn't go with just one? You were feeding 12 lbs a day?

                                  Comment

                                  • Original Poster

                                    #18
                                    The Nutrena/Manna Pro mix is what my current barn feeds. Since they were paying for it and he was keeping good weight and doing well, I didn't really question it. And yes, the total was 6 pounds of each per day, so 12 pounds total. That just seems like a lot of feed to me. I'd like to cut that down and I think by feeding something with a higher fat/protein content I can do that.

                                    Now that I've been out and talked to the local feed stores I think I have a better idea of what I want. The Nutrena/Manna Pro that he is on now has a ton of corn, which I think is contributing to his excessive energy. One feed store recommended Ultium (thank you Auventera!) and I really liked that it has the low starch/NSC and high fat content. I also liked the Strategy. Then I started looking at the XTN from Nutrena. Very similar to the Ultium. Anyone ever used that? I think I've got it narrowed down to the Ultium, Strategy, or XTN.

                                    As for the beet pulp, I am in FL so I fear the heat and humidity over the summer would nix any chance of leaving it out over night because there is no A/C in the tack or feed room. But I do have a mini-fridge sitting around doing nothing that could probably fit a 5 gallon bucket in it...

                                    I will look into the fish/kitchen scale for the hay, that was an awesome idea, thanks to the two people who mentioned it!

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Ultium is a beet pulp-based feed, so you might not need to supplement it with more beet pulp. I believe the XTN is as well. Both are 12% protein/12% fat, the Strategy is lower fat (14%/6%). Ultium is one of the more popular feeds at the feed store I work at, for both performance horses and starch-sensitive harder keepers.

                                      The high-fiber base is helpful for ulcer-prone horses, and it provides less of a "sugar-rush" energy than a higher starch feed. Ideally, you would need to feed less because it is higher in fat. It also has a pretty well-rounded source of fats, including flax, soybean and rice bran. It's spendy, but it's a good feed. Also, most feeds like Ultium, Strategy and XTN will have the vit/min content your horse needs without supplementing with a diet balancer.
                                      Leap, and the net will appear

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        10 lbs still doesn't seem like very much to me, but I guess it depends on how much they get outside, and if he has something in front of his face at all times. If he is never without hay on the 10lb ration, then I suppose it's okay.

                                        I personally vote for TC Senior. Simple and easy, very palatable, and low NSC.
                                        Tell a Gelding. Ask a Stallion. Discuss it with a Mare... Pray if it's a Pony!

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