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Feeding equine senior to babies?

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  • Feeding equine senior to babies?

    So I was over at a friend's house yesterday and when she went to feed the horses I went out with her and I asked her what she feeds. In addition to the Alfalfa/Grasshay she said she feeds Equine Senior to her babies. She has a 3 months old foal and a yearling. I'm a bit concerned and told her I don't think that is a good idea and that the food formulated for an old horse would be very different than what a developing foal needs. Am I missing something? Is this good? Bad? Okay?
    Hoppe, Hoppe, Reiter...
    Wenn er faellt dann schreit er...

    Originally posted by mbm
    forward is like love - you can never have enough

  • #2
    If you compare "Senior" with "Foal Growth" formulations, you'll find that most blends are virtually identical in nutritional analysis. We feed a Senior blend to almost all the horses (old and young) on the farm.
    "I always remember you as quite the desk chair contrarian." - APirateLooksAtForty

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Bent Hickory View Post
      If you compare "Senior" with "Foal Growth" formulations, you'll find that most blends are virtually identical in nutritional analysis. We feed a Senior blend to almost all the horses (old and young) on the farm.
      I went to the Purina website and couldn't get a basic analysis of the ingredients contained in Equine Senior and Strategy GX. I'm sure that Enrich 32 is different from both of them. If you have that breakdown, could you post it? I didn't think that Equine Senior would contain the minerals required by mares/foals. Does it contain the appropriate protein levels?
      Mystic Owl Sporthorses
      www.mysticowlsporthorses.com

      Comment


      • #4
        Hi, I am a consultant for Purina and used to be an equine specialist in the field. Although Equine Senior can be fed to other horses not classified as "Seniors" I wouldn't choose to feed it to horses under 2 years of age. For someone interested in a diet like Equine Senior for younger horses, I would opt for Equine Junior but even that product is not recommended for horses under 6 months of age because it (like Equine Senior) is a complete feed and their hindguts are not yet fully functioning. Strategy, Omolene 300 or Ultium Growth is great as a creep feed for those horses and then Equine Junior (or any of the other three products mentioned) can be fed to a 6month - 2 year old (or whenever they reach skeletal maturity).

        Comment


        • #5
          I totally agree with Holly ... I would not feed a complete feed (i.e. forage/hay included in the feed) to foals. My biggest struggle with the complete feeds is that often people feed it like they would any other feed without taking into consider that the forage is included. They need to feed much more of it so that the horse is getting its minimum daily allowance of vit/min/etc., yet often they are only feeding a couple pounds twice a day which isn't near enough.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Holly F View Post
            Hi, I am a consultant for Purina and used to be an equine specialist in the field. Although Equine Senior can be fed to other horses not classified as "Seniors" I wouldn't choose to feed it to horses under 2 years of age. For someone interested in a diet like Equine Senior for younger horses, I would opt for Equine Junior but even that product is not recommended for horses under 6 months of age because it (like Equine Senior) is a complete feed and their hindguts are not yet fully functioning. Strategy, Omolene 300 or Ultium Growth is great as a creep feed for those horses and then Equine Junior (or any of the other three products mentioned) can be fed to a 6month - 2 year old (or whenever they reach skeletal maturity).
            I am SO glad I went with my gut on this one. At the last trade show I attended, the Triple Crown guys were doing their best to convince me that their Triple Crown Senior was almost identical to Ultium Growth and that it would work just as well as a creep feed for my foal. Thank goodness I thought about it and I decided against it. I did try switching her mama over (she's 17 this year and they *really* talked a good talk) fed it as directed, wasn't particularly happy with the results so I went back to the regular Ultium for her as well.

            Glad to see that I wasn't completely crazy... ;-p
            Last edited by propspony; Jul. 21, 2012, 09:26 PM.
            The ninja monkeys are plotting my demise as we speak....

            Comment


            • #7
              TC Senior is a different grain than 'Equine Senior.' Very different.

              Comment


              • #8
                Btw. Tc senior has been great for my old guy

                Prone to ulcers. Stops eating. Was looking frail. Has always been thin. Now he gets 3.5 lbs senior 2. Daily. The 28 yr old tb looks like he might live a lot longer.

                At this point. Is that a good thing? Lol

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by goodmorning View Post
                  TC Senior is a different grain than 'Equine Senior.' Very different.
                  Ditto this.
                  Caitlin
                  *OMGiH I Loff my Mare* and *My Saddlebred Can Do Anything Your Horse Can Do*
                  http://community.webshots.com/user/redmare01

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I'd never feed Purina Sr to a foal (and would look for other options for an adult) - too high in sugars.

                    TC Sr is indeed a very different story - VERY similar to the TC Growth, and so much lower in sugars than the Purina Sr
                    ______________________________
                    The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      ahhh.... in my head I was equating equine senior with ALL senior equine feeds. I stand corrected. :-)
                      The ninja monkeys are plotting my demise as we speak....

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Yes, if she is feeding TC Senior that is a different story than feeding Purina's Equine Senior. If you look at the labels it is almost identical to TC Growth. Also Pennfields Senior feed is a really nice feed, I have feed it to my 2 year olds. Its really about reading labels.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          You just have to read the directions on complete feeds. Many you can feed like a normal feed or use to replace a large portion of the diet. TC Complete only has a min of 5 pounds if fed with hay/grass which is fairly normal for feeds (outside of ration balancers). It is not uncommon for people to use a senior feed for all ages, and the go to sr use to be equine sr before other companies came out with improved formulas. Today there are better option, but many old school people are going to remember when equine sr came out and how good it was back then.
                          http://community.webshots.com/user/jenn52318

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by whbar158 View Post
                            You just have to read the directions on complete feeds. Many you can feed like a normal feed or use to replace a large portion of the diet. TC Complete only has a min of 5 pounds if fed with hay/grass which is fairly normal for feeds (outside of ration balancers). It is not uncommon for people to use a senior feed for all ages, and the go to sr use to be equine sr before other companies came out with improved formulas. Today there are better option, but many old school people are going to remember when equine sr came out and how good it was back then.
                            TC Senior is still a complete feed. Yes you can feed TC Senior and Equine Senior without hay and feed less of it but in order to be a complete feed it must provide digestible and indigestible fibers. That is not an appropriate diet for a young horse, so even if the fiber levels are similar to what is in say Ultium Growth, it doesn't necessarily make it a good recommendation for a young growing horse under the age of 2.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by JB View Post
                              I'd never feed Purina Sr to a foal (and would look for other options for an adult) - too high in sugars.

                              TC Sr is indeed a very different story - VERY similar to the TC Growth, and so much lower in sugars than the Purina Sr
                              Not sure I'd say TC is "so" much lower in sugars vs Eq Sr. Equine Senior is on avg 8-11% starch and on average 17% starch plus ESC. on Triple Crown's site the starch numbers it gives are not "guaranteed" they clearly state they are averages of a select number of samples and that you have to add 10% (plus or minus) to the starch number and 15% plus or minus to the ESC number and "in addition, there are variables on ingredients between suppliers that could be as much as an additional 5% to 10% per ingredient." There site also says "These should reasonably account for both sampling and analytical variation, though as you know, poor sampling can lead to much larger variation." Beyond all that, even if they are on average lower, it is only slightly.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by Holly F View Post
                                TC Senior is still a complete feed. Yes you can feed TC Senior and Equine Senior without hay and feed less of it but in order to be a complete feed it must provide digestible and indigestible fibers. That is not an appropriate diet for a young horse, so even if the fiber levels are similar to what is in say Ultium Growth, it doesn't necessarily make it a good recommendation for a young growing horse under the age of 2.
                                That makes *zero* sense.

                                TC Sr is nearly identical to TC Growth. It makes no difference that it's also got a higher level of fiber to make it a complete feed.

                                Just because you CAN feed it to the exclusion of forage when necessary, doesn't mean you have to or should, that it's not suitable to be fed otherwise, or that it's not suitable to be fed to foals/young horses. The same amount of it as you'd be feeding TC Growth would make this quite a good diet for a young horse.

                                I do not find *Purina* Equine Sr to be suitable for youngsters because of the high sugar - low-upper 20's.

                                However, TC Sr is 11% NSC, and that's VERY good and quite ok for youngsters.
                                ______________________________
                                The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by Holly F View Post
                                  Not sure I'd say TC is "so" much lower in sugars vs Eq Sr. Equine Senior is on avg 8-11% starch and on average 17% starch plus ESC. on Triple Crown's site the starch numbers it gives are not "guaranteed" they clearly state they are averages of a select number of samples and that you have to add 10% (plus or minus) to the starch number and 15% plus or minus to the ESC number and "in addition, there are variables on ingredients between suppliers that could be as much as an additional 5% to 10% per ingredient." There site also says "These should reasonably account for both sampling and analytical variation, though as you know, poor sampling can lead to much larger variation." Beyond all that, even if they are on average lower, it is only slightly.
                                  When you say "Equine Senior", please be specific.

                                  And please know that "starch" does not tell the whole story, though companies would like you to think it does.

                                  NSC is what you have to look at - WSC + starch. TC SR IS 11% NSC. TC Growth is 13% NSC. Purina Sr is in the low-mid 20's unless they have recently changed and made it lower.

                                  Nutrena Safe Choice Special Care likes to fool you by listing the starch content on their site as 11%. But sugar is 4%, so the NSC is 15%. Not bad, but not as great as they'd like you to believe.

                                  Obviously batches can vary - new crops can provide a bit of variation in the nutritient profiles. But you're not going to find a batch of TC Sr at 25% NSC and you're not going to find Purina Sr at 13% NSC. The variation is not that much.

                                  10% variation on 11% is about another 1%. Hardly a huge difference for all but the most sensitive horses.
                                  ______________________________
                                  The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by JB View Post
                                    That makes *zero* sense.

                                    TC Sr is nearly identical to TC Growth. It makes no difference that it's also got a higher level of fiber to make it a complete feed.

                                    Just because you CAN feed it to the exclusion of forage when necessary, doesn't mean you have to or should, that it's not suitable to be fed otherwise, or that it's not suitable to be fed to foals/young horses. The same amount of it as you'd be feeding TC Growth would make this quite a good diet for a young horse.

                                    I do not find *Purina* Equine Sr to be suitable for youngsters because of the high sugar - low-upper 20's.

                                    However, TC Sr is 11% NSC, and that's VERY good and quite ok for youngsters.
                                    My point is just because one product is say 17% fiber and another is 17% fiber doesn't mean they are equivalent and/or doesn't determine if it is a complete feed. In order to be a complete feed and provide all the necessary fiber to replace hay in the diet the product must contain the necessary amount of both digestible and indigestible "bulk" fibers. A high fiber diet that is not a complete feed may not have as many indigestible fibers. Young horses (mainly birth through 6 months or weaning) need maximum nutrition and digestibility so I wouldn't typically recommend feeding a complete feed to a horse that falls into this category.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by JB View Post
                                      When you say "Equine Senior", please be specific.

                                      And please know that "starch" does not tell the whole story, though companies would like you to think it does.

                                      NSC is what you have to look at - WSC + starch. TC SR IS 11% NSC. TC Growth is 13% NSC. Purina Sr is in the low-mid 20's unless they have recently changed and made it lower.

                                      Nutrena Safe Choice Special Care likes to fool you by listing the starch content on their site as 11%. But sugar is 4%, so the NSC is 15%. Not bad, but not as great as they'd like you to believe.


                                      Obviously batches can vary - new crops can provide a bit of variation in the nutritient profiles. But you're not going to find a batch of TC Sr at 25% NSC and you're not going to find Purina Sr at 13% NSC. The variation is not that much.

                                      10% variation on 11% is about another 1%. Hardly a huge difference for all but the most sensitive horses.
                                      Just pointing out how unreliable these numbers are and that there is more then just a 15% potential swing. I find it interesting that in the last couple years I have been remarking about how Triple Crown has had, on their chart, numbers where ESC is higher then WSC. Since ESC is a subset of WSC then this is not possible but unreliable testing can product these results. Now Triple Crown has suddenly dropped all the ESC numbers that were higher then WSC to equal WSC. I don't think they re-analyzed since all the other numbers are exactly the same... I have a copy of their original chart. And since they use a fixed formula there is a lot of variability on ingredients. Equi-Analytical labs even shows the potential variability, here is the variability they list for two common ingredients used:
                                      WSC ESC
                                      Wheat midds 5.2 - 11.12 (WSC) 2.8 - 6.4 (ESC)
                                      Soy hulls 1.27 - 6.14 (WSC) 0.26 - 5.3(ESC)

                                      So the variability per ingredient is more then just 10 or 15%.

                                      The whole point is not to wholly rely on these numbers and that there is a lot more variation then one might think.

                                      Also I'd be curious to see the research that shows that young growing horses need less then 20% sugars & starches. Unless a horse has a condition requiring extremely low starch (meaning 8-11% NSC) then feeding something that is 15-25% starch is totally acceptable. I will quote a non-biased source (non-Purina) Kentucky Equine Research from an article that they have in their library (written by Dr. Kathleen Crandell):

                                      Another number that is often mentioned as an
                                      indicator of starch and sugar is nonstructural
                                      carbohydrates (NSC). Finding the NSC value
                                      of the feed may require a call to the feed manufacturer.
                                      Approximate indicators of starch levels
                                      may be as follows: high, NSC >35%; relatively
                                      low, NSC =35-20%; and low, NSC <20%.

                                      Here is another statement in their article:

                                      Yet, low-starch feeds are not appropriate for every
                                      horse. Certain groups of horses require starch
                                      for optimal performance—growing youngsters
                                      and many equine athletes, for example. What
                                      lies behind the current low-starch craze?

                                      Not interested in getting into a huge debate just pointing out how unreliable NSC numbers can be and that many perceive that the lower the starch always means better. When most horses do fine on diets in the upper teens to low 20's (which is still considered low starch) unless they have a specific condition requiring extremely low starch. And that there are situation that a moderate amount of starch is necessary (such as horses doing a lot of anaerobic work).
                                      Last edited by Holly F; Jul. 31, 2012, 09:48 AM. Reason: add statement

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        It is well-documented for years now that higher sugar diets are a leading cause of growth issues in young horses. 20% NSC at 1lb isn't a big deal. But start feeding the recommended 5-6-7lb to these guys and that's a much bigger impact. Less of an impact on a 2yo than a 6 month old, because growth has slowed.

                                        It's also well-documented that horses as a whole do better on lower NSC diets. Just a fact.

                                        I have no idea what reputable research company out there says 25% NSC is fine and good for most horses It IS a fact that many horses seem to do just fine on higher NSC diets. However, there is also research that points to a link between a life of higher sugar diets and the subsequent development if IR issues.

                                        MOST horses are not working nearly so hard as to justify some of the "higher starch" diets. They just happen to (appear to) do alright despite it.

                                        Low sugar/starch diets tend also to be lower calorie which, IMVHO, is why some horses don't do well on them. The answer is not to go from a 15% NSC feed to a 35% feed - it's to go with something higher fat.

                                        Very hard working horses may absolutely need more soluble carbs to do their jobs, no doubt. They cannot be used to model the average horse though.
                                        ______________________________
                                        The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET

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