more feed/EPSM questions
 
 

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more feed/EPSM questions

This is a discussion on more feed/EPSM questions within the Draft Horses forums, part of the Horse Breeds category
  • Feeding epsm horse
  • Oil and horse with espm

 
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    02-28-2009, 07:31 AM
  #1
Foal
more feed/EPSM questions

I did a forum search for EPSM threads and I know it's kinda controversial, I don't want to start a fiery debate but I have some questions. I have not ordered Dr. Valentine's book yet but I will be ordering it later this week. I've had the chance to read a lot of articles both by her and by others online and she sounds like she knows her stuff. Anyway, my John is 18hh or a little taller and rather underweight. I ran across the EPSM stuff while searching for feeding info; I haven't had him tested but he does look to have much less muscle on his hind end versus the front. Whether it's EPSM or not, the diet sounds like a good thing. And from what I read, I should be able to put all my horses on it with no bad effects, making feeding time that much simpler. All that being said, I've noticed quite a few of you are Purina users which is nice as I have a Purina dealer right down the road and we feed Strategy at the moment. So here are a few of the questions I have:

-With the Strategy, do you guys feed it dry or soaked? I've been feeding mine soaked, both because they enjoy a warm meal on a cold night and because one youngling has teeth issues that makes it much easier to eat. After seeing how much it swells when soaked, I'm nervous to feed it dry...will it cause choke? I used to have a senior gelding that had choke problems on Equine Senior, and the pellets looked virtually similar.

-With the oil, is plain jane vegetable oil from the grocery store okay? Everything says 'any type of vegetable oil' but when they're listed, they show corn-canola-etc but nothing says regular veggie oil.

-His previous owner only fed a small amount of Calf Manna (no, I have no idea why) and kept him stalled with little or no turnout, so it's no wonder he's underweight. He's not Extremely skinny, but his ribs do show a little and his hipbones are rather prominent. At our place we have constant turnout with free access to stalls, free choice local hay, and decent pasture although the pasture is slim pickings this time of year. What amounts of feed should I be giving him, keeping in mind that he needs to put on extra weight? Yes, I am able to do twice-daily feedings...

Anyway, can you help with my questions? Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
     
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    02-28-2009, 07:32 AM
  #2
Foal
Forgot to add...he has been wormed in the last 2 weeks...
     
    02-28-2009, 10:11 AM
  #3
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by firebird96ta    

-With the Strategy, do you guys feed it dry or soaked? I've been feeding mine soaked, both because they enjoy a warm meal on a cold night and because one youngling has teeth issues that makes it much easier to eat. After seeing how much it swells when soaked, I'm nervous to feed it dry...will it cause choke? I used to have a senior gelding that had choke problems on Equine Senior, and the pellets looked virtually similar.

-With the oil, is plain jane vegetable oil from the grocery store okay? Everything says 'any type of vegetable oil' but when they're listed, they show corn-canola-etc but nothing says regular veggie oil.

-His previous owner only fed a small amount of Calf Manna (no, I have no idea why) and kept him stalled with little or no turnout, so it's no wonder he's underweight. He's not Extremely skinny, but his ribs do show a little and his hipbones are rather prominent. At our place we have constant turnout with free access to stalls, free choice local hay, and decent pasture although the pasture is slim pickings this time of year. What amounts of feed should I be giving him, keeping in mind that he needs to put on extra weight? Yes, I am able to do twice-daily feedings...
Firebird - I have a 17.2hh Percheron that I have had almost a year. Before I got him (at age 10) he was fed sweet feed. I did some research and of course came across EPSM diets.

To answer some of your questions - I feed Strategy dry to my Perch as well as my Appy without any issues. Your horses should not have any issues eating it dry, though you may want to continue to soak it for your horse that has the teeth issues. However if you feel more comfortable with soaking it, it isn't going to hurt them either.

You can use any kind of oil you find at the grocery store - vegetable, corn, canola, cocounut, sunflower, etc. I don't think it really makes a difference on which kind you use, it is just a matter of preference. I have found that my guy likes the corn oil better and I mix it with some alfalfa pellets because it gets messy and he eats it better that way (which Dr. Beth has told me is ok to do)

As for the amount of feed, Dr. Beth's site gives a lot of good information, however if he isn't used to grain, I would start slowly. Below is the link to Dr. Beth's site if don't already have it.

Beth Valentine's Recommended EPSM Diets
     
    02-28-2009, 01:38 PM
  #4
Foal
Excellent! That is exactly what I needed to know. Thanks so much!
     
    02-28-2009, 11:47 PM
  #5
Yearling
I feed Strategy to my draft cross gelding and other geldings dry and they love it and gobble it up. The dogs love it too and eagerly stand there waiting for pellets to fall out of the horse's mouths!

He is about 17.3+ and eats about 6-7 flakes of grass hay a day, plus about 3 lbs of Strategy, oil (soybean since that's what they sell in bulk at Sam's Club) and Select II vitamin/mineral supplements for grass fed horses daily. I would see how much grass hay your guy can put away and let that be your guide. I like them to always have something to nibble on since they're in a dirt lot and have no pasture.
     
    03-01-2009, 09:13 AM
  #6
Foal
Dana, that's funny that the dogs want to eat it too! Up until this past fall I had a large flock of ducks that would come into the barn at suppertime and cluster around the buckets, waiting for the horses to raise their heads and drop something. None of the horses ever made a move to stomp them. :)

It's difficult for me to accurately measure his hay intake; in between him, 3 adult horses, and a weanling mule, they go through a round bale a week and they get 3 square bales in the barn at night. John prefers the round bale though, and will go back out to chow on that while the others prefer to munch on the squares (unless it's raining/snowing, then I make him stay in). With John in the mix, we go through round bales every 6-7 days whereas we used to be able to get 10-14 days :).
     
    03-02-2009, 12:30 PM
  #7
Foal
Ok, been doing some looking and have just a couple more questions...
I just found out how to tape him without an actual weight tape, but until I get to do that, we'll guess 2000lbs for a round figure to work off of.
On Dr. Valentine's dietary recommendations page, I'm looking at Diets #6 and #7. #7 says it's for very large drafts...even so, are the amounts listed under #7 still based on the 1000lbs? I'm assuming so. That would put us at 20lbs of feed a day and that seems like a huge amount. Is that right???

Looking at #6 and going off the 2000lb estimate, that would be 12lbs Strategy which would be about 5 scoops a day (my scoop holds 2.5lbs of dry Strategy). That still seems like a lot, but I could break that down into two feedings. So on a twice-daily basis, he would be getting 6lbs of Strategy and 2cups of oil at each feeding. I can't accurately estimate the poundage of his hay intake, but I do have the Vit E/Selenium supplement and mineral block/salt block/loose minerals available.
Does that figuring sound correct, or am I missing something? Math's never been my strong point. Again, thanks for helping us get all this figured out...
     
    03-02-2009, 01:09 PM
  #8
mls
Trained
Quote:
Originally Posted by firebird96ta    
-His previous owner only fed a small amount of Calf Manna (no, I have no idea why) and kept him stalled with little or no turnout, so it's no wonder he's underweight.
No turnout would go a long way to explaining no muscle in the rear end.

Before gearing things towards ESPM, I would have him tested to confirm.
     
    03-02-2009, 08:20 PM
  #9
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by mls    
No turnout would go a long way to explaining no muscle in the rear end.
I thought that too, but just in case...
Quote:
Before gearing things towards ESPM, I would have him tested to confirm.
Yeah, I do plan on getting the vet's opinion on testing him when she comes out for shots; I had never heard of EPSM until I started researching draft feeding recommendations. It's still new to me. Regardless, from what I understand, this diet won't hurt anything, can help keep them from developing EPSM if they don't already have it, and is good enough for regular horses too, right? So I figure why not go for it? I do plan on going over the diet with our vet before implementing, just want to make sure I have all my ducks in a row beforehand...
     

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