Best Senior Feed - Page 3 - The Horse Forum
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post #21 of 23 Old 12-16-2009, 12:23 PM
Join Date: Apr 2009
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Originally Posted by qtrhrsecrazy View Post
Thats correct, you don't have to hay if for whatever reason you can't ie; horsey heath issues. The guideline however doesn't insist that you feed a mega large amount of senior for a daily ration.

One bag of Nutrena Senior, depending on where you buy it, runs approx 15-17 $. By the time you buy a bag of crap feed for $7, buy a bag of beet pulp for $10, flax for whatever amount (it's not that cheap), probiotics, etc etc, you'd been cheaper in the first place to buy the more costly 50# of senior, is my point.
Nutrena Senior is definitely not complete.

I don't like senior feeds as a sole source of nutrition. Even if the horse has no teeth and has to drink all his feed, I would still give a vitamin/mineral supplement along with beet pulp, alfalfa pellets or other form of process forage, flax seed and rice bran and some Senior thrown in.

Here's what I buy and the costs:

40 lb. Manna Pro Rice Bran: $22.95
40 lb. Beet Pulp Crumbles: $16.99
50 lb. Flax seed (that I grind myself) $32
50 lb. Alfalfa pellets $16.99

That is 180 lb. of product for $88.93.

Nutrena Senior is about $17 for a 50 lb. bag.
So 180 lbs. of Senior would be $61.20.

But you still have to balance the vitamins and minerals that are missing from both plans. So say you buy SmartVite EZ Keeper and give the recommended 50 grams per day, which comes out to about $16 a month.

Recommended feeding of Senior would be 13 lbs. per day for a 1,000 lb. horse for Maintenance - no work. This comes out to about $130 a month if feeding Senior. Add the vit/min supplement and it is $146 a month.

I just plugged the following into FeedXL to create a balanced diet for a 1,000 lb. aged horse not in work:

Nutena Senior 2 lbs.
Ground Flax 1 lb.
Manna Pro Rice Bran 1 lb.
Beet Pulp 5 lbs.
Alfalfa Pellets 6 lbs.

Given the individual costs on the above listed items, plus the 1 ounce of SmartVite supplement, that would come out to $184.28

Even with the Senior and the vit/min supplement, I was unable to get the diet to balance in all categories.

So yes, you could say that feeding ONLY Senior is cheaper but it is also not supplying EVERYTHING the horse needs. And everything would include variety also to keep the horse from getting bored and sour. The Horse recently published a study showing that if horses are given a variety of foods, even if they are stalled, they did not develop the vices and stereotypies that horses do when only fed a single type of feed.

In the wild habitat, horses forage on many different things all day - grasses, weeds, bark, berries, seeds, tree leaves, even brambles and dirt enriched with minerals. It's not natural for them to stand in one spot and eat one type of feed round the clock.

With the variety offered by the more expansive diet, you could soak senior in the morning for a meal, then pellets for lunch and beet pulp for dinner. I do this a lot with my horses and I have never had an upset stomach or diarehea. They'll get flax at one meal then rice bran at the other. I think it's much more of a problem when you're feeding large quantities of sweet feeds or rich grain like corn or oats that you have to worry a lot more about making changes.

Also I buy 4 types of hay from 4 different suppliers and each day my horses get rotated between the types. This is more natural, they're healthier and happier, and always kept interested in what they're eating.

So anyway, yeah you could make the argument that feeding only Senior is cheaper, but cheap isn't always best.
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post #22 of 23 Old 12-16-2009, 12:29 PM
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Here is the information on Nutrena Senior:
Life DesignŽ Senior Horse Feed
ˇ Highly palatable nugget with vegetable oil delivers optimum feed consumption with high nutrient intake.
ˇ Highly digestible fiber that allows this product to be fed as a sole ration.
ˇ An increased phosphorus level with a precisely formulated calcium-to-phosphorus level, to meet nutritional requirements while avoiding the effects of stress caused by excess mineral intake.
ˇ Optimum vitamin E and selenium levels to support immune response.
ˇ Enhanced trace mineral level that maintains bloom and physical condition.
ˇ Highly digestible sources of protein that provide a superior combination of essential amino acids.
Guaranteed Analysis (min. amounts except where noted)

Crude Protein
Crude Fat
Crude Fiber
max. 16%
min. 0.84%-max. 1.00%
40 ppm
140 ppm
0.3 ppm
Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C)
75 mg/lb
Vitamin A
6,000 IU/lb
Vitamin D3
450 IU/lb
Vitamin E
75 IU/lb
0.45 mg/lb

Feeding Directions
ˇ The following feeding directions are guidelines to maintain desired body condition and performance. Feeding rates need to be adjusted according to the horse's condition and training or competition schedule. Split the recommended level into two or more feedings each day.
Weight Of Horse
Light Work

ˇ Start feeding at the lower level and adjust to maintain the desired body condition. Feed requirements to maintain body condition may vary considerably due to individual differences. Use a weight tape and regular body condition scoring to make sure the horse is maintaining the desired condition. Pay close attention to actual body conditions when horses have longer hair coats.
ˇ If hay is used, the amount of feed may be reduced by 1 lb. for each 1.5 to 2.0 lb. of hay fed. Reduce feeding rate if pasture is available.
ˇ If your horse has severe dental problems, Nutrena Life Design SeniorŽ horse feed may be soaked with warm water to form a mash. The mixture should soak for five to eight minutes until it reaches the consistency your horse prefers.
ˇ Provide plenty of fresh, clean water at all times. Salt should be available free-choice.
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post #23 of 23 Old 12-16-2009, 03:36 PM
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: SouthEastern PA
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Flax is probably the cheepest part of my horses diet, and great for any horse. I pay $30 for a 50lb bag. I got the bag in october, and I still have more then half a bag left.
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