Concentrated vs. Complete - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 18 Old 12-21-2007, 11:50 PM Thread Starter
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Concentrated vs. Complete

Hi everyone,

I just wanted some advice...

I asked this on Yahoo answers and it became very obvious that many people had no idea what I was talking about.

I currently feed my senior mare (she's 22) 2Lb soaked beet pulp along with 2Lb soaked alfalfa pellets and then I've been giving her 4IB of Purina Senior. She then gets her meals of Grass hay.

My mare is not overly thin and she is not heavy. She is ideal. However, I don't like the senior feed for a few reasons.

The senior feed is complete (meaning it has built in hay). However, this also means that it is not as concentrated.

I'm wondering if it would be better to switch my mare on a more concentrated feed so she gets more out of the grain I fed her. I was thinking of a product like Ultium or a high quality sweet feed. I say this because although the senior is made for 'seniors' I wonder if I feed enough to make a difference since I only feed 4IB and it is made to be fed in a much larger portion.

I mare eats hay just fine. She does not yet need a complete feed.

Any opinions on switching to Ultium or a sweet feed?
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post #2 of 18 Old 12-22-2007, 12:06 AM
Green Broke
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I would not put her on sweet feed I have heard drom many barns around me that its not good horse horses..It makes them wirey? I would keep her on a pelted grain

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post #3 of 18 Old 12-22-2007, 02:13 AM
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this has been mentioned in other threads but, horses dont need hard feed to survive. if they have an ample supply of quality hay and grazing, then technically, you dont even need hard feed. if your horse is of good weight, i wouldnt worry with what you are feeding. the feeds you mentioned are different to the feeds we have over here in australia so its hard to comment on them but if all seems well, i wouldnt concern yourself too much :)

"I whisper but my horse doesnt listen...So I yell!!...He still doesnt listen"

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post #4 of 18 Old 12-22-2007, 02:49 AM
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From reading your post, it seems that whatever you have been doing is working good as-is.
I'm not one to tamper with success but.....
If it was me and if I wanted to switch from a feed that was working fine, I'd look real hard at whatever I wanted to replace it with, to ensure that it had a simular vitiman/mineral and proten/fat content.

And FWIW......
All sweet-feeds aint the same, just like all pelleted or "complete" feeds aint the same. Some sweet-feeds have a lot oats mixed in, some don't. Some have more corn than others and some don't have any corn at all. Some sweet-feeds are mostly grain and some are mostly pelleted. And on and on.
Aside from all that, sweet-feeds are available with various percentages of proten and/or fat content, as well as having differing amounts of vitamin/mineral suppliments.

So when you're asking about switching to a sweet-feed, I'd have to ask....which one?

Hope this helps somewhat.
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post #5 of 18 Old 12-22-2007, 10:15 PM
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Have you looked into Nuetrena Safe choice - I don't think it is a complete feed, but a concentrate. It has 14% protein along with many other needed nutrients/vitamins, but not hay as far as I know. It does have molasses though, which does make the horses a bit more wirey, but they love the taste! We have our pregnant mare on it and my stallion went on it this fall when I was struggling with his weight (it helped a lot). I did notice my stallion get more animated, but I suppose it depends on the horse as to how they will be impacted by the sweets - I like the added animation as my boy is usually kind of a dead head.
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post #6 of 18 Old 12-22-2007, 10:17 PM
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Nutrena, (like purina I am sure) also has many other blend options such as lifestyle, youth, senior, etc.
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post #7 of 18 Old 12-23-2007, 10:56 AM
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If your mare is doing fine on this, I would leave her on it. The addition of beet pulp and alfalfa hay means that you are providing nutrients in other forms. If she were loosing weight or only getting grass hay and 4 lbs on senior then I would recommend putting her on a more nutrient dense feed, but since she's doing fine don't mess with it.

LOL " If it ain't broke, don't fix it!"

Cindy D.
Licensed Veterinary Technician
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post #8 of 18 Old 12-23-2007, 05:18 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for your imput everyone

I have switched her to Ultium. I want to see if it will give me what I'm looking for.

Basically, I've been looking for a feed that will help to fill her out a bit more (put the weight where she needs it).

When I last looked at her, I noticed she seemed to be 'loosing a bit of condition. Her back bone wants to show and now her rump is getting a bit less beefy. Just a few things I seem to catch when I evaluate her. Yes, old age will do this but if I can help it, I will. She is not really losing 'weight' but she is losing her form. Feeding more hay will most likely just put a bigger fat belly on her (alfalfa or grass, neither helped).

I'm just not a fan of Purina Senior. I think if I really want to see results, I'm going to have to feed it in a much larger amount than I want to. Purina Senior does not give exact ingredients on their labels which makes me wonder what else is in there!! I'm going to see if Ultium will fill her out a bit more :) Ultum is Purina's cream of the crop.

The Nutrena safe choice isn't a bad idea. I might look into that one. I kinda of got discusted by their senior when I looked in the bag and found a worm embedded in a grain piece.
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post #9 of 18 Old 12-23-2007, 11:28 PM
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Yuk! I would too :) It is frozen up here now though :)
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post #10 of 18 Old 12-24-2007, 10:44 AM
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I personally don't like complete feeds. You have to feed too much for full nutrition. You can make your own senior feed pretty easily! Here is what the old guys at my boarding facility get, and they are doing awsome!

- 4-6 lbs of alfalfa pellets
- 2-3 lbs of soaked beet pulp
- 1-2 lbs of stabalized rice bran
- Source Focus SR (especially for senior horses)
- Purina's Free Balance
- (one guy, who has joint issues) Next Level's Joint Liquid

You can also add in some plain oats (your choice of crimped, rolled, or whole, they all work about the same). The rice bran gives the fat you need and helps balance the Calcium Phosphorus ration in the alfalaf pellets. The Source is a probiotic that helps the horse digest his food. The FreeBalance is a vitamin/mineral supplement for horses not getting any fortied feed. You can also feed Sellect II or Smart Pak's Smart Vite. Both do the same thing.

Now, if you just have to have some kind of commerical feed, then I would recommend a Ration Balancer. They are very concentraed and high in protien. They are designed to be fed at only 1-2 lbs a day for FULL nutrition. Triple Crown really has the best one, but they are not the easiest feed to find (race tracks like them, so if you are near one, check the feed stores around the track). But, almost every feed company except Nutrena makes a ration balancer. Purina's is called Born to Win. You can reduce the alfalfa pellets and remove the vitamin/mineral supplement if you feed a ration balancer.

As for Ultium, it didn't do anything for my Anglo Arabian, who was a hard keeper. I put him on a similar diet as above (though no beet pulp and more alfalfa) and he gained weight much nicer! And his coat was very nice as well. The rice bran is high in fat and nutrients to balance the alfalfa.

Also, unless you're feeding the recommended amounts list on the side of the bag, your horse isn't getting full nutrition. And the recommended amounts are "minimum" requirements, not "optimum" nutrient levels.

"To be an equestrian in the classical sense is not just to be a rider. It is a position in life." --Charles de Kunffy

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