Transitioning from Sweet Feed to Safechoice - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 11 Old 11-22-2009, 12:38 PM Thread Starter
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Transitioning from Sweet Feed to Safechoice

Hey guys,

As I have been reading this forum, I have come across a lot of questions regarding feeding schedules and diets. So, I read up a lot on different brands/types of feed to determine what my horse needs. A little background info: my horse and I did professional drill team riding for the past 4 years, pretty intense practices once or twice a week. However, I have recently moved to a new barn where we are taking a break from drill team riding, and my horse is just kind of chilling out and only getting worked about once a week (yes, it's depressing, only once a week). For the past 4 years, my horse got 5 lbs. of Tizwhiz 14% Sweet Feed per day along with about 15 lbs. or so of very good quality alfalfa/orchardgrass mix (a combination of 2nd and 3rd cuttings). He has always been an easy keeper, never thin. Now he's 11years old, and I am switching his feed to Safechoice because of the "junkiness" of the sweet feed. I am really hoping that this will help him calm down because he always has an incredible amound of energy, every time I ride him, no matter how often I ride him or how much I lunge before getting on. Its hard to work on reining stuff when he is constantly going faster and faster if you don't maintain light contact on his mouth.

So, after reading all of that, does anyone have any experience switching from a sweet feed to something else, and has it made a significant difference in how hot your horses are? I'm just concerned that he'll be hot for the rest of his good riding career. Any insight would be very appreciated.

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post #2 of 11 Old 11-22-2009, 01:04 PM
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Sweet feed has the potential to make a horse hot, as does any feed it the horse is given too many calores vs. what they need. Horses usually feel the excess and try to burn it off. Safe choice is a great feed. Just make the switch slowly, over a few weeks.
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post #3 of 11 Old 11-22-2009, 01:21 PM
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You shouldn't have any problem. We switched our mares from sweet feed to Safe Choice more than a year ago. Keep in mind that at 14% protein, Safe Choice probably is a higher protein feed that what you had been feeding.

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post #4 of 11 Old 11-22-2009, 02:18 PM
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As long as you do it gradual - over say a week or two you'll be fine. When switching feeds I will mix it in 75% old feed 25% new feed; then after 4 days 50/50%; after another 4 days mix 75% new feed 25% old feed. Another 4 days and I make it just traight new feed.
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post #5 of 11 Old 11-22-2009, 04:46 PM
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I haven't noticed any energy difference in my Arabs when I went from Sweet Feed to any of the following:
Rice Bran, Beet Pulp, Flax, Alfalfa and rolled oats - my own mix
Dumor Stable Energy
Purina Strategy
Triple Crown Complete. . .
However, most of my horses look a world better on anything above verses sweet feed, and I heard many people do see a difference in the energy.
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post #6 of 11 Old 11-22-2009, 08:43 PM
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SafeChoice has a guarantee never to colic. It is as said above 14% protein and also it is 7% fat. It is low in starch as well. They claim it won't hot a horse up.

I used it for a little while last winter but took mine off of it. I have a mare that's a super easy keeper and she just didn't need that high of a fat content feed, nor that high of protein as she wasn't getting worked, so went back to Nutrena's 12% Prime

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post #7 of 11 Old 11-22-2009, 10:37 PM
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One thing to watch though, is Safe Choice (Nutrena, right?) has molasses in it, and it's not far enough down on the label, for my tastes. It's still a sweet feed, just not AS sweet, and has more fiber and fat (good attributes) than normal textured sweet feeds. If you can find something in your area without any molasses, you would be better off. If you can't it's still a better feed than what you were giving before, which is something.

Last edited by barefoothooves; 11-22-2009 at 10:38 PM. Reason: grammar
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post #8 of 11 Old 11-22-2009, 10:54 PM
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Safe choice also has vitamins/ minerals in it. Its sort of like being fortified. Thats what I really like about it. It is about 14% protein, so you need to be careful about that. Im pretty sure its not called sweet feed, they call it a pellet. I am pretty sure all pelleted feeds have at least some molasses in it. I would talk to your local rep about how much molasses is actually in it, and things like that. If it isnt suited for your horse you can talk to them about other feed choices.
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post #9 of 11 Old 11-23-2009, 06:41 PM Thread Starter
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My horse is already on 14% protein so that's not an issue. I am just hoping that he'll calm down and become more level-headed after this transition.

Has anyone noticed a noticable calming in their horse after switching from sweet feed to something else? Thanks!
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post #10 of 11 Old 11-23-2009, 08:16 PM
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When I switched my mare from Omolene 200 (seemed like a fancy and pricey sweet feed to me) to Nutrena Safe Choice there was a big change in her nuttiness.
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