Is it bad to feed sweet feed to a 5 month old? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 9 Old 09-25-2012, 08:10 PM Thread Starter
Green Broke
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Is it bad to feed sweet feed to a 5 month old?

I know sweet feed isn't the greatest in the first place but is it bad for a young one?

Here's the deal. With winter coming, we are starting to give our older horses beet pulp. My wife bought some mare and foal pellets to give our colt to help put weight on and for more nurishment than grass and hay can give. I've tried giving him the pellets and he took a little but went back to the hay. I tried some beet pulp with his pellets and he wouldn't touch it. I even tried some sweet feed with his pellets. Same thing, he wouldn't touch it. Finally, I tried just a couple handfuls of sweet feed in a bowl. He finally showed interest in something other than grass and hay.

My thoughts are to keep giving him the sweet feed and slowly start mixing in his pellets after a couple days. Then slowly wean him off the sweet feed so he's just getting the pellets. My wife thinks it is bad to give him the sweet feed.

So any thoughts or suggestions? The amount of sweet feed he would get would be about 1 - 2 cups per day, just to get him used to eating from the bowl.
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post #2 of 9 Old 09-25-2012, 08:16 PM
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In small doses its not going to hurt him, especially if you're just using it to wean him onto other hard feeds.
But fed over an extended period - well, is it good to feed a 1 year old kid a red cordial and chocolate every day?
I certainly wouldn't be feeding sweet feeds in excess to any horse, especially a youngster, it is absolutely loaded with sugar!

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post #3 of 9 Old 09-26-2012, 05:56 AM Thread Starter
Green Broke
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The sweet feed we get has only a little molasses in it. Some of the others we've tried, if you were to put your hand in, it would come out with feed sticking to it. This feed doesn't stick.

I think my wife is more concerned about the grain that is in the feed. It also has some corn, not a lot, and mineral pellets which may have the molasses in that.
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post #4 of 9 Old 09-26-2012, 12:55 PM
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If it's not Triple Crown you're feeding, can you get Triple Crown?

They have this for the youngsters and the picture looks pretty appetizing

Triple Crown Horse Growth Formula-For Successful Horse Growth Results

If you can't get Triple Crown, I might research all the brands of feeds for weanlings/yearlings and compare the ingredients list.

That could even include a local feed maker; some local millers are very conscientious about the feeds they make, while others are not.

You might check your North Dakota Co-Op's to see if they manufacture a decent horse feed.

Co-Op in Tennessee makes their own horse feed which is probably middle-of-the-road, or a little better, when it comes to quality. I would buy it before I bought Purina if that was my only other choice. The problem with their feed is they don't have anything that I think is satisfactory for my two metabolic horses.

Hope this helps to find something yummy and healthy for the little Sweet Face. And yes, I am nixing the idea of even one handful of sweet feed, knowing what I know now; meaning my two metabolic horses
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post #5 of 9 Old 09-26-2012, 01:41 PM Thread Starter
Green Broke
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We get the feed from a local feed mill. It's not a store bought or name branded feed. The guy who makes it is very picky about what goes in. It's a 12% protein but I'm not sure about the rest. I'd have to get a sheet from him that shows all the percentages of what's in it.
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post #6 of 9 Old 09-26-2012, 01:53 PM
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I'm not a fan of sweet feed, but I think it would be ok for a short time just to switch over to something healthier.

If you get a guaranteed analysis for the mare & foal, ask them what the NSC is, too (they usually don't include that information, but it's very important!)
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post #7 of 9 Old 09-26-2012, 01:56 PM
Green Broke
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If you're able I would try this.. I've fed it and had great results with it.. I have a picky eater that won't eat pellets alone but she did really well with this.

Purina Horse Feeds - OMOLENE

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post #8 of 9 Old 10-01-2012, 08:14 PM
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ive had to do this with nearly every foal i wean.. i start off mostly sweet and slowly transition them to a mare/foal pellet. They wont touch the mare/foal pellet right off for some reason. You can also try taking your mare/foal pellet and putting some brown sugar in it.... this will often get them eating it also
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post #9 of 9 Old 10-02-2012, 12:23 AM
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Sweet feed won't harm a foal in such a small dose. I would highly reccomend SafeChoice for a youngster, especially a picky one. It's low starch & for all ages.
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