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Best Feed Choice at Tractor Supply

This is a discussion on Best Feed Choice at Tractor Supply within the Horse Nutrition forums, part of the Horse Health category

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    08-28-2013, 05:00 PM
My original question was what is the best feed at Tractor Supply, not how to get muscle on them. I only stated that in an answer to someone's question. If I had known answering her questions would get the thread so off-topic, I probably wouldn't have answered it. Most people have opinions about what is the best quality feed options, and that is what I was looking for. I don't want to add more feed. I was curious about the highest quality options now that I cannot buy Triple Crown anymore.
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    08-28-2013, 07:26 PM
Teen Forum Moderator
Bummer that TSC doesn't have Triple Crown, isn't it? ._.

And guys, while I agree that feed doesn't put on muscle, if she's going to be riding them harder/more often, they just might need that extra boost that certain feeds give (such as SC Perform) as opposed to an easy keeper formula just as Strategy or SC Original.
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    08-28-2013, 09:00 PM
Green Broke
The best feed depends on how old your horse is, how big, how much work it gets, breed somewhat. Weather makes a difference too. Lot of variables. What is your hay like? Grass?

I do like the alfalfa pellets they carry. I use Nutrena's ration balancer in the cold months, I use Poulin's ration balancer in the summer when they have grass. 2 of mine are on seriously low carb diets. The other one gets a little more but it's pretty low carb too. I think the average TB would starve on it.

I've used Nutrena's senior feed and was happy with it. I will use tractor supply's hay stretcher in a pinch but prefer a lower carb one from the Poulin dealer.

I give my 16+ hand TWH Purina Mini horse and Pony feed as her extra punch that she needs. Her coat glows and she isn't exploding with sugar she doesn't need.

I guess I'm kinda lucky. Got 3 feed places in town and another that I go to about 25 miles away.

My "best feed" hinges on a 38 yr. Old, fat pony. The other 2 get feed worked around what is best for the pony. So my best feed at tractor supply may not work for you.

I would use either Nutrena or Purina depending on the horse. I've seen a lot of horses look horrid on the dumor store brand TSC has.

Lot of people don't seem to like Purina but I've had no complaints. Purina will vary the ingredients in some of their feeds so that the nutrition level stays the same. In the few years I've been using their mini feed I haven't noted any changes in texture, smell or feel so I doubt it varies much. The reasoning actually makes sense to me so why not. If they buy a truck of alfalfa from an area that is having a poor crop year or from an area that is low in calcium in the soil they test and compensate. They produce so many thousands of bags that the difference isn't going to be much or noticed.

You could contact each feed company with specific questions. Both Purina and Nutrena get right back to you.

Answers about the feed from TSC is hit or miss. It actually took 2 years of sporadically asking what the NSC was in their hay stretcher to actually get an answer.
    08-28-2013, 09:20 PM
Thanks for the information, Sue NH, I haven't thought about the Purina Mini Horse and Pony. I'll have to check it out.
    08-29-2013, 12:27 AM
My TSC here carries Purina Strategy Healthy Edge. It's one of the better Purina feeds, lower in NSC than the Strategy GX and I haven't seen a horse refuse it.
I agree with Sue, never had anything to complain about Purina feeds, but wasn't always lucky with Nutrena at TSC( mold, expired).
    08-29-2013, 12:54 AM
Though exercising will help to build muscle, a key component is amino acids; in particular Lysine, Methionine and Threonine. These three amino acids are limited in the equine diet and in proper amounts have proven to increase muscle size by up to 10%. Also, keep in mind that as you increase your horses workload you will increase his caloric requirement and need to feed a more calorie dense diet. The average 1,000lb. Maintenance horse requires approximately 16,500kcal/day(including forage sources). When you start riding them, a moderately exercised horses requirements jump to approximately 23,000.
    08-29-2013, 08:02 AM
Green Broke
I got a moldy Nutrena Empower balance this spring. Brought it back to TSC immediately. We opened 2 more bags at the store and they were bad too. Not just a little moldy, appeared to have gotten soaked at one point. Hasn't happened again so far but I switch to a different ration balancer with slightly less protein once my grass comes in.

Kind of fuzzy logic to my seasonal switch but I noticed the two old mares urinating a lot on the nutrena when I fed it when the grass was green. Lot of clover in the pasture. Excess protein is broken down and excreted as ammonia. Their urine was also killing the grass in one shot. I figured they didn't need that extra protein. I do use a measuring cup. They have nearly 20 acres fenced so there isn't a lot of grazing pressure. The switch worked. Horses look good. If it wasn't a serious hike to the Poulin dealer I'd probably use theirs year round. I like the customer service Poulin gives much better.
    08-29-2013, 09:27 AM
Super Moderator
I've gotten moldy or bad feeds before from every feed store and mill in my area. We have about 4 different stores, plus two different mills.
All have taken them back and opened new bags for me to inspect before replacing the bad bag, so in my area that's not anything connected to just TSC.

I personally do not like the Dumore feeds for any of my farm animals because whenever I have been forced to use them (mostly for poultry) there has been a decline. I have had good luck and great results using the Nutrena line of feeds for my horse, but have also tried Triple Crown, Buckeye, Purina (other feeds, not the horse feeds) and a few of the store brands.
Again though, I base my opinions of the fact that I'm feeding 5 different kinds of animals and the results I see across the board, in addition to the fact that Nutrena has proven the best for my horse.

Also like the Standlee products. Sometimes I need to add hay stretchers for my other animals in the winter (my horse doesn't need it) and their hay based or alfalfa pellets have worked best on my farm.
    08-29-2013, 09:48 AM
Green Broke
I attribute the moldy to loading/unloading a truck in a downpour rather than shoddy manufacturing. Having seen the loading ramp at tractor supply and knowing some of the locals I suspect I know what what end it happened on too.
    08-29-2013, 10:08 AM
If your local TS carries a ration balancer you might look into that. There's lots of info on here and if you google it you'll find more.

I switched my horses over to a Ration Balancer and am pretty happy with the results.
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