Which Brands Are The Cheapest But Do The Trick? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 12 Old 07-31-2011, 01:41 PM Thread Starter
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Question Which Brands Are The Cheapest But Do The Trick?

The feed for my new horse is either going to be sweet feed, rough cubes, or pellets. (and salt+ biotin but thats covered). Im torn between all 3 the owner says that the horse has been fed all 3 and loves each one of them plus they are all good health wise for her. So im asking what's your choice of feed (out of these 3) and brand???

Please help!! Thank you!!

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post #2 of 12 Old 07-31-2011, 04:25 PM
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Why are you not considering hay? Feed choices aren't usually made of what the horse likes but what is good for them. Hay is good for a horse because it takes much longer to eat hay than gobble up pellets. Empty stomachs encourage ulcers.
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post #3 of 12 Old 07-31-2011, 04:33 PM
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How old is your horse? What breed is s/he? What type of work does s/he do? Is she pasture or stall kept? Does s/he have access to hay 24/7, or limited turn out?

All of these and more questions really determine what you feed. Sweet feed is NOT the best. I don't think you should consider that as it is very sugary and not as nutrient dense. Plus, cheap sweet feeds are even worse.

Where are you located? What brands are available to you?

I have an easy keeper and a hard keeper, and I feed different things to each. My easy keeper gets pasture/hay and Smart Pak vitamin pellet, and that's it. My hard keeper gets hay/pasture, a ration balancer in proportion to his weight with soaked beet pulp and pre/probiotics.

With feed, you really get what you pay for. I like Seminole feeds (I use the Omelene ration balancer) as it is easy to get Seminole here. But your area might not get Seminole. Purina is OK and usually available many places. Nutrena is good, too, but not as wide ranging as Purina, but offered at TSC stores.

But since I don't know how much work your horse does, how old it is, or what kind of other forage is available, it is hard to say what to go with for feed.
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post #4 of 12 Old 08-01-2011, 02:41 PM Thread Starter
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She gets turned out 24/7 and eats pasture and then comes in twice a day for feed

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post #5 of 12 Old 08-01-2011, 02:49 PM
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I do like the Omelene 200, but I have to admit that when pockets get hallow I've reverted to *cheap* sweet feeds and they have held my mare just fine, shes on forage/pasture and works about 9 hours a week. Really depends on your horses needs and preferences
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post #6 of 12 Old 08-02-2011, 08:35 PM
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How is her weight right now? How much feed is she getting per day (lbs please, not scoops)?

I would not go for sweet feed at all. Horses just were not meant to process that much sugar and starch and it can cause a number of problems for them (ulcers, laminitis, insulin resistance, hyperactivity, colic, and just a generally poor coat, etc.) This is not to say that all horses do terribly on sweet feed, but it would certainly not be my first choice.

A little more info on the horse would really help us to pinpoint what she would do well on.
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post #7 of 12 Old 08-31-2012, 12:42 PM
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I used to feed the horses as a kid, twice a day: one 16oz scoop of oats and a 16oz scoop of sweet feed topped off with one flake of hay. During show season we added a 1 TB scoop of electrolyte powder and 1 TB scoop of Source to their feed. Granted that we lived in WV, cold winters and pastured them year round. Never had a problem with fat horses, except the pony Squaw who was potbellied.
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post #8 of 12 Old 08-31-2012, 12:45 PM
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Love your pic Tianimalz, it made me giggle uncontrollably!
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post #9 of 12 Old 08-31-2012, 12:51 PM
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Generally speaking, if I were getting a new horse, I would start them off on Strategy GX at about 5lbs/day along with free choice hay and/or pasture. If they got fat, I'd switch them to a ration balancer. If they had medical issues, that could change things too, but that's my general starting point for an 'average' horse.

My belief is that I'd rather spend the money up front on good feed (and other preventative care like feet, teeth, vax and worming) than down the road on health issues and colic or laminitis.

ETA: My boy gets free choice hay, a RB and a joint supp and that is all he needs and even with the 20+ hours a week he is ridden in 95 degree plus temps.
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post #10 of 12 Old 09-01-2012, 05:54 AM
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OP, 'rough cubes' & 'pellets' could mean anything, so you need to tell us what you're talking about there. I strongly disagree with your x-owner about sweetfeed being healthy - as healthy as eating Maccas every day perhaps! I suggest you do a bit of study into equine digestion & nutrition, to learn what's needed, what's good & bad.

My belief is that I'd rather spend the money up front on good feed (and other preventative care like feet, teeth, vax and worming) than down the road on health issues and colic or laminitis.
Agree. I wouldn't consider a product with these top ingredients(Wheat middlings, ground soybean hulls, cane molasses, ground corn, wheat flour) a good one though.

IME you also tend to get what you pay for & something that's expensive per bag may well be the most economical by providing your horse with good nutrition & needing to be fed at a lot lower amount than 'cheaper' ones.

Basically for a normal, garden variety horse, what I'd consider a good basic diet is grass/hay free choice or little & often and *appropriate* nutritional supplementation. I would only feed something for extra energy if the horse needed more 'groceries' and I would generally avoid grainy, starchy, sugary feeds. As for 'taylor made' feeds, I would also tend to avoid products without fixed ingredients, such as (most?) Purina & Nutrena feeds, and avoid products full of 'middlings' & 'product', as this means the byproducts or sweepings.

...Oh & Absit, are you talking about a 1 terabyte scoop or a 1 thoroughbred scoop??
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Last edited by loosie; 09-01-2012 at 06:01 AM.
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