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Feed Choices

This is a discussion on Feed Choices within the Horse Nutrition forums, part of the Horse Health category
  • Malnourished horse how long to regain weight
  • Will feeding bread makea horse gain weight

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    04-11-2012, 04:21 PM
  #11
Weanling
3 of the rescued horses

These pictures are of horses I have witnessed rescued for myself. These are the 3 different types of feeding schedules they were put on and the difference that was made in a very short amount of time. I know for a fact that the feeding listed is EXACTLY what was done and there was no additional supplements or anything else added.


Wormed twice, Unlimited grass, 2 buckets of bread, and only 1 scoop of dry mix per week (NO HAY)


2 buckets of bread and 1 flank of hay per day, turned out on unlimited grass



Fed est. 7-10 loafs of bred (2 buckets) daily and 2 scoops of feed plus continuous round bale of hay
     
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    04-11-2012, 04:24 PM
  #12
Weanling
Article about feeding Bread....

AGAIN I AM NOT SAYING FEED THIS LONG TERM, BUT FOR A QUICK WEIGHT BOOST I HAVE SEEN BREAD WORK WONDERS!!!

Is it okay to feed bread to my horses?


Is it okay to feed bread to my horses? If so, how much can I feed per 100 pounds of body weight?



"Bread" is a rather wide category just look at the aisles in the grocery store. Everything from high carbohydrate fortified white bread to rye and high fiber/low carb breads with a wide variety of flavors, nutritional contents, etc. is out there. That being said, most breads are grain-based, which is what we feed horses anyway. They tend to be high starch - indeed, the standard for determining glycemic index (blood sugar response) in human medicine is based on white bread.

However, because there are a wide variety of recipes out there, I hesitate to generalize over all types of breads for horses, since, to my knowledge, there have been no feeding trials conducted using even white bread in this species. "Bakery waste" (day old products or batches that didn't come out just right) is frequently used as a mainstay of hog and cattle rations in some areas. Some commercial feed companies have even included bakery waste in their horse feeds in the past. The only reason it is not commonly done now is for fear of getting poppy seed or chocolate in the mix too, which can cause positive drug tests in performance horses.

Since commercially available breads are meant for human consumption, they will not contain known toxins or impure ingredients and frequently are supplemented with added vitamins and minerals (including safe amounts of selenium). They can actually be more nutritious than plain grains commonly used for horses! Wheat is a grain not commonly used in horse rations due to price and concerns about potential problems with glutens in its raw form. Although wheat flour is a main ingredient in most bread, it is acceptable, especially in the baked, processed form of bread. Unless fortified with calcium, breads may not have a good calcium to phosphorus ratio, but this would not be a problem in most cases if they were fed with good quality hay or pasture. In very old horses the lower calcium intake might actually be good! Day old bread and bagels are commonly fed to horses in Europe as a treat or cheap supplement to their rations.

My main concern with feeding a lot of bread to horses would be the potential lack of fiber, leading to wood chewing and perhaps gastric ulcers and a possible calcium deficit. Before everyone starts raiding the stores for their day old bread and bagels, let me give the following recommendations:
  • <LI style="FONT-FAMILY: Arial; FONT-SIZE: 10pt">Avoid breads that contain poppy seeds or chocolate, especially if competing with the horse. <LI style="FONT-FAMILY: Arial; FONT-SIZE: 10pt">Try to get the high fiber/low carbohydrate fortified types of bread. <LI style="FONT-FAMILY: Arial; FONT-SIZE: 10pt">If planning to feed more than a few slices a day, start slowly. I'd probably restrict intake to 1-2 pounds a day unless there is a special case, like a toothless horse. <LI style="FONT-FAMILY: Arial; FONT-SIZE: 10pt">If the horse is prone to laminitis or is glucose intolerant I would not recommend feeding anything but high fiber/low carb breads in very limited quantities (no more than one or two slices a day, and not all at once!). <LI style="FONT-FAMILY: Arial; FONT-SIZE: 10pt">If feeding over 5 pounds of bread a day, consider getting a nutritional analysis of it (especially if feeding a mixture of "waste" bread) and consulting an equine nutritionist to make sure it is balanced. <LI style="FONT-FAMILY: Arial; FONT-SIZE: 10pt">Stay away from the high sugar/high fat donuts unless you have a horse that:
    • Is not glucose intolerant
    • Is a bit thin and needs to gain weight!
Answer provided by Sarah Ralston, VMD, Ph.D., dACVN, Rutgers Cooperative Extension.
     
    04-11-2012, 04:35 PM
  #13
Started
Yeah I saw that article actually.. I mean long term as in for a couple months other than as a treat
     
    04-11-2012, 04:40 PM
  #14
Weanling
the article

Quote:
Originally Posted by HeroMyOttb    
Hi everyone!
I have a typical Thoroughbred you has trouble holding weight. He is a 10 year old and has been off the track for 2 years. He has an ok weight on him but he still has a ways to go. I talked to an Equine Nutritionist about feed to put Hero on. Right now we put him on Legacy by Nutrena he gets 2 1/2 scoops. It seems almost unhealthy to give this much. The ingredients are...this Crude Protein12.50%Lysine0.65%Methionine0.3%Crude Fat10.0%Crude Fibermax. 10.0%Dietary Starchmax. 18.0%Sugarmax. 12.0%Calciummin. 0.75% - max. 0.95%Phosphorus0.5%Copper50 ppmZinc200 ppmSelenium0.3 ppmVitamin A3,000 IU/lbVitamin D3350 IU/lbVitamin E100 IU/lbBiotin0.60 mg/lb
But he has been on this and about a half a scoop of empower booster for about 5 months and he is still not looking great! It makes me a bit mad. He has free choice of hay and grass.

But my other question is my farrier told me he has a hard keeper and the only thing that works for him is Omleen (sp) 400, but I have read reviews about this and a lot of people say this is not a very good feed. Can I have some of your guys input?? Thanks :)

Ask the Expert -- Nutrition
     
    04-11-2012, 04:42 PM
  #15
Weanling
Quote:
Originally Posted by HeroMyOttb    
Hi everyone!
I have a typical Thoroughbred you has trouble holding weight. He is a 10 year old and has been off the track for 2 years. He has an ok weight on him but he still has a ways to go. I talked to an Equine Nutritionist about feed to put Hero on. Right now we put him on Legacy by Nutrena he gets 2 1/2 scoops. It seems almost unhealthy to give this much. The ingredients are...this Crude Protein12.50%Lysine0.65%Methionine0.3%Crude Fat10.0%Crude Fibermax. 10.0%Dietary Starchmax. 18.0%Sugarmax. 12.0%Calciummin. 0.75% - max. 0.95%Phosphorus0.5%Copper50 ppmZinc200 ppmSelenium0.3 ppmVitamin A3,000 IU/lbVitamin D3350 IU/lbVitamin E100 IU/lbBiotin0.60 mg/lb
But he has been on this and about a half a scoop of empower booster for about 5 months and he is still not looking great! It makes me a bit mad. He has free choice of hay and grass.

But my other question is my farrier told me he has a hard keeper and the only thing that works for him is Omleen (sp) 400, but I have read reviews about this and a lot of people say this is not a very good feed. Can I have some of your guys input?? Thanks :)
Quote:
Originally Posted by caseymyhorserocks    
Yeah I saw that article actually.. I mean long term as in for a couple months other than as a treat

Definitely!!!! I wouldn't feed it for an extended amount of time, but it works miracles on putting weight on extremely malnourished horses. I was amazed to see the progress these rescue horses made in a very small amount of time!!! My mare doesn't need it.....she's a bit of a pig!!! LOL
     
    04-11-2012, 04:48 PM
  #16
mls
Trained
Quote:
Originally Posted by caseymyhorserocks    
Yeah I saw that article actually.. I mean long term as in for a couple months other than as a treat
It also states that it is ok if the hay is poor quality since the ratio would balance. However if a person were to feed good hay, the bread would likely make the horse ill.
     
    04-11-2012, 04:50 PM
  #17
mls
Trained
Quote:
Originally Posted by bird3220    
Definitely!!!! I wouldn't feed it for an extended amount of time, but it works miracles on putting weight on extremely malnourished horses. I was amazed to see the progress these rescue horses made in a very small amount of time!!! My mare doesn't need it.....she's a bit of a pig!!! LOL
Not miracles. Feeding quality hay would achieve the same results.

I'm guessing this rescue found a source of bakery seconds and incorporated it into the feeding program.

There was one here that fed lettuce/salad by products to his rescues to hold costs down.
     
    04-11-2012, 05:03 PM
  #18
Weanling
Quote:
Originally Posted by mls    
Not miracles. Feeding quality hay would achieve the same results.

I'm guessing this rescue found a source of bakery seconds and incorporated it into the feeding program.

There was one here that fed lettuce/salad by products to his rescues to hold costs down.
According to the original post they have been feeding quality feed for 5 months along with timothy and alfalfa cubes without success...... and a year and a half of beet pulp before that with no success. Bread gives another option after other options have failed.

The rescue feeds the bread initially to help the horses gain weight and then they are switched to a more natural diet with hay and feed. He doesn't do it because of the cost, he does it to help the horse. Yes it is a much cheap and more cost effective way, but it also shows results quicker and with less quantity than feeding hay and feed especially with horses that won't eat alot each day
     
    04-11-2012, 08:56 PM
  #19
Yearling
Wow that was very interesting to read. I might actually look into that since like you have said other options have failed for me. Thank you :)
     
    04-12-2012, 12:44 PM
  #20
Weanling
It's actually the yeast in the bread that helps put weight on horses, I know some people who use a yeast supplement to put weight on.

But, these same people, I told about Empower Boost (rice bran) and they switched to it from the yeast supplement, and their elderly horse filled out more than he had been in years. That is also with unlimited forage, and senior feed.
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