Feeding advice - Page 2

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Feeding advice

This is a discussion on Feeding advice within the Horse Nutrition forums, part of the Horse Health category
  • Nutrena empower vs enrich plus
  • Nutrena empower balance vs triple crown 30

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    08-19-2013, 06:20 PM
Free choice hay isnt an option, but I think with a hay net/slow feeder we can probably make the available hay last pretty long, my boy isnt really a vacuum cleaner when it comes to eating food.... another worry I have though is switching him from pasture grass to hay.... Will that cause any issues, if its a sudden switch?
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    08-19-2013, 06:25 PM
It shouldn't, but I'd keep a close eye on him for the first few days to make sure he keeps feeling good.
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    08-19-2013, 06:34 PM
Okay, that shouldn't be a problem. This'll all be just as new for for him as it is for me, but I'm really looking forward to it. Thanks everyone! :)
    08-19-2013, 07:48 PM
Originally Posted by MyBoyFortune    
Yeah, I'm fairly certain we get our hay from different places. Is there a certain kind of ration balancer I should look out for, or are they all pretty much the same? I've heard of them and wondered if they might be an option, but I don't know much about RBs...
I'd say they're pretty much the same. Get what is reliably available. Im pretty happy with the Nutrena Empower Balance, others swear by Triple Crown 30%, and so on.
    08-19-2013, 09:41 PM
If he starts to lose weight on just hay and alfalfa pellets (I'm also going to buy some Redmond rock salt for him) will putting him on a ratio balancer with the alfalfa help? I imagine with a RB he wouldn't need the extra minerals?
    08-19-2013, 10:31 PM
I'll give a slightly different opinion

I'm much more in favor of a ration balancer, or even a vit/min supplement, over loose minerals or mineral blocks. According to the studies I've seen, there's no scientific evidence that horses self regulate any minerals other than salt. Even if they could, they don't have the ability to eat only the mineral(s) they're missing with a loose mineral, and a mineral block doesn't have enough of anything (other than salt) for even a single day in the typical 4 lb block. They also contain NO vitamins, which are severely lacking in a mostly hay diet (versus a fresh grass diet) Feeding a RB or vit/min supplement guarantees the horse is getting a minimum amount of nutrition each day, and is balanced for "average" forage. A RB has the added advantage of protein, which includes lysine, an amino acid that's missing in a lot of equine diets.

If you had a hay analysis (or at least knew if there was anything specific that's commonly missing or overly abundant in your area) you could figure out which specific RB best fits your hay, but without that it's up to your budget, availability in your area, and personal brand preferences.

Here's a good link for learning more about RB's: Ration Balancer
    08-19-2013, 10:32 PM
It's either vit/ min or RB. Both supply all necessary nutrition. The RB you can give by itself, for the vit/ min, a handful of something will guarantee consumption. I prefer the RB, because it also provides protein, amino acids, some even have probiotics.
    08-19-2013, 11:29 PM
Alright, I'm sold on the RB.... Now I've just got to find a place that sells it! :) I'll also buy alfalfa pellets as well, just to mix in small amounts with the RB (maybe half a pound morning and night, whatever he needs/doesn't need.) It sounds like that will suit him perfectly. So, again, thanks everyone! :)
    08-20-2013, 12:46 AM
Most manufacturers have a dealer locator. I'd call and ask if they have it before going there.
    08-20-2013, 01:05 AM
Some feed store employees don't know what a ration balancer is, so you might get a blank look if you ask for you ask for one If you have any trouble, just find out what brands they carry and we can help you figure out what that brand's RB is called. Here are some that are commonly found: Purina Enrich 32, Nutrena Empower Balance, Triple Crown 30% Supplement (my personal favorite and what I feed my horse)

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