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post #11 of 19 Old 08-12-2010, 12:19 AM
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Hi Dee,

Interested to know why you want pelleted hay? Why is the hay & grazing not good enough? You also want to be careful with how much you're packing into them, as fast weight gain is not healthy, even if they are very thin. There are generally far better alternatives to grain based feed for weight gain. It is important if you are feeding grainy or otherwise starchy feed, that it is fed in very small feeds over as many meals as possible daily - at least 3-4.
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post #12 of 19 Old 08-12-2010, 01:06 AM
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I won't feed a commercially prepared horse feed, pelleted or textured. Most horse feeds have ingredients in them that are not good for horses, such as corn, wheat middlings, sweepings, "grain by-products," molasses, etc. None of these things have real nutritional value to the horse and they can be harmful.

A horse's gut is designed to digest low protein, high fiber forage. The closer you stick to that, the healthier and better off your horse will be. A study in the mid 2000's discovered that nearly 80% of show horses (shown at 6 or more shows a year) had some form of ulcers... These ulcers were thought to be caused by a combination of stress, stall confinement, concentrated feed, and not enough long stem fiber in their diet.

So, I make my own feed (plus I feed free choice quality grass/bermuda hay). I get a custom blended vitamin/mineral supplement from Uckele Equine (they have "off the shelf" products too) and mix that with 1-3 lbs of alfalfa or timothy hay pellets (depending on the horse), a little chopped alfalfa hay (I have a couple that choke on pellets), and 1/2 cup of flax meal. Since going this "all natural" route, my horses have showed tremendous improvements in overal health, attitude, and condition. My hard keepers need 1/3rd the food they used to, my girls are easier to handle during their heats, and my "hyper" horses are a lot calmer. My feed bill also went WAY down!

IF I were to look for a traditional horse feed, I would want one with none of the questionable ingredients I listed above. I would want to see feeding recommendations of 2-5 lbs of feed a day for a 1,000 lb horse in light work. I would also talk to the feed company to make sure that they use a FIXED formula and all feed ingredients are grown and processed in the USA or Canada. I want to make sure my horse is not eating anything imported from China, and NO GMO soy products.
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post #13 of 19 Old 08-12-2010, 10:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by loosie View Post
Hi Dee,

Interested to know why you want pelleted hay? Why is the hay & grazing not good enough? You also want to be careful with how much you're packing into them, as fast weight gain is not healthy, even if they are very thin. There are generally far better alternatives to grain based feed for weight gain. It is important if you are feeding grainy or otherwise starchy feed, that it is fed in very small feeds over as many meals as possible daily - at least 3-4.
Alfalfa pellets and beet pulp are what we normally feed in addition to pasture/free choice prairie hay. (not counting the red cell and flax meal) I was looking for pelleted timothy hay (or something similar) because one of our horses can't have the alfalfa - for some reason it has become toxic to him.

Our horses recently lost a lot of weight (told the story ad nauseum all over the forum) so we are trying to help them gain it back. It's an uphill battle because most of them are hard keepers anyway. They are gaining weight - slowly. Certainly much slower than they lost it!

Our pasture is in pretty poor condition at present - we are working on clearing it out and will reseed and fertilize it - hopefully come spring. We've been feeding hay to supplement the pasture. However, since it's just prairie hay, I prefer to supplement with a good quality pelleted hay like alfalfa.

Plain Old Dee, horses Dancer and Rain

I believe in dragons, unicorns, good men and other mythical creatures!
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post #14 of 19 Old 08-17-2010, 09:52 AM
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Originally Posted by cakemom View Post
We are using safe choice mixed with alfalfa pellets
This is what I use, and I've convinced my friends to use it for their horses as well. All our horses look much more happier and healthier compared to the other horses boarded at our stable who are fed sweet feed.


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post #15 of 19 Old 08-17-2010, 02:09 PM
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We can't use SafeChoice on our 2 year old colt - he's the one that's allergic to alfalfa. We went to TSC this weekend to check it out. Clerk called the Nutrena nutritionist to check on the ingredients and it does contain alfalfa. Not a lot, but we aren't taking any chances. He's doing much better - gaining weight slowly, and we don't want to take any chances...

Plain Old Dee, horses Dancer and Rain

I believe in dragons, unicorns, good men and other mythical creatures!
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post #16 of 19 Old 08-17-2010, 02:11 PM
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Ooh, I should have checked that. Yeah, no safe choice for your boy. So glad he's gaining!
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post #17 of 19 Old 08-17-2010, 06:00 PM
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You wouldn't have known if you didn't call Nutrena - it's not listed in the ingredients. I'm just so paranoid right now that I wanted to know for sure before I'd buy it. I wouldn't hesitate to feed it to our other horses, though (if I had the $$)

Plain Old Dee, horses Dancer and Rain

I believe in dragons, unicorns, good men and other mythical creatures!
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post #18 of 19 Old 08-17-2010, 09:07 PM
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I would think 'just prarie hay' is probably quite adequate. But if not, why not get in hay from elsewhere, rather than trying to find pellets? Be cheaper, and so long as the horse's teeth are in good order, long stemmed fibre is better than processed.
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post #19 of 19 Old 08-17-2010, 09:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dee View Post
We can't use SafeChoice on our 2 year old colt - he's the one that's allergic to alfalfa.
BTW Dee, I'd get onto FeedXL.com, as they should be able to tell you what is available & good for your particular horse. I'm in Oz, so may not have same choices as you have there, but I'll ask them what there is, if you like?
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