How to switch to new feed?

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How to switch to new feed?

This is a discussion on How to switch to new feed? within the Horse Nutrition forums, part of the Horse Health category
  • Switching feed on a horse
  • Switching a horse's food

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    09-12-2010, 02:16 PM
How to switch to new feed?

So I want to change Kelty's feed from Purina Ultium to Nutrena Safechoice, and start supplementing him with half a cup of flax seed per day. (after his move on the 25th)
He will be regularly fed twice a day at his new barn. My old place fed twice a day but they fed at different times each day (which I don't really like)

So how do I get him safely switched to Safechoice? (ha)
I've heard I should wait ten days after the move to start trying to change his feed. Is that good advice?
Do I mix the feeds together to get him used to it?
What do I do?
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    09-12-2010, 02:45 PM
Not sure about waiting for so long after the move, might be a good idea so he is more settled and less prone to gastric upset, if that's the kind of horse he is.

As far as changing feed -- do it slowly! That is the rule of thumb. Gradually increase the amount of these new feeds over a couple weeks until you are at the desired amount (for instance with the flax, start at 1/4 of a cup). Personally, during this time I also slowly phase out the previous feed as I am increasing the new stuff, but I've heard of some people just stopping the previous feed all together. IMO I want to make sure all changes are done gradually. Maybe I'm paranoid, but my gelding does have a history of a sensitive stomach so I do everything possible to help him out.
(So, yes, according to my own advice you'd be mixing feed until the previous was completely phased out of his diet and it is just the new stuff).
    09-12-2010, 03:11 PM
I didn't know what feed my horse was on before, I just kept up his regular hay , and started off with one scoop a day for a few days, 2 scoops for a couple, three scoops for a few days, and worked up to 5 scoops over a couple weeks. I switched him to Integrity lite/low starch.
    09-12-2010, 03:13 PM
Green Broke
I go by handfuls. Every day you take out a handful of the old food and add a handful of the new until it's only the new feed. This is how I switched Sunny to SafeChoice and I didn't have any problems.
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    09-12-2010, 03:27 PM
Over what period of time do you do this?
    09-12-2010, 05:48 PM
Green Broke
Originally Posted by Clair    
Over what period of time do you do this?
Was this directed to me? If so, however long it takes. It took me about a week, and I wouldn't do it any faster than that.
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    09-13-2010, 09:47 AM
Directed to anyone :)
Do you increase the amount of new food each day, every other day.. ?
Thanks everyone for helping me.
    09-13-2010, 01:41 PM
I did the same as Sunny when I changed my mares from sweet feed to Nutrena. I did it by handfuls. I would scoop out what they were being given then removed sweet feed by a handful and replace that handful with the Nutrena. I did that for a few days, then I would remove two handfuls, replace with two handful of Nutrena and did that for a couple of days. And so on and so on until I would I had hardly any sweet feed at all. I think it took me around 2-3 weeks but I took my time and didn't rush it and I had time for them (about a month) to get used to being on straight Nutrena before I moved them to my property.

switching feed

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