Molasses? when to use it?

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Molasses? when to use it?

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  • Adding molasses to horses grain
  • Horses and molasses

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    09-29-2013, 11:56 AM
Molasses? when to use it?

Hi, I have a 14.2hh Norweigian Fjord horse and I am wondering wether to add molasses in his feed.

He has no danger of getting laminitis (I know all horses can get laminitis but its very unlikely that he will). He is a fussy eater so I thought molasses might help him eat his food better as it would taste nice, also I know its high in energy but that wouldn't be a problem because he is the least excitable horse I know!

Just wondering if theres anything I should know first.

(just in case this helps)
His feed:

1 scoop of pasture mix
1 scoop of apple chaff
Various supplements
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    09-29-2013, 12:17 PM
I only use molasses sparingly if I am trying to cover something medication.
I don't know what pasture mix or apple chaff is. Maybe some of the supplements taste bad. Does he really need all the supplements he is getting? Often I think we sometimes over-supplement because something sounds like a good idea.
How old is the horse and what is his exercise routine?
We have an older mare who does not care for the joint supplement so I slightly dampen her ration so she can't sift it out and down the hatch it goes.
    09-29-2013, 12:39 PM
He is 9 years old but he has 3 supplements. One is a general vitamin and mineral supplement, one is a tendon and ligament supplement (he had an injury a few years ago that i'm trying to stay on top of) and he also has linseed oil as he is prone to getting a really dull coat. I live in the UK so we probably have different feeds here. Pasture mix is like a mixed grain sort of thing with a bit of everything in it, sutible for everyday purposes. Apple chaff is wheat straw that is cut finely and it has apple essence to temp fussy feeders.

His exercise routine isn't too vigorous. I ride him about 4-5 times a week for an hour x
    09-29-2013, 12:41 PM
I would not use molasses as a regular feed. No horse needs that much extra sugar, even if they are not prone to laminitis. It can cause other digestive and behavioral problems. You wouldn't give your child twinkies for lunch just because he's calm and not overweight.
You could soak your feed, maybe? Or try to find feed he likes better? A lot of horses really enjoy alfalfa, and it's easy to find it in pelleted form. One of my horses hates beet pulp, but the other really really likes it soaked in hot water. There's got to be something common that he would like. Also, most ponies don't need the calories of extra feed, so maybe all you need is a way to get him to eat the supplements. Most have a pelleted version, and I have found those are much easier to feed. They are pretty easy to disguise in some alfalfa pellets. If he needs more calories and he's a picky eater, there are some herbs like fenugreek that are supposed to smell really appetizing to horses that you could put in some feed. A higher quality or higher quantity of hay would probably put weight on just as well, though.
    09-29-2013, 12:43 PM
Thankyou for the advice x
    09-29-2013, 12:49 PM
Maybe adding a dash of unsweetened applesauce? I definitely second Viranh's post :)
    09-29-2013, 12:50 PM
I use a couple tablespoons of molasses on the bottom of my guy's bucket every day so that he'll eat his vit/min supplement. I wouldn't feed buckets of the stuff, but I figure that a couple tablespoons even of 100% straight sugar is pretty much nothing for a 1050lb horse, unless they were extremely sensitive (IR, Cushinoid and the like), and even then I'm not sure it would be enough by itself to cause an issue. JMO.
    09-29-2013, 12:56 PM
What other choices of feeds do you have in UK? It's pretty hard for us in the US to give a recommendation without knowing what you might have available to you instead of the molasses. I wouldn't necessarily like the idea of adding molasses to feed for instance, and would prefer to use alfalfa, but since I can't feed local alfalfa might have to use the molasses because of not being able to get something he liked better. I'm not in the "ALL sugar is bad" camp but prefer not to feed too much.
    09-29-2013, 01:02 PM
There are 3 types of feed in the uk, chaff, nuts and mixes. Chaff is wheat straw and you can get different kinds/flavours of chaff too. Usually fed as bulk feed. Pony/horse nuts are basically pellets. And mixes are just a bit of everything, like you can get racehorse mix, competition mix, non-heating mix, pasture (general) mix, e.t.c i'm not talking about feeding my horse a gallon a day but I was thinking I could use 1-2 tablespoons just to sweeten it a bit to help him.

Thanks for all the comments I understand everyones point of view, just wanted some more opinions as i'm not an expert on horse nutrition. Thanks x
    09-29-2013, 02:33 PM
See if you can get St. Hippolyt feed in your area. I've yet to see a horse who doesn't like it. It's molasses-free, but has apples and herbs for flavors. Wish I could get it here. I also would scratch the chaff and rather give more hay or a grass pellet or a lucerne chaff.

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