Originally Posted by Runninghot88
Would you start feeding joint supplements if they don't need them yet? It isn't really an option for me right now to change his feed, which is the reason for why I am looking for an added supplement. What are the main things a person wants to look for when choosing a complete feed?
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I like Acti-Flex 4000 plus a scoop of MSM for oral joint support. It has the highest levels of everything EXCEPT the MSM, which is why I add an extra scoop. Big Dee's is running a sale right now, buy a gallon, get a free quart. MSM is cheap. I feed it to my horses in training whether they have known issues or not.
When looking for a feed, look for a company that has fixed formulas, not low cost formulas. Low cost substitutes ingredients with what ever is cheapest at the time. This means that not every bag will be the same. Fixed formulas are just that, fixed. They stay the same all the time, every bag is the same, all the time. (Some fixed formula companies are Triple Crown, Buckeye, ADM. Some low cost formulas are Purina, Nutrena.)
Next thing to look at is NSC (starch+sugar) content and the ingredients.
*I* stick with an NSC of 14% or lower. (High NSC diets have been proven to cause all kinds of negative effects on horses, such as, ulcers, hindgut acidosis, founder, laminitis, IR, obesity, weight loss, bad hoof health, etc.) IMO, anything under 14% NSC is low. Something under 10% is even better, especially if yiou have a starch sensitive horse or a horse with metabolic issues.
The ingredient list is just like ours. The ingredients at the beginning of the list are the most prevalent in the feed. If you see corn, oats, barley, molasses, etc. in the first few ingredients, then pass. Cereal grains are high NSC and have been proven to be unhealthy for the horses digestive system.
Look for things like alfalfa, rice bran, soy (unless your horse has a soy sensitivity which happens occasionally), beet pulp, etc.