Oats, beet pulp, and alfalfa? - The Horse Forum

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post #1 of 49 Old 08-07-2014, 03:49 PM Thread Starter
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Oats, beet pulp, and alfalfa?

I was thinking about switching my mare from safe choice senior feed to oats, just to make it more simple for her digestive track. I would like to keep her on her beet pulp pellets and alfalfa pellets for extra forage and her flax seed. But I want to make sure she is balanced with her nutrition. I currently give 2.5 lbs of senior, 1/2lb of beet pulp, 1/2lb of alfalfa, and 3/4 cup of ground flax seed 2x a day. How much would I need to give if I switched over to the oats, beet pulp pellets, alfalfa pellets, and flax seed? And would I need to get a vitamin supplement to go with this?

By the way she also gets 24/7 free choice mixed grass hay and grass turnout.
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post #2 of 49 Old 08-07-2014, 04:58 PM
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How much grass turnout is she getting? The problem with hay is that it very quickly loses vitamin A, vitamin E, and omega-3 content that was present in the grass when it was fresh. Limited grass turnout (a couple hours a day) is not enough for a horse to consume enough fresh grass to make up for this and in that circumstance I would definitely add a supplement that has these. How much grazing is enough to get enough of these is hard to quantify since it depends on the horse's requirements as well as the quality of the grass. I'd probably lean towards supplementing unless the horse gets 12+ hours of grazing.

Alfalfa, beet pulp, and oats are feeds that I consider as more of an additional energy source than anything else. So the amounts are only important in that they meet your horse's energy needs that aren't already being met by hay/grass.

Just as an aside, senior feeds are generally designed to be highly digestible, so if that's your only motivating factor you're probably OK sticking to your current feed plan.

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post #3 of 49 Old 08-07-2014, 05:03 PM
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Oats (unless cooked or micronized) are not very digestible so would probably not be easier on your horses system at all
Take a look at all the ingredients in your current complete feed and if your horse is doing well on it then you would need to add the same things to the oats (taking into account the nutritional value of them) to get the same effect
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post #4 of 49 Old 08-07-2014, 06:19 PM
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Lot of oats will pass right out in the manure. Means the horse never got a thing from them.

The excess starch in the grains that does get broken down is hard on their systems.
Safe choice Senior is lower in starch and has all the vitamins and minerals already in there. Seems like switching would make it more complicated.
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post #5 of 49 Old 08-07-2014, 06:21 PM Thread Starter
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She is pastured so she is on turnout 24/7. We haven't gotten any rain in awhile so the grass is now dying and they are only getting hay. Should I be supplementing her anyway if she is on 24/7 turn out but not getting that much grass?
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post #6 of 49 Old 08-07-2014, 06:24 PM
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I do mine and my grass rarely goes fully dormant in the heat. Too darn cold here. 56 degrees now and raining.
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post #7 of 49 Old 08-07-2014, 06:30 PM
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a horses diet should consist mainly of forage, hay. If your horse is old, I would keep her on the sr feed beet pulp and pellets. A few horses have had problems with alfalfa, the develop stones, enteroliths, I have had horses on alfalfa for many many years and only had one horse get enteroliths but only after he was around 25 yrs old.
Hay will lose some of its TDN after drying and baling, but it should not lose a lot . It depends on the hay, and how and when it was put up. Some grass hays can have higher proteins etc than alfalfa, again it depends on the hay, where it was grown, how it was grown, when it cut baled etc etc ..poor soil, no fertilization, no water, poor hay
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post #8 of 49 Old 08-07-2014, 09:44 PM Thread Starter
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She's only 10. She has inflammatory bowel disease so the simpler for her digestive track the better.
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post #9 of 49 Old 08-08-2014, 06:46 AM
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She's only 10. She has inflammatory bowel disease so the simpler for her digestive track the better.
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Good hay, preferably Timothy and rolled oats, cut out everything else and see if there is an improvment in a couple of weeks.

Are you sure there´s not a worm problem.
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post #10 of 49 Old 08-08-2014, 12:06 PM Thread Starter
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There is no worm problem. The vets have checked several times. The inflammatory bowel disease showed up in her blood panel. She generally does well unless there is a quick major diet change like when the new grass in the spring comes up. Then it flares up the IBD.
If I were to do the oats and Timothy would I need a vitamin supplement?
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