Pellet risks?? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 9 Old 05-07-2012, 12:27 AM Thread Starter
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Pellet risks??

Ok so I have a very hard keeper and picky eater who I am having trouble putting and keeping weight on. He wastes an unbelievable amount of his hay He however LOVES hay pellets. I use just plain orchard grass pellets. I am wanting to increase the amount of pellets (still always with free choice hay) to try and get more calories in him but some people have told me that pelleted feed can contribute to impaction colic?? Just wondering what everyone thought or experiences were on this? Thank you.
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post #2 of 9 Old 05-07-2012, 12:29 AM
Green Broke
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I have never fed pelleted hay but I soak my pelleted beet pulp before feeding. Can cause choke.

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post #3 of 9 Old 05-07-2012, 10:37 AM Thread Starter
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post #4 of 9 Old 05-07-2012, 11:04 AM
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Choke can be caused by a single blade of grass. Impaction colic is mostly likely dehydration in the horse or an obstruction in the bowel that backs up anything trying to move through.

We've fed pellets for years and years. They break down quickly in the gut and the horse gets the nutrition from the feed vs a textured or sweet feed that can pass through and be found in the manure.
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post #5 of 9 Old 05-07-2012, 11:22 AM
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Try putting his hay in a small mesh hay bag. Because this slows the horse down he better digests the hay he's getting. With horses, the faster in, the faster out. Chick's sells these. If you stuff two, they will last from morning until late afternoon. I have corner feeders, not the pans but large triangular shelves made of plywood with a small lip around the three sides to catch feed from rolling off. The area of this is about 3 times what a plastic corner feeder has. I scatter the pellets and the horses seem to enjoy nibbling. Pellets are easy to bolt down and again, fast in, fast out.
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post #6 of 9 Old 05-07-2012, 06:45 PM
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A simple solution to a horse that bolts their feed, if you don't have a custom set up...just find a good sized smooth rock that covers about 40% of the feed surface. The horse can eat around it and move it enough to get to the feed but obviously it stops the horse from eating too quickly.
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post #7 of 9 Old 05-08-2012, 09:06 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you for your replies. My boy is not a bolter when it comes to eating. He eat normally as far as speed his is just UNBELIEVABLY picky. He wastes the majority of hay I gave him and I have tried different types. He will only drag it around and pick out the yummy stuff then stomp the rest into oblivion on his stall floor. Some types he will just flat turn his nose up at and not touch at all. However he LOVES the pellets and will clean them up without so much as one single pellet left behind. I do add a weight builder powder to them and then oil which coats the whole mixture before I feed them in an attempt to help with the calorie deficit. It is just frustrating cause he is such a struggle to fatten up and then of course the hay is SOO expensive to be throwing soo much of it away :( I am hoping with an increase in the pellets and the other additives I will soon see some sort of change...fingers crossed.
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post #8 of 9 Old 05-08-2012, 04:24 PM
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I struggled with the same issue with my horse. I ended up building her a slow feeder and it has worked wonders! I keep hay in front of her 24/7 and she eats SO much better, with NO waste. I built a wooden box with a grate but small hole hay nets also work.
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post #9 of 9 Old 05-08-2012, 04:29 PM
Green Broke
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The big thing is making sure he is drinking plenty of water. As long as he's doing that, the pellets should be fine. We fed our boys pellets as a big portion of their diet when we had a bad drought here a few years back and regular hay was hard to come by. They all did fine on it.

Now we did soak ours plus soaked any hay cubes, but that was because I had bolters that would try to eat them so fast they choked.

All I pay my psychiatrist is cost of feed and hay, and he'll listen to me any day!

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