Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: dark side of the moon
The calories per pound isn't much different in most sweet feeds and Safe Choice. It depends on the feed and what's in it. My old barn had a "sweet feed" that, instead of molasses, had soy oil as the "sweet" part, the rest was oats, a bit of cracked corn (yuck) and vitamins and minerals added. My gelding did very well on this feed, he was on 3lbs, twice a day, and I added 1/2 lb of Empower to keep a nice bloom on him when his former lessee was doing recognized dressage shows and hunter shows. Dressage and hunters like fat horses :)
My mare, however, did not do well on this feed. It made her hot, very hot! For a while she was on a handful twice a day to not feel bad, along with her supplements (SmartFlex Senior, and Quiessence, luckily both in pellets so I did not have to mix in). After a while I gave her 1lb of Gro n Win instead, although she often left it in her feeder.
Currently, my horses are at two separate barns, my childhood trainer is borrowing my gelding and he gets Safe Choice right now, but they are switching over to Strategy, he gets about 2lbs twice a day of the Safe Choice, but is also on grass pasture most of the day, with freechoice grass hay all night (at the last barn they were fed alfalfa hay 1 flake am, 2 flakes grass hay at turnout, and 1-2 flakes alfalfa at turn-in, so he is DEFINITELY getting a lot more forage right now!). The pony just glows with good health :)
My mare is at another barn, where she gets about 1.5lbs of Strategy twice a day, and pretty much unlimited grass hay, with some alfalfa as a treat at night feeding. She is also glowing with good health, although I am thinking of adding something like BOSS to get more of a shine on her coat, I am just not sure she'll eat it.
I like the pellets because they are easier to measure out because they weight almost exactly the same with the same volume every time, where sweet feeds you can tend to feed the same amount (say 3 cups) and one time it can be 1 lb and another time 2, or what have you. Also, I'm not sure if it gets very cold where you are, but some sweet/textured feeds are a pain in the cold! A few years ago I went to scoop out of a new bag of XTN that was in my trunk and the entire thing was solid as a rock, I had to chisel pieces off it!