Proper balanced diet for Easy Keeper? - The Horse Forum

 
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post #1 of 8 Old 08-11-2012, 07:02 PM Thread Starter
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Proper balanced diet for Easy Keeper?

My Morgan gelding is an extremely easy keeper. He gets 4 flakes a day in a small hole hay net. And a small amount of Patriot Senior. I would say about two cups. He is about 17 and still very young. He isn't skinny obviously, but I guess my question is.. Even though he is in great body condition, probably even a bit over weight, is he getting the proper nutrients and vitamins? I'm thinking that he probably is fine, and doesn't even need the Patriot. I just don't want to waste good feed! So I thought, hey just give him a bit.
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post #2 of 8 Old 08-12-2012, 04:03 AM
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Hi,

Probably not, I'm afraid. Most horse's diets are deficient/imbalanced in a range of nutrients, and if he's on hay only rather than fresh grass, hay also loses vitamins when dried. Different areas/soils/feed types have different lacks & imbalances too.

From looking at their product sheet, the Patriot stuff may well provide well balanced nutrition, but even if, that assumes you're feeding the vast quantities they recommend, which esp with the corn high in the ingredients list, I wouldn't personally advise even if he needed all that extra energy. As for amount of hay, even if he needs 'dieting', horses still need small amounts going through their system near constantly & the 'rule' is they should get at least 1.5-2%bwt daily in forage. Telling you that for 'Justin' because 4 flakes daily depends on the size of the flakes!

So I'd just stick to the hay or similar and include a suitable good quality nutritional supp or (grain free) 'ration balancer' or such. Feedxl.com is a great resource for balancing diets & working out the confusion of nutrition.
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post #3 of 8 Old 08-13-2012, 12:30 PM
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I second what Loosie said- if you're not feeding the minimum amounts in the feeding directions, then your horse isn't getting all the nutrients he needs.

I feed my easy keeper a ration balancer (Triple Crown 30% Supplement to be specific)- most feed companies make one. You only feed 1-2 lbs per day, and it fills in the holes left in the diet from feeding hay/pasture only.

The best thing to do is to get your hay tested so you know exactly what is in it, but that's not always practical if you're not providing your own- For example, at my barn they don't test the hay and have a couple different suppliers so I'd never be sure which hay my horse was getting even if I tested it myself. In that case, you may want to ask your vet if your area is deficient in anything in particular and look at those minerals specifically when choosing a ration balancer or multi-vitamin supplement.

I also found FeedXL.com to be extremely helpful in balancing my horse's diet.
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post #4 of 8 Old 08-13-2012, 02:13 PM Thread Starter
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What do you think of Empower Balance Grass Formula Supplement by Nutrena? It says it is made to cater to a horse on an all grass or hay diet, and is specifically designed for horses susceptible to Cushings or Insulin Resistance. It looks decent, but I wanted to see what you guys thought?
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post #5 of 8 Old 08-13-2012, 02:33 PM
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I just want to say, if I fed my easy keeper air-ferns four flakes of hay a day, they would get so fat, they'd burst, lol. My horses are on pasture and only pasture right now, my older mare is on the heavy side of "good weight" and my little one is FAT. Lol.

I do understand the concern with feeding something that seems to be lacking so much in nutrition when you're horse will blow up like a balloon if you give them anything more. It's tricky stuff. There is a vit/min supplement made specifically for horses in the Pacific Northwest that I use, because it is only a few ounces of just vit/min. That is what I would suggest, a supplement like that.

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post #6 of 8 Old 08-14-2012, 01:35 PM
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There are a lot of reasonably priced multi-vitamins for horses that require only 1-2 ounces a day. I use Dumor Vitamin Gold for my easy keeper. 2 ounces a day for her and hay/pasture only. She looks great and it isn't that expensive.
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post #7 of 8 Old 08-21-2012, 04:19 PM
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I'm starting my easy keepers today on the Nutrena Empower Balance. The only get a third of their feed requirments with their grain because I only feed them a fraction of what is called for with the LMF Gold. But if I feed them more they will become if more of a hippo than they already are. They are 24/7 turn out to a dry lot area, but have a grass pasture to graze every couple days. Only supplement in the grain was Triple Crown Omega Max. I am wondering if I should continue with that with the Nutrena Empower?
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post #8 of 8 Old 08-21-2012, 06:02 PM
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I like Empower Balance- it's my back up plan if I ever need to switch away from Triple Crown 30% (since it's only carried by one store in my area, and a lot of times they have to get it brought in from another branch for me)
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