Senior Feed

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Senior Feed

This is a discussion on Senior Feed within the Horse Nutrition forums, part of the Horse Health category

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  • 2 Post By loosie
  • 2 Post By goneriding
  • 2 Post By SueNH

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    12-08-2013, 11:22 PM
Senior Feed

At what age do you recommend switching a horse to senior feed? The vet thinks Bo is about 19 yrs old by looking at his teeth. We currently have him on regular strategy, and he seems to be doing fine. I just don't know when I should change him over.
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    12-08-2013, 11:30 PM
Did you ask your vet? My concern would be even if he is doing fine, he is older and his body may not "absorb" the nutrients he needs, it's not just about weight. Me? I would switch to a senior feed.
    12-09-2013, 01:02 AM
It depends on the horse & the feed he's on & what's on offer. 19yo isn't old for a horse either... although it can well be ancient, considering how they may have been managed. Afraid I wouldn't be feeding Strategy or Purina's senior feed, or other high NSC feeds to anyone as a rule. If the horse isn't holding weight on grass/hay, they may need extras. They will likely need extra nutrition anyway, than is available in either grass/hay and most 'complete' type feeds.
Wallaby and Merlot like this.
    12-09-2013, 01:12 AM
I have always been someone that prefers to put money into better hay/grazing before concentrates, then go from there.
loosie and sarahfromsc like this.
    12-09-2013, 01:19 AM
Originally Posted by armydogs    
At what age do you recommend switching a horse to senior feed? The vet thinks Bo is about 19 yrs old by looking at his teeth. We currently have him on regular strategy, and he seems to be doing fine. I just don't know when I should change him over.
I have 2 older, wouldn't necessarily call them senior, horses on Strategy Healthy Edge and they are looking great. I was using Strategy GX but I like the higher fat content of the HE. The 2 in question are coming 16 & 17. If I noticed that they could no longer chew hay efficiently (assuming teeth have just been floated) and/or they started dropping weight for no apparent reason, I'd try them on Senior. It's a complete feed designed for horses that can no longer chew or digest real well, so it's easier to maintain them on it in their "golden" years. Since it's also several $$$ more than either of the Strategy feeds, I'll stick with the HE as long as they look good.
    12-09-2013, 02:38 AM
Super Moderator
I have to agree with most of the posters here - wait until there's a "reason" for senior. And, ideally, increase hay first.

My mare is going to be 29 in February and she's still not on a senior feed. She has all her teeth, just one very minimally loose one - not loose enough to justify pulling at her last float, and she holds weight well. She simply gets a ration balancer [Triple Crown 30%] for her vitamin/mineral needs and I add soaked beet pulp or alfalfa pellets as needed [soaked simply because she loves soaked feed!].
I have found that her winter protein needs have increased as she's aged, so I feed her a higher protein diet than the average horse her age probably gets/needs in the winter.

I have also noticed that she's been less of an easy keeper this year, but nothing dramatic or terrible. And, at her age, she has every right to be a little more work to keep weight on!

Anyway, bottom line: no reason to switch until you have to.
My mare might never go on a senior feed...we'll see!
    12-09-2013, 08:18 AM
Green Broke
If it isn't broke don't fix it. My 38 yr. Old isn't on senior feed and she does fine. I doubt I could find a low enough carb senior feed she could eat. I did have to figure out a different feed regime when she was around 34 but it was a switch to a seriously low carb diet.
Wallaby and Merlot like this.
    12-09-2013, 08:53 AM
One of mine is approx. 22, the other approx. In the range of 12. Both are on Nutrena Safe Choice Senior and doing very well. I work for an all equine vet, they agreed that it wouldn't hurt at all to have the 12 year old on the senior as well. It just saves me from having to buy two different feeds. Senior feeds are usually higher in fat, so the 12 year old just doesn't get as much as the other.
    12-09-2013, 10:43 AM
Thanks everyone. Bo seems to be doing really good on the feed schedule we have him on. He gets between 3 and 5 pounds of strategy a day. The main thing we do is make sure he gets as much hay as he can stand. He isn't losing any weight, and seems to be pretty happy at this time. The only thing I might consider adding is some glucosomine for his joints. The vet didn't say anything about changing his food, only that he looks pretty good. :)
    12-09-2013, 11:11 AM
Green Broke
I believe senior feed was made for two reasons 1) it breaks up easier for horses who have dental issues and 2) it encourages picky horses to eat it.

If your horse isn't picky and doesn't have teeth issues don't worry about it. You can find regular feed with the same nutritional content as senior.
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