Small diet question - Page 2

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Small diet question

This is a discussion on Small diet question within the Horse Nutrition forums, part of the Horse Health category

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    11-12-2012, 01:33 AM
^Did the same as you Sue, wrote a more detailed response that got lost in cyber space - technology, huh??

So, in short, agree with others that that is a LOT of 'hard feed', particularly beet pulp to feed a horse, especially over only 2 meals. Also 'senior feed' is generally quite high grain/starch, so I'd consider that is also way too much, for only 2 meals. I'd personally cut out the high starch feed in favour of something healthier, especially as he has ulcer probs - u-guard probably won't be enough to combat the large, starchy meals. Especially if you can't feed little & often, but I'd certainly cut down on it, along with the beet. Could be the high iron content of the beet that has caused him to go off it, or could be just the quantity.
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    11-12-2012, 02:40 AM
I have tried cool calories. Did absolutely nothing for him. As I said, right now his weight is great. Just getting ideas for when it gets colder. He has always been on quite a volume of feed. He eats it all. He is just really picky. Doesn't like Standlee brand, was just tolerating it and now he is done with it.

I am getting a scale to weigh his feed but according to the bag of senior grain he should be getting more than I am feeding. They suggest 15lbs...which seems like an insane amount to me. I am going to be switching him to Triple Crown senior which is a lower starch feed. I just have to drive 45 min to go get it so have to wait for a day off. None of my feed stores carry it.

Also he doesn't have ulcers, we merely tried treating him for a bit with U-Gard to see if there would be a difference. Vet has done a physical and blood work on him and said he comes up normal. Didn't have him scoped as that is expensive. Figured I would try treating him and see if there was even the slightest bit of change. There hasn't been. He is the same with U-Gard that he is without it so that leads me to believe he probably doesn't have ulcers.

This is a current picture of him so you guys can see what he looks like. Keep in mind he is completely cleaning his dish of the food I am currently giving him which is 2 qts dry beet pulp, soaked, and 4 qts of senior grain, twice a day. Along with the alfalfa twice a day and free choice grass hay.

    11-12-2012, 04:15 AM
Originally Posted by NordicJuniper    
He has always been on quite a volume of feed. He eats it all. He is just really picky. Doesn't like Standlee brand, was just tolerating it and now he is done with it.
Has he had his teeth done? Have you done a diet analysis/bloods for mineral levels, to see if iron overdose or such is a problem? IME when horses 'become fussy' there is usually a physical reason for it.

As for overall volume of feed, horses have small stomachs that aren't built to be empty or for large, infrequent meals. Their digestive system is built for processing tiny amounts near constantly of roughage. Food only stays in the stomach for a relatively short time, but it also empties when it's about 2/3 full, regardless of time or digestion. So your horse may well eat it all, but being fed a large meal will likely mean that it travels through the stomach, into the hind gut with very little digestion.

Large amounts of feed hitting the hind gut suddenly can be problematic, particularly when it's starchy - ulcers, colic & hind gut acidosis are 3 common results, along with 'secondary' type problems this causes, such as failure to thrive and laminitis. Feeding little & often can greatly reduce the risk of these problems. If you can't feed little & often, small, low starch/sugar/grain meals are especially important.

according to the bag of senior grain he should be getting more than I am feeding.
Of course they recommend a lot more than any horse generally needs - they want to sell more product! If you're going to use a nutritional advisory service, I'd also avoid those working for or affiliated with feed co's, for a more objective, impartial view. I personally think is a fantastic service & you also have access to a qualified nutritionist for any particular questions you may have. As an aside, it has actually saved me money, as I can *know* the true analysis of feeds & supps & easily work out what & how much is required for a well balanced diet for any particular horse, rather than overfeeding stuff that isn't all the packaging/co says it is.

I am going to be switching him to Triple Crown senior which is a lower starch feed. I just have to drive 45 min to go get it
That seems to be a reasonable quality feed, which would also be best fed with extra roughage & in smaller meals. How about asking if your local store can get it in for you, or asking TC if they deliver in your area.

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