Originally Posted by riccil0ve
I would like to start my possibly foundered/laminitic mare on a sugar-free/low sugar diet.
So I have her on alfalfa hay, I heard it is lower in sugar than grass hay. Is this correct?
My big concern is grain. I need something palatable, so I can mix her biotin, joint supplement, and electrolytes in. Right now she is getting orchard grass pellets and some Safechoice. She doesn't need a lot of... nutrients in her "grain," persay, I just want something low in sugar that will encourage her to eat her supplements. I worry about adding more alfalfa in the form of grain, but since she only gets maybe a pound of grain a day, maybe it wouldn't be that bad?
What are your thoughts on this? Do you have any suggestions? Thanks in advance! =]
A Ration balancer such as Buckeye Gro N Win would be a good choice. It is low in NSC (sugar and starches) and is a good choice for a horse with those kinds of issues. It has an NSC of 13%.
They call for .3-.5lbs of it for a 200-300 lb horse in light-no work. I would give him the .3lbs and put his supplements in that. You want to stay away from feeds with high NSC such as sweet feed (30%+), strategy (30%), safe choice (23%), etc. Stay away from whole grains such as oats, corn, etc b/c these are also high is NSC.
Alfalfa hay has more calories than a grass hay. I, personally wouldnt be feeding him alfalfa hay since minis are already prone to weight issues.
In order to decrease the sugars in a grass hay, you soak it in water for at least 30 min, then feed.