Ways to improve supplement acceptance?
 
 

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Ways to improve supplement acceptance?

This is a discussion on Ways to improve supplement acceptance? within the Horse Nutrition forums, part of the Horse Health category
  • Flavored pellets for picky horses
  • How to make horse supplements more paletable

 
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    06-27-2012, 09:36 PM
  #1
jmc
Foal
Ways to improve supplement acceptance?

I have a three year old Air Fern, Rocky Mountain gelding. He is overweight and at risk for developing metabolic disorder. He has also choked twice on pellets, even soaked. A couple of days ago I moved him to a new barn that has two very desirable features: A dry lot, and it's next door to my cottage :)

So, phase one, getting him off the rather rich grass (he is too clever to keep a grazing muzzle on for long), is complete. He gets next to no grain, just a 1/4c of TC Growth to support the supplement, which I expect to increase as needed. That's just back ground for the real problem:

Over the last winter, he was getting Accel as a supplement. He did poorly on it, so I switched him to SmartPak's EZ Keeper Grass Pellets...and he bloomed. His hooves improved, and he's now slick and shiny, and even started to dapple. There's one problem: He will no longer eat any feed that includes this supplement. FWIW smell seems to be a factor, as it's been reported he sometimes won't even approach a bucket that has the supplement in it.

Things that have been added to try to make it more palatable: TC Growth, a low NSC beet pulp/alfalfa textured feed. Ground up Ginger Ridge Healthy Hearts, which he'd jump through fire for, normally. Applesauce. Tomorrow I'll try corn oil. Because of the choke episodes, his feed is always watered.

So, the questions are:

Suggestions on a more palatable supplement that contains everything a growing boy needs (I'm looking at Barn Bag maybe, but it seems a lot more expensive). Preferably not pelleted.

What have you successfully added to supplements to make them more palatable?

Has anyone tried these?
Yummy Flavored Pellets for Picky Eaters - Horse Treats from SmartPak Equine

Was reading an odd list of the favorite horse flavors, and fenugreek and banana were the top two. Anyone ever tried these?

My new BO feeds a forage balancer, it's Triple Crown, formulated for low carb diets, and is basically timothy cubes. However, I'm afraid to try it since Yankee has choked twice, including on soaked pellets. Would it be safe to feed this, if it is soaked? For how long?

Appreciate any information or advice!

Jmc
     
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    06-27-2012, 10:13 PM
  #2
Trained
Sometimes mixing the supplement in the middle of the feed works. Meaning you put some feed, put in the supplement then more feed on top.

Maybe applesauce?
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    06-27-2012, 10:33 PM
  #3
Trained
Yes, mix the supplement in with his feed if you are not already doing so. As much as I hate sweets for a horse, if need be, a tablespoon of molasses does wonders. Mix the supp with that first, then add to the feed.

To help prevent choke, mush only help so much -- mush can still go down the wrong tube. Put big, clean stones in his bucket that he has to eat around. That will force him to slow down.
     
    06-28-2012, 04:32 PM
  #4
jmc
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by DancingArabian    
Sometimes mixing the supplement in the middle of the feed works. Meaning you put some feed, put in the supplement then more feed on top.

Maybe applesauce?
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NorthernMama    
Yes, mix the supplement in with his feed if you are not already doing so. As much as I hate sweets for a horse, if need be, a tablespoon of molasses does wonders. Mix the supp with that first, then add to the feed.

To help prevent choke, mush only help so much -- mush can still go down the wrong tube. Put big, clean stones in his bucket that he has to eat around. That will force him to slow down.
In my note, I did mention that I tried applesauce, that I add water, and that he gets only a 1/4c of TC Growth, so there's not enough to either layer, and of course it's mixed since it's in water...

As far as the choke, it isn't because he's eating too fast, or not chewing. I've been through all that with the vet. Oh, and FWIW we tried rocks, but Yankee is a very smart horse and he just tosses them out! I suspect that something is NQR down towards the end of his gullet, but I haven't had him scoped yet to find out.
     
    06-29-2012, 09:39 AM
  #5
Trained
So instead of the TC Growth, or in addition to, why not give him some pressed pellets, like a 12% feed. It is not rich at all, but will allow you more feed to hide the supplement in. I used to give my mare 1 cup a day of it, just so that if I needed to add something to her diet, I could at any time. I have since switched back to oats, but it sounds like the 12% is more appropriate for your guy.
     
    06-29-2012, 08:33 PM
  #6
jmc
Foal
Because:

Quote:
Originally Posted by jmc    
He has also choked twice on pellets, even soaked.
I will not feed Yankee pellets (textured with pellets is OK, that's what TCG is). Yes, that severely limits my options, since almost all low NSC/ low carb/easy keeper feeds are pelleted.

Jmc
     
    07-02-2012, 09:27 AM
  #7
Weanling
I mix mine in regular feed for my mustang, he's usually not picky but if he turns his nose up to it, then I add 1/2 cup of maple syrup and chamomile. He licks it ALL up!

My mare I mix hers with a little bit of sweet feed and 1/4 of a cup of maple syrup. She'll turn her nose up to any supplement, even if it has a yummy flavor.
     
    07-02-2012, 10:20 AM
  #8
Trained
What about shredded apples or carrots? Then you could mix it up really well. What about things that have a strong smell - like peppermint oil?

I know someone who used to add "sweet water" (a big squirt of lite corn syrup mixed in a big jug of water, shaken well) to her horses feed when he was eating a powder.
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    07-02-2012, 01:29 PM
  #9
Trained
Quote:
Originally Posted by jmc    
Because:



I will not feed Yankee pellets (textured with pellets is OK, that's what TCG is). Yes, that severely limits my options, since almost all low NSC/ low carb/easy keeper feeds are pelleted.

Jmc
Yes, sorry, I forgot you said you can't feed pellets, but the idea is to find an innocuous feed that you can give him a cup or two of, whether it's pelleted, mush, flaked or whatever.
     
    07-03-2012, 07:20 PM
  #10
Green Broke
Does your horse like peppermint? Maybe you could try mixing the supplements into a beet pulp mash with a little bit of peppermint extract?
     

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