What kind of Grain is Best?? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 11 Old 01-15-2012, 08:08 PM Thread Starter
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What kind of Grain is Best??

So I'm looking to buy my first horse and my parents and I are researching feed. My sister/best friend feeds rocky mountain sweet feed. Its really cheap but I'm worried about the quality of the feed itself. What kind of feed do you guys use and what do you think of it??

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post #2 of 11 Old 01-15-2012, 09:00 PM
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Well, I can tell you what feed is likely to receive the most votes as "worst" - and that would be sweet feed. There is no single answer as to what the best feed is, for the simple fact that every horse - like every human - can thrive or not on different diets. The "best" grain for your horse may very well prove to be no grain at all - if, though, your horse does prove to be one that requires additional feed (pasture and quality hay being the obvious base diet for any horse), then what that feed is will depend on too many factors to be able to sit here and tell you what the best grain would be.
I have two horses that are on a pasture/hay only diet and are thriving. Our TB, though, is one that requires supplemental feed. She is on the same pasture/hay and then has additional feedings of a blend of alfalfa pellets, beet pulp and rice bran.
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post #3 of 11 Old 01-15-2012, 09:05 PM
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High fiber, extruded feed. It's the fiber that the horse digests and benefits from. The extruded part cuts down on the starches & tends to cause less "hotness" in horses.
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post #4 of 11 Old 01-15-2012, 09:05 PM
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You want something nutritious regardless. Sweet feed has a looooot of molasses and sugars. Some do well on it.. my horse was on it and it didn't really do antyhing for him. Usually you want to keep them on what they've been eating and then slowly wean them onto something else.

It depends on work load, type of work, the horse itself.. better to pay a little more for good grain than just look at the lower price tags.

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post #5 of 11 Old 01-16-2012, 01:08 AM
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No sweet feed... Or COB (corn, oats, and barley). To hot and unhealthy for horses. Also, do you mean hay or grain? Not all horses need grain, but if they start to loose condition, rice bran or beet pulp is a pretty safe inexpensive feed. As for hay, start out with a type of grass hay, such as Orchard, or Timothy, preferably free choice, and add a pound or two of Alfalfa if needed instead of grain if he/she starts loosing weight, but Alfalfa can tend to make horses excitable or hot.

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post #6 of 11 Old 01-16-2012, 02:40 AM
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Originally Posted by caseymyhorserocks View Post
but Alfalfa can tend to make horses excitable or hot.
Btw, that's pretty much an old wives tale. Some horses are allergic to a protein(?) in alfalfa and that allergic reaction makes them hotter, which is how that theory got started. However, most horses are not allergic to whatever it is in the alfalfa, so for most horses, alfalfa is perfectly fine.
I think I read somewhere that it's actually a cooler hay (less sugar than other hay for the amount of protein and goodness in it), but that the calcium in it can be a problem if it's fed exclusively.
I can tell you though that my mare, who's hotter than lava, is actually "cooler" on alfalfa than she is on grass hay only.

I've found that the cheapest way (at least around here) to make sure my horse stays a healthy weight is to free feed the cheap grass hay people sell around here, then supplement with 5 pounds of alfalfa a day, one pound of a ration balancer (to make sure her vitamin/mineral needs are met), and then add beet pulp (soaked) if she appears to need a little extra. Obviously, I up the alfalfa if she really appears to need weight but she's such an easy keeper that hardly ever happens.
For me, since my mare is very sensitive to sugar (after 23 years of 5 pounds of "the cheap" sweet feed a day), I can't feed sweet feed to make sure she's getting the daily vitamins she needs. That's why I use, and shamelessly recommend, ration balancers. They're cheaper than grain in the long run (one $25 bag lasts 50 days so it's $0.50/day for me), you can know that your horse is getting the right "stuff", and you don't run all the risks that come with feeding your horse "candy" on a daily basis. :)
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post #7 of 11 Old 01-17-2012, 10:55 PM Thread Starter
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Well the little mare I'm looking at is on a grain ration that gosts 50 bucks a bag and two flakes of timothy hay and one flake of alfalfa

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post #8 of 11 Old 01-24-2012, 08:12 PM
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Casey..the vet that has been doing chiro adjustments and accupunture on my two horses suggested 45% each rolled oats and steam rolled barley, 10% cracked corn and 1/4 cup of flaxseed.

Exactly why is it unhealthy? Wouldn't sweet feed be worse for gettin a horse hot? I am confused. He says it is balanced and they will not overeat so to give them as much as they will eat in 15-20 minutes. thanks..
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post #9 of 11 Old 01-24-2012, 08:44 PM
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$50 a bag, nope. Ask the feedstore what is equivalent to that. I am always asking the feedstore for recommendations as the grain manufacturers send them info packs.
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post #10 of 11 Old 01-24-2012, 08:48 PM
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I agree with waresbear... If you get the horse, talk to your vet and feed store..They should be able to help you figure out what is best for your horse.

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