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BlueSpark 03-07-2012 10:32 AM

Hot vs Cold Feeds
We have a couple easy keepers in the barn. They get a small amout of oats and soaked beet pulp with flax, just because the whole herd(mostly hard keepers) come in for grain. I dont know that a small amount will really make a big difference. Which of these feeds is worse for easy keepers?

We have several hard keepers. Some are growing, some are seniors and several are ottb's. One of the latter has gotten very hot. He gets mostly soaked beet pulp with some whole oats(no mollasas) and ground flax. He's not a super hard keeper, but he does need extra in the winter. He also has free choice good quality grass hay and several acres to run on with the herd.

What should he be fed that will both keep weight on him and cool down his excess energy?

Which feeds fall into the hot catagory, and which are cold(other than oils)?

its lbs not miles 03-07-2012 11:00 AM

Grains are going to be hot to varying degrees.
I don't feed grain to any of mine. What I use is copra (coconut with most of the oil extracted with heat and pressure). It's cool feed. Company that makes what I use is out of Australia. I've known some horses that don't take right to it, but they all eventually eat it (horses are big on change). The two I have now loved from day one. Mine get it soaked, but you can feed it dry too.
My current mare is an pretty easy keeper and she gets about 1/2 what my filly gets. My filly is an easy keeper too, but at 3 she's still growing more and tends to not put on as much weight as easily.
If you keep your horses stalled then I'm not sure I'd use it as a "complete" feed. It might need some suppliments. My graze, get varying amounts of hay (depending on the season) and don't need anything else beyond the copra.
Of course I also like it because it packs real well for transporting via horseback for training the horse for distance riding, but that's just a benefit for something I do and won't matter to most.
There may be other sources, but what I use is made by Stance,

(smells like something I'd eat for breakfast) :))

hoopla 03-07-2012 12:05 PM

If they're easy keepers then they really shouldn't be getting any hard feed at all. All you need to do is chop up some hay and cabbage leaves and feed that from the buckets when the rest are getting their feed.

In terms of answering your question then in order of nutritional value:

Oats is 13.5 MJ/kg, Flax is 12.5 MJ/kg, beet pulp is 12.2 MJ/kg.

For the hard keeper, then I'd recommend a barley based feed.

One of the main characteristics of barley is a low glycemic index.

Grain is good for carbohydrates but not all grains and not all carbohydrates are the same. Some are quickly broken down in the intestine, causing blood glucose level to rise rapidly. These carbohydrates have a high glycemic index. Barley has a low glycemic index and that is why horses don't get so "hot" on it and why I personally like to feed it.

Glycemic index is about ranking carbohydrates according to the effect it has on blood sugar levels. Low GI carbs have lower effect on blood sugar and insulin levels and so are better for you in many ways and particularly when it comes to providing "fuel" to prolong physical endurance. So not a fast energy sugar release which makes for hyperactivity and bad behaviour rather it enters the system in a more balanced and slower way and so it keeps energy levels balanced and means the horse will feel fuller for longer between meals so helps for such as winter feeding to maintain condition when you don't want a horse to "run off" because its using its feed to keep warm.

BlueSpark 03-07-2012 12:22 PM

thanks Hoopla, thats the type of info I need. I know lots about glycemic index in human foods, but i wasnt sure of the value of different grains.

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