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NordicJuniper 11-08-2012 05:10 AM

Small diet question
So I have been working with my horse on his diet. It has been changing quite a bit lately.

We started him out on:
4qt beet dry beet pulp-soaked
4qt senior grain
1 flake alfalfa
1 scoop u-gard
Twice a day

Once a day he was also getting:
1 scoop msm
1 scoop glucosamine
2 scoops biotin

We lately he just won't finish his beet pulp, he just doesn't seem to like it. He is picky with grain in general and doesn't like the standlee brand much but that is the only brand available to me. He was eating it and now I think he is just tired of it. If we keep adding senior grain to it then he will finish it. We dropped him down to 3qts and now he is down to 2qts. At this point he is barely getting any and I am really wondering if I should keep feeding. It will finish off what I already have left but not sure if I want to buy more.

My question is, is there anything else I can substitute in for the beet pulp? Right now his feed bill is pretty high. I am spending over $150 a month on feed alone. I feel like it is wasted money, at least on the beet pulp, since he isn't hardly eating it. Which is why I keep cutting the amount down.

He does have weight issues and usually drops a bunch of weight during the winter. So far he is looking good though. He loves his hay and his grain and will even eat his supplements [which are powder] without them even being mixed into his grain, silly pony.

I have heard of using oil on their feed to help maintain/gain weight. Does this work? Would it be ok to pull him off the beet pulp once what I have is gone and replace it with something that he will actually eat? It was suggested to me to use Triple Crown 32% as well. Any opinions on that?

Any help is appreciated.

walkinthewalk 11-08-2012 08:05 AM

My first thoughts:

1. 8 quarts of feed is an awful lot UNLESS he is being schooled for at least an hour every day.

1.1 If that is the case, he would benefit greatly from receiving all that feed three times a day instead of two. It could be that he just does not want that much food at one time.

2. Ulcers are also a possiblity, regardless of age; again another reason to feed three times a day.

3. Whose senior feed? It could be the senior feed isn't helping and all he needs is the beet pulp (stabilized/calcium fortified equine rice bran works just as well), and a good vit/min supplement.

I have two mid-20's Fellas that are now hard keepers. Both have ulcers. I feed both of them three times a day. No grain. They both eat rice bran and a vit/min supplement.

The horse with hind gut ulcers can't eat much of anything so I top dress his rice bran with a liquid vitamin/mineral supplement. It only takes one ounce. He is has gained some weight and is sassier than he's been in a good long while.

These two also get alfalfa. The Arab has recently decided he doesn't want Standlees' tim/alfalfa cubes, all nice and mushed up. He needs those amino acids and protein so I mix about a pound of Standlees alfalfa pellets in with his morning rice bran and ulcer meds - he eats that - heh heh:lol:

Both these guys have serious weight issues and both have ulcers. Even with the hind gut ulcer guy's $90/mo for Succeed, I don't spend anywhere near $150/mo to feed both of them.

It can take some experimenting and creativity. My most creative thought was when I came up with the liquid vitamin idea.
Liquid 747 Tuttle's (Supplements - Vitamin Mineral)

It only takes one ounce daily, and look at the cost of a gallon. The shipping is what gets me:-( If my local tack/supply store isn't willing to order Liquid 747 in, I am going to buy a case of it to help reduce shipping cost.

This isn't a whim for me. Along with hind gut ulcers, my 25 yr old TWH has equine metabolic syndrome and suspicioned lipomas in the GI tract. He cannot each much of anything anymore. His life is on the line and this stuff is working for him in ways I would never have imagined --- so far

I hope this made some sense but the bottom line is I think the horse is getting too much of good things and something just isn't working.

This may be a case of "less is more", therefore it might be time to strip back and start from scratch:-)

verona1016 11-08-2012 11:57 AM

I agree that's a lot of feed.

For the 4 qts of beet pulp - is that the volume soaked or dry? Pellets or shreds? I'm picturing 4 quarts of dry beet pulp pellets, which I'm thinking would expand to several gallons of mash when soaked! :-)

Rice bran and alfalfa are both great for weight gain. If you want to try oil, I'd stick with flaxseed oil to help offset the high omega-6 content of almost all grains. Most other oils are significantly higher in omega-6 than omega-3.

I feed Triple Crown 30% to my horse, and I love it, but I don't think it makes much sense in your case unless you're looking to replace the senior feed and go low sugar/starch (which is never a bad idea, but is more challenging for super hard keeper horses). TC30 is a ration balancer- It's usually used for easy keepers, horses that don't get at least the minimum recommended amount of grain, or as a nutritional base for a low sugar/starch diet. Basically it's all the vitamins, minerals, and protein of a traditional grain without all the added calories.

NordicJuniper 11-08-2012 04:00 PM

Thanks guys.

Walkinthewalk - I can't pull the senior grain and only do beet pulp because then he won't touch it. The issue is that he hates the beet pulp. He used to eat the above mentioned amount of feed, cleaned it right up. He can eat a frickin lot lol. But the problem is that he has slowly started to not like the beet pulp and now he won't touch it. The beet pulp is what I need to replace/get rid of.

I wish I could feed three times a day but he is boarded and they just won't do that. They feed when they feed and that is it. I work 40 hours a week so I can't get out there to try and do the middle feeding most of the time.

Verona - He is on alfalfa but won't touch rice bran. He doesn't like beet pulp or rice bran much at this point. I am trying to avoid both of these things which is inconvenient, but if he won't eat them then there is no point really.

Would feeding alfalfa cubes in addition to the flaked alfalfa that he already gets help?

Basically I want to cut out the beet pulp completely and replace it with something else.

I do want to add that his weight is really great right now. I am only worried for when winter really hits.

Spotted 11-08-2012 04:23 PM

Cubes will work, If you cut out the beet pulp I think he should still get his senior ration. I have seen cubes put weight on horses as well. You need to weigh his feed rather than go by quarts. He should get 1.5 to 2 % of his body weight in feed per day and if he needs to gain weight then give extra. If you can, put some hay in a slow feed bag, this helps ulcers and will keep him busy.

verona1016 11-08-2012 06:06 PM

Yep, 1 lb of alfalfa cubes = 1 lb of alfalfa hay = 1 lb of alfalfa pellets. Whichever of those is cheaper & easier for you is perfectly fine :-)

SueNH 11-08-2012 07:55 PM

1 flake of alfalfa? Is that all the hay he gets?

Left Hand Percherons 11-08-2012 11:49 PM

Unless you are feeding the BP and senior for medical reasons, you would save a lot of $$ by simply getting rid of them (the BP at least since he won't eat it) and replace it with more alfalfa hay. Hay is always going to be cheaper then cubes or pellets (Standlee at $14/40# bag is $700/ton. Hay should be less than 1/2 that) How much hay is he getting? One flake of a small 2 string bale is only 3-3 1/2#, while a 3 string is closer to #7. 8 quarts of BP is approx 8#. 8# BP will have approx 10.4 Mcals or the equivalent of 10# alfalfa. Oils are a cheap way of adding concentrated calories at 2 Mcal/cup. You can easily mix them with the senior but it does present problems when it's freezing or others are feeding for you.

NordicJuniper 11-09-2012 02:49 AM

Ok guys I have been doing some research as well as taking in your advice and I am definitely going to pull him off the beet pulp once it is all gone. Right now I am just feeding it to him because I have it and don't want to throw it away. He will eat a little of it, about 2lbs per feeding.

SueNH - He gets the 1 flake twice a day, started/starting him slow cause he was completely off of hay before I got him back from a lease situation. Didn't want to overload him with alfalfa right away after him not having hay in months. He is also on free choice grass hay.

Left Hand Percherons - He is on the senior grain simply because he is 23 years old and can't just have an all hay diet, it isn't enough for him. On top of being 23 years old he is a Thoroughbred. Straight, free choice hay has been tied before and it was a terrible idea. I am, however, not opposed to slowly bumping up the amount of alfalfa hay that he gets. Right now I have 2 string and 3 string bales.

I think I am going to work on pulling him off the beet pulp, only using it till I am out. Then I will do more alfalfa, keep the senior grain and supplements and see how it goes from there :D

SueNH 11-09-2012 07:30 AM

Well that stinks. My browser suddenly decided to refresh itself and I lost a long post.

I don't have any hard keepers. I have had the pleasure of fattening up skinny ones that fell on hard times a few times. Mine all like beet pulp and rice bran just fine. I don't use beet pulp much anymore simply because the soaked stuff is heavy and it's a bit of a hike to the barn. I use it in the dead of winter when a warm meal is much more appreciated now.

He has free choice grass hay, a flake of alfalfa, his concentrates. Could he just be full and picking and choosing his favorites? If he is in a situation where he is fed alone I would just use some sort of pelleted hay to leave in his dish to eat it or not.

Have you tried Cool Calories? I used it for a short time on a horse I was given that was skeletal. It's basically just vegetable oil that has been made into a coarse powder. Doesn't mess up the feed dishes. It works. I'm kinda neutral on it. For the price I could use vegetable oil much cheaper but it's easy. It's also sold at a lot of feed stores so you don't get nailed on the shipping costs. Smells like cheap bubble gum. The horses did eat it readily. Adds a lot of calories to a meal without adding a lot of bulk.

Some of the hay stretchers that the various feed companies make are high carb. I know Blue Seals hay stretcher is so high carb it's nearly like a sweet feed. Might be an option for you.

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