General vitmain/mineral supplement recipes?
After a bit of reading on equine nutrition, what some common deficiencies are, etc I started looking to supplements for my horse today online - but many don't show exactly what is in it, at least from what I could see. Then I realized you could make your own supplements from real food, rather than just straight vitamins or extracts.
So I went and looked up, what's high in zinc? copper? magnesium? Found some interesting info! So I'm thinking of making some daily-horse-cookies with some combination of oat bran (very high in magnesium), toasted wheat germ or peanut butter (zinc), and sesami seeds (high in copper). Besides that, the usual shredded carrots (vitamins A E,K), salt, possibly other things, orange juice mixed in there?
So I wanted to know, does anyone here do anything similar? I'd love to hear some home made supplement recipes, if there are any floating around. Also, is there anything terrible for horses I might not know about, and foods to keep away from? Thanks horse people.
There are many foods to stay away from. I believe there is already a thread with a list.
I know cranberries are good :)
Oh... duhh, cranberries. I should've known that. Good tip! I'll look for the do-not-feed thread
aaaaand instead of searching, I typed "toxic food" into the shout out space.
The tricky thing would be to get the proportions right so your horse gets the right balance of minerals and vitamins. I'm not sure how you'd figure that one out. You'd have to have very specific info about every ingredient you used (i.e. a nutritional analysis on every bag of carrots?)
I'm surprised you couldn't find an ingredient list for the mineral products you looked at. Didn't the companies have that info online, if not on the label?
IMO, it would be time and cost prohibitive (as well as the inability to do as good of a job and be as through as a feed company that is paid to and has the facilities to test, formulate and develop appropriate feeds) to develop a balanced "real food" supplement completely on your own.
IMO, Its best to base everything around the general forage you typically feed and find one or two things to add that give the best well rounded supplementation. For example, in my area, our grass hay is complemented almost perfectly by Triple Crown's 30% supplement. I will add flax and a little extra Vit A in the winter (not needed when there is green grass), and voila. Its a great balanced ration all year round for the least headache, best cost and least time commitment.
You're never going to get the right balance of vitamins and minerals. Cooking the product into cookie form will also denature most vitamins rendering them useless.
If I lived in Canada, I would be looking into the Hoffman products. They appear to be first rate.
I'm trying out the Hoffman minerals right now. My horses certainly like it. And they do list all their ingredients (along with the guaranteed analysis) online.
To be honest, though, I didn't do a forage test. Our bales come from so many different fields, out of different soil types and in some cases are managed differently, so it's just not feasible. Phosphorus and calcium deficient pastures and hayland are apparently an issue (at least, according to my reading), so that's partly what I'm basing my decision on.
While forage testing is ideal, as you've indicated, it's often just not practical. So without it, you can't be accurate in knowing exactly what your horses are getting, but with the help of a nutritionist who knows the area &/or grass types, you can get a fair idea. Also programs such as FeedXL.com are great for 'sorting the wheat from the straw' with regard to what certain prods actually supply.
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