Ration Balancer Suggestions?
I am interested in starting my miniature horses on a ration balancer sometime soon.
I can get most brands in my area or drive for them.
Here are the ones I know of:
Purina's Enrich 32
Buckeye Gro 'n Win
ADM Alliance Gro Strong Mintrate
Triple Crown 30%
ProAdvantage Grass Formula
These are all the GRASS formulas. I feed grass hay, so I will not be looking at the alfalfa.
I am not sure exactly which feed to go for. There are so many to choose from. I don't know which would be the better bet?!
Please and Thank yous!
Do you have an analysis for the hay you feed? Or do you know which minerals are typically deficient in your area?
I'll have to see about getting our hay tested this spring/summer. I'll have to research where and how to do that.
IS there a place to figure out the deficiencies in our areas?
1. The name and number of your county Agricultural person.
2. Who would you take or send soil samples to for testing.
Call the Ag person first as it is their job to know the answer to #2 and you may not have to send a soil sample for testing.
In the meantime, I would keep the protein percent as low as possible for the Minis.
NOT because of the protein itself but because the protein source is always soy in these feeds and ration balancers.
Much as I love Triple Crown, that "30%" means it took a lot of soy to get 30% protein.
Does "know of" mean you can get any of these? You're sure lucky if you have that much of a choice readily available:-)
I looked up the G/A on all of these; I have to wonder why these feed purveyors think everything under the sun that's an RB needs to be so high in protein:cry:
A ration balancer that is soy/oat/corn free to check on availability would be the McCauley's M-10 Balancer. It's what I feed to my food intolerant horse and one of my metabolic horses. There is a dealer locator on this site.
McCauley'sŪ M10 Balancer It is 10% protein and boy does it keep my soy-intolerant horse the sweet/loving Fella I always knew he could be:-)
The next thing I would do, would be to call whatever company you choose (they generally have an 800 number on the bag or check their website), explain you have Minis, and ask what is the rock bottom measured amount the Minis would need to meet their daily vit/min requirements. Then use a measuring cup and stick to that.
The business of feeding "by the scoop or just a coffee can" has long since gone out the window when the health of the horse is hanging in the balance:-(
I apologize if I come across gruff - I don't mean to - just strict. I have become very "feed jaded" since two of my four horses have developed metabolic issues:cry:
All of the grass formulas will have "high" protein. 30% protein when you only feed 1 lb of it is equivalent to feeding 3 lbs of a 10% feed. Most feeds are 12-14% protein and get fed in quantities of more than 3 lbs, so 1 lb of ration balancer supplies less protein than a horse on a typical fortified grain would get. Unless there's a health reason to limit the protein intake the "average" horse should do fine on a ~30% ration balancer (though I'm not familiar with the specific needs of minis, so maybe there is an issue for them?)
If they do need lower protein, you can look into the alfalfa formulas, but you'll need to pay attention to the calcium:phosphorous balance of the overall diet to make sure it doesn't get skewed.
Soy is really hard to avoid- the M10 balancer is the only one I know of that's soy-free, but it has a pretty limited distribution. There are no dealers listed for Iowa. Unless you suspect your minis have a soy sensitivity, I wouldn't worry about it too much.
Triple Crown 30% is what I feed my horse and I've been very happy with it. The options are somewhat limited in my local feed stores (basically Purina, Nutrena, and TC, though I've seen some LMF bags around my barn so I guess someone must carry that nearby too...)
Whichever one you go for, I'd recommend contacting the feed company and getting their feeding advice for how much to feed the minis.
Verona explained it well.
Just b/c the RB is 30% protein, doesn't mean your feeding 30% protein at every feeding lol This is why people are mis-informed. You have to convert all the %'s to decimals and do the actual math per pound.
I have used Gro N Win, but I feed strictly Triple Crown now. They are a good company with quality ingredients, fixed formulas and a great customer service dept.
ADM is also a great company, but I can't get it here.
I feed TC lite to my mature horses and growth to the young ones. I would suggest the Lite for your mini. TC states: "PONIES AND MINIATURE HORSES: Feed 1 pound of Triple Crown Lite per 500 pounds of body weight and adjust feeding rate to maintain desired body condition."
Personally I use Nutrena Empower grass balancer for my blimp of a draft horse xD In comparing all the ingredients it was the one I was most confident in. I've noticed a remarkable difference in her over the past few months on it - she's lost a great deal of excess weight, she's all dappled and shiny, she doesn't jiggle as much when I brush her xD my farrier even commented that her hooves are looking better!
I won't buy Nutrena or Purina simply b/c they have low cost formulas.
Really I didn't know about that - in asking around on here this is the one people recommended to me. I don't really know what NSC is ^^' but I looked it up it said: "Dietary Starch: max 8% Sugar: max 6%" is that too much? In looking at the ingredients the only one I didn't like that I knew about was the Soy, I'm not a huge fan of soy in my horses' diets, but I couldn't find a RB without it.
It stands to reason the higher percent of protein, the higher the bottom line (number) is going to be. Pound-for-pound (which is all I feed), something that is only 12% protein will not have the same bottom line as something that is 30% protein:-)
I love Triple Crown and they would be my choice to feed if they would come up with something that is soy-free. Soy does not bode well with my two metabolic horses either.
I only have one horse out of four that can eat Triple Crown and his 26 yr old self eats the Senior.
Triple Crown is losing 75% of my business because they take a blase "yesssss, we will be sure to look into that" attitude that tells me they have no intention of producing a soy-free product that so many horses out there need.
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