Senior Horse Question
One of our older horses at my stable had stopped eating all of his grain, he left about half. Grain - regular sweet feed/haysaver mix
The owner bought him some senior feed, and now he'll eat every bit.
I read on another thread that horses may stop eating their grain if they have ulcers, but he eats his senior feed. He's also had his teeth floated quite recently. It makes since that he prefers senior feed, he is over 25 years old. I'm just curious about the sudden change of taste. lol Any suggestions on why he won't eat the regular grain?
Sometimes, horses just like variety! The Senior Feed may be more palatable for him at his age. It could really be that simple ^_^
My horses get bored of the dry pellets i feed them.. but if i dress it up with some molasses they'll gobble it up like crazy. In the winter i feed the sweet mix of the Horse Pellet our local feed store mills. Every time i switch feed they seem more eager to eat it. (and to cover my bases, i always wean them onto a new feed ^^)
I could list off potential health problems, but in this case it sounds like he likes the change in feed just because of different taste and texture ^^ im sure if you dressed up the old feed with some chopped carrots/light molassas and some Cheerios he'd eat it up =)
Just my two cents!
On the Horse.com they recently had an article that came out of the recent AAEP Convention about teeth and floating. It's not so much the floating that determines how well they eat and digest, but the condition of the soft tissue.
The Horse: AAEP 2008: Tooth Characteristics and Feed Digestibility
At 25 he could has some gum issues and the senior feed is easier for him to eat.
I figured the senior feed was probably easier on him. :-)
Horses' digestive systems change as they age, just like any other species and what they used to digest they no longer can, or they do with more side effects. Sweet feed can cause indigestion and bloating along with being harder to chew, so older horses will get less nutrition out of the actual feed while their systems need to work harder to digest it, leaving more to pass as waste in their manure.
Senior feed (depending on exact brand, processing and type) is usually easier to chew and digest, and is often some form of an extruded pellet (without the hulls that can be found in the sweet feeds and oats commonly fed). Because of that, it's a more pleasant experience for the horse to eat overall - from chewing to swallowing to digesting leading to more nutrients going to the horse, and less issues with the digestion of the feed overall.
Glad to hear the horse is eating again!
Senior feed is generally "softer" in texture and easier to eat. He may have some mouth ulcers or a problemed tooth that the vet missed, or his jaw just might get tired, lol.
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