Good feeds? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 6 Old 12-04-2014, 09:12 PM Thread Starter
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Good feeds?

Hi! I feed hay in the winter and I was thinking about supplementing it with feed. Not the entire food ration, just a bit of it to help keep weight on them. Any good feeds you know of that are cheap? (Don't want to be spending hundreds on feed if I already have hay)
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post #2 of 6 Old 12-04-2014, 09:35 PM
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My TB mare gets 1 or 2 kg of Purina Simplici-T Fat and Fiber feed each day and it has done wonders with her. I got her in August and she was far underweight and she is now good and healthy for winter. Where my barn buys it, it comes to about $0.75/kg with tax included.

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post #3 of 6 Old 12-05-2014, 08:05 PM
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Safe Choice is a cheaper brand of feed. And may be the best you can get for the lowest price. Anything lower in price or even around the same is most likely going to be some crappy sweet feed. I personally feed a mix that is 200 pounds beet pulp, 150 pounds alfalfa pellets, 50 pounds oats, 100 pounds barley. A lot of people don't agree on feeding grains to horses. I wasn't fond of the idea myself after researching. But... my hard keeper does best on this mix. I tried the pelleted feeds. Purina, Triple crown, legends, blue seal, safe choice ect. And while some where a bit better none make him look like he does right now, which is amazing! All the others are doing well. Now... my 41year old gelding is on Blue Seal senior feed. Its more expensive but was the unstickiest one I could find. It honestly looks like coco puffs almost. He put on enough weight I could take him off the alfalfa pellets and cubes. AND half of his supplements. The grain mix I feed is almost 200 dollars for 600 pounds. Which lasts me over a month
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post #4 of 6 Old 12-07-2014, 03:28 AM
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This would be best under horse nutrition section.

If your horses are losing too much over winter, more hay is where I'd start. Free choice grass hay, perhaps with a small percentage of lucerne/alfalfa too. Nutrition is also a factor, and lower levels of nutrients over winter, rather than too few calories may be the reason for horses losing too much. If the horses still need extra, then low starch/sugar, high fibre feeds are best, such as chaff, beet pulp, copra meal, etc.

As for cheap, the above do tend to be cheaper than other 'tailor made' feeds, but you do tend to get what you pay for - eg. depending what tailor made, you may not need to feed extra nutritional supplements with it. Cheaper prods usually are more 'junky' and also need to be fed in larger quantities. No one wants to spend more than they have to, but if hay alone isn't adequate, then supplementing with cheap junk food may not be either.... & can lead to other more costly health probs.

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post #5 of 6 Old 12-07-2014, 06:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by loosie View Post
If your horses are losing too much over winter, more hay is where I'd start. Free choice grass hay, perhaps with a small percentage of lucerne/alfalfa too.
This. All the hay they can eat.
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post #6 of 6 Old 12-07-2014, 02:07 PM
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Too much information is missing.

Do you have horse(s) in any way troubled with metabolic problems? These would be things like previous laminitis / founder, Insulin Resistance PSSM, etc.

If you have any horses with metabolic problems, present or past, you must stay away from grains with starch or sugar and stick to feed ingredients like beet pulp, alfalfa pellets, fat supplements or protein supplements like soybean meal. Older horse particularly benefit from soybean meal.

If you have no horses with metabolic problems, then grain or grain products are the most reasonably priced and do the most good to keep horses in good condition.

We have 50 horses and have 1 that we restrict grain products to. We have about 25-30 that get no grain at all. We have a few that only get grain when we bring them in to ride or work with. Our grain is rolled corn based with Wheat Midd pellets. It contains soybean meal, a calcium supplement and a vitamin A-D-E premix. We pay $244.00 a ton for it in bulk. That works out to $6.10 per 50#. So, feeding a concentrate does not have to be expensive. The most any of our horses get is 4-5# per day and these are the old horses and the poor keepers that we have. We have a number of horses over 20. Five pounds of this feed works out to $.61 per day. Most get either no grain or up to $.20 a day for grain. They all get free choice grass hay.

So, there are a lot of variables that you have to figure out. You have to be a good enough manager to know what your horses can and cannot tolerate in order to manage them correctly and not throw away a lot of unnecessary money. Feeding only 'safe' feeds would actually be like throwing a lot of money away if you have horses that do not have metabolic problems. On the other hand, if you cannot figure out what they can tolerate, then it would still be safer than a more efficient feeding program. That is what good horse management is all about.
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