Favorite vitamin/mineral ration balancer (ie California Trace) USA? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 7 Old 08-19-2019, 02:41 PM Thread Starter
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Favorite vitamin/mineral ration balancer (ie California Trace) USA?

I'm looking into completely revamping my feeding program. My horses are on 24/7 pasture and get added local grass hay as needed in the winter. They are currently on Nutrena Empower Balance and maintain weight and hoof quality fine, but I'm still having skin issues with my Arab. I got my pasture and hay tested this year and we're quite high in iron, which means we really need to add in copper and zinc to try to get more of those absorbed. New horse coming in is recommended to be on alfalfa pellets with oil plus vitamin E and other "vitamins and minerals added as needed." She is a yearling draft, so quite growing, but prone to PSSM. I am in north Texas, we're generally fine on Selenium.

I'm looking at switching my entire herd of easy keepers over to the new diet with adjustment in ratios and volumes as needed. I've looked into California Trace, California Trace Plus, and Arizona Copper. It looks like California Trace probably isn't going to be hitting the marks for us in Vitamin E (if we were getting none from grass or hay), but the Plus and ACC look to have it covered well, and the alfalfa pellets may kick us over the edge too. Plus and Arizona Copper seem to be about equal in price per day for a 1000 lb horse with the normal California Trace running nearly half the cost. Has anyone noticed a benefit of one over the other (pro biotics, pre biotics, yeast, and stuff like that does vary from one to the other). Is there another major mix out there that you've had luck with? Would we be better off having a custom mix made? Do I still need to worry about the essential amino acids beyond lysine, or are those generally covered with any forage (I did not get the protein breakdown on my pasture analysis)?

I currently add loose salt on top of their feed and don't mind having a little mix-n-match from different bags, but I'd also rather not be sorting through 8 bags to get one or two scoops of each per horse per feeding. So a single concentrate would be preferable to individual supplements unless it's a huge price difference or necessary adjustment for my individual horse/pasture. I also may be persuaded into chopped alfalfa or cubes as an alternative to pellets. I don't really know how the nutrition varies with the extent of processing. I also may consider a mixed alfalfa/timothy. But the bulk of their forage should be grass just from pasture/hay regardless of the base to the "meals." I will likely be soaking any of the options.
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post #2 of 7 Old 08-19-2019, 04:09 PM
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Sign up with FeedXL.com! It will take all the guesswork out of ration balancing.They have an extensive database of supplements, so you can tinker with different brands and get instant values.

I thought my 2018 hay was low in protein, so went with Triple Crown 30% Ration Balancer in Dec, but my easy keepers were getting fat. I had my hay re analyzed and found it had plenty of protein. Excessive with TC30. About that time I signed up with FeedXL and had a blast redesigning their rations. I settled on Stride 101, an old favorite, with some additions. It has no sugar or iron. The horses also get flax, salt, boron, extra calcium, and one gets dicalcium phosphate.

Cal Trace is wildly popular with some folks, but their may be palatability issues, so I'd get the sample size first. I thought it was a bit expensive, too.
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post #3 of 7 Old 08-19-2019, 04:35 PM Thread Starter
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And of course, there's always the option of keeping them on the Nutrena ration balancer and just adding in more copper and zinc, plus the alfalfa for the new kid and seeing how that goes. Ugg I hate feed decisions.
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post #4 of 7 Old 08-19-2019, 04:45 PM Thread Starter
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@dogpatch - do you use the basic or pro? Did you find you needed more than a 1 month subscription? I got my pasture analyzed this spring and hay analyzed from last year. I get hay from the same guy every year (same pasture or two, but the cutting may vary) and I really don't plan to have it re-analyzed often. I just needed somewhere to start with my nutrient levels and build from.
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post #5 of 7 Old 08-19-2019, 05:12 PM
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Red face

Quote:
Originally Posted by Southern Grace View Post
@dogpatch - do you use the basic or pro? Did you find you needed more than a 1 month subscription? I got my pasture analyzed this spring and hay analyzed from last year. I get hay from the same guy every year (same pasture or two, but the cutting may vary) and I really don't plan to have it re-analyzed often. I just needed somewhere to start with my nutrient levels and build from.
I have the pro plan.

I see they offer a 7 day free trial. I signed up for a month at a time, but then they offered me 50% off on a one year subscription mid term so I took it.

Also, the zinc:copper ratios are NRI based. All the IR/laminitis folks are concerned about balancing these against iron, so you may have to adjust their numbers accordingly. Supposed to be 3 parts iron to one part zinc, and three parts zinc to one part copper.

I upped the amount of Stride from the package directions a bit, and the rations came out really close, with the few little extras I mentioned.

The reason I had my hay re-analyzed is because I was going by the dealer's analysis at first, which I figured represented thousands of bales. My analysis came out better than his.

I initially signed up for a month at a time. It may be all you need.
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post #6 of 7 Old 08-19-2019, 06:22 PM
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My thought is to cut calories on your easy keepers and feed a condensed vit-min supplement.

I feed this https://horsetech.com/high-point-grass

It does NOT have added iron and is soy-free.

It takes only 3 ounces daily. I mix it in straight Timothy pellets with a bit of water.

I use the meal form but it does come in pellets.

The daily cost per horse is ~86 cents.

***
That said, one of my horses has environmental allergies, so I also buy PURE Vitamin E from Horse Tech, I feed him 3,000 IU daily and it has helped immensely.

There is NO selenium in what I buy. HorseTech will also custom mix a supplement for you based on your forage and/or soil tests.

HorseTech is a bit more expensive than anything you can buy at the local store but I have found that nothing cheap is going to work on my insulin resistant horse or my easy keeper, lol

A Good Horseman Doesn't Have To Tell Anyone; The Horse Already Knows.

I CAN'T ride 'em n slide 'em. I HAVE to lead 'em n feed 'em Thnx cowchick77.
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post #7 of 7 Old 08-20-2019, 12:31 PM
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Mine is ProAdd Ultimate. A little more expensive per serving but I haven't seen California Trace anywhere around here and shipping would make it as expensive or more so than the ProAdd. Vit E is something you'd want to add when they aren't on green pasture.
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