Free Choice Minerals - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 6 Old 11-10-2015, 07:48 PM Thread Starter
Green Broke
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Ohio
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Free Choice Minerals

So I like to put out free choice loose minerals for the horses...I just feel like they can get what they need easier with free choice instead of block...How much is TOO much for them to be eating though?!

My gelding is on horse techs high point vitamin mineral supplement...its basically a powdered ration balancer thats soy free adn I just add it to hay pellets. So you'd THINK getting that ration balancer thats packed with vitamins and minerals he wouldn't chow down soo much on the loose mienrals? WRONG!

I buy the big sky minerals, both horses LOVE it...Like I can't keep it out for them! I try to put more than enough each night in their mineral feeder and its pretty much always gone by morning...I feel like they over do it, but the makers of big sky say they'll just eat what they feel they need? Could they just really be loving the flavor that much and like over eating it? Should I just put out the recommended 2 oz a day since they eat it up like crazy? Or would you continue to try and feed it free choice and not worry about it?
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post #2 of 6 Old 11-10-2015, 09:13 PM
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I've found that they will eat as much as they need, as it says on the bag. If they are lacking in some mineral in their body, they will crave it. Until they get their levels evened out, the will eat and eat and eat.

If mine have gone a while without access, I can pretty well count on 6 head going thru 50 pounds in just a few days. After the get their fill and get what they need, they will stop eating so much.
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post #3 of 6 Old 11-10-2015, 09:16 PM Thread Starter
Green Broke
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Lol ok! I'm just already almost finished up my 2nd 25lb bag in about 7 weeks between two horses. Maybe its my boarders horse eating most of it up even, who knows. His diet doesn't have as much of the vitamins and minerals in it so maybe hes binging on the loose minerals. I guess I'll just keep filling their mineral feeders every night and let them have at it. Guess they can't over dose on it right? Just have expensive pee/poop if they eat too much? lol
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post #4 of 6 Old 11-11-2015, 11:03 PM
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Its unlikely that they'll overdose. If you really worry about them eating too much though, you can mix in some coarse loose salt and that will generally make them limit their intake.
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post #5 of 6 Old 11-12-2015, 12:28 AM
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I would just feed them what they should need. I haven't seen any research that supports a horse's ability to self-regulate any minerals other than salt, and even if they could, free choice minerals would only be helpful if you had each mineral separate so the horse could actually consume the ones he needed.

“The horse is a mirror to your soul. Sometimes you might not like what you see. Sometimes you will.” - Buck Brannaman
"Nothing forced can ever be beautiful." - Xenophon
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post #6 of 6 Old 11-20-2015, 03:43 AM
Green Broke
Join Date: Jan 2011
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I don't believe horses self-regulate either. They are known to eat poisonous plants even when adequate food and roughage is present. My horses won't use salt licks or eat salt, even though my one horse sweats a lot when exercising, so I just give them the correct amount in a pelleted electrolyte each day. The pellets I use are $15 for a month's supply:
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