"Hot" Feeds? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 17 Old 03-26-2017, 08:06 PM Thread Starter
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"Hot" Feeds?

Looking for opinions on "hot" feeds. I've heard a lot of differing opinions on whether a feed can make a horse hot or not.

Reason I ask is because I've had my filly on a complete feed that has corn in it. I attached a pic of the nutrition info on her grain and included a list of ingredients below. The past few weeks she's been... good, but very reactive. And very distracted. She would pay attention to me, then to something else, back to me, etc. Today I went out and could not believe how mellow she was. I swear someone had swapped my horse out with another. When I groomed her in her stall, she didn't even try to go to her hay. She just let me love on her and groom her. After I worked her she put her head over the stall door and let me rub her for 5 mins. I'm telling you guys, this is not like her. She would always let me pet her for 10-15 seconds then turn around in her stall. Today she kept her attention on me. She was less ADHD.

And then it dawned on me that she had run out of feed Saturday AM, and has been given oats since. I asked the barn owner how long it takes for corn to get out of their system and she said between 12-24 hours. We discussed some options and came up with a solution. I trust her opinion because she has a lot of experience with feeds. I'm really excited because I wasn't getting the most of my filly and I know she wasn't as happy either. I feel like this will really help.

Anyone else have experiences like that?

Ingredients of her feed:

Grain products, plant protein products, processed grain byproducts, forage products, molasses products, soybean oil, calcium carbonate, salt, monocalcium phosphate, dicalcium phosphate, zinc sulfate, zinc proteinate, ferrous sulfate, iron proteinate, manganese sulfate, manganese proteinate, copper sulfate, copper proteinate, ethylenediamine dihydriodide, cobalt sulfate, menadione sodium bisulfite complex (source of vitamin k), choline chloride, d-calcium pantothenate, selenium yeast, brewer’s dried yeast, vitamin A supplement, vitamin D3 supplement, vitamin E supplement, mineral oil, vitamin B12 supplement, riboflavin supplement, biotin supplement, pyridoxine hydrochloride, L-lysine, niacin supplement, folic acid, thiamine mononitrate, natural and artificial feed flavors.
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post #2 of 17 Old 03-26-2017, 08:24 PM
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Where does it say corn on that tag?
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post #3 of 17 Old 03-26-2017, 08:30 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Left Hand Percherons View Post
Where does it say corn on that tag?
"This feed is suitable for broodmares, foals, weanlings, yearlings and performance horses. Composed of flaked barley and flaked corn, it has a higher level of Vitamin E."

It's under the "About the Feed" tab
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post #4 of 17 Old 03-26-2017, 10:29 PM
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That sounds like something I would NOT be feeding. Regardless swapping a horse to oats will NOT make them have less energy, oats are considered a very hot feed.

I would try to find a different feed formulated for youngsters, better quality and lower nsc.
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post #5 of 17 Old 03-26-2017, 11:26 PM
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My point really should of been how and why are you connecting her behavior to one feed ingredient? Straight oats are about the last thing I would be feeding a young growing horse. Low protein, inverted Ca:P, high NYC, low or absent vitamins and minerals.
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post #6 of 17 Old 03-26-2017, 11:28 PM
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NSC. I hate spell check. Horse words are not in their dictionary.
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post #7 of 17 Old 03-27-2017, 12:38 AM
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i would not be feeding that. Besides the grain, it also has molasses.Horses should be fed like horses
Start with the forage, which has to be the main part of any horse's diet, and not some bagged feed.
If a good quality hay is not providing enough protein or energy (calories ) then add a concentrated protein source and add cool calories rather then those hot calories you are feeding
Most of all, make sure minerals are balanced, and feed a good horse mineral free choice, along with free choice salt
Yes, the oats are lower in nSC then a feed with corn, oats, barley and molasses, but still high in NSC
If you do feed oats, to up the calorie level, because horse is not keeping weight, then mix it with soaked beet pulp, which is high in Ca
I did feed my weanling an equal mixture of oats and soaked beet pulp, along with a 50% alfalfa hay, which is also high in Ca
You have to balance the entire ration, of which forage must be the major part, to know both what , or if anything needs to be added, besides vit, minerals and salt
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post #8 of 17 Old 03-27-2017, 02:29 AM
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That feed is not a good one for a few reasons. Barley and corn are some of the least digestible feeds you can give horses. The label is very deceptive, claiming it has "higher" vitamin E, but you'd have to give ten pounds to reach even a minimal dose of it.

That being said, you didn't tell us how much you are giving your horse. It doesn't matter if it is pure rocket fuel, if you're only feeding a half pound it is unlikely to affect a horse when it is 2% of the entire diet (if your young horse eats 20 lbs of food a day).

Things I would consider even more than the feed...has your filly gone into heat? Not sure how old she is. Young, growing horses have sudden bursts of energy and periods of low energy as they go through growth spurts. Is your filly out on green grass grazing? That can make horses energetic as the new spring grass comes in. You don't want to be feeding a young horse so much they are getting obese. That creates not only too much energy which makes them difficult, it can cause bone growth issues. Mostly you want to feed a high protein (hopefully grain free) diet mainly consisting of roughage. As @Smilie said, if you need to add calories, try adding a portion of high protein hay such as alfalfa.
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post #9 of 17 Old 03-27-2017, 09:39 AM
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Here is something else to consider. In people, we metabolize different starches and sugars slightly differently.

When I was pregnant with my fourth I developed pregnancy induced diabetes and was on 3x a day insulin shots.

I was sent to a nutritionist to learn how to calculate what and how much I could eat/drink without sending my blood sugar over the edge. Sugared soda was one of the things they said was a big no-no as it sends the blood sugar sky high (high fructose corn syrup amongst others). I could however have 1/4 of a medium sized apple.

What I found, since I had to ***** my fingers and draw blood 12x a day for testing and keep a log of what I ate/drank, when I ate it and how much I ate, was that in my particular case, apples even in small amounts were a bigger no-no than soda. Even an 1/8th of an apple for a snack was routinely sending my blood sugar into the 100's which was dangerous for the baby.

When I showed the nutritionist and my doctor my results, they both admitted that there are variations in the ways that people metabolize things that are not fully understood.

In my case, my body was able to handle the type of sugars in the soda better than the types of sugars in an apple. The first thing I ate after my diabetes cleared up immediately after giving birth, was an apple and it was the best tasting apple I ever had! :)

Something to consider is that your horse might not be able to process the sugars/starches found in corn as well as the sugars/starches in oats or it might be one of the other sugar/starches, such as molasses that is giving her problems. Trial and error will tell you which it is rather than simply looking at the NCS on a bag. I do want to add one thing.

Horses naturally eat things other than grass, if they have access to it. Our horses are kept in a pasture with an apple tree, 100 pecan trees, and six mesquite trees and a patch of wild dewberries. They will eat the fallen apples if we don't get to them first. They also will eat the pecans and the mesquite beans and the dew berries. They love the mesquite leaves when they come out in the spring as well. They are slightly sweet tasting, just like the beans.

At one point several years back, we had a horse colic at the time where both the mesquite beans and the pecans were ready to harvest and asked the vet about it. Here is what I was told.

Horses are not just grazers but, foragers; Nuts, fruits, grasses (including grass seeds which is really all that wheat and oats are; we have wild oat grasses here as well), leaves, roots (carrots are a root)...they are all something that the horses evolved to eat in the wild, digest and metabolize, within reason. Even though 100 pecan trees was essentially an all the nuts you can eat smorgasbord, the vet said the nuts and mesquite beans were highly unlikely to have caused the colic because of the high fiber content (fiber counteracts how quickly the digestive system can convert starches into sugars and thus slows how quickly blood sugar rises) and the fact that they had regular forages such as hay and grass available to them. There have been no other problems with colic or even laminitis/founder since.

“You spend your whole life with horses and just about the time you think you have them figured out, a horse comes along that tells you otherwise.” –quote from my very wizened trainer

Last edited by Reiningcatsanddogs; 03-27-2017 at 10:17 AM.
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post #10 of 17 Old 03-27-2017, 10:05 AM
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Horses can metabolize around 10-15 % NSC in the foregut. NSC's that are not metabolized in the foregut pass to the hindgut where they begin to ferment. If excessive, the fermentation results in making the hindgut more acidic which then kills the bacteria that aid in metabolizing the roughage in the hindgut. If this condition continues long enough, many bad things begin to happen, not the least of which the hoof wall begins to separate from the coffin bone.

As others have suggested, horses do best on what they evolved eating. And so do we.
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