Opinions on Grain- pellets vs. textured - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 20 Old 04-05-2019, 09:09 PM Thread Starter
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Opinions on Grain- pellets vs. textured

I was in the feed store today because i had run out of food and my brand (nutrena) is now topping out at over 20.00 a bag. With two horses I average 3-4 bags a month and twice that in cold weather. It got me thinking to look at other feeds and then i started wondering why aren't there more textured feeds available, is there a reason that so many are in pellet form? Does it keep longer? (as if my supply even stuck around more than a month) When i had a horse in the 70's the only feed we had was either crimped oats or sweet feed/ Purina Omolene, which i see they still make. True granola for horses, it always looked and smelled good enough to eat even to me. But i know horse nutrition has come a long was since then, so i was curious to know why so many are pelleted. Is there any good textured feed out there? are there reasons not to feed textured grain? Please enlighten, thanks for the info!!
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post #2 of 20 Old 04-06-2019, 08:13 AM
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Hi, yeah, I remember feeding my donkey on lucerne(alfalfa) & 'completo' which was a textured sweet feed!! As a kid, we used to eat pinches of completo, it was so yummy smelling & molassesy...

But yes, these days people realise that high sugar/starch feeds(junk food) isn't the best for a horse(or donk) to live on & causes a vast array of health issues. And cereal grains are very high starch, and when whole/cracked, generally(oats are a bit of an exception) difficult to digest. 'Micronising'(cooking) & grinding are 2 common ways to make them more digestible. Pelleted feed is also generally a mix of ingredients, not just grain(sometimes not even) so it's generally also lower starch/sugar. Maybe it's cheaper too, and dubious or less palatable ingredients can be easily 'hidden' in the mix.

I do think that chewing is a vital part of good digestion, and if feeding pellets, it should also be fed with long stemmed chaff or such, to give more chew time. Unless of course the reason you're feeding pellets is to an oldie with few teeth or such.
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Some info I've found helpful; [COLOR=Lime][B]www.horseforum.com/horse-health/hoof-lameness-info-horse-owners-89836/
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post #3 of 20 Old 04-06-2019, 04:53 PM
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Nutrena and the Safechoice line are still cheaper than some others....
I have to say that as food product prices go up so shall the cost of horse/animal feeds.
Quality is not cheap...
Cheap is cheap because it is produced with the leftovers is how I see this...it is often lacking in included ingredients needed and not given in daily metabolic requirements.
Start truly comparing what is in a bag of feed between the better quality and the cheap stuff...
Read how much is needed fed to achieve the same results...
Sometimes spending a extra few $ actually saves you $$$ when you feed less, don't need to feed supplements and the horse consumes their ration willingly.

My friend saves $4.00 a bag with what he feeds...
He then feeds 1/2 again more and his horse looks dull coated and missing "something"...
To me, that is not a savings but a vet bill in the making.
...
jmo..
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post #4 of 20 Old 04-06-2019, 05:03 PM
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Horse nutrition has gone backwards, IMO. Everyone calls sweet feed “junk food”, but at least it is REAL food. Plant by-products and wheat middlings are the junk food, IMO. We have to add “natural flavoring” just to make it pallitable enough for a horse to eat!!!
Can you say “Hostess Twinkie”??

If we are going to anthropromorphize, why not ask, “Am I healthier eating a diet of processed food, or a diet of whole, real foods that may contain a bit of starch?”

I don't break horses, I FIX them!
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post #5 of 20 Old 04-06-2019, 06:22 PM
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There are a lot of pelleted feeds that are better than high sugar/starch ones. I've tried a few and my horse won't touch the stuff.

Plus the price for what they call ration balancer is in my book ridiculous. Triple crown 30 percent is 33$ to 36 $for 50 lb bag. My horse's won't eat anything pelleted so eliminates all the feeds on the market.

I feed oats and alfalfa/grass hay white salt and that's it. Have an Equilix tub out for horse's but they aren't licking on it anymore.

So 5 or 6 lbs of oats once a day and hay about 15 lbs give or take a few pounds either way. With oats I know what I'm feeding at least.

I get 65 lb bag of oats for 10$ per bag so for 20$ I can get 130 lbs of feed. Instead of paying 20$ for 50 lbs or even over 30$ for 50 lbs. My horse's look good shinny and healthy on just oats and hay.

Mud pit out here so not giving free choice hay right now.
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post #6 of 20 Old 04-06-2019, 06:43 PM
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I don't believe *nutrition* - as in knowledge - has gone backwards in the least Greentree, but as with processed dog & human food, I agree fully that much of it is a lot of junk... perhaps more so as marketing tactics have gone fast forward. I mean, how many of us fall for ads that tell us how 'nutritious' processed breakfast cereal, or bread, or 'health foods' are?? How 'bad' saturated fats are ever since they started marketing vegetable fats?? Even vets are duped into believing & telling us how bad it is to feed our dogs or cat on a natural diet & that we should stick to the expensive processed 'fast food' they sell...

As to 'just a little starch/sugar', yes, if you don't have an overly sensitive horse, *just a little* is not likely to be any more problematic than a healthy person including just a little junk food in their diet too. But feed rich in cereal grains, especially if also sweetened, is generally way more than 'just a little'.

As to 'Hostess Twinkie', I don't know who she is or her relevance, but she sounds... rude!

Some info I've found helpful; [COLOR=Lime][B]www.horseforum.com/horse-health/hoof-lameness-info-horse-owners-89836/
For taking critique pics; [COLOR=Lime][B]https://www.horseforum.com/members/41...res-128437.jpg
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post #7 of 20 Old 04-06-2019, 06:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by loosie View Post

As to 'Hostess Twinkie', I don't know who she is or her relevance, but she sounds... rude!

Twinkies...seriously are so good to eat!!
If you've never had them, you are missing something many will tell you!!






I'm taking greentree comment as junk food delight!!
Nothing more, nothing less.
...
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post #8 of 20 Old 04-06-2019, 07:06 PM
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Originally Posted by rambo99 View Post
Plus the price for what they call ration balancer is in my book ridiculous. Triple crown 30 percent is 33$ to 36 $for 50 lb bag.
I agree, many 'ration balancers' are indeed a rip off IMO. Chock full of 'fillers'... And of course, they have to be a generic type recipe, so if your particular horse on it's particular diet doesn't need those nutrients - or needs more of others not included - it's a waste. But for eg. I was including KER Gold Pellet(way more than $36/bag) to balance my horse's diets at one point, as it seemed the best option. But as I only needed to feed literally half a cup per day per horse(1/4 cup per pony), it was economical, and good in that situation.

Quote:
So 5 or 6 lbs of oats once a day and hay about 15 lbs give or take a few pounds either way. With oats I know what I'm feeding at least.
One(of many) things we have learned re feeding is that large &/or infrequent meals especially if high in starch, are far more problematic for horses, often causing gut damage, ulcers(which also commonly causes fussiness of eating), colic and laminitis. Without very good reason, I wouldn't feed so much oats, and I certainly wouldn't advise they were fed in a single meal daily. As far as cereal grain goes, oats are about the best for horses & I'd never say never, when a horse needs a 'high octane' diet, but aside from starch/energy and phosphorus, they contain little nutrition.

Some info I've found helpful; [COLOR=Lime][B]www.horseforum.com/horse-health/hoof-lameness-info-horse-owners-89836/
For taking critique pics; [COLOR=Lime][B]https://www.horseforum.com/members/41...res-128437.jpg
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post #9 of 20 Old 04-06-2019, 08:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by horselovinguy View Post
Twinkies...seriously are so good to eat!!
If you've never had them, you are missing something many will tell you!!
It seems that liking them depends on what you were eating during your childhood

After moving to the US, I've tried a lot of so called "staples" - especially those of the South... The only one I have to say I fell for is sweet tea (even though I find it way too sweet). But Twinkies, all the Little Debbie's stuff, marshmallows, Hershey's chocolate, root beer and such??? I gladly pass to leave more for the next person
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post #10 of 20 Old 04-06-2019, 09:52 PM
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Pelleted feeds allow more room for technology. With a textured feed you are limited by the whole grains. You can add more things to try and balance it out, but you can't change the base grain's composition.

I don't see the fuss over 'fillers'. There's plenty people eat that's nothing but a carrying tool for other things that are made of indigestable fiber, yet are seen as healthy.
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