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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I don’t know if this is the right place. 4 days ago I started my 2 year old on this balancer. It says 1/1.5 per 1000 lbs. I weight taped him, which I know is not the most accurate in the world, but it came in at 1001lbs and it was held pretty tight. He is up to 1 lb. Do I keep uping to 1.5 lbs or stay at 1 lb? He is on free choice grass mix hay. Thanks.
 

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What is really helpful is to be able to actually feed however much it takes to balance your hay. There's an online feed calculator called FeedXL.com. They offer a 7 day free trial. TC 30% Ration Balancer is in their database. It's best if you can have your hay analyzed, but they can give you a "guesstimate" of what's in your hay. You plug in everything you're feeding, and it'll instantly spit out an analysis for you. Then you can tweak the amount of TC30 you're feeding until you see a pretty good balance. I started my FeedXL subscription using TC30, but it indicated I was feeding an unnecessary amount of protein. I switched to Stride 101 Ration Balancer by Bluebonnet feeds (about 4 oz/day) and it REALLY does a great job of balancing my hay. It also has NO iron, which is good because our hay is too high in iron, which binds zinc and copper. It's REALLY fun to play with FeedXL. I highly recommend giving it a try, and not going so much by label directions.
 

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^That depends on what you give it, to a large degree. There is facility for inputting a full analysis of your feed/pasture/hay, so it could give you an accurate analysis, otherwise, if you only give 'guesstimates', that's all you'll get out of it. Although I think those guesstimates, given everything you can input are quite good anyway.

I don't know if they've since changed it - haven't been on it in a long time - but I discovered what you sign up for also effects the accuracy... because they did have some nutrients not measured, unless you signed up to the premium service - that ticked me off, as I'd paid for membership & not been told it wasn't the full service until I asked a question about... iron absorption or something. But like I said, quite some time ago & don't know if that's changed - pay to ask before you sign up I reckon.
 

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How accurate do you think Feedxl is?

I only know of one significant flaw that affected me, and that was out-of-date information for Stride 101, which showed significant iron content. I contacted Bluebonnet Feeds and their head nutritionist (Ph.D) responded immediately, saying the product had been reformulated a couple of years ago to remove all iron. That's just data that needed to be updated by the supplement company. It's hard to say how "accurate" any ration calculator is, but it's darn sure impressive. And you have to intuit some of the information. For instance, my horses are each getting 1.5% of their body weight in low carb forage. FeedXL warns me that their caloric intake is too low (they're both fat) but as far as I know, that amount of forage is the lowest you can feed long term without provoking digestive issues. And there's a lot of sentiment in the barefoot hoof community that iron is generally too high in hay, and zinc and copper need to be boosted to a correct ratio to iron. FeedXL will say the iron is high but there is no health risk. So a person might be able to fine tune the ration to suit their circumstances. Overall, I think it's vastly better than attempting my own calculations, but maybe not as good as working with a nutritionist.


One really cool thing about FeedXL is, if you get your hay tested by EquiAnalytical, you can upload the results right to FeedXL and not have to enter the values by hand. The only things I supplement along with the Stride 101 now are salt, flax and two human capsules of selenium for one horse.


With the pro plan, it will give you a breakdown graph of how much of each nutrient is contributed by which feed. For instance, magnesium: It will tell you what percentage of the overall magnesium comes from which feed, such as hay, vitamin/mineral supplement and any other sources. It gives you the ability to either change your supplement, increase/decrease it or toss it completely.



Here is where the "feed according to the label" or not comes in. With each of my horses, I was able to adjust the amount of Stride 101 just a tiny bit to meet some of the dietary requirements, instead of just going by the label. For my mare, she needed just an extra bit of selenium. Rather than upping the Stride, or adding a selenium supplement that might be excessive, I just bought an inexpensive bottle of people capsules and put two of them in her mush at night.


You also input the level of activity, etc. that the horse gets, and they adjust for that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I will not be getting my hay tested at least not in the next months. I buy a round bale at a time and it can come from all over. As for stride 101, never herd of it. I stay away from feeds that I need to order online. Had bad experience with that a few times so only feed something I can pickup myself. He is still currently at 1 lb.
 
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