Question on Horse Feed

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by rodriguezpoultry, Jan 27, 2010.

  1. rodriguezpoultry

    rodriguezpoultry Langshan Lover

    Jan 4, 2009
    Claremore, OK
    Since Max will be coming to a place closer to me, I wanted to start out getting some food that's closer to his new digs.

    I've found a food that is very reasonable and "supposedly" better than what I was feeding him. I used to feed him 10% sweet feed. 1/2 lb in the morning, half pound at night. There is 12% sweet feed available for a cheaper price and close by. BUT, there is an issue. On the packaging, it says "Supplement for horses". The other 10% sweet feed didn't say supplement.

    I understand if it just means that he needs forage as well, that's an understood thing for me, but what could it possibly mean by "supplement"??
  2. lockedhearts

    lockedhearts It's All About Chicken Math

    Apr 29, 2007
    It probably does not have the Vitamins and Minerals in it needed. You could use something like Vita-Plus and a Trace Mineral Block and probably be fine.
  3. Shadowhills Farm

    Shadowhills Farm Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 14, 2009
    Crystal River, Fl
    Sweet Feed is technically not a complete feed unless it's fortified with vitamins/minerals.... many companies will sell a complete feed with minerals/vitamins. But if you go with cheaper feed, then you will most likely have to provide it. I think it would be economical to but the bag of feed that's fortified than forking out $ for feed and a vitamin/minerals.

    I have my horse on Purina Equine Senior- I don't have to add vitamins/minerals, he doesn't even use a mineral block. I do have to add electrolytes and MSM.
  4. Rusty Hills Farm

    Rusty Hills Farm Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 3, 2008
    Up at the barn
    From what you've posted on the other thread, it sounds like Max may not come home in the best condition. You may need a complete feed to help him get back to where he was. Personally I use Purina's Omolene 200 because it is supposed to be their most calorie-dense feed with enough protein to build muscle and bone without getting them "hot". I keep a 23-year-old mare in fairly decent shape on it and I use it to grow out my babies. I KNOW your other feed will be a lot cheaper but until you get him back on his feet, something like this really may be cheaper in the long run since it won't need to be supplemented.


  5. rodriguezpoultry

    rodriguezpoultry Langshan Lover

    Jan 4, 2009
    Claremore, OK
    See, that's the issue...until I know his condition, I don't know what to get. I know if he comes back in awful shape, I was planning on putting him on senior Equine until his condition improves. I'm more worried about founder because I'm not sure what he's been eating and I'm sure the guy who has him isn't going to tell me, or even tell me if he's wormed Max within 6 weeks.

    I'm just trying to be as prepared as I can be.
  6. seminolewind

    seminolewind Flock Mistress Premium Member

    Sep 6, 2007
    spring hill, florida
    You're right to think of founder. If he's been on an inferior diet, it's best to go slow with the good stuff. I really think you have a great idea about using senior feed.
    Feeds , well, the ones that say complete are not relying on other sources of nutrition. The ones that don't -do rely on feeding good quality something, like hay. I think with the complete, it's more like it doesn't matter how much hay they get along with the feed.

    At some point I might add a vitamin suppliment, or even Clovite, but with good feed it's probably not necessary.
  7. lockedhearts

    lockedhearts It's All About Chicken Math

    Apr 29, 2007
    In this case, get a bag of feed to hold him over until you can evaluate his situation. I feed a 12% to my younger horses and my older broodmare is on Senior and Beet Pulp. I think , as with people, every horse is an individual and needs to be assessed as such. My older mare recently lost weight when she was out on pasture so I brought her back in the barn , she apparently needs more than just good pasture to maintain.

    One bag of ok feed is not going to make a huge difference over all, just have something there to feed him until you get a good feel of what he really needs. Also, I am sure you have thought of this, I would start him slowly since you are not sure how much he has been eating and likely won't get the truth. Just start him as you would any horse that you have no history on.
  8. Chickerdoodle13

    Chickerdoodle13 The truth is out there...

    Mar 5, 2007
    Phoenix, AZ
    I would recommend not using sweet feed as a main staple for your horse. There are some really good pelleted diets out there and they can be supplemented with beet pulp. I think we feed Purina Complete, but I could be wrong. It's not as tasty, but the horses like it just as fine. There are a bunch of them out there. A senior feed might be another good option.

    Worst comes to worst, forget about the feed until you get him and see what condition he's in. He would be fine on lots of hay for at least a day or two until you can figure out what to buy. That way you aren't messing his stomach up too badly. Just remember to start out slow with the feedings of grain. A quarter or half of a coffee can to start and go up from there (Or whatever you use for giving feed to your horses. We use coffee cans.)
  9. rodriguezpoultry

    rodriguezpoultry Langshan Lover

    Jan 4, 2009
    Claremore, OK
    When we fed a pelleted feed, he was a completely different horse. He was spooky and just plain hot. When we switched to sweet feed, he became the in-your-pocket horse that only wants an ear scratching. He was doing great on it before he left, but again, I have no idea what he's coming off of.

    I usually only fed a 1/2 can of coffee to him, but starting out at much less should help get him used to the feel of things. The fun part is gonna be getting through the other horses to get food to him! lol
  10. bonnylass79

    bonnylass79 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 5, 2009
    Central Florida
    Not all pelleted feeds are created equal. If he was hot, then it probably had a high percentage of corn.

    If he has poor weight and you're worried about founder, then you need to be careful. Senior Feed is highly digestible and has all of the nutrients he would need. Regardless of type and quantity of grain, a horse should have lots of good quality hay. It should make up the bulk of his diet. When you get him home, start him very slowly to avoid the risk of collic. If he hasn't been fed regularly, you run the risk of impaction and gas collic. I would start him with one cup of grain and one flake of hay four times a day. Slowly increase to the recommended ration as listed on the feed bag. Weigh your grain. One scoop of grain A does not weigh the same as one scoop of grain B. Then you can decrease to feeding three times a day then again to twice a day. Do everything gradually as any sudden change can cause collic or founder. Wait until he starts to put some weight on and is back to two a day feedings before slowly switching to the feed you want to use.

    There is a lot of conflicting advice out there about worming rescue horses. My rule of thumb is once every four weeks until you cover a full wormer rotation. That means ivermectin once, pyrantel once, strongid once and quest (or power pack) once. Follow each worming dose with probiotics.

    The last thing that I want to say is that cheap feeds can actually cost you more money. You have to feed more quantity and give more supplements. I actually save money every month by feeding a $20 a bag concentrated feed. The rest of their diet is comprised of free choice hay. I don't feed beet pulp unless I need to get more fluids in my horses.

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