Senior feed for horses

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by babyblue, May 7, 2011.

  1. babyblue

    babyblue Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 23, 2009
    I think its time I switched the old man to a senior feed. He is maintaining his weight decently though needs some serious exercise from this horrible cooped up winter. But he is 21 and I have started to notice more and more undigested grain in the manure when I pick the stall. I think it may be time to switch before he starts having issues or gets thin.


    His teeth have been floated recently, I have checked him myself as well (the old man is cool with me sticking my arm down his throat at random) Its my luck that he has nearly picture perfect teeth. The dentist says his teeth are so straight and set perfectly plus very healthy that he should keep his teeth till the day he dies. This is far different then my sisters now deceased horse that had tmj and broken and missing teeth from a horrific start of life at the track.


    He is currently on horsemans edge texture 10:6, which is 10% protein 6% fat. I would like something that has a good protein and fat content but on the lower end of the scale on the sugar. He does have mild arthritis but as long as I keep him lean and healthy its never ever seen.


    So is there any product that you really like, works well? Ive always had young(er) horses so this is really the first horse that is getting up there with me. So far I would like to avoid something that requires a lot of soaking or really involved work, as I am not the only person who feeds (my spouse) and I want specific easy instructions so nothing gets confused (dh is not a horse person but helps me considerably)
     
  2. Gmsg01

    Gmsg01 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 4, 2011
    West Monroe,NY
    My 25 year old guy is doing very well on a 12% protein 10% fat pelleted feed. He actually doesn't need the higher fat, but a younger horse in the barn does, so there you have it. I lost his 34 year old mother last year. The last year of her life I transitioned her to purina extruded feed (10/10). The extruded feed was easy for her to pick up, she liked the taste, and it broke down easily (tested it in a glass of water) [​IMG]. The older girl was also supplemented with Dengi, a partially fermented long chopped hay to help her out. That made a big difference for her, as she was NEVER a good hay eater.
     
  3. welsummerchicks

    welsummerchicks Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 26, 2010
    We try to keep protein low with our older horse, as per our vet, to avoid strain on the kidneys - not over 10%. We use carbs and fat to keep the weight on him. We also need more moist digestible roughage as his guts aren't working as well as when he was young. So he gets soaked beet pulp shreds (2 lb dry), a 'balancer' product with protein and vitamins and minerals, and 1 lb a day of rolled oats, 1/2 c a day of corn oil, all the grass-legume hay he will eat, and grazing on an orchard grass-clover-alfalfa field during the 'grass season'. The hay is 4 times a day, the concentrates are divided into two meals a day. As he gets older we'll probably divide the concentrates into more meals a day.

    Grain hulls in the manure are not necessarily a problem - usually the grain hulls are empty, and the grain itself was digested well. If the grain itself is in the manure, for example that's why I switched from whole to rolled oats. I prefer though, that if they can, they get oats with hulll onn them, because that's kind of a built in roughage that makes it easier to digest the grain.
     
    Last edited: May 7, 2011
  4. halo

    halo Got The Blues

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    My Coop
    I feed a locally based senior feed (Seminole Feeds) to horses that come home from the track and need some weight, and any horses that have been a bit stressed. Its very digestable, and they really love it. It is pricey.

    Seminole also makes a very good high fat pelleted feed, that I feed to the rest of my horses. Maybe your horse would do just as well on a good quality pellet. Theres so many good choices out there.
     
  5. babyblue

    babyblue Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 23, 2009
    He gets all the hay he can eat and then some, there is always left overs. And during most of the year out on very good pasture. He is a very picky eater though. Any sort of wet or goopy food he will not eat. So anything soaked or oil added he will just leave. Its annoying particularly because those are some of the better things for older horses to eat. Since he was 7 year old when I got him he has always preferred his hay to his grain.


    It is whole grains lefter over, I checked lol.
     
  6. welsummerchicks

    welsummerchicks Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 26, 2010
    Beet pulp shreds, unless you add a great deal of water, are not at all wet or goopy.

    They're just moist and rehydrated, and not at all goopy or sloppy. I pour very hot boiling water on, and it all gets soaked into the shreds.

    When I put oil on them, they don't get goopy.

    Of course you can feed an extruded pellet type feed and that won't be goopy either.
     
  7. Akane

    Akane Overrun With Chickens

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    Technically you can feed beet pulp dry. It's a myth that it causes choke or any other problems. Horses that have had problems with it also had problems with their grains and other foods. You can also get beet pulp in pellets.
     
  8. scbatz33

    scbatz33 No Vacancy, Belfry Full

    Jan 23, 2009
    South GA
    Quote:I had a horse choke on beet pulp shreds. It was the scariest 20 minutes of my life getting the pulp down his throat. We did wet it before hand.

    He went to straight oats after that. He was a major easy keeper and needed nothing more than good hay and grass. The oats was more to make him not feel left out at feeding time.

    Horses do choke on it. Although generally speaking, those horses are prone to gobble their food and can also be choked on other feed stuffs. The reason it's is more apt to happen on beet pulp is that beet pulp will clump easier than grains or pelleted feed.

    Personally, once is enough for me. I won't feed it ever again.

    BUT, THIS IS MY PERSONAL EXPERIENCE. Plenty of people feed it and never have a problem.
     
    Last edited: May 7, 2011
  9. welsummerchicks

    welsummerchicks Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 26, 2010
    If they wet it, they are unlikely to have problems, that is. Unlikely, but as you said some people have even seen problems with they do soak it(teeth, bolting feed or having a tight place in the esophagus from a past choke). One has to really know one's own horses - how to prevent them from bolting their feed and in general just how they eat.

    As for it being a myth that it causes choke, it may not have at one poster's barn, but I've read several articles just recently in which vets stated that 8/10 of their chokes are from beet pulp shreds or pellets fed dry. Yes, it is a common cause of choke(even occasionally wet). And so are other feeds that are in fine small pieces. A few brands of bagged concentrates have come under fire recently for being too fine. That can lead to chokes.

    However, most of the people I know who do soak beet pulp, they don't do what we do. I think a brief soaking in a small amount of cold water leaves a lot of shreds still dry. We had friends at one barn who ran some cold tap water on it and fed it directly to their horse. That horse choked.

    I feel that what we do helps a lot to prevent choke. We pour boiling water on it, and we stir so it's all wetted, and then cover it so it steams, and it has to sit in a warm place with a cover on it for 8 hours before we feed it. That really helps.

    I experimented. I soaked it in different ways and times, and then cut through the shreds and examined how hydrated they were. Yes I am a geek. Definitely.

    We have sometimes when I made a lot ahead of time, soaked it for 8 hrs, then frozen it, and then we warm it up in a microwave and mix it with the other items at feeding time. Freezing and thawing, tends to soften the shreds more.

    Then we mix it with oil, pieces of carrots, oats, and the balancer pellets. I think that encourages the horses to slow down and pick through it, that and we feed hay 4x a day so they aren't bolting their concentrated feeds. They always get hay before they get their concentrates, which I think helps too as they eat their concentrates slower. I think the lengthy soaking/steaming we do, dividing it into several smaller sized meals, feeding lots of hay, plus the different textures as well as the oil, helps to prevent chokes too.

    Too, I'm not sure we feed the same amounts of beet pulp that other people do. We soak about 2 pounds of it at a time, and that makes 3 meals. I think the smaller amount at a given meal also helps prevent choke.
     
    Last edited: May 7, 2011
  10. Akane

    Akane Overrun With Chickens

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    I've seen entire horse health forums call it a myth and back up that horses who choke on beet pulp eventually choke on many other types of feed as well so it's a problem you would have seen eventually no matter what. Majority on those forums feed beet pulp dry with no problems but they do things to slow down feed bolters and make sure there are no teeth problems first because that can lead to a problem with any feed.
     

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