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Ask the Nutritionist: Dr. Getty's Forum for Equine Nutrition

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 Dr. Getty 


Ask the Nutritionist: Dr. Getty's Forum for Equine Nutrition
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Feed change

I am fairly new at owning horses. I bought my first two years ago and my second a year and a half ago. I kept them at a boarding facility until I learned to properly care for them. I brought them home 6 months ago and they have adjusted well. At the boarding facility, they were fed Manna Pro Superhorse Performance14. I am wanting to change their feed to a lower protein feed, under 12%. I have narrowed it to Ultium or Strategy. My horses stay in a dry lot at night and turned out to a very grassy pasture in the day. (With spring here, they are only turned out 6 hours a day until May passes) They get a flake of good Brome hay in the morning with their feed and 2 flakes in the evening with their feed. My Thoroughbred currently gets 1 pound in the morning and 1 pound in the evening. My Percheron/Tennessee Walker cross gets 2 pounds in the morning and 3 pounds in the evening. I ride more for pleasure, 2-3 times per week for 30-60 minutes, walk, trot, canter, and a little small jumps. Can you give me your opinion on Strategy versus Ultium and if I go to Ultium, how do you gradually change from the higher volume of feed to a lower volume of feed at the same time as changing the kind of feed?

Where are you from? Missouri

How did you locate this forum? internet search

Re: Feed change

Hi Lisa,

Congratulations! Sounds like you have two beautiful horses!

I would suggest Ultium over Strategy because Ultium is not grain-based (does not contain oats, corn, barley, etc). Instead, Ultium has better feeds such as beet pulp, soybeans, alfalfa, and flax.

Take 2 to 3 weeks to completely switch over to your new feed by slowly reducing the old feed, and adding a small amount of Ultium. Since you're feeding less Ultium than the other high volume feed, you'll had less than what you take away each time. So, by the end of the 3 weeks, you are completely feeding Ultium.

A note about the hay -- please consider feeding your horses the way that their digestive systems are made -- that is to provide some forage (hay or pasture) at all times. When horses go for hours without eating, their stomachs are prone toward ulcer development. Horses release stomach acid at all times and are trickle feeders -- they need to have forage 24/7. Most boarding facilities do not do this, either because they are misinformed, or more likely, to save money and labor. This is unfortunate. But, now that you have your horses home with you, you can make adjustments that are more in tune with their natural physiology.

Thank you for writing,

Dr. Getty

Where are you from? Bayfield, CO