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All the best,
I am finally able to totally control their diet!!
I wanted to run what they are currently getting by you just to check up, and I have a couple of questions that were raised by a recent vet visit. Fist off I want to give you a bit of an update. You may remember Callie, the TB mare we purchased who had an ucer problem. Well, unfortunately Callie had to be euthanized about 2 months ago due to osteomielitis. Since then we have gotten a new riding mare for my husband, a 21 year old, still going strong Egyptian arab named Megan.
About a month ago we finished our set up at our new home and moved in the horses. As such, I made some adjustments to their feed now that I can control it fully. So here is what they get:
First off I have a hay net of coastal Bermuda available at all times for them to nibble on.
Breakfast consists of a flake of orchard Grass (apx 6 lbs, varies slightly per bale) and a scoop of timothy pellets (2 lbs)
Dinner is where it gets complicated, lol
One small flake alfalfa (4-5 lbs) and their suppement bucket
1 1/2 cups beet pulp
1 1/2 natural glo rice bran pellets (has calcium added to make the feed a 1:1 Ca Ph ratio)
a handful of oatmo (chopped oat hay with molasses, this is realy just a treat, I added it when we had to give medication to the TB and I needed something to disguise the taste)
6 oz by volume faxseed meal, freshly ground immediately before feeding.
1 oz PreOx
1 biowafer (contains 30mg biotin, some zinc, methionine lysine and copper, ca hay is naturally very high in Manganese, so no need to supplement it)
1 cup apple cider vinager (started adding it for flys, and it seems to have helped Tequila a good amount)
2 oz quiessence for tequila
I haven't noticed any behavioral or weight changes in Tequila since adding the oatmo, and I recently had my vet draw blood and do insulin level testing. And I am happy to report that his levels were in the normal range (still on the high side of normal though)
So here are my questions, 1st off I just found out today that orchard grass tends to be calcium inverted. I looked up average ca:ph ratios in all of my feedstuffs, and not including the flaxseed (I couldn't find it) For every part phosphorous they get they are getting a little over 2 parts Calcium. Is the amount of flax seed I feed enough to upset this? Or am I in the clear?
Next question is concerning the formation of enteroliths (intestinal stones). My vet came out to do sheath cleaning and was fairly horrified to learn I fed a magnesium supplement. He stated that CA alfalfa is extremely high in Magnesium aready, and this combined with the fact that legume hays raise the PH of the digestive tract contributes to stone formation. I found out through some reasearch that stones are made up primarily of Magnesium and phosphates. So excess levels of magnesium and phosphorous can certainly contribute to the stones. As can excessive minerals in the diet in general. Excessive protein also seems to be a contributing factor. I also found several studies (including one from UC davis) showing that the percentage of coic surgury's from stones is dramatically higher in Ca (25% of colics vs 5% elsewhere) And of those cases of stones 98% were found to be on a diet containing 50% alfalfa or more. Now my horses get like 25% alfalfa in their diets, but even so I am now a bit concerned I might be oversupementing them with minierals, particuarly the magnesium Tequila gets in his quiessence. I want to make sure my guys are not being put at risk by there diets. so any information or input you can give on this subject is much appreciated.
PS Sorry it is so long, lol. The majority of it is backround info, with just the two questions at the end being what I need help on.
Where are you from? San Diego CA
Let me first offer my sincere condolences on the loss of Callie.
I'll be happy to address your concerns. Keep in mind that the best way I can assist you is to evaluate the entire picture, go over exact numbers, and formulate a plan that works well for your horses. A phone visit would be the best approach. However, I can offer you some generalized comments.
About the orchardgrass. Not all orchardgrass has more phosphorus than calcium but it can, and therefore, should be analyzed. Flaxseed meal is also inverted -- more phosphorus than calcium -- so be sure to feed a commercial product such as Nutra Flax that has added calcium to correct this naturally occuring inverted ratio. Nevertheless, even Nutra Flax will not have enough calcium to overcome the high phosphorus in orchardgrass if your hay turns out to be a problem.
Alfalfa does have a large amount of calcium and this may compensate for any problem with orchardgrass. But here again, it is only a guess. So knowing your numbers is the best approach.
Regarding magnesium. Magnesium levels should never exceed calcium levels. Have your alfalfa hay analyzed and see how much magnesium and calcium it has. Then we can look at the amount of Quiessence to add. For example, if you're supplementing 2 ounces of Quiessence, that's 10 grams of magnesium. Alfalfa has far more calcium than that, but it may have enough magnesium.
Unfortunately, the magnesium found in forage is not very well absorbed, so your horses may not be getting all there is in the hay. However, it is still best to avoid oversupplementation.
Bottom line -- know what's in your hay. I recommend Equi-Analytical Labs -- www.equi-analytical.com.
Thanks for writing and please let me know if I can assist you further.
All the best,
Where are you from? Bayfield, CO