Conditioning NUTS, no soya/molasses, low sugar/starch

magicmoments

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This is the first time I've asked a question despite lurking for years.
I have a fussy mare that likes nuts. She has a tendency to lose weight in the winter. The nuts need to be soya and molasses free (Tom Beech), and low starch and sugar (colic surgery vet advice).
Soya seems to be in so many feeds. At the moment she is a good weight, but can drop weight quickly. Just need to get through the next couple of months, as she's fine once the grass comes through. Last winter did brilliantly on Baileys Ease and Excel, but it contains soya so that's out.
She currently has Dengie liesure balancer and grass nuts added to her other feed, but will throw in the towel if she doesn't have enough nuts added, and I'm having to drop the horsehage(1 bale a week) I was adding for variety and condition to her hay ration.
Any idea's would be very welcome.
Thank you
 

NR88

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Not a nut so sorry for not answering the question that you asked for starters. I feed Allen and Page Soothe and Gain because it is soya and molasses free.

IIRC it is 8% starch and 6% sugar so slightly on the high side but it is designed with ulcer horses who need condition in mind.

I too had some horses on Ease and Excel mix but, for cost reasons, switched all of them to Sooth and Gain. The switch was of course gradual but one turned her nose up when the mix stopped getting mixed through. It took about a week until she would eat the mash and now the bucket is locked clean.

It might be worth reading their product info on the website.
 

magicmoments

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Not a nut so sorry for not answering the question that you asked for starters. I feed Allen and Page Soothe and Gain because it is soya and molasses free.

IIRC it is 8% starch and 6% sugar so slightly on the high side but it is designed with ulcer horses who need condition in mind.

I too had some horses on Ease and Excel mix but, for cost reasons, switched all of them to Sooth and Gain. The switch was of course gradual but one turned her nose up when the mix stopped getting mixed through. It took about a week until she would eat the mash and now the bucket is locked clean.

It might be worth reading their product info on the website.
Thank you. Yes, I have recently started her on it, but I could do with more nuttage to ensure she always eats it all, as it can be hit and miss. She simply won't eat any mash on it's own. Whether she'll change her mind if she can't eat hay as she gets older, who knows. She certainly knows her own mind though. I'm not used to fussy feeders.
 

paddy555

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the only grass nuts I am familiar with are Dengie and I would never feed those without soaking. They are very hard nuts and I wouldn't like to risk choke. They are also, in the opinion of my horses, not that appetising and they like them mixed with something too make them more palatable. For some of mine that is copra (mash)
 

magicmoments

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Grass nuts (not Dengie, sugar is too high) and supermarket oil?
Thank you. She does have a mug full breakfast and tea, but reluctant to add more as I know really they should be soaked, and not sure she likes them enough. She prefers the balancer nuts it seems. She does have linseed, but when I went to increase above 300 grams, I don't think she liked the limestone flour. It's the nuts that are helpful to get her to eat the rest. On occasions I think why is she taking so long, and it's because she's finding every single nut, and rejecting most of the rest. I am hoping that once her guts are really happy she will be less fussy.
 

dixie

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Equi Jewel is a pelleted conditioning feed but might be too small pellets?
Or what about Thunderbrooks haycobs ?
 

ycbm

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the only grass nuts I am familiar with are Dengie and I would never feed those without soaking. They are very hard nuts and I wouldn't like to risk choke. They are also, in the opinion of my horses, not that appetising and they like them mixed with something too make them more palatable. For some of mine that is copra (mash)
They are so hard i worry about teeth. I agree about the soaking (Dengie say not to feed them alone themselves) , but I soak one third for one horse and mix in the rest. I've fed them to 4 horses with nothing but oil added and they love them.
.
 
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TGM

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What about alfalfa pellets? The Dengie ones are only 8% starch/sugar combined. I use them to help keep weight on one of ours who needs a low sugar/starch diet (together with Speedibeet, linseed and a balancer).
 

ycbm

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What about alfalfa pellets? The Dengie ones are only 8% starch/sugar combined. I use them to help keep weight on one of ours who needs a low sugar/starch diet (together with Speedibeet, linseed and a balancer).
I out of date then, sorry, I thought they were higher than that when I checked them out 2 years ago and I haven't looked since.

ETA silly mixup with grass pellets, ignore this.
.
 
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magicmoments

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Equi Jewel is a pelleted conditioning feed but might be too small pellets?
Or what about Thunderbrooks haycobs ?
Thank you. Had a quick look equi jewel is 20% starch, so unfortunately I think it's too high. Thunderbrooks looks good, but I think I would need to avoid due to allegations that have been mentioned on this forum concerning the owner. Happy to be corrected if that's not the case though.
 

magicmoments

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What about alfalfa pellets? The Dengie ones are only 8% starch/sugar combined. I use them to help keep weight on one of ours who needs a low sugar/starch diet (together with Speedibeet, linseed and a balancer).
Had a quick look, and they look good. Will check out further, thank you.
She's also on speedibeet, linseed and balancer
 

Sussexbythesea

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As a hay replacer I feed my oldie who is dentally challenged Saracen Fibre nuts and Simple Systems Haycare (Timothy) nuts. The Haycare is just Timothy grass and low sugar and not too hard. He doesn’t seem to like it soaked at least for the moment so I mix it with a Senior chaff and feed it dry overnight. He sifts through the chaff and picks out the nuts during the night and only eats a little of the chaff. I was worried about it being dry but the chaff stops him gobbling it and the nuts are soft enough to be easily mashed with gum and saliva.

His main feed is Saracen Releve and conditioning cubes which is high in calories and I add both micronised linseed and Equijewel which is fed in fairly small amounts like a balancer not as a main feed.
 

criso

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Grass nuts (not Dengie, sugar is too high) and supermarket oil?
Are Dengie that much higher than the others? When I was comparing grass chaffs recently, there wasn't much difference between the ones i looked at being mainly between 10% and 12%.

@magicmoments have you looked at simple systems. They do a range of alfalfa, grass, hay and sainfoin pellets, not sure which need soaked though.

https://www.simplesystemhorsefeeds.co.uk/products/feeds.asp?id=1&name=Pelleted Forages

When I fed the straight Dengie alfalfa pellets I didn't soak but they were mixed in with Copra so had crumbled by the time they were fed.
 

sbloom

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Thank you. Had a quick look equi jewel is 20% starch, so unfortunately I think it's too high. Thunderbrooks looks good, but I think I would need to avoid due to allegations that have been mentioned on this forum concerning the owner. Happy to be corrected if that's not the case though.
Bear in mind feeding rates, not saying that you should feed this, but if it's 500g per day (no idea if it is!) then it's the same amount of starch as 2kg of a 5% brand.

Had a quick look, and they look good. Will check out further, thank you.
She's also on speedibeet, linseed and balancer
I would start with working out what nutrients she gets from that, similar to what I just laid out for starch levels, and see what's missing. I used to feed alfalfa and beet from Simple System, for winter when doing less work I would feed a higher proportion of beet, and in summer when doing more work I would feed a more even ration to give a little more protein, though there is also more protein in summer grass. I would try an alfalfa or grass pellet and Simple System is a good place to start. I would consider a different balance as I presume that Dengie add iron which I would always recommend avoiding.
 

ester

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AFAIK Dr Kellon et al. have always reinforced that the % do matter, not the absolute amount.

re grass nuts I think almost all are >10% sugar starch.
only hay cobs or meadow magic or simple systems are less
 

magicmoments

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As a hay replacer I feed my oldie who is dentally challenged Saracen Fibre nuts and Simple Systems Haycare (Timothy) nuts. The Haycare is just Timothy grass and low sugar and not too hard. He doesn’t seem to like it soaked at least for the moment so I mix it with a Senior chaff and feed it dry overnight. He sifts through the chaff and picks out the nuts during the night and only eats a little of the chaff. I was worried about it being dry but the chaff stops him gobbling it and the nuts are soft enough to be easily mashed with gum and saliva.

His main feed is Saracen Releve and conditioning cubes which is high in calories and I add both micronised linseed and Equijewel which is fed in fairly small amounts like a balancer not as a main feed.
Thank you. Will have a look at simple systems as hadn't considered them before.
Saracens relieve and fibre nuts both contain soya unfortunately.
 

magicmoments

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Are Dengie that much higher than the others? When I was comparing grass chaffs recently, there wasn't much difference between the ones i looked at being mainly between 10% and 12%.

@magicmoments have you looked at simple systems. They do a range of alfalfa, grass, hay and sainfoin pellets, not sure which need soaked though.

https://www.simplesystemhorsefeeds.co.uk/products/feeds.asp?id=1&name=Pelleted Forages

When I fed the straight Dengie alfalfa pellets I didn't soak but they were mixed in with Copra so had crumbled by the time they were fed.
Thank you. Will definitely look into simple systems as they've been mentioned a few times, as have Dengie alfa pellets.
 

magicmoments

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Bear in mind feeding rates, not saying that you should feed this, but if it's 500g per day (no idea if it is!) then it's the same amount of starch as 2kg of a 5% brand.



I would start with working out what nutrients she gets from that, similar to what I just laid out for starch levels, and see what's missing. I used to feed alfalfa and beet from Simple System, for winter when doing less work I would feed a higher proportion of beet, and in summer when doing more work I would feed a more even ration to give a little more protein, though there is also more protein in summer grass. I would try an alfalfa or grass pellet and Simple System is a good place to start. I would consider a different balance as I presume that Dengie add iron which I would always recommend avoiding.
Thank you. Her feed has evolved from an independent nutritionist recommendations which was great for peace of mind, but now with further restrictions of no soya, particularly, and her fussiness I feel I'm constantly tinkering with her feed. That was the last thing I wanted to do. I wanted simple. Not to be.
She is barefoot, and had certainly seen mentioned about not wanting to add iron. l freely admit I need to understand more about feed, as I do about feet, since she been barefoot just over a year, and riding, etc, etc.
 

sbloom

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I am currently using simple systems haycare nuts, but it does say very clearly on the bag they need soaking before use, same with their Lucie nuts
Generally, and I would check with Jane or another of their advisers, you can add some nuts to an already soaked feed, for palatability. There are even articles on the web about not soaking beet pellets at all, not something I would support, but it's not quite black and white. Paracetamol packs give a whole list of terrible possible side effects, thus is the world today.
 

sbloom

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AFAIK Dr Kellon et al. have always reinforced that the % do matter, not the absolute amount.

re grass nuts I think almost all are >10% sugar starch.
only hay cobs or meadow magic or simple systems are less
Interesting and fair enough, I had not heard that. I would suspect it may depend on whether you're coping with conditions such as EMS on which Dr Kellon is clearly the leading authority. For a sensitive gut it may be that the overall starch and sugar load is what matters, in which case I would go back to the vet who gave the post surgery diet advice.
 

RHM

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I feed gwf no starch fibregest. Very low starch and sugar content but loads of fat. I use this for my comp mare rather than as a conditioning feed as it provides a great amount of energy. It’s pelleted and doesn’t need soaking and mine think it’s very palatable!
 
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