Making a soya-free feeding plan?

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16 April 2019
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Hi there, I tend to get wordy, so I'm going to cut to the chase first ;): I am hoping to move my horses onto a soya-free feeding plan but have no experience with this and am nervous of messing up the vitamins/nutrients and doing something that's not nutritionally sound. Would any of you have any experience with this? Or maybe know of a good online guide, program, resource? I have found useful information in the forum but still struggling with how much to feed (more, less, like for like), how to replace the commercial food, etc.

Mine are currently on Red Mills Competition Cubes 12, a handful of Alfa A Chaff, and a small amount of beet pulp, twice a day. They also get a generous amount of hay. Now that I'm getting them off livery and bringing them home :):D:), I'd like to see if I can find a meal plan without soya.

They have actually done well on the livery feed, and look great, but I have noticed an increase in gassiness and sharpness/fizziness. They're currently in full work/competition, well-muscled, and right at where their weights should be. I'm almost nervous to tempt fate, but just not sure I believe in soya. One of mine also has occasional hives and I'd like to see if this can be helped with nutrition. I have a few weeks supply of their current food and hope to slowly adjust their feed. I will also have to switch from hay to haylage due to our supplier, so I know that also brings more protein into their diet.

What I'm hoping to do is keep them on the beet pulp, Alfa A chaff, and haylage, and bring in something else to replace the cubes/round out their nutrients. I am interested in micronized linseed and would be open to adding a vitamin supplement. It's hard to tell online if I just replace the cubes with the brand recommended portion of linseed or need to consider the haylage, chaff, etc, and how it affects everything.

I have also looked into Dodson and Horrell feeds but am not sure if I'll be able to get them in Ireland without breaking the bank. If anyone can offer any advice I would be so grateful!
 

Leo Walker

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I dont like soya oil as it seems to send horses loopy but all mine have done very well on soya hull based products. I'd be wary of blaming just soya when you are feeding a competition mix and alfa a. Alfa a is notorious for bringing some horses out in hives.

I would feed a grass chaff, keep the beet if thats your preference, add a mug of linseed and a balancer. I feed Equimins Advance now. Its the best spec for the lowest price and I've noticed a difference in my mares feet since shes been on it.

Do your horses need feeding to keep their weight up or energy levels? If they do oats are my go to for any extra you need.you may well find the are absolutely fine on the above though.
 

Shay

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Echo that - Alfa A is notorious for both causing fizziness and bringing horses out in hives. I'm not against it - I feed it myself when I can. But some horses become sensitive - and its threshold sensitivity so you can have been feeding it without issues for a while only to have issues occur later. Completely avoiding Alfalfa is a pain - so if you have a horse who might be becoming sensitive then stop the obvious sources like Alfa-A immediately!

Why is it you have decided against Soya? As Leo says soya appears in many different forms with different effcts. What is it about your horses particularly that you can link to soya rather than the Alfafa? That will help you get better recommendations if we can understand your reasoning.
 
Joined
16 April 2019
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Thank you both for your replies. I will look into an alternative for the Alfa A. Funny, when I rode in america, we kept our horses off alfalfa for that reason. I suppose I haven’t questioned it as much here as all of mine have eaten it since before coming to me and I like its digestive qualities. It would be interesting to see how a different chaff affects them. They’re also going on ryegrass haylage, which my young stock have been fine on, but seems to be a hot button topic about fizziness as well.

My questions about soya really tie in with my questions of commercial feed in general. It’s cheap to use so I feel that’s why companies use it. I don’t feel it’s natural for horses to eat, though I know that argument could extend to many ingredients. But mainly, I believe its estrogenic affects in humans make it a no go for my consumption, and I don’t think it’s such a reach to believe it could also have a hormonal affect on horses.

I don’t think I presented my question as effectively as I could have in my post, as what I’m really interested in is transitioning my girls onto a soya free feeding plan while maintaining their form and meeting the demands of their training, which is on the heavy side as they’re showjumpers. I just don’t have any experience with the alternatives and am hesitant to start fiddling.
 

ihatework

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I actually don’t have an issue with soya and am happy to feed it, but I was on a an organic yard that was certified GMO free which meant I did a lot of research on which feeds don’t have soya in!

It’s fine if your energy requirements are lower, a reasonable amount of choice. The problems come when you want a higher energy/conditioning type formulation.

2 easily accessible feeds that were minus soya were the GWF range and pure feeds (although some of that range has soya, I think it was working and stud that were clean).

The best one I found was castle horse feeds smart zero, it was a really good feed but unfortunately a nightmare to get hold of easily. I ended up going back to a mix of straights & GWF
 

windand rain

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There is a complete feed that is well thought of for endurance horses called Equidgel it is alfalfa and oat based and has no soya. It is also hydrating and hooves and coats look great. Conversly I use grass based fibre feed which is basically grass nuts, grass chaff and micronised linseed. Thinking of adding oats for the oldies as they could use a bit of weight. We have had no rain for more than a month so the grass is slow
 
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windand rain

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Seen a lot of support of it and in theory the feed is good, hard sell is a different matter just because some people think its being pushed doesnt make the concept bad I have seen horses fed it exclusively and they look brilliant so the proof is in the feeding to me it wont hurt to try it is what the OP was looking for a soya free complete feed with all the vitamins and minerals already available. I dont use it as it not what I need but would if the OPs requisites were met
ETA first two pages of google don't bring up anything but praise of the product
 
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milliepops

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Regardless of marketing claims of equidgel OPs horses are currently getting quite a bit of cereal and in the interests of not changing too much, since they are doing well on the current regime , I'd go with IHWs plan of a base with straights added.
 
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