For those of you who read the BEVA Congress post I wrote a few weeks ago, you will know that I got several feed sample packs to try after talking to them about Scottie. So far I have done nothing with these packs but after spending the past half hour reading articles for horse & Hounds Feed Week, I have been inspired to finally do something with them! So today I will talk about how I described Scottie and our feed needs as well as what samples we were given to try and compare them to our current feeds! (I will try and remember to do a post at a later date about how palatable etc the feeds are… but to be honest, Scottie eats everything… So might have to be a bit creative!)
Firstly let’s talk about Scottie (for a change.) He is a 16.3/17hh ex racehorse (thoroughbred) and probably weighs 560-600kg. He weigh tapes at 560kg… but I’m not convinced. He is overall in good condition. However, he could do with building up muscle in a few places, such as his top line and hind end. He could also do with losing a bit of fat around his belly. But as I said, he’s generally looking quite good!
He is still living out 24/7 (although he is about to come in) and in light work… very light work more recently! He is currently mainly doing dressage but does the odd bit of jumping with the aim of doing a bit more.
He is currently being fed the recommended 3 cups of baileys performance balancer. Which I think weighs about 750g. He also has a small handful of Dengie Alfa A Molasses free, which will increase once he is coming in. He also has a biotin supplement, turmeric, ground black pepper and about 50ml of rapeseed oil.
Baileys Performance Balancer Nutritional Information:
I pay about £23 per 20kg
|MANGANESE (TOTAL)||250 mg/kg|
|IRON (TOTAL)||200 mg/kg|
|VITAMIN A||44,000 IU/kg|
|VITAMIN D3||4,400 IU/kg|
|VITAMIN E||1,100 IU/kg|
Soya Bean Meal, Alfalfa Meal, Micronised Soya Beans, Wheatfeed, Distillers’ Grains, Cooked Linseed, Dicalcium Phosphate, Vitamins and Minerals, Calcium Carbonate, Molasses, Sodium Chloride, ScFOS (Digest Plus prebiotic) 5g/kg, Yea-Sacc ® yeast culture
Dengie Alfa-A Molasses Free Nutritional Information:
I pay about £13 per 20kg
Chopped alfalfa, alfalfa pellets, rape seed oil, mint and fenugreek.
TopSpec Lite Feed Balancer:
Price = £20 for 15kg
This is the first feed I have been given a small sample to try. As with our current Baileys Balancer, it has virtually no calories, but provides all the nutrition the horse needs.
Oil % 4.00
Protein % 15.0
Fibre % 19.0
DE MJ/kg 9.1
Starch % 6.5
Calcium % 2
Magnesium % 0.6
Vitamin E IU/kg 1,000
Biotin mg/kg 30.0
What I immediately notice is that it has significantly less protein than the baileys. Which since I am still aiming to build muscle, this isn’t very desirable for me. However, it does have more Biotin, which means that I might not have to feed a biotin supplement alongside our current feeds.
Price wise they are very similar, with Baileys working out to be about 15p cheaper per kg. Although I am currently unsure about switching due to the difference in protein. Once Scottie has built up a bit more, I would consider feeding less protein, so the TopSpec would be better as it has the higher Biotin levels.
Allen and Page Fast Fibre:
Price = £9-£10 per 20kg
This is a feed I have come across a lot, but never considered for Scottie, so I think it is interested that this has been suggested to me. If I was to feed it, it would probably be replacing the balancer, or if Scottie actually managed to lose some weight over winter, I would feed alongside balancer to maintain condition.
Estimated DE: 8.0 MJ/kg
Total Sugar: 2.5%
Vitamin A: 10k iu/kg
Vitamin D: 1.5k iu/kg
Vitamin E: 120 mg/kg
Straight away you can see there is much less protein and much more fibre. So I am a bit unsure as to why it was suggested to me as it really doesn’t have what I was looking for in a feed… But due to its low protein and fairly low digestible energy, if Scottie did need to get a bit more from his feed (and for some reason I didn’t want to just up his chaff) this could be fed alongside his usual feed quite easily. Although it does require at least 10 mins soaking, which would require me to be more organized and I suspect that it is probably lacking in a lot of vitamins and minerals.
They gave me 2 free samples of feed for Scottie, however, they aren’t really the feeds they recommended for him. They recommended their base mix, which is essentially a balancer, despite them not looking very impressed when I said this to them! It has all the required levels of vitamins and minerals etc without too many calories… a balancer. And this seemed like a good product, but seems very expensive… and was basically a powder, so I’m not sure how I feel about it. But back to the products they gave me.
Healthy Herbal Muesli:
Price = £18 per 15kg
I quite like the sound of this product. It’s very natural with lots of herbs etc which are good for your horse. I like horses being able to have herbs. But this is essentially a chaff and/or a partial hay replacer.
Crude Protein 14%-14.1%
Crude Oil 7%-8%
Crude Fibre 20%-21%
Digestible Energy (DE) 11.75 MJ/kg
Copper 7.0 mg/kg
Zinc 26.9 mg/kg
Selenium 0.09 mg/kg
Cobalt 0.19 mg/kg
Iodine 0.07 mg/kg
Manganese 76.1 mg/kg
Iron 408 mg/kg
Ingredients: Dried alpine grasses and herbage, black oil sunflower seeds, cold pressed linseed oil, toasted linseed shreds, carrot, apple, parsnip, beetroot, cornflower petals, calendula petals, rosehips, fennel seed, nettle, elderflower blossom, marshmallow root, aniseed, coltsfoot extract
This is a product I wouldn’t mind feeding Scottie and is something I would consider swapping our current chaff for, since I only really feed chaff out of habit over the summer than him really needing it. However, this product is just too expensive for me to justify swapping. It works out about £4-£5 more for 5kg less…
Price = £17 per 20kg.
Again from Thunderbrook, I think these were given to me just to show me some of the stuff they do. And I know I seem to be simplifying all their feeds, but they are basically grass nuts.
Crude Protein 10.4%-11.8%
Crude Oil 2%-3%
Crude Fibre 25%-30%
Digestible Energy (DE) 11.22 MJ/kg
Copper 6 mg/kg
Zinc 27 mg/kg
Selenium 0.09 mg/kg
Cobalt 0.19 mg/kg
Iodine 0.07 mg/kg
Manganese 69 mg/kg
Iron 470 mg/kg
Dried alpine grasses and herbage. Analysis: Haycobs are a natural product. Over 50 varieties of Bavarian alpine grasses and herbs are cut from in excess of 1000 acres and there will be variations in the analyses due to number of cuts per year, time of cut, weather, location of field, etc.
Again, I do quite like this product and Scottie does have something similar in his treat ball over winter. He currently has Baileys Fibre Plus Nuggets for his treat ball, and these Hay Cobs are basically the same thing again. Although they are probably more natural! But I’m afraid to say that I will not be swapping Baileys Nuggets to Hay Cobs, because they are almost double the price!
Over all, I like most the products I have been given to try, although I am unsure as to if I would ever swap to these products completely. I will try and do a follow up post after Scottie has tried them to see if anything stands out about them there to sway me. But I wouldn’t expect too much!
Do any of you use or have any experience with these feeds?