Ration Balancer

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RahRah SC

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I’m sure this has been asked before, but I can’t find any recent posts about it.
What ration balancer do you use? Please speak in layman terms as I am so new to this.
Thanks everyone!
 

Abby P

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I use Triple Crown's Balancer - used to be called Triple Crown 30. They also have a "Gold" version which seems to be getting good reviews, I haven't tried it yet.
 

chandab

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Just about every brand has a ration balancer these days.
Not all inclusive list, but: Buckeye Grow n Win (Grow N Win Alfa to balance alfalfa), Tribute Essential K (Alfa Essentials for alfalfa hay), Tribute Wholesome Blends balancer (soy free), Triple Crown Balancer, Triple Crown Gold Balancer (soy free), Purina Enrich, Nutrena Empower Topline Balance, ProElite has a grass and an alfalfa balancer (can't rememer their name), LMF Super Supplement (grass and alfalfa formulas). Buckeye and Tribute are available on Chewy dot com.
Ration balancers are highly concentrated source of protein, minerals and vitamins, so fed in small quantities, typically 1-2#/1000# body weight; that calculates to 1/4-1/2# for minis daily depending on their actual size (you gotta do a little math). Most pelleted feeds run about 3 cups per pound; but Purine Enrich is more dense so comes in closer to 2 cups per pound (always weigh and verify you feed amounts). Nutrena Empower Balance comes in a 40# bag, so a little more expensive per serving than some of the others that come in 50# bags. Buckeye Grow n Win comes in a 30# bag on Chewy and Smartpak, but areas that stock it in feed stores have 50# bags.
 

Ourpairofminicolts

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We just started using Nutrena Empower Topline balancer, because we have one super easy keeper, and one that lost a little weight after getting gelded about a month ago now. We want to make sure they both are getting the proper amount of necessary nutrients, especially as different as their diets are right now.

I picked Topline, because one of it's recommended uses is for miniature horses, and the store I stopped at didn't have any Triple Crown ration balancer to compare. Our horses seem to like the Topline, though, they dig right in as usual, and eat all of it.

That matters more than anything, really. If your horse won't eat it, it doesn't matter how good of a deal it is, or how good the formula is. If you have a picky eater, you may need to try a few different kinds to find one they'll eat.

Otherwise, like a few other posters pointed out, a lot of the ration balancers are very similar, so you have a few different choices.

I'm sure you'll find a balancer you like, and your horses like, and hopefully you don't have to try very many. Good luck, and happy feeding! 😊
 

RahRah SC

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This timing is incredible. I was in TSC today and went ahead and bought the Nutrena Topline. Math is not my best subject and I was just trying to figure it out. You saved me the mental exertion. ;-)
I’ve not seen my minis turn away any food at all. Ever. 😆 Fingers crossed.
Thank you everyone!
 

Susan

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My geldings are 2, so they’re not fully grown yet. At what age is everyone changing from a feed to a balancer.?
 

chandab

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My geldings are 2, so they’re not fully grown yet. At what age is everyone changing from a feed to a balancer.?
They can go on a balancer at weaning, weanlings get a higher feeding rate to cover their higher nutritional needs.
 

Susan

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My vet told me to stay with Purina Mini and pony feed till they’re about 3. Said they need the nutrition to grow. Does ration balancer have nutrients to grow also? But without the sugar? Call nfused here🙃
 

chandab

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My vet told me to stay with Purina Mini and pony feed till they’re about 3. Said they need the nutrition to grow. Does ration balancer have nutrients to grow also? But without the sugar? Call nfused here🙃
The mini and pony feed isn't suitable for growing minis, too high of sugar/starch, and not the right balance of nutrients for growing youngsters. Despite what the label says, it's not suitable to growing youngsters. Most that trialed it in the early stages, did not stay with it, they found other feeds were more suitable to their needs; especially those showing and breeding miniatures.
A ration balancer is highly concentrated, so not much is needed for adult maintenance; a bit more is needed for growth, breeding and heavy work (not many minis fit into the heavy work category).
Some do need more calories than a ration balancer provides, in that case, I go with senior, largely because it's more readily available than growth in my area; but also because it's easy to digest and typically has lower sugar/starch levels than the growth feeds, especially if you can get a good senior feed like Triple Crown senior. My last foal crop was raised on a ration balancer and Triple Crown senior (well, we started with a vitamin/mineral supplement that balanced my wonky hay, then moved to a ration balancer that balanced my hay, once it became available to me).
 

charlottein

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I use Buckeye Gro and Win for my gelding and my yearling. It doesn't have sugar or extra calories, so of course they don't like it as much as the sugary stuff, lol, but they will eat it fine. I liked the ingredients and it was recommended to me here. They each get 1/2 cup per the advice of the manufacturer who I contacted.
 

Susan

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The mini and pony feed isn't suitable for growing minis, too high of sugar/starch, and not the right balance of nutrients for growing youngsters. Despite what the label says, it's not suitable to growing youngsters. Most that trialed it in the early stages, did not stay with it, they found other feeds were more suitable to their needs; especially those showing and breeding miniatures.
A ration balancer is highly concentrated, so not much is needed for adult maintenance; a bit more is needed for growth, breeding and heavy work (not many minis fit into the heavy work category).
Some do need more calories than a ration balancer provides, in that case, I go with senior, largely because it's more readily available than growth in my area; but also because it's easy to digest and typically has lower sugar/starch levels than the growth feeds, especially if you can get a good senior feed like Triple Crown senior. My last foal crop was raised on a ration balancer and Triple Crown senior (well, we started with a vitamin/mineral supplement that balanced my wonky hay, then moved to a ration balancer that balanced my hay, once it became available to me).
So are you saying you combined a senior AND a rational balancer for the little ones? My geldings are just 2, about 200 lbs ea and 33”. Can you tell me the amounts you’d give? I’ve been giving .375 lbs ea of the purina pony and mini. Since I have a lot of it, I guess I’d very gradually transition over.
 

chandab

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So are you saying you combined a senior AND a rational balancer for the little ones? My geldings are just 2, about 200 lbs ea and 33”. Can you tell me the amounts you’d give? I’ve been giving .375 lbs ea of the purina pony and mini. Since I have a lot of it, I guess I’d very gradually transition over.
I did for my babies and 3 that need to gain weight.
Youngsters have a higher plane of nutrition, so mixing the two usually isn't an issue. They started with a vitamin/mineral supplement that balances my hay, at that time they were getting 1# senior plus the serving of the vit/min supplement. When an appropriate ration balancer became available, the vit/min was replaced with the ration balancer, and the senior was reduced (so they currently get 3/4# senior 1/3# ration balancer.
The "normal" weight member of the herd, were getting the vit/min supplement in a carrier of senior (so 1 cup, 1/4# with TC senior), they are now getting just the ration balancer (I have mostly large minis, so 1/3# is the appropriate serving of ration balancer for them).
The mares that need weight, get more; when they were getting the vitamin/mineral supplement, they got from 1/2#-1.5# senior in addition to the supplement; now that they are on the ratio balancer, they get 1/4-1# senior with 1/3# ration balancer.
I'm also feeding everyone some orchardgrass/alfalfa blend hay pellets, as our hay is not great (several years of drought and poor hay seasons, left us little option).
And, my little senior stallion with crappy old man teeth; gets senior and hay pellets mix, all soaked to mush.
 

Katrina

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I also have a couple questions. I am now feeding the Purina Mini and pony feed. I am thinking of switching to a ration balancer. When I looked up the nutritional value of Purina Enrich vs the Purina mini feed. The balancer actually has more sugar.
I guess my question is do they get much mess of the balancer so they are not getting as much sugar?
I have been so confused over this for awhile.
Please help me understand this..thank you all so much
 

Abby P

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A balancer is only fed in small amounts - it's almost a supplement, rather than a feed. So for example, this is the balancer I feed:


The feeding directions say 1-1.5lb per 1000lb of body weight. So my 37" mini who is about 275lbs gets 1/3 lb. The NSC is 9.8% so that means each feeding contains about 13g of sugar plus starch. That's not really anything to worry about! The Enrich is similar in profile, about 15% sugar plus starch, but you'd only be feeding between 1/4-1/2lb for most minis so it's still under 20g of total sugar plus starch.

For the Purina Mini and Pony feed, in the same situation as my example above, the label suggests 1.3lbs for a 300lb mini for maintenance. The sugar plus starch is 18%, which means if you're currently feeding it as the label suggests, a 300lb mini would be getting 106g of sugar plus starch. So, way more, even though the sugar amount is slightly higher in the balancer - you have to look at what actually goes into the horse based on the amount you feed, not just the percentages on the ingredient list.

The reason for the big difference in the amounts fed is that the balancer is providing more concentrated minerals and vitamins so that you can feed less of it, for horses that don't need all the extra calories from a complete feed.
 

Katrina

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Thank you, that is what I was thinking but it's so confusing. I'm only a couple years in and still learning as I go. Do you know if the Purina Enrich has more sugar than the Triple crown?
I'm not sure we have that brand available here. I do have a TSC here but other than that just a couple small feed stores.

NSC is that the sugar and starch combined?
I see it listed on yours but not on the Enrich, if you add them together the purina is much higher (if I'm reading it right?)
 
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