Tell me what you think - Feed ingredients

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paintponylvr

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That is what was recommended to me as a supplement, never meant to be used as a feed replacement.

I've been feeding Nutrena Safe Choice pellets for 4 or 5 years now and mine have done well on it while our pasture and hay were good. I have stallions - varying from young and just starting breeding careers, middle aged; mares that aren't "doing anything"; nursing mares (nothing pregnant for next year); babies and youngstock. Last year and this year - we have struggled. Severe drought and then over flooding. Using supplements to balance out the nutritional needs - different types. Looking at adding a free choice ration balancers and/or vit/min supplements - to allow them to choose what their bodies need.

Mine have gone crazy this year on the mineral blocks that are meant for cattle - I figure due to local pastures and hays having been "washed out" nutritionally. Figure the same reason - poor quality pasture and purchased forage - dealing with several "ulcer-y" ponies for the first time ever! With the wild temperature changes (78 and everyone panting today, I got a serious sunburn on my face!! - the high on Wednesday will be a whopping 45 & low below freezing?) - I'm top dressing mineral salt tomorrow, Monday & Tuesday to everyone. Only have one or two that will refuse to eat with it top dressed - they will have it offered in a separate bucket loose as long as its not precipitating - actually it just turns hard like the cattle blocks.
 

MyMiniGal

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That's the one I was asking about...was the Safe Choice pellets, special care, and they sent me this. So I wasn't sure. It has grain in it, and I had never seen any ration balancer before, so wasn't sure. Thank you for clearing that up. The Safe Choice Special Care was also recommended for mini's on their site, but like I said, when I asked for ingredients, this was sent. I feed grass hay only. No alfalfa. It is good to know that Safe Choice pellets are being used and others are liking it.
 
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paintponylvr

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My aged shetland stallion and mare and an Arab mare refused to eat Nutrena Safe Choice Special Care. It smelled god-awful to me as well. All 3 bags smelled the same. I didn't buy it again - chickens ate it. It was a new and fresh shipment, so I figure it wasn't "old" from sitting in the warehouse. It was on introductory offer from the feed store where I purchase all my Nutrena feed - right after it came out.

When I don't or can't feed oats, I feed pellets. There are MANY different kinds - they usually contain or can contain the same nutrition as feed or sweet feed does. They can be good quality or bad quality - depending on what products are put in them. They are simply feed and nutritional supplements ground up, liquid added, poured into a mold and then dried. Because it is ground, I've often felt that if it is good quality, pellets are utilized better basic grains, especially for the minis & ponies.

I am looking at switching back to oats - however - w/ the bad crops here the last 3 years, oats cost almost as much as the Nutrena Safe Choice.

My mom in MT, went and looked back at the feed we fed in MT. It is still $8/50 lb bag (was $2.50 - 20 years ago when I was there) vs the $20 per bag of Nutrena Safe Choice here (that I still have to add vitamins & minerals to right now). That feed was a basic COBB - corn, oats, bran & barley. If I can find out the general mix amounts, I have a local mill that will mix it for me here - but it will be $15/bag - still less than Nutrena Safe Choice right now. The biggest problem is a custom mix that needs to be picked up at only one place and it's a drive in the "wrong" direction. Pick up time is difficult w/ my current work schedule.

It's a balance between what works, what is available when I can pick it up and what is ALSO affordable with a "large", mixed sex, mixed age herd.
 

paintponylvr

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O - and YES drought and flooding affect all feeds. Gas prices affect the cost of the finished product both locally and those that are shipped in.
 

chandab

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Paula, my whole oats cost $11/bag, at least the last bag did. I can't find rolled oats. My pelleted feed I use is $15/bag. My specialty feed for the Cushing's horses is $19/bag. And, my vit/min supplement is $1.25/pound; no one around here wants to buy a whole 50# bag at $62.50, so they've been putting up 5# bags, except the last two times I was there they were out of the little bags, so last time I sucked it up and bought the big bag and I'm set for the next 5 months or so (glad its winter).
 

MyMiniGal

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That was the one complaint, in a couple of the reviews,was how bad the Special Care pellets smelled and due to that a few horses wouldn't eat it. I may try the ration balancer though, if they quit carrying what I am feeding now. I would think it would take the place of not only the feed I am giving, but the vitamin and minerals I am giving too? I sprinkle those over her feed now, and she doesn't get all of it, as some sticks to the bowl, but she gets most. I just have never, ever seen her go that mineral block, they left in there. The salt block, I've seen her use, in summer only. When we got this super cold snap, we started putting table salt in her feed too, to encourage her to drink more. It seemed to of worked, as we were able to keep her drinking. Anyway, at least I know now what this stuff was they sent me. Thank you for helping me with this.
 

ohmt

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I am a big fan of Nutrena Safe Choice and use it for everyone. I was turned onto it by a few trainers when I started going to shows. Good protein, high in fat, and low in starch, which is why I switched from Purina. Oats is high in starch so if your mare gets "hot" on it then you should go for low starch pellet, which safe choice would be. I no longer feed oats because I needed more protein and less of the starch, but with the right hay it works.
 

targetsmom

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I didn't read all the posts, but I have been feeding Nurena feeds to my minis (and a big horse til he died) for years and really like them. It is good that you are asking questions because there is no one feed perfect for everyone. I suggest that you contact the Nutrena nutritionist in your area; ask the feed store for contact info. I really like the Safe Choice feeds and most of ours get the Original but the IR mare gets the SC Special Care. It is not the lowest NSC around, but it is low enough that it works for her, while still supplying the energy she needs for driving, jumping, and doing several classes at each show. I DID talk the nutritionist in my area who agreed that the Senior feed is just fine for young horses but that the Safe Choice Original was probably the best choice for broodmares.
 

MyMiniGal

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Thank you everyone. This makes me feel like I will have a choice, if they quit carrying the feed she is getting and I can't special order it.
 

Foxhaven

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The breeder we got our guys from does his own mix of grains and oats, along with some alfalfa/grass mix hay. I wasn't really comfortable with that.

I started mine on Safe Choice, but have been so much happier with the results of Purina Miniature Horse and Pony along with a top dressing of Equipride I frankly would not change even if getting it proved to be a challenge. My horses are not hot from it but do have GREAT coats - and hooves are noticeably better. Even the donkey gets a smidgen of it as he really likes it, along with the Equipride, and he too has a MUCH better coat and hoof condition. Our farrier has commented on this repeatedly.

If it works do what you need to, to stick with it.
 

Tab

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I see longform vitamins. However, I have used nutrena and oats and patriot. I am not a fan of nutrena. My horses have improved on grass hay and grass. I would go to pelletized grass and grass hay before I would go back to nutrena, oats, or other "complete" feed.
 

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