I bought two Thoroughbreds from the racetrack in Oct ’09. I began by feeding a store brand sweet and SafeChoice pellets and fed on the maintenance level. I switched to Purina brands-Strategy Healthy Edge (texturized) and Omolene 100 or 200 (sweet) whichever I could get. I feed according to the recommended exercise level printed on the bag. I was told by feeding two different feeds that the horses are not getting the recommended vitamins from the grains. In my thinking, as closely related as these two feeds are that the horses are still getting full vitamins. I said if I eat half of your broccoli and half of my broccoli, I am still getting a full serving of vegetables! Could you explain what the difference is? Thank you! By the way, my horses also get daily SmartPaks!
We appreciate your business! However, your statement about switching grains frequently worries me. So my first piece of advice is to find a grain that you can reliably get and afford, that the horses like, and that seems to work well for them, then stick with it. Changing grain (or forage) on a horse “upsets the apple cart” of the microbial population in the intestine and can cause digestive imbalances.
Next issue: I completely see your point that you ought to be able to feed two similar grains and meet your horses’ recommended daily requirements of important nutrients. In the past, I’ve always recommended that horse owners simply trust the wisdom of the fortified grain manufacturers and choose one product, feeding it at the level recommended on the bag for the horse’s age, weight and workload. However, if you’re good at math (and weighing things) and want to do the homework, you can probably figure out how much of each product needs to be provided to complete and balance the vitamins, minerals and protein in your horse’s diet. I guess I’m lazy and prefer to have it done for me by experts in the field!
Just remember that it’s the weight of the grain, not the volume, that matches up with the guaranteed analysis and feeding directions. So no feeding by the quart or coffee can! Also, fortified grains like the brands you mentioned have their vitamins, minerals, amino acids and other nutrients tied to their calories (when one goes down they all go down). That means if you start feeding less pounds than the recommended amount because your horses are gaining too much weight, you’ll also be feeding less vitamins, minerals, etc.