[MSAR] Pelleted Feed
una.smith at att.net
Mon Feb 27 11:31:44 EST 2006
Susan Wright wrote:
>Isn't pelleted feed just grain presented in a different form?
Not exactly. Pelleted feed is something chopped small, then
formed into pellets. A binding agent of some kind is used to
hold the form. Some pellets contain *no* grain; others are
mostly grain or grain byproducts.
The pellet form itself makes binge eating possible (hence risk
of colic and laminitis/founder, if the content is high in simple
carbohydrates) and choking. I find that if the horse is used
to the specific pellet feed and/or does not like it very much,
binging isn't a problem. Or just give frequent small portions.
Molasses and salt content seem to be major contributors to how
much my mare likes any pellet feed. (She hates bute paste but
if I crush a gram tablet of bute and mix it with a tablespoon
or two of molasses in a bowl, she will lick the bowl clean.)
One Wyoming dude ranch I know of offers the dudes paper lunch
bags of horse treats. These are large pellets, about 1 by 2
inches, and the ranch horses politely eat them from the rider's
hand, the rider on the ground or in the saddle. You can pack
a full day's feed worth of these pellets, and dole them out
during even the shortest breaks, even if you don't dismount.
But they are very dense and dry, so the horse will need water
too. This is not a problem in many parts, but in much of New
Mexico it can be a significant problem. If there is no water
in the field, I do not feed in the field. By in the field, I
mean away from the trailer.
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