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Re: Testing hay pellets
Willie's diet is mainly tested hay that he is free fed via a slow feeder. I have had him on tested hay for about 1 1/2 years now and have seen a HUGE difference in him. I just had to adjust how I do the free feeding because he did put on weight initially once he figured out how to work the hay net. I now have the bale doubled bagged with slow feed hay nets w/ 1.25" openings and that has done the trick. He has lost weight (my hoof care professional thinks he's lost 200 pounds) and has become sound enough to ride again. And he looks good too but I may be a bit partial. ;)
The hay pellets are a very minimal part of his diet, and only to get the supplements into him. He's super picky about the salt. I've had to back off the salt twice and am trying to re-up it to the correct amount of 2 heaping tablespoons. If he would just eat the salt, I'd use even less of the carrier for his supplements.
I noticed an enormous difference in his crest & sheath when I replaced some of the LMF with beet pulp. Other people at the barn noticed this as well, which was really telling. That's why I wanted to get him off the LMF, and would like to get an idea of the sugar level in the orchard pellets. To begin with I was using 1 quart of the LMF, because that was the only scoop I had. And then I took a measuring cup and checked to see how much LMF that actually was and it was a LOT. So I started to use a measuring cup instead and when I got him down to 2 cups of LMF he wouldn't eat his supplements with all the salt, so I tried adding beet pulp with 1 cup of the LMF, which was acceptable to him for about 2 weeks, and then he said neigh. So then I thought I should maybe try the grass pellets and then add beet pulp back in.
My goal is to get him to the minimal amount of carrier, and for that carrier to be mainly beet pulp. All of this has shown me how much he really reacts to sugar. I'm not emotionally invested in the orchard pellets, I'm just hoping I could use less and less of them until I get him on mostly beet pulp. He really likes the LMF and noticed pretty quickly that I was using less of it. He doesn't seem to notice change as much when the carrier is hay pellets (i.e. less carrier etc). **Also, I am measuring beet pulp to feed after it's been s/r/s so it is not a lot of that either. I do think he dislikes the beet pulp pellets because they get so mushy. It's like the consistency of steel cut oats or something like that. I had forgotten until he turned up his nose at his bucket that I tried the beet pulp pellets for him years ago with the same result. He seemed ok with the shreds (this would be 10 years or more ago).
I just checked my case history and realized I'd never updated the date on it so it looks like it's from June of 2020 but I actually updated it in January of this year. I need to do another update but would like to wait until I get this supplement carrier thing settled.
Thank you for your insights Bonnie!
Joy and Willie (EC/IR)
Nevada County, CA - 2019
Case history: https://ecir.groups.io/g/CaseHistory/files/Joy%20and%20Willie
Willie's photo album: https://ecir.groups.io/g/CaseHistory/album?id=242526