New Hay - results. Does his current diet align to this new hay well enough?


Laura and Ero
 

Hi. I have two new large bales (2 months supply) that came into the barn and are on hold for Ero (more grass, less alfalfa). The results are in my case history folder, but also here -->  Feb 2021 Grassy Bales - Two Large.pdf (groups.io)

Good news - the iron is lower as is the s/s compared to his current hay (which I'm still soaking. It'd be great to not have to do that). The rest of the minerals are not the same though and I have not been able to keep up with/understand the NRC+ coursework. (I will be auditing the next class again - I'm trying!)

Everything is current in my case history, but for here's his diet for reference:
- 24-25 pounds of hay (then soaked and fed via three meals via small-hole nets)
- Equi-VM, 2 scoops
- Elevate Vit E, 3 cc
- TC ground flax, 1/2 cup 
- Uckele monosodium phosphate - 1.5 teaspoons
- Uckele magnesium 56% - 1 scoop (2350 mg)
- Iodized salt, 2 tablespoons
- 1/2 cup Stabul 1 
- 1 pump Gastrix

Ero is in very light work only / rehabbing for the next several months. He does get daily turnout, but his paddock isn't large and is covered in a lot of snow.

Thanks for any suggestions/advice on diet modifications. 

--
Laura and Ero

October 2020 | Colgate, WI USA 

Ero Case History

Ero Photo Album


Kirsten Rasmussen
 

Good to hear that the new hay is slightly better!  Be aware though that iron can vary quite a bit from sample to sample, and when I sent duplicate samples for carb analysis there was a notable difference in the results so even ESC and starch can vary, too.  So the new hay is not significantly different than the current hay in these respects, and definitely keep on soaking. 

It would be irresponsible for most of us to advise any adjustments to Ero's minerals without sitting down and working through his diet like one of our hay balancers would do, which takes time, so it's kind of hard to advise you off the cuff.  With the new hay, a very basic look at it makes me doubt the extra magnesium or phosphorous is needed, and the Equi-VM appears to be falling a bit short on copper and zinc.  But before changing anything I would have someone look at it more closely.  My overall impression though is that it looks like what you are feeding is reasonable given that the hay changes every couple months.  Ideally in your situation you would have the ingredients to make your own custom mix every couple months on hand, so you can adjust it to each batch of hay...once you finish the NRC course you will be able to do this on your own! 

You could increase the ground flax to 2/3 cup or more...half a cup is on the lowish side.  We recommend 2-4 oz, have you weighed it?

--
Kirsten and Shaku (IR) - 2019
Kitimat, BC, Canada
ECIR Group Moderator
 
Shaku's Case History
Shaku's Photo Album


Laura and Ero
 

Thanks Kristen. I'll continue to try to find someone to help, but not having a lot of luck as of late. I'm trying to get ahead of this and am also trying to make my own spreadsheet that help with multiple variables of ratios and priority of ratios ... but I just have too many questions. 

I will say the course is much more complicated than I anticipated, at least for me. It's almost over and I know enough to know I know I can't do this on my own without having a lot of questions specific to my horse. All questions are answered relevant to examples docs provided only. This is why I'm asking for help. 

Re: flax -- I have weighed and I'm open to start increasing again. However, 1/2 cup is more than 4 oz  ... so again, I'm confused. Inconsistent methods of dosing adds complexity (cups vs. oz).

With pretty much everything recommended being a powder, it's a quite a lot for him to ingest in his two feedings. And when I tried to wet it down it turns into a sticky paste.  Thankfully he's always hungry (although this is heartbreaking), he does try to lick up as much as he can. And when I asked questions about a carrier such as beet pulp, then I'm introducing a lot more calcium ... and there again requires further adjustments to his diet. 

I know I'm still new, but I am truly trying to understand and do right by my horse - avoiding emergency situations as much as possible. I wish there were more simplified tools for the lay person. 


--
Laura and Ero

October 2020 | Colgate, WI USA 

Ero Case History

Ero Photo Album


Lorna Cane
 

Hi Laura,

You said, "I will say the course is much more complicated than I anticipated, at least for me. It's almost over and I know enough to know I know I can't do this on my own without having a lot of questions specific to my horse. All questions are answered relevant to examples docs provided only. This is why I'm asking for help. "

Just butting in here to say that once you finish the NRCPlus course, you are able to join the NRCPlus Grads Group.
It's fabulous. It is comprised of grads from the course(duh) who wanted to know more,learn more,get specific advice about their situation,their balancing attempt,etc.

Don't give up hope just yet.

--

Lorna  in Eastern  Ontario
2002
Check out FAQ : https://www.ecirhorse.org/FAQ.php


 

Hi Laura,
I took the NRC+ course quite awhile ago and had Uckele prepare a custom mix to balance my hay.  They will do the balancing free if you purchase the mix from them.  Their balancer moved on and Dr. Kellon took over that job so that’s an option for you.  More recently, I found myself ‘between’ hays and not sure a tub of their custom mix could keep up with my changing hay so I looked into what commercial premixed blend I could use and modify to meet my changing needs.  I also realized there is group of NRC+ graduates who discuss their balancing issues.  The group is called NRC Plus Grads, which you can find under the list of Groups at the top of the page.  This may or may not get you there.   I followed along with what they were doing and discussing, using my previously balanced hay as an example.  I’m still not proficient at balancing it but I’m getting better.  U-Balance Foundation seems to come pretty close to balancing my hay and only needs an addition or two, depending on the hay.  I buy from the same farm every year and it seems fairly easy to balance, with the exception of the year the rake needed replacing after adding a lot of dirt to my hay.

Remember there two types of measurements, weight (dry) and volume (liquid).  We use the weight ones so you need a scale.  A half cup of water weighs 4 ounces but 1/2 cup of flax weighs 2.63 ounces.  If you weigh out the amount of flax you want, you can measure it’s volume with a measuring cup and measure out (by volume) the amount you need each serving.

Another method of giving supplements is to sprinkle it onto wet hay.  I especially do this with salt and the one time I used phosphorus as I was advised that horses don’t find the taste appealing.  I always give medications directly, rather than in their feed, to make sure it’s ingested.  I start out with a small amount of supplements (in a small amount of rsr beet pulp, if that is your carrier) and the rest on the hay.  When the horse get more used to eating the supplements, you can begin moving more from the hay into the supplement bucket.  The small amount of beet pulp used as a carrier should not affect your calcium enough for the hay to need rebalancing.
--
Martha in Vermont
ECIR Group Primary Response
July 2012 
 
Logo (dec. 7/20/19), Tobit(EC) and Pumpkin, Handy and Silver (EC/IR)

Martha and Logo


 
 


Laura and Ero
 

Lorna - good to know and I'll watch for communications on how to join that, thank you! I feel like I'm trying to do the work, but falling short often. We all learn differently and I'm wondering if there are people willing to be a tutor?


--
Laura and Ero

October 2020 | Colgate, WI USA 

Ero Case History

Ero Photo Album


Lorna Cane
 

Hi Laura,

My experience (and that of others) has been that the person who balances your hay from this group will also explain the why's of their work,and answer other questions which you have .
Did I see that you have been trying to find a person to balance for you? If not,there is a link in our Files, providing contacts.

--

Lorna  in Eastern  Ontario
2002
Check out FAQ : https://www.ecirhorse.org/FAQ.php


 

Hi, Laura.
We're all uncertain and confused at first, but when it comes to balancing, I promise you will learn by practicing. Join the NRCPlus Grads group and ask for help. Also, keep working down the list of balancers and mention you want to learn to balance for yourself. https://ecir.groups.io/g/main/files/HAY%20BALANCING-1.pdf

On feeding mineral supplements, I don't see in your CH what you're using as a carrier for your minerals. Most of us use about half a pound of a safe carrier like RSR beet pulp, ODTBC or Nuzu Stabul1 or a mixture of them. You'll find a list of safe feeds in Files, here: https://ecir.groups.io/g/main/files/5%20Core%20Diet/2.%20Safe%20Feeds     No need to feed a paste. You can soften the ODTC with a little water, warm water if you have it, so they fluff up. Mix in minerals dry and add just enough water to settle the dust, or your horse's preference. I use 225 grams ODTBC, dampened to fluff plus ½-1 cup Nuzu. You don't need the Nuzu with all horses, but mine prefer just a little inducement.
 
As for ground flax, Ero is a big fella. He needs at least 4 ounces by volume of ground flax. I feed 100 grams per day to my 1150 lb horse who isn't overweight. That is roughly one hard-packed 1 cup measure.

--
Cass, Sonoma Co., CA 2012
ECIR Group Moderator
Cayuse and Diamond Case History Folder                
Cayuse Photos                Diamond Photos


Lorna Cane
 

And to add to your list of carriers, Cass, soy hull pellets are great also.
Just dampen,no need to rinse.

--

Lorna  in Eastern  Ontario
2002
Check out FAQ : https://www.ecirhorse.org/FAQ.php


ferne fedeli
 

As Cass says, the best way to learn about the balancing is by doing it.  I worked with one of the balancers for the first several times I did the balancing.  I would work through it and then send her a copy of my spreadsheet to double-check for me.  I usually did just fine (it sometimes took me AGES to do!) and finally she said, and I agreed, that I was doing okay on my own, but I could always check back with her if I found something unusual or had a question.
--

Ferne Fedeli  Magic & Jack   2007

No. California
Case History

 

 


Laura and Ero
 

Thanks everyone! I've signed up for the Grad course and also the March NRC+ (to audit) again. Take 2 (or 3 ...)

@Martha/Lorna - I've also reached out to Dr. K to see if she has advice or adjustments from her first recommendation. Good to know about Uckele as well. I've purchased several products from them (per Dr K) so maybe that's another avenue to try for now. Thanks!

@Cass: Noted on ground flax - can increase him to a cup again. I was initially weighing every serving, but felt that I got it down to a 1/2 or 1 cup (for ease of prepping). I'll revisit this again as well. It's listed above and on my CH (page 4) that he's already eating 1/2 C Stabul 1 (although it's barely noticeable with all of the powder.) Frankly, Ero doesn't seem to need a carrier and I'm really trying to stay diligent about his weight/extra calories. High leptin and he will eat pretty much anything (except moldy hay, thankfully). It's just A LOT of powder. I board and prep his food, but I'm not there to feed in person. :/

Out of curiosity, advice or a link on where to purchase soy hull pellets should I need something in the future?

Appreciate the fast feedback everyone. 

--
Laura and Ero

October 2020 | Colgate, WI USA 

Ero Case History

Ero Photo Album


Lorna Cane
 

Hi Laura,

I get my soy hull pellets from the feed store.
Cattle farmers like them,so many feed store/mills carry them.

--

Lorna  in Eastern  Ontario
2002
Check out FAQ : https://www.ecirhorse.org/FAQ.php


Kirsten Rasmussen
 

Hi Laura,
I'm wondering if there are people willing to be a tutor
I'd be happy to guide you through the calculations and check your numbers if you are trying to work through it on your own.  I have done the course, passed the competency exam, and balanced a few hays for myself and others.  In the meantime though, you could ask for Dr Kellon to balance with Uckele supplements for now so there's no delay for Ero's minerals when he starts the new hay.

One thing: do this on paper, like how Carol requires it in the course!  It's less overwhelming.  The spreadsheet hides all the background work and makes it hard to see how you've done something (especially if you are coming back to it 6 months later!) and VERY easy for mistakes to be made.  If you do it on paper and 'show your work', you can refer back to it every time you have a new hay to balance and follow the same steps to work through it again with new hay numbers...it only takes 30 or so minutes with a new hay if you have your process laid out in front of you.  I only use a spreadsheet AFTER I've balanced the hay and figured out what I need to add to correct deficiencies and ratios...then, with the spreadsheet I can plug in the numbers for any extras I am already feeding for a carrier (beet pulp/soy hulls/ODTBC/extruded pellets/etc) and for any pre-made mineral mixes (if I'm not doing a custom mix) to see if it fills the gaps and doesn't throw off the mineral ratios.  But I spend so much time checking the spreadsheet for errors that I'm not sure it's any quicker than a pencil and paper!

--
Kirsten and Shaku (IR) - 2019
Kitimat, BC, Canada
ECIR Group Moderator
 
Shaku's Case History
Shaku's Photo Album


ferne fedeli
 

I mentioned using a spreadsheet recently and may have given people the wrong idea.  I actually use the spreadsheet as something to look at while I am calculating (it would also help me to catch something I have calculated by hand that is WAY off) and then when I have everything completed, I plug all my final figures into the spreadsheet to document what I have done & so I can easily see what I need to order when I contact Horsetech for my actual mineral order.

Ferne Fedeli  Magic & Jack   2007

No. California
Case History