Feeding cubes or pellets


Angie
 

In an effort to figure out why my PPID horse has loose stools (no other symptoms), I may have to put him on soaked cubes or pellets for awhile to rest his gut. I could feed the TC Balanced cubes but the cost is prohibitive over the long term and our local store does not carry them reliably. I could get regular alfalfa/timothy cubes or pellets.  Any suggestions?  How detrimental would it be to not balance his forage for a month or two?  I would still give him his ground flax seed and Vitamin E. He's doing extremely well right now other than the loose stool. 
--
Angie
October 2020, Mendocino County, CA

Case History: https://ecir.groups.io/g/CaseHistory/files/Angie%20and%20Jacob
Jacob's Photo Album:

 


DEBBIE GIRARD
 

 I thought the same thing when we had a shortage of good quality hay..I thought I would temporarily put my gelding on just Alfalfa/timothy cubes as his sole forage ration ...He loved it but in the second month he fell apart and that was the start of our laminitis journey.. I thought it was  healthy because the sugar/starch was low but I have since learned that the protein levels are very important and I think that is what affected him.. 

--
Debbie Girard/Massachusetts/2021


Frances C
 

As a complete feed? I don't think pellets have enough, or any, long stem forage which needed for gut health. I wonder what percentage of hay in the diet is minimumally required
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- Frances C.
December 2017, Washington & California
Case history: https://ecir.groups.io/g/CaseHistory/files/Frances%20and%20Phoenix
Phoenix's Photo Album: https://ecir.groups.io/g/CaseHistory/album?id=12382


 

Hi Angie,
I went to take a look at your case history to see if I could offer some suggestions.  I found blood testing results but no evidence of an actual case history.  I’m not sure why he would need a break from his regular diet of hay but I have no idea how old he is and whether he might have dentition issues.  Could you please put a case history together so we can answer appropriately?  I then went back through your messages and saw several references to your case history.  Do you have it filed someplace other than at your signature link?
--
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


 
 


Eleanor Kellon, VMD
 
Edited

A requirement for "long stem", or long pieces of forage is a wive's tale and simply not true. Many horses that are older, dentally challenged or have problems like chronic choke or other esophageal issues do quite well on diets of only ground, pelleted feed. What they do need is both fermentable fiber to generate VFAs and poorly fermentable fiber like lignin and cellulose which serve as floats where the microorganisms attach.
--
Eleanor in PA

www.drkellon.com 
EC Owner 2001


Angie
 

I will try to figure out what I've done wrong with my case history. This is all very confusing to me. 
My horse is 19 years old, gelding, PPID positive. My vet wants me to put him on pellets to rest his gut and then if it improves, we may be able to re-introduce hay. She believes he may have mild Right Dorsal Colitis.  He has a lot of gut sounds on the right side.  Teeth were done in March and re-checked in October. It's possible he is not chewing his hay well as he has a wave mouth. But right now the main concern is to heal his gut. My question is how to balance (or not) this temporary diet.
--
Angie
October 2020, Mendocino County, CA

Case History: https://ecir.groups.io/g/CaseHistory/files/Angie%20and%20Jacob
Jacob's Photo Album:

 


Angie
 

My vet wants all hay removed from my horse's diet. Long stem hay can irritate the bowel and his needs time to rest. I agree they need more than just mushy pellets and that's why I like the cubes. They do offer some short stem forage. But right now, he needs a bland soft diet. 
--
Angie
October 2020, Mendocino County, CA

Case History: https://ecir.groups.io/g/CaseHistory/files/Angie%20and%20Jacob
Jacob's Photo Album:

 


Angie
 

I have uploaded the case history again with updates. 
--
Angie
October 2020, Mendocino County, CA

Case History: https://ecir.groups.io/g/CaseHistory/files/Angie%20and%20Jacob
Jacob's Photo Album:

 


celestinefarm
 

Angie,
A couple of thoughts here. If you can feed the Timothy Balance cubes, that would be your number one choice. I understand you are saying it is not affordable in the long run, but you also said it's only for a couple of months Right Dorsal Colitis is serious and needs to be treated as per your vet's instructions. A couple of months worth of TC cubes at 15-17 lbs a day is probably going to run you around $250-300 a month. If that is not possible or you are looking at very long term elimination of hay, hay pellets and balancing those pellets is going to cost probably more. I can't imagine buying a complete pelleted feed such as stabul 1 is going to cost less, and simply feeding timothy pellets without balancing vitamins and minerals to them not viable either in the long run.
 if you simply feed a quality timothy or grass pellet, make sure he has salt, Vit E and flax, he will be fine. It's certainly not ideal, and you will want to try to improve his diet if he responds well to your vet's instructions. For a couple of months, IMO, as you are trying to treat a serious illness, I think he'll be ok and if he were mine, I would try it, monitoring him carefully.
--
Dawn Wagstaff and Tipperary   

Saline, MI  2003

Tipperary Case History

Juniper Case history: https://ecir.groups.io/g/CaseHistory/files/Dawn%20and%20Juniper/Case%20history%20Juniper.pdf .


Frances C
 

Ah, thank you once more Dr. K. Now I will never worry about "long stem" again.
--
- Frances C.
December 2017, Washington & California
Case history: https://ecir.groups.io/g/CaseHistory/files/Frances%20and%20Phoenix
Phoenix's Photo Album: https://ecir.groups.io/g/CaseHistory/album?id=12382


Eleanor Kellon, VMD
 

 Any horse with good teeth turns "long stem" hay into "short stem" hay. Observation of the contents of the intestinal tract at necropsy proves it.
--
Eleanor in PA

www.drkellon.com 
EC Owner 2001


Angie
 

Thank you Dawn for your suggestions and insight. I am trying to find the Timothy Balance Cubes now.  The local store can't get them so I'm looking at a 2 hour drive to another feed store. Cost will be about $11/day.  In the meantime, he is on timothy pellets along with his salt, E, and flax. I just need to dial in a good balanced diet for the next few months. I appreciate your thoughts on this.  It helps to hear from someone from "outside" my emotional drama.
--
Angie
October 2020, Mendocino County, CA

Case History: https://ecir.groups.io/g/CaseHistory/files/Angie%20and%20Jacob
Jacob's Photo Album:

 


 

Hello Angie, you said you updated your case history, but there are no additions for this year that I can see.  Did you hit 'save' after you added information?

--
Ellen
Pal & Savvy
N. Alabama
Aug 2013
Case History


Angie
 

ok - uploaded it again. I think it's working now. 
--
Angie
October 2020, Mendocino County, CA

Case History: https://ecir.groups.io/g/CaseHistory/files/Angie%20and%20Jacob
Jacob's Photo Album:

 


 

Thanks for getting the case history updated, Angie.  I understand that Tractor Supply can get timothy balance cubes, although I haven’t bought them there myself.  No local feed dealer that carries Triple Crown Feeds?  Keep in mind when you’re doing your calculations that it only takes 3/4 as much weight in the balance cubes as it does hay and you don’t need to pay extra for balancing minerals.
--
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


 
 


DEBBIE GIRARD
 

I’m not sure why it is 3/4 cubes to hay in weight. The calories the company gave me for a pound of cubes was less than 850 calories . Sounds like Timothy hay would be the same pound for pound..


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Debbie Girard/Massachusetts/2021


 

Me either, Debbie.  I did find that the maintenance amount (as calculated for hay) for an underweight pony plumped him right up in no time, leaving me to get a few pounds back off of him.  The balance cubes do have added beet pulp as a binder.  I could hazard a guess that these cubes are generally fed in quantity to older horses and that they may well provide a better source of nutrition, being partially ‘digested’ already - perhaps by allowing a better substrate for bacteria to act upon.
--
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


 
 


Angie
 

Our local feedstore gets their Triple Crown feeds through the Purina dealer. I don't understand how all that works but they can't get the Timothy Balance Cubes.  
Tractor Supply told me they couldn't get them because they are not listed on their website. But then I got a call back that said they have them in stock! Very confusing. I'm going to go buy every bag they have.  I just pray this new feed regime will work.  If only my horse understood what I am going through. He just loves food - no matter what it is. 

--
Angie
October 2020, Mendocino County, CA

Case History: https://ecir.groups.io/g/CaseHistory/files/Angie%20and%20Jacob
Jacob's Photo Album:

 


 
Edited

Good observation, Debbie, about the digestible energy. I can explain the 3:4 ratio this way: experience has shown energy derived is greater than an equivalent Mcal of hay, but ymmv. DE is a calculated value and there isn’t even a single universal formula. It’s an estimate. Even with hay, a horse’s actual energy derived can vary from hay to hay. Use the ratio as a starting point and adjust as necessary. 
--
Cass, Sonoma Co., CA 2012
ECIR Group Moderator
Cayuse and Diamond Case History Folder                
Cayuse Photos                Diamond Photos


Lorna Cane
 

Hi Angie,

Since there seems to be some retail confusion about the cubes, just be sure they are the Timothy Balance Cubes. The bag should have a lavender tag on it.
It's so easy in the ' hay cube world ' to pick up the wrong product.

--

Lorna  in Eastern  Ontario
2002
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