Saturday, December 11, 2010

Feeling his oats

In this week’s radio show, equine nutritionist, Dr. Judy Reynolds, shares the problem with feeding too much cereal grain in general, and oats in particular, to horses. What’s wrong with oats? Well, nothing if consumed in the small quantities a free-ranging horse would get and balanced by a diet high in fiber. Unfortunately, that’s not how most horse owners use oats. Oats produce the equine equivalent of a sugar high and in extreme cases, the horse’s normal metabolic functioning is compromised, which can lead to founder. Listen to my radio interview with Dr. Reynolds here for more information and catch her each week with a Nutrition Nugget on my TV show.

9 comments:

cashzig21 said...

I have a 15 y/o AQHA Mare who was starved at the barn I was boarding her at (350# underweight). I have spent the last two years trying to get her weight back on with little success. The latest feeding we are using includes a cup of beet pulp, a cup of oats and 2 cups of 11% Reliance pellets soaked in warm water. Once a day she gets the ration with a coop of weight builder. She also has free choice of clean hay and fresh water. Everyone keeps telling OATS -- I am soooo confused!!!! She is scheduled for a blood workup this week - adrenal and thyroid.

Rick said...

Who is telling you to feed oats? Is it an equine nutritionist who thoroughly understands the horse's digestive system and stays on top of the latest scientific research? Ultimately you have to make the choice for your horse. If you have not listened to the radio interview, please take the time to do so. Also, be aware that ADM Alliance Nutrition offers a free customized feeding plan for your horse. Details at GroStrong.com.
Good luck.
Rick

apage said...

WOW--- what a croc on oats being a bad feed. Think you need to look at who is promoting what – there is a dollar sign with these companies using the by products of beet pulp, rice bran, and wheat millings out there—not something a horse would chose to eat. Feeding fat--- hum and no one ever addresses that the horse has no gall bladder. I have been in the horse business for over 45 years and I remember when ulcers were not a problem, joint issues in young horses were not a problem, cushings and IR in our horses were a rare problem. Thanks for your time and if you would like to speak to a real nutritionalist and one that knows what the kick back of all this junk in the feed, I suggest you contact Justine Hand. I would love to have a round table with any of these so called experts and her.
Lets get back to nature and how God created the horses to eat.

Rick said...

Listen carefully to Dr. Reynolds's radio interview. Note that she promotes a fiber-based diet (that's one based on forage), and very limited amounts of cereal grains, which is exactly what horses are designed to eat. I welcome different points of view in this blog. However, I do ask that you remain respectful.
Rick

apage said...

I am sorry for being disrespectful --
I will do better :-)

Bob said...

Wow now this is really confusing, I have tried several different grains on my horses strategy, sweet feed, mare in maintenance, all following the manufacturers intake recommendation, finally oats, i went to oats due to the feeds listed above i saw a tremendous energy change in my horses one that I did not care for so I did some checking with Local horse owners and the number 1 feed is whole Oats, so i started my horses on a oat ration twice a day, they get 3 lbs of oats in a.m and 3 lbs at p.m and have seen no unwanted energy actually at one time when i increased the oats I seen the reverse my horses had little energy, they also get clean grass hay 3 times a day, and free choice salt and mineral block. They are also on pasture 8-10 hours a day and worked 3-4 days per week..

Bob said...

Well know that is confusing, I have tried several different feeds on my horses, Strategy, Mare N Maintenance, Sweet Feed, and finally Whole Oats, I finally went with Oats due to the other feeds mentioned I seen unwanted energy in my horses and that is with feeding under the amount recommended by the Feed Manufacturers, I had also spoke with several local horse owners and the number 1 feed was oats, I feed an oat ration at 3 lbs twice a day 6 lbs total, at one point i did increase amount and within a few days seen the reverse of what has been mention my horses had little energy, so i decreased it to the current 6 lbs. intake, my horses also get on average of 8 hrs. pasture time with clean grass hay mix 3 times a day when pastures are barren (Winter)they also have free choice salt and mineral block. I have been with this feeding program for 3 yrs now and my horses are at a healthy weight and have normal energy????

apage said...

Ok -- goes like this --most have gotten more educated about human nutrition(that is stay away from processed foods)
If we would look and actually read the labels it should scare us.
Example looking at a textured horse feed label I see that list 44 ingredients. Cracked corn, whole corn,cane molasses (a by-product),
Wheat middlings(commonly referred to as floor sweepings it is an inexpensive filler in pet foods), corn gluten feed(a by-product),dehulled soybean meal (a by-product of soybean processing for oil and meal production)Dicalcumphosphate,calcium iodate, cobalt carbonate, potassium sulfate(The principal use of potassium sulfate is as a fertilizer. The crude salt is also used occasionally in the manufacture of glass), magnesium sulfate (Oral magnesium sulfate is commonly used as a saline laxative),thiamine mononitrate(If you’ve ever noticed the term “enriched” on a bag of flour, what it’s telling you is that after everything that is good for you is removed, they put it all back again. In this particular case, thiamine mononitrate – in the form of a white, crystalline powder – is added to replace the B1 that disappeared in the milling process)
Menadione sodium bisulfite complex (Menadione has carcinogenic effects and "is toxic to kidneys, lungs, liver, mucous membranes.")
zinc sulfate (It is not known whether zinc sulfate will harm an unborn baby) ---the list goes on for a total of 44 ---check the bagged feed labels out for yourself.

Margot said...

I add about 20% alfalfa to the clean grass hay I feed in winter. My 22 yr old mare also gets a handful of senior feed each day while my other mares get a handful of horse chow 100. They all are turned out to pasture each afternoon and have fresh water and salt mineral blocks 24/7. They are not high, but are of good flesh and healthy, sound and happy.