Wednesday, January 30, 2013

It's poison, of course.

I've been thinking a lot about what I'm throwing into my boys' beet pulp mash and why...  The formula has gotten a LOT simpler than it used to be (thank goodness!), and I think it's a lot better.  I switched to doing beet pulp with Triple Crown Complete mixed in.  After consulting those on the google group, I switched from TCC to TC Senior because it was lower in starches and higher in fat, which is what I need. That seemed to be a pretty balanced meal.  Then, I scaled it down to 2 1/2 lbs of each in their big, yellow flexible bucket, and filled it about halfway with water.  Originally, I was letting the beet pulp soak all the way and then draining off the excess, but decided to leave it nice and soupy for them when I discovered they would still eat it (Snickers actually drinks down to it!).  That way, I'm getting lots of water in them but not blowing through feed.

The other day, I texted Shelley to see if I was getting them everything they needed.  However, the Triple Crown senior is meant to be fed 5 lbs per day per horse, 4x what I'm already going through for my boys!  That's not going to happen.  Instead, we added a mineral powder to the mix.  That way, I didn't add a lot more feed since they were getting plenty and if already fills their buckets up.

At Marri's we found a little scooper for it and determined that it would be about 3 scoops of the minerals to total what both horses needed, then I'd mix it in and divide it into their buckets.  So, after working with them briefly in the pasture, I added the powder and mixed it up!  BIG mistake.  I finally earned myself the "Are you poisioning me?!" face from the horses.  Snickers made it pretty clear how he felt about me messing with their beet pulp:

"What did you DO to our mash??"

You gonna eat it??

Then Snickers tasted it, and showed me his clear disapproval, while Flash sniffed his cautiously and somewhat disappointed that he didn't get his same yummy mash.

I added some Senior on top to get them to start eating again.  It kind of worked - they ate it down a ways, but then Snickers opted for the hay.  Flash kept at the mash, though not as eager as usual.

Today, I added the powder with the dry ingredients so it could soak along with everything else.  I added one not-quite-full scoop to the mix.  I worked with Snickers in the arena, then put him back and hauled out the mash.  Luckily, someone (probably Flash) had cleaned up the buckets as usual, so yesterday's mash didn't go to waste.  With today's mash, I couldn't see the powder in it, so I wonder if it actually dissolved or was just really spread out.  Either way, they didn't seem to have any issue with it today!  Success!

Of course, Flash was so interested in what I was doing when I bent down to scoop out more mash that he swing his head right over mine and drooled lots of nice mashy soup right on my head.  By the time I went home, it dripped all the way down to my neck and went down the back of my shirt!  Yuck!  Thanks buddy.

Anyway, I'm really glad they liked it this time.  They're getting a little less than half of the full amount they should be getting, so I'm going to add a half-scoop tomorrow and see how they do.  If all goes well, I'll just keep adding until I'm about at 3 scoops again.  Two scoops would be fine, though, if they don't like any more than that.  I just feel good that they're getting the nutrients, vitamins, and minerals they need!

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