It’s been a year since we switched-up the feed grain regimen for the jennies Callie and Mocha. They were getting a common “all stock” type of feed along with some oats before that. But that old diet contributed to them being overweight. Over the winter they lost plenty of weight and started to look good, but alas, the lush grasses they eat in the Spring didn’t help matters. Many grain feeds have molasses added, so the calories can be pretty high. Callie’s got some fatty deposits along the crest of her neck and that’s the result of her having too much starch and fat in her diet. Her new diet is having a good effect, but we still need to keep an eye on it. I’m hoping we don’t need to dry lot her but we may have to in order to control her caloric intake.
So for the past year, both Callie and Mocha have been on a more diet-restrictive feed that has less calories and balanced protein. We are feeding Purina Enrich Plus to them. The “ration-balancing feed” is good for horses or donkeys that have founder tendencies or are overweight. It’s a concentrate feed designed to compliment pasture-grazing equine or those that eat mostly hay. It provides the required nutrition they need in addition to grazing, but without a lot of excess calories like you get from corn or oat-based feeds. It also includes vitamins and minerals with antioxidants. It’s low starch / low fat properties are also encouraging.
For BonBon (the Jenny with degenerative arthritis and laminitis), we will soak Timothy hay cubes along with a small amount of Purina Enrich Plus. This makes a slurry she can eat without fear of “choke.” BonBon is dry lotted so she is not exposed to dry grasses she will choke on during the hot season.
The other Jennies Callie and Mocha graze on pasture grasses, but they also share about a half pound of the Enrich Plus twice daily. I mix it with water and as you can see from the video, they like to slurp up the “gravy” liquid first before chowing down on the grain itself. These two Jennies don’t need it wet, but I am trying to get them used to it in case I reunite BonBon with them down the road. That is so they’re all accustomed to eating the grain part of their diet in a slurry.
The Enrich Plus diet is expensive though – over 30 dollars a bag. So it’s about three times as expensive as the cheaper, not-to-healthful all-stock grain. Our veterinary friends counsel us that it’s worth the extra expense to keep them on a more balanced diet. So far, we are seeing encouraging results.