Anyone successfully feed an older horse rabbit pellets long term?

Discussion in 'Horse Health' started by murdaw, Jul 29, 2011.

  1. murdaw

    murdaw Registered

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    I have been feeding rabbit pellets and senior feed to my 25 year old quarter horse gelding for over 6 months now. He is fat and sleek again! He was a bag of bones. Honestly, I don't want him to gain any more, just maintain. I just have a little niggling worry about long term effects? He cannot chew the larger alfalfa pellets, although I stupidly did not think about soaking them for him. The first ingredient is alfalfa, but there are definitely other things in there. He seems fine. He is doing this heavy breathing thing that I don't like occasionally, and he acted like he was tying up or something when my 7 year old daughter rode him a few months ago. I don't know that they are related, however. Has anyone fed rabbit pellets in large amounts (probably 12 pounds a day) long term without problems?
     






  2. oldhorsehome

    oldhorsehome Senior Member+

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    Why are you feeding rabbit pellets to a horse?
     
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  3. angie j

    angie j Senior Member+

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    Is there really any MORE to add besides this? ;)
     
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  4. murdaw

    murdaw Registered

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    Because he has very few teeth and cannot chew. I gave him alfalfa cubes, and he can't chew them. They are too big. He tries to eat grass and hay, and ends up making ropes out of it.
     
  5. oldhorsehome

    oldhorsehome Senior Member+

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    I have a 32 yr. old that has lost all of his chewing teeth. He is fed senior feed, rice bran pellets and alfalfa cubes (the big ones). They are soaked and he does just fine. Don't know if the rabbit food wil cause problems or not. I have rabbits too, I'll need to check the ingredients on the bag.
     
  6. EventerNic6187

    EventerNic6187 Senior Member+

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    Here's a basic ingredient list for rabbit food. I've never been in charge of determining feed and rations for a horse, but someone who has can probably look at this and advise...

    INGREDIENTS
    Dehydrated Alfalfa Meal, Wheat Middlings, Ground Soybean Hulls, Dehulled Soybean Meal, Ground Corn, Wheat Flour, Cane Molasses, Ground Oat Hulls, Lignin Sulfonate, Salt, Monocalcium Phosphate, Calcium Carbonate, DL-Methionine, Choline Chloride, Iron Oxide, L-Lysine, Sodium Selenite, Vitamin E Supplement, Niacin Supplement, Riboflavin, Vitamin A Supplement, Dried Aspergillus Niger Fermentation Extract, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Dried Yeast, Dried Enterococcus Faecium Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus Acidophilus Ferment Product, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Cobalt Carbonate, Manganese Sulfate, Ethylenediamine Dihydriodide, Zinc Sulfate, Dried Yucca Shidigera Extract, Copper Chloride, Dicalcium Phosphate, Monocalcium Phosphate.

    ETA: although I do agree with oldhorse... there are other options like soaking food or finding something that is made for older horses who have trouble chewing. While rabbit pellets may not be HARMFUL, it's probably not the BEST for him.
     
  7. murdaw

    murdaw Registered

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    I'm not trying to be funny or quirky, I'm just trying to take care of my horse. I've had horses for years, I used to raise paint show horses. I am not an ignorant horse owner. I found something I could get down him, it was successful, because he looks much better. I just wonder, now that things are better, if I should change to something else. I am concerned about long term effects.
     
  8. Loney Pony

    Loney Pony Full Member

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    I have a 24 year old horse with few back teeth left. Before we got his feeding straightened out, he was also making (ropes) with his hay (I think it's called quidding). I feed him soaked Purina Equine Senior, and TNT brand chopped alfalfa (he cannot handle the pellets either unless soaked). He handles the chopped alfalfa just fine. Actually I think the one I get is an alfalfa/timothy mix, but TNT makes both. He is a butterball and totally does not look his age! I get the TNT at Tractor Supply...no idea if you have one of those where you are or not!
     
  9. laluna

    laluna Senior Member

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    I have never fed a horse rabbit pellets, nor have I ever heard of it. I buy my rabbit's feed in 50 lb bags, and I wouldn't let me horses near it, quite frankly.

    For all the elderly horses, that have had no teeth, we've always just got a large floor pan and turned their food into a nice mash. None of them had ever had a problem eating it. I know it was part beet pulp, part senior feed, part soaked alfalfa cubes/pellets and part of a complete feed. In the winter we would make the mash warm, and add oil.
     
  10. PyroTekNik333

    PyroTekNik333 Senior Member+

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    Huh, actually, theoretically it would be okay, depending on what is actually in the pellet.

    When I had show rabbits the pellet was alfalfa, timothy and a mineral mix, nothing that would harm a horse.
    But there are rabbit pellets that have animal by product in them and that I wouldn't feed my horse (or my rabbit for that matter...), you'd have to check all the mineral content and levels to make sure what you have is safe and it wouldn't be cost effective at all, a good rabbit feed is expensive.

    IMO you'd be better off going with a good Sr. feed (I hear good things about Triple Crown Sr) and soaked alfalfa pellets if extra is needed long term.
    Or you can soak the cubes too, I get them just a little damp and then break them apart.
     






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