Sunday, March 6, 2011

More Feed Headaches

About a week ago I was at the barn working Lilly and noticed her feed pan still had grain in it. I was there around 11am so I wondered if she hadn't finished or if they had put her dinner grain out already. I forgot about it by the time I left the barn (I have CRS...) and didn't really think about it again until Thursday morning.

Thursday was the day I was at the barn early to get AJ ready for his journey home. No one was there yet, so I went out to the pasture to get AJ. When I got back with him the BOs were there feeding. I was messing around with AJ, so I wasn't paying attention to what was going on until I heard Lilly going bonkers in her stall. They were walking the alpha mare out to the pasture and Lilly was not happy about being left (despite Baby being right across the hall).

Long story short, Lilly hadn't touched her feed and they turned her out even though she didn't eat any of her breakfast. She was way too hyper to eat, so I didn't fuss about it too much... I was sidetracked with AJ anyway.

I did glance at the feed and it looked dark. In fact, it didn't look like SafeChoice, it looked like Strategy. So after everyone left and I was there by myself with AJ, I went into the feed room and grabbed a handful from each can. I couldn't tell a difference between the so-called SC and the Strategy. I made a mental note to talk to M about it after AJ was safely on his way home.

I called her after he got on the trailer to let her know he finally made it out and I mentioned the grain issue to her. She had been keeping an eye on the grain too and she said she'd take a look at it that night. She called me afterward and said she agreed with me and left a message for the BO on his cell phone.

One thing that's great about M... she is not afraid to say something if she sees something she doesn't like. It's great having her as a friend because she sticks up for Lilly as if she was her own horse. It's a great feeling knowing she's looking out for her.

She said when the BO called her back he was irritated with her and insisted it was SC. She explained that he needed to understand where we were coming from because of what we've been through and that the grain doesn't look right. He said he hadn't switched the grain... end of story.


Fast forward to Friday night when I was there getting Lilly ready for the show. I was there pretty late so the BO had fed and gone and Lilly's grain was waiting for her in the stall. After I finished her bath I went and got the grain from her stall so she could eat before I banded her mane.

She wanted no part of that grain... at one point she put some in her mouth and then spit it back out. M and I looked at each other and thought maybe there was just too much going on so I put it back in her stall. Saturday morning she had eaten some of it, but not very much of it. They gave her fresh feed with her SmartPak and she didn't touch it.

So on the way to the fairgrounds I'm a bit ticked off... there's four feedings that I'm aware of that my mare didn't eat. I told M, there's NO way that feed is SC. I don't care what he says, it's just not. I'd hate to think he would lie to me, but I'm not buying it. We still had some SC in her trailer and I fed it to Lilly when we got to the show. She ate it up... So it isn't that there's too much going on or blah, blah, blah, she doesn't like the feed. It's not SC.

So we get back to the barn and the female half of the BO is there without her hubby. She's a lot more understanding and easy to talk to than he his so I was glad she was there. Before I even got into the barn, M was confronting her about the grain issue. (Have I mentioned how great M is?) She said it was SC too, but I'm sure she's only repeating what he told her, so M asked to see the empty feed bags. They didn't have any of the SC, only Strategy.

She said he got it from a different feed store this time and maybe that was why it looked different. It isn't being milled at the feed store, it's being shipped from Nutrena. And it looks just like Strategy!

She said there have been quite a few nights and mornings where Lilly didn't eat her grain... she couldn't remember when it started exactly, and some of the times she's not there to feed, only he is. It probably started when he decided to switch them over to whatever the heck they're eating!

Seems like someone might have started to wonder why Lilly wasn't eating grain and perhaps should have thought about calling to tell me?? It's no wonder I thought she was looking a little thin... she's not eating!!

Still not convinced, we left the SC we had for them to feed Lilly to see if she'll actually eat the grain. No one called me today so I'll be calling in the morning to ask how it's going. Maybe the BO realized he'd been busted and went out and bought ACTUAL SC!

So frustrating... I'm just glad I've only got one headache now instead of two. Thanks again mom and dad!! I know AJ is being taken care of and being fed properly!

Because of the way Lilly has been acting lately, and the way she was acting at the show yesterday, I'm also assuming it's Strategy he's feeding. M said she noticed Baby acting a bit different too and the super high NSC content of Strategy would easily explain their behavior. Lilly is acting a lot like she was during stall rest when I had her on the Strategy HE.

SafeChoice my you-know-what... again, I'd hate to think he's lying to our face about the feed, but it's NOT SC.



  1. Ohhh, i2p, that's just awful! I hope you get it straightened out - and M is a great friend. :)

  2. I would be SO annoyed, probably to the point on down-right angry. I hope that gets straightened out!

  3. Wow, what a pain. I really hope you can get everything straightened out with the BO. And while you shouldn't HAVE to do it, maybe you could offer to pick up the SC from the feed store and drop it off for him with the receipt? Since it sounds like his excuse is that the regular feed store doesn't carry SC, you'll just get it for him, and he can just subtract it from your board. At least that way you KNOW he's got the right feed and you'll know how much is being used. Still, how annoying!

  4. OH NO!! This totally bites. I would really be upset if the BO were lying to you. ARG.

  5. Oh boy! I'm fanatical about my girl's food so I can just imagine how you feel. Why do people not take NSC content seriously?! Just because they've "never had a problem" are they willing to risk someone else's horse's health to save some effort or save a buck? I sure hope you can get it straightend out. Probably a good thing your girl won't eat it. Mine would hoover anything. Husband says if you put a shiny turd in her food bowl she'd probably still rave about the gourmet meal. Good luck!

  6. Funder, M is my horsey better half. The woman has guts! :)

    Mare, I'm quite upset... I think I'm most upset because no one told me she wasn't eating and I have no idea how long she's not been eating. And what about her supplements??

    I'm so sick of worrying about feed... it was bad enough with AJ, and now this with Lilly. It might come down to what you mention, jenj, and if he doesn't like that idea either I'll have to start shopping for a new place again.

    Milo, I don't want to think he's fibbing about the grain and now he's bummed out that he got caught, but that is not SafeChoice in the feed bin.

    NSC is definitely a big issue... I've seen first had the difference it can make in a horse (especially one on stall rest!) and I don't want Lilly eating feed with such a high content of it.

    Lilly knows it's bad for her, so she doesn't want to eat it. :)

    That's funny about your mare, Story! Sometimes I wish Lilly was more of a hoover like that!!

  7. I'm so glad I don't have to deal with BOs of any kind anymore. I know more people going through struggles over feed. Very frustrating. I hope it gets fixed for you and fixed soon.

  8. Thanks, Rainbow. I don't know why this food stuff has to be such a big issue no matter where I take my horses. Lilly eats 2lbs of SafeChoice twice per day with a SmartPak in the morning.

    It's too simple to be so complicated!