Hi Dr. Dan,
I just purchased your Feed for Success products and have some
questions. My 13 year old mare has been on Safe Choice and Equi-Shine
along with your Bug Check and Red Cal, previously before last June she
was on a sweet feed along with equi-shine for 7 years. She is an easy
keeper, a paso fino, 14.2 hands weighing in at approximately 840 lbs.
I see that your directions mention combining the Just Add Oats to the
oats but I was wondering if I can also add the "Weight Check Oil" to
that mixture or does the oil need to be added to each feeding
separately. She gets fed her grain twice a day, morning and evening,
and is on grass all day long this time of year (I live in Wisconsin),
along with some hay too. I board her so she is fed by the barn
people, and I want to make it easy for them to feed her so I am a bit
concerned about them having to add the oil to each feeding. If that is
the case, I wish there was some kind of pump on the gallon of Weight
Check Oil. Should I take her off the Equi-Shine or will this be okay
with your products? Also how do you suggest that I get her accustomed
to the Feed for Success program as far as proportions to the Safe
Choice in the beginning, half and half to begin with or what? I know
lots of questions but I don't want her to colic or anything like that
with so many changes in her feed.
In making the switch, some are able to switch 100% ("cold turkey")right away and others not. Half and half is a good starting point— or just at whatever amount they will eat at beginning and adjust accordingly. Basically what you are doing is providing same amount but just dividing between the two. If it seems they prefer a little less of "the new"… then you will start at a point that they like and gradually increase every 3 days or so and work through this— backing back down to last amount that worked and back up more slowly if needed. It can be a process, so hopefully your caretakers will help you well through this switch. It is only worth it at the end— which is in fact a "new beginning" for your horse! I will also add that I have never had the first colic episode because of switching to oats- even switching "cold turkey". (Be sure RED CAL is always provided free-choice though!)
As for the Weight Check Oil, it's best to use at each feeding because it makes everything "stick" but it is not required. The key is just make sure they are getting it. I'm sorry, but I just haven't been able to find a pump that works well. Something you could use is the scoop from Bug Check which will hold the exactly full 2 oz daily amount required for a 1000 lb horse.
I hope this helps. And please keep me posted on the switch.