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Old 02-21-2008, 02:50 PM   #1
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Pelleted feed - choking?

A friend had fed a pelleted feed and had a horse choke on it. She has since then not fed any pellet type feed due to her fear of it happening again. Have any of you had this happen, or know of it happening? While I know quirky things like this happen, how often or prevalent is it?
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Old 02-21-2008, 02:52 PM   #2
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If the horse eats it down too fast, she may have to go with a different brand or wet it down.. Me, I would check with my vet for suggestions..
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Old 02-21-2008, 02:59 PM   #3
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We have always fed a pelleted feed with no issues. But I have heard that horses who need to have their teeth floated may be more prone to choke on pellets.
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Old 02-21-2008, 03:07 PM   #4
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I just had a horse choke/colick. Another horse person said that she believes that pelleted food causes this. My vet said no. My vet also said he puts warm water on his pellets and it makes an oatmeal. I tried this and it works great and Harley loves it more. His worry is to get more water in his horses in the colder weather. This was my horse's problem. But wetting it for any reason takes the risk factor out. Better safe than sorry!
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Old 02-21-2008, 03:11 PM   #5
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I use pelleted feed and don't have a problem, but my horse does eat on the slower side.
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Old 02-21-2008, 03:13 PM   #6
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All we feed aside from Hay is pellets.
Pelleted alfalfa and pelleted ration
No problems.
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Old 02-21-2008, 03:30 PM   #7
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Perhaps if the horse is sucking down his food like my chowhounds do choking could be an issue. If eating too quickly is the problem, I slowed mine down by putting a smooth, softball-size river rock in each bucket; moving the rock around slows the whole process down and we haven't had any problems since. Knock on wood!
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Old 02-21-2008, 03:35 PM   #8
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The process to make a pellet does remove some of the natural moisture out of it. Some horses have no issues with pellets, because certain ones are more easily broke, a horse may tend not to chew them as thoroughly and bit more quickly. Adding water to them can reduce this issue, and as well get more water and fluids into your horse.

I feed mine a soup, warmer water in the winter and cool water in the summer.
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Old 02-21-2008, 03:39 PM   #9
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I had my old gelding choke on pellets..but it was a alfalfa based pellet, he liked to bolt his grain.
Had to call the vet out..he eats really slow now lol
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Old 02-21-2008, 03:42 PM   #10
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There was a horse at my previous barn that choked on a seminole feed from eating it to fast, so the vet said to water it down. Ever since then she was fine. It also helps to put a small mineral lick in the bucket to slow down a fast eater.
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Old 02-21-2008, 04:39 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by ToveroMom View Post
All we feed aside from Hay is pellets.
Pelleted alfalfa and pelleted ration
No problems.

and we have had minimal cases of Colic. I believe we only have had 6 cases, in the last several years, and 3 of those were the same mare!!
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Old 02-21-2008, 05:00 PM   #12
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In the mix I feed it has a pellet and alfalpha pellets and I have never had an issue with choke. I have had only 2 cases of colic in 19 years. Those were very bad cases though. (iI better knock on wood)
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Old 02-21-2008, 08:16 PM   #13
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Any horse can choke on pelletts. or even hay cube, I mix my pellet with sweetfeed and warm water plus rocks in the bottom to have them eat slower.
Choke is scary, try to slow eating, even a few slices of apple or carrot, or bread helps the horse to slow down.
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Old 02-21-2008, 08:18 PM   #14
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Well if I had a choke issue with my stock I would change my feeding regime but in over 35 years I have not had a choke episode so I feel comfortable.
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Old 02-21-2008, 08:26 PM   #15
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We feed pelleted feeds, and have not had a problem with choke. The only choke incident I have had was when one of the kids fed Portia a big alfalfa cube in the cross ties, and she didn't chew it well. She then couldnt' get her head down to get it dislodged... Once we turned her loose and got her head down, she was able to resolve it herself...
That is more of a lesson about not feeding a cross-tied horse, than an issue of pelleted or cubed feed!
Portia and Sweet Pea both get their pellets dry, and we have not had a problem, Opie gets his soaked, because he tends to colic easily so it helps keep things moving for him.
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Old 02-22-2008, 05:14 AM   #16
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I have had 2 horses choke on pellets and honestly, if I had not stood for 15 minutes and watched them eat I would have missed it. Both worked through it and it was no big deal. Did it change what I did? No, I still feed pellets. It was the first time one of the mares had ever eaten pellets and the other had eaten them all her life.

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Old 02-22-2008, 08:00 AM   #17
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never had any problems with a horse choking on pellets.
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Old 02-22-2008, 08:05 AM   #18
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I have a TB that had the tie back surgery back when he raced. His trainer said sweet feed was better for him as far as the risk of choking. My vet seconded the opinion and said textured feed would reduce his risk of choking...but I think this is all due to his tie back. My other horses have never had an issue, but they take their time eating so that helps
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Old 02-22-2008, 08:13 AM   #19
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IN 30 years I have only seen 3 horses choke on pellets, And yes they choked on the pellets, The last 1 was just a couple of years ago and she was trying to be a pig, She had just came back from a trainer and dont think he feed her enough, for the work she was doing. we water her feed down for a little while and has never happened again. My mare put to many in her mouth and she looks like a hamster packing her food but she has always done this (for 7 yrs). And she is not a fast eater just like to see how much she can get in her mouth I think. My old mare we wet her feed she is a dry mouth, she has always been that way no big deal.
If your horse is having a little trouble with pellets wet them a little, It wont hurt a thing. I can't eat crackers without a drink.
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Old 02-22-2008, 08:36 AM   #20
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I have feed horses pellets for years, never had a choke problem.

I did see a horse choke at a horse show on sweet feed.

I think if they are going to choke it could be on anything. I know we have customers that say they will never feed pellets because of it, but I dont really ever worry about it.
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