Frequently Asked Questions
Tribute Equine Nutrition is manufactured only in Upper Sandusky, Ohio. As a brand of Kalmbach Feeds, Inc., Tribute is created in a state of the art manufacturing facility with emphasis on quality control, fixed ingredients and the highest quality feed you can buy for your horse.
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Click here to view our handy chart that shows the NSC values and DE values.
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Yes. Check out Essential K® and Kalm ‘N EZ®. “Low starch” should truly refer to the level of both sugars and starches in a product. Both of these products are extremely low in both. We achieve that by providing the calories through fat and fiber, instead of carbohydrates.
If you have a horse that becomes “high” or “hot” off of feed, it is directly related to the level of sugar and starch in the product. Choosing either Essential K® for easy keepers or Kalm 'N EZ® for horses that are performing or harder keepers will alleviate this issue.
Both! Essential K® is a “ration balancer,” which means it is a very condensed feed and supplies the nutrients (amino acids, vitamins and minerals) not commonly found in hay or pasture. When fed per the recommendations, it will meet all of your horse’s nutrient requirements. So, it can be used as either a top dress for horses that need additional nutrients, like mares and foals, OR as a complete feed for easy keepers.
YES! Here is why: The horse’s protein requirement in stated as an AMOUNT, not a PERCENT. The percent protein is merely a step in figuring out how much protein is being provided by a particular feed or forage.
For example, 1 pound of Essential K® at 28% protein provides 0.28 pounds of protein (0.28 x 1 pound). Two pounds of Essential K® supplies 0.56 pounds of protein (0.28 x 2). For comparison, let’s say we have a grass hay at 12% protein and a horse is eating 15 pounds of that hay each day (like 5 flakes). The protein intake from that hay is 1.8 pounds of protein (0.12 x 15 pounds). This is a lot more than Essential K®! For frame of reference, an idle, mature horse requires a minimum of 1.5 pounds of protein a day, so the combination of Essential K® and the hay satisfies the protein requirement. Essential K® is merely balancing the amino acids and supplying nutrients typically not found in sufficient amounts in hay or pasture. A key factor is that we must consider the horse’s TOTAL DIET when assessing nutritional needs.
Our Maturity products are made to meet the needs of any mature horse. Most horses are mature by the age of 5. So, anytime after age 5 is appropriate. If your horse begins to experience problems consuming hay, that would be a great time to make the switch to Maturity!
I have been feeding my horse the same product for years with great results. It seems the past few months he has been losing weight though I’m feeding the same amount I always have. Has something changed in the feed?
Weight loss without an obvious reason is becoming a common occurrence since last year's drought. As we always promise that all Tribute formulas are fixed, nothing has changed in our products. What you are likely seeing is a change in the calories supplied by your hay or pasture due to the drought.
Many folks don’t realize that horses get between 50% to 100% of the calories they need from hay or pasture. When a pasture or hay field is stressed by a drought, all nutrients in that forage, including calories, are drastically reduced. In fact, forage can lose 25 – 50% of its calorie content during a drought or when hay is harvested late due to weather conditions. The only component of forage that increases with a drought or when hay is harvested late, is indigestible fiber, robbing the forage of calories. This is what causes the horse to lose weight. If you think of a horse in light work that typically gets 80% of its calories from good hay. The 40% reduction in calories from hay cause the horse to lose about 32% (0.80 x 0.40) of his calorie supply. These calories need to be replaced by feeding more concentrate or finding a better hay source.
We often hear “I buy my hay from the same person every year and it comes off the same field”. We must realize what was stated above is always at play. In a non-drought year, hay harvested later than desired will increase in “stemminess” (indigestible fiber) and cost the horse needed calories. Also, if a field is not fertilized when needed, other nutrients can be lost as well. In a drought year, the growth and nutrient content of forage is affected even more.
I have a horse that is insulin resistant and was told I need a “low starch” feed. What Tribute product should I feed?
The term “low starch” ignores and important component of the insulin resistant diet – “SUGAR”! The main sources of sugar in the horse’s diet are molasses and pasture or hay. Sugar AND starch need to be addressed.
As with all nutrients, we need to consider the AMOUNT of SUGAR and STARCH supplied by a feed, not merely the PERCENT. We call the sugar + starch levels in a feeds “NSC” standing for non-structural carbohydrates.
To calculate the NSC INTAKE, we need to multiply the PERCENT NSC by the AMOUNT being fed. For example, Tribute Essential K is formulated to be 14% NSC. At its low feeding rates of 1 to 2 pounds per day. it would supply 0.14 to 0.28 pounds of NSC per day (0.14 x 1 pound or 0.14 x 2 pounds). If we compare this to hay, which is typically about 12% NSC, a horse eating 15 pounds of hay a day would take in 1.8 pounds of NSC (again, sugar plus starch) each day (0.12 x 15 pounds). We must consider the horse’s TOTAL DIET – hay/pasture plus concentrate or grain when evaluating any nutritional situation.
I have a foal with epiphysitis and was told to take away all grain and feed it just hay. This doesn’t seem reasonable – what should I do?
This is a common recommendation we run across. The apparent goal is to “slow down the foal’s growth.” In truth, we would have to restrict the foal’s intake by about 75% to slow down its growth and this practice would create numerous other issues. We believe we need to support the foal’s genetic growth rate with proper nutrition.
While some developmental diseases are linked to an imbalance of calcium and phosphorous, typically when feeding a hay high in alfalfa, most are due to low intake of copper and zinc relative to the foal’s genetic growth rate. It is NOT related to high protein intake, as many believe. While it is recommended to reduce the foal’s calorie intake, especially from sugar and starch, we actually want to increase the foal’s intake of copper, zinc and the amino acids needed to build strong bone.
Using Advance Paste™will improve the foal’s immunity and jump start its copper and zinc intake. In addition, increasing the amount of Essential K® will help supply the needed copper and zinc, as well as supplying the needed amino acids, without significantly increasing the foal’s calorie intake from sugar and starch.
We utilize the Tribute Proofs of Purchase in our Partner’s Program. The Partner’s Program allows clubs and organizations to collect these Proofs of Purchase and turn them in for monetary credit for their group. For complete details on how the program works, click here.
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