Hygain Vs Triple Crown

I’m intrigued by Hygain Zero for my IR & Cushings horses due to the very low nsc …however it has a much higher feeding rate (I believe 3.5lb minimum for a 1200lb horse)as compared to say Triple Crown’s 30% Balancer or even Hygains Balanced -I’m not sure of the NSC on Hygains balanced -I’m guessing it’s higher than TC’s ?? Anyhow I’m looking for a low nsc balancer or feed for my easy keeping metabolic horses and want to simplify my feeding program as they currently are on a combo of soaked Timothy balance cubes /Vermont Blend/ Flax & Vitamin E …some that need a little extra have been getting Nuzu Stabul One

Has anyone started feeding Hygain and just love it ?? My feed stores don’t carry it so i would have to order from chewy ….I messaged someone that I know that works for Hygain …she swears by it and says by feeding a combo of zero and balanced they were able to take their horse off Insulin Wise, and Thyro L

Thanks in Advance

I think the Zero is soy free if that is a concern. Looks like it’s more comparable to TC Lite, just a little higher protein. I only have some experience with the Balanced caring for another horse that was on it. It’s a pretty typical RB. They say it has max 5% starch. If it’s not available locally, I’d use TC 30% instead. I don’t know if the Zero is more palatable than Lite or not, and that might make a difference for you.

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That’s because Zero is a regular feed, not a ration balancer like the other 2.

The Zero is < 1.5% starch, which is awesome, and the total NSC is 5.5%, which is very low.

TC Balancer is 9.8% NSC

But 3.5lb of Zero is 87gm NSC< and 1.5 lb TC Balancer is 67gm - you have to look at total NSC intake, not just the % on the label. The difference in 20gm isn’t significant, but the calorie difference may be.

For an easy keeper on the current diet, Hygain Zero will likely be too many calories even at the 3.5lb amount.

Zero is soy- and molasses-free, which is important for some horses.

Lite is 1-2lb per 500lb, and the Zero feed rate is starting closer to the top end of the Lite.


Hygain is very lightly fortified, at best. The website doesn’t even list a guarantee for copper content; I sure hope the tag does. You’d need to feed considerably more of the Zero product than TC Balancer for the same nutrition - 10x as much for the same Se content or almost 3x as much for the same Zn content, for example - so, unless your horse is a hard keeper, swapping TC Balancer for Hygain Zero is not a logical change.


I considered Hygain a few years ago but nowhere nearby carried it and I was very nervous about getting a reliable supply. Ultimately, unless you have a really special needs horse there are equally good or better, more available options.

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Thank you everyone for the replies …now I suppose going from the current ECIR diet of Timothy balance cubes/ Vermont Blend/Flax and vitamin e and plus or minus the Nuzu Stabul One for the ones that needed a little extra …if I switch to the TC 30% Balancer will that be providing enough copper & zinc that they were getting from the Vermont Blend?? Or will I still need to supplement that ??

They provide close to equivalent amounts of copper and zinc. 300mg copper/900mg zinc in the VB. 300ppm copper/1000ppm zinc in the TC 30. “Enough” copper and zinc is sort of relative to the iron content in your water and forage. The ratios in these two feeds are fairly close to ideal (3:1 or 4:1 zinc to copper). If you didn’t previously need to supplement, I don’t think you’d need to on the TC.

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I don’t have a hay analysis as my supplier hasn’t been the same …ECIR recommends that IR horses usually need more copper & zinc to balance the iron which is present or high in most hays

That holds true for almost every regular feed though. Zero isn’t a balancer.

Hygain Zero, 44 lb. (krusefeed.com)

300ppm copper is 136mg per pound.
VB has 300mg per 2oz serving

900mg Zn in VB vs 454mg per pound of TC 30

ppm is mg per kg, which is mg per 2.2lb

So yes, if you want to match what’s in VB, and are only feeding 1lb TC 30, you need to add more


Well, you and I know that. But Hygain’s marketing is that you can “feed less” of it than regular feeds. Yet its nutrient content across the board is lower than most. :wink:


A low of 3.3lb, a high of 8.8lb for an 990-1200lb horse for Hygain Zero, For comparison, Ultium Gastric Care has around 4-6lb for that same horse

My guess for the lower GA in some areas for the HGZ is because they’re any Australian feed line, plus you can more than double the min feed rate of many of them. All the Hygain feeds I looked at are lower in things like Se, Zn, Cu, than typical US feeds. But the Balance is higher than some, on par with a lot, lower than a few, in those areas, with a similar 1-1.5lb-ish feeding rate.

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Thank you for crunching the numbers!


I go with TC because it’s available near me and I don’t have to order it online.

That said, check out TC Lite, too. I can’t remember their total NSC content but I want to say it’s low. It might be a contender and you can get away with feeding 2 pounds to a mature light keeper.

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TC Lite is a little over 10% NSC, so not far off the Balancer, but at double the feed rate. Still, not a significant increase in NSC for any but the most sensitive IR horse


Another thing to consider is that TC Balancer has added iron in it, so you may need to add even more cu/zn to balance it out. Personally, my IR/PPID gelding did not do well on Balancer. He was tender-footed, his coat was rough, and he was overall uncomfortable. Switching to an iron-free forage balancer (Arizona Copper Complete in my case, similar to Vermont Blend) was the ticket for him. I still like TC products, but I WISH they would offer iron-free version of their feeds for those of us who live in high iron areas.

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The Tribute Wholesome Blends balancer has no added iron and is also soy free. It does have some molasses.

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The GA is still the GA, added Fe or not. The Fe is what it is, and cu/zn are what they are, regardless of whether the Fe is added or intrinsic.

For example, Tribute Wholesome Blends Balancer is 275ppm Fe, none added

TC Balancer Gold is also soy-free, with some molasses, and while lower protein than the WBB (13% vs 28%), they both have higher NSC than TC Balancer and Tribute Essential K. Balancer Gold is 16.3%, WBB is 15%, Balancer is 9.8%, and EK is 12.5%

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Thank you …that’s exactly what I was wondering about

Why don’t any of these feed companies make them without added iron ?? That’s my biggest concern is switching to any of these options they all have added iron and considerably less copper and zinc as compared to say Vermont Blend, California Trace Plus or etc

Ideally I would love to feed a ration balancer or complete feed for IR/Cushings/EMS horses that is low nsc and has no added iron …does this exist ??

I’ve asked the nutritionist from Triple Crown about the added iron …they have said that it’s such a small amount and shouldn’t be a problem ?? But on the flip side the ECIR group of course says the opposite and says basically that almost all commercially available feeds are not appropriate for metabolic/laminitis horses due to the added iron, and other ingredients such as alfalfa , molasses , rice bran etc …sigh …

I would really like to do away with my current feeding situation of soaking Timothy balance cubes and all the additives …

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Most feed companies add very, very little iron. Some are just more honest about that fact than others. :wink:

Keep in mind that the GA gives the MINIMUM guaranteed content for most minerals - a feed may be considerably higher than that number, for a lot of reasons, one being the inherent variability in mineral content across feed ingredients.