10-22-2012, 06:12 PM
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Feeding a horse is more than a "can of" grain and free choice hay. What does the can of grain weigh? What is the Neutral detergent fiber in the hay? What is its protien and energy? What is its digestability (NDF can help you know that).
How many POUNDS of hay is he eating?
After feeding dairy cattle for years and years it never ceases to amaze me how little (Often very knowledgeable abnd experienced) horse people know about what they are feeding!
TEST the hay. Usually your local Cooperative Extension or Feed store will take cores and send it out for testing. READ the label on the feed bag so you know the Calories you are feeding. Test the hay so you know how much of the feed value of that hay the horse can utilize. Hay in the Northeastern US loses most of its protein value between June 1 and June 15. That same hay, if uncut until July also loses digestability after June 15.. (depending on the grass breed.. Timothy loses feed value and becomes stalky and undigestable and Smooth Brome retains digestability but loses feed value).
If you know what you are feeding, you will know how much of what you need to add so the horse has a better shot at gaining or maintaining proper weight.
I do not mean to be berating the OP, Enfocore, but everyone who says, "Oh I feed two cans of grain and 4 flakes of hay" to ol' Dobbin is telling me they have no idea what Ol' Dobbin needs.