Bermuda grass or Orchard? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 5 Old 01-16-2012, 03:28 PM Thread Starter
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Bermuda grass or Orchard?

Lately my mom has been pushing for us to switch over to Orchard grass because my aunt feeds it (my mom is NOT the horse-y one in the family)
We use to feed teff hay but about 10 months ago they stopped growing it here because the weather was wrong for it.? I dont know. Anyways, my dad, aunt, and grandpa (the hay buyers in our family) all decided to switch the horses to Bermuda because it is cheaper and the horses seemed to like it.
However, a few months after the switch my 12.2hh pony(24 yo) started dropping weight. Which was weird because our two drafts(5yo & 8yo) didnt lose weight at all. We figured it was due to his old age. Then I decided he dropped too much for that to be the reason so I looked into it and thought he had cushings, he showed all the signs, but his test came back negative.
He is a founder-prone horse, he hasn't foundered before but he has had laminitis a few times and our farrier and vet told us to stay away from alfalfa because that could cause more feet issues. According to our dentist, his teeth were pretty good, he has only lost one and he might have to be moved onto pellets/mush food in two or three years but looks good for his age(he was the one who told us he was 24-26yo instead of 20yo like we were told when we bought him as a 12yo 8 years ago). According to our farrier, since the teff to bermuda switch, his feet have been growing better. According to our vet, its old age and we need to feed more calories. (I don't really like my vet.)
Anyways, its been about two months since I added senior feed + molasses and Kellys hay replacer pellets to his 6 lbs of bermuda twice a day and he has gained some weight but still has barely any topline.
Moral of the post: Will switching him to Orchard help him gain weight back better than keeping him on bermuda?
Thanks! And sorry if its confusing in any way!

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post #2 of 5 Old 01-16-2012, 04:40 PM Thread Starter
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post #3 of 5 Old 01-16-2012, 11:44 PM
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i switched my horse to Bermuda because 1.) he was on cubes and they were making him crazy. 2.) i cannot afford Timothy at my barn as it's nearly $200 a month more than the Bermuda.
So i started him on Bermuda about a month and a half ago. He started to drop a bit of weight as well, and since he's in training year round, i had to supplement his feed to keep his energy and weight up without producing heat.
One of the folks here on the forum mentioned "SmartVites Easy Keeper Grass" from smartpak and so i bought a bucket of that. The bucket lasts about 60 days and only costs $30. I also started feeding him 3 scoops of Timothy pellets in the morning. This has seemed to be the perfect combination for my horse. He basically has free choice with the Bermuda, and i supplement with the SmartVites and the Timothy pellets.

Keep in mind though that the age thing is probably contributing as well, in your case. We have a 20 year old lesson horse at our barn whom is in lovely condition and still jumps around. But he gets free choice Timothy, beat pulp, senior, and mana... yet is always just a little bit ribby. It's just the nature of things.

Life seems mighty precious, when there's less of it to waste.
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post #4 of 5 Old 01-17-2012, 12:07 AM
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If you can get good orchard hay, you might try switching him over or giving him 1/2 & 1/2 and see if it helps. Orchard is higher in protein than bermuda but not usually as high as alfalfa. If he's laminitis/founder prone, I'd be careful and maybe see about a low starch food like Well Solve or one of those to add his calories rather than a Senior that's maybe high in molasses. Just a suggestion though.

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post #5 of 5 Old 01-17-2012, 12:36 AM Thread Starter
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I tried looking for a website but I can't find one.
I feed him about 1 1/2 lbs of Integrity Equine Senior Feed with Molasses
About 5lbs of Kellys Hay Replacer Pellets
2/3 of a scoop or a normal sized horse dosage of Ceytl M Joint Supplements Advanced Cetyl MŽ Joint Action Formula for Horses - Equine Joint Supplements from SmartPak Equine
2/3 of a scoop or a normal sized horse dosage of Hard Keeper Weight Gain Hard Keeper Solution - Horse Weight Gain Supplements from SmartPak Equine
And then about 10 lbs of Bermuda hay for him to munch on throughout the day.
The hay replacer and hay are given together twice a day. The senior feed, joint supplements, and weight gain powder are given only once.
Is this enough food or should I up the amounts?

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