Eating grass, hay and alfalfa blocks but not grain? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 36 Old 06-13-2012, 10:17 PM Thread Starter
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Eating grass, hay and alfalfa blocks but not grain?

My 4 year old quarter horse has not been finishing his grain lately. I've noticed this for 2 days now. Yesterday he didn't finish, and today he didn't even touch his grain.

I gave him some of his alfalfa blocks and he ate those. turned him out and he is eating grass. What's wrong with the grain? it's a 12% sweet grain. Is he just getting tired of it? Should I get something different for him?

When I first got him 7 months ago he was slightly thin, ribs showed.. and so I got cool cal to help him gain some weight. He looks great now, but now this.

I'm guessing it's not that big of a deal, maybe he's just picky, but he is my first horse and I just want to get some advice from people who have more horse expierence than I :) thanks.
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post #2 of 36 Old 06-14-2012, 02:27 AM
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Maybe it's gone off. Maybe it's high in certain nutrients he doesn't need more of. Could be his teeth or gut problems putting him off, but he would be likely off everything, not just grain.

Why do you feed him grain anyway? I'd personally change it, regardless of what the problem is, because feeding regular sweets is about as healthy as giving kids regular meals of lollies or junk. Perhaps more so because it has the ability to cause laminitis too. Same goes with grain, to a degree, as starchy feeds are also not the best. So if you need to hardfeed anything, I'd choose a healthy, low starch, no added sugar something.
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post #3 of 36 Old 06-14-2012, 02:39 AM
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I agree with everything loosie is saying but maybe his wolf teeth are comming through and causing him.some grief, or have they already been removed? Just a thought. :)
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post #4 of 36 Old 06-14-2012, 04:42 AM
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How old or fresh is the feed? How is it stored? Could it have gotten wet or critters in it? Maybe it was a bad batch of feed.
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post #5 of 36 Old 06-14-2012, 06:07 AM
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I'd get his teeth checked. He's at that age where wolf teeth can start causing problems. I had my boy's teeth floated in february of this year, and had to get her back out to pull his last wolf tooth two months later (he's 4 yrs as well).
I would also look into getting a better type of feed as others have suggested, if he needs it at all anymore. How much grass\hay is he getting now, and is he at a good weight? Maybe post a picture of him to give us a bit more info?
There are a few reasons why he may be off his feed. Could be teeth (good possibility), or maybe he no longer needs the extra calories (although most horses will eat themselves fat whether they need it or not), or it could be that he's not feeling good (but if he's eating his hay\grass and acting normal then I doubt that's it).
I'd start with the teeth, and get a better quality of feed and slowely start switching him over (I personally love Blueseal pelleted feeds, but there are all kinds of good quality brands out there).
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post #6 of 36 Old 06-14-2012, 07:42 AM
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Going off of grain can be an indicator of gastric ulcers. It causes the stomach to become very upset, a lot of times grass hay and fresh grass (especially fresh grass) will make their stomachs feel better.

I would have a vet test him if this went on a few more days.
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post #7 of 36 Old 06-14-2012, 07:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mathensa View Post
My 4 year old quarter horse has not been finishing his grain lately. I've noticed this for 2 days now. Yesterday he didn't finish, and today he didn't even touch his grain.

I gave him some of his alfalfa blocks and he ate those. turned him out and he is eating grass. What's wrong with the grain? it's a 12% sweet grain. Is he just getting tired of it? Should I get something different for him?

When I first got him 7 months ago he was slightly thin, ribs showed.. and so I got cool cal to help him gain some weight. He looks great now, but now this.

I'm guessing it's not that big of a deal, maybe he's just picky, but he is my first horse and I just want to get some advice from people who have more horse expierence than I :) thanks.
there is a lot of reasons a horse goes off of grain, some more serious than others! Personally, I would check his TPR 1st & make sure all is normal. If no.... an immediate call to he vet would be in order. While he is "off" grain I would make sure he has plenty of hay available..and make sure he is drinking water!
Sweet feed is just fine but he may need 14/15% protein because he is still so young(but that has nothing to do with being off feed)

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post #8 of 36 Old 06-14-2012, 08:11 AM
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I'd make sure he has plenty of good hay available 24/7, giving the alfalfa is good. My grandmas horse got ulcers and for a while that's all he'd eat, the bet said it calms the ulcers or something. But since he is on grass, you can offer him some sort of minerals and salt and he should be ok. My guy will do the same thing, he is one of the kind that won't stuff his face and only takes what he needs.
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post #9 of 36 Old 06-14-2012, 09:10 AM
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eat drink pee poop,
Basic rules to live by with horse ownership unless you can discover something obvious, like an ammonia smell in the feed,
If one of those things stops or drastically changes it's time to take action. I'd call a vet.
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post #10 of 36 Old 06-15-2012, 09:44 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by loosie View Post
Maybe it's gone off. Maybe it's high in certain nutrients he doesn't need more of. Could be his teeth or gut problems putting him off, but he would be likely off everything, not just grain.

Why do you feed him grain anyway? I'd personally change it, regardless of what the problem is, because feeding regular sweets is about as healthy as giving kids regular meals of lollies or junk. Perhaps more so because it has the ability to cause laminitis too. Same goes with grain, to a degree, as starchy feeds are also not the best. So if you need to hardfeed anything, I'd choose a healthy, low starch, no added sugar something.

That's what I was thinking... he doesn't 'need' the nutrients from the grain anymore.
I just got his teeth checked. No problems. Vet says he has very nice healthy looking teeth :)
Why do I feed him grain? lol. I've never been asked this question. Hm.. maybe because that's what every horse I've ever known all my life has eaten? Not so much grain, but more hay and not so much hay during the summer because of how much grass they eat instead. Grain is to help him keep weight since I work him?

Okay give me some recommendation on the feeds you're talking about because I have no clue and I'm just now learning all this horse feed stuff since I never really had to deal with it before. He is my first horse after all.
The barn manager recommended this grain, it's what all the horses at the barn eat.. and the feed supplier is very educated when it comes to this stuff and he has given me the okay on it. So I don't understand what's wrong.
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