Feed ideas for Mini's - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 12 Old 01-30-2013, 09:43 PM Thread Starter
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Feed ideas for Mini's

I have 5 horses. 3 full size horses and 2 mini's. I feed all the horses 2 times a day. The mini's really don't need any grain but I feed each one of them 1/2 of a dixie cup when I feed the others.

Here is my question. Since they eat such a small amount they just stand and look at the full others while they eat. They look pathetic! Does anyone have a suggestion what I can put in their bowl that won't put weight on them but they can feel like they are not being mistreated!
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post #2 of 12 Old 01-30-2013, 10:33 PM
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Ha, I feel the same way when feeding my gelding - the mini only gets a tiny handful so she then stands and watches through the fence while he eats his, and he is quite a slow eater. Could they be distracted with a handful of hay to make you feel better? I do this for my mini and spread it around so that she has to move around and it takes her longer to finish. Soaking it in water overnight would get the sugar content down.
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post #3 of 12 Old 01-30-2013, 11:07 PM
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With our little guys we put their feed in a pan on the ground instead of a bucket so it takes them longer to eat since it's spread out. You could also maybe give them some timothy or alfalfa pellets.
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post #4 of 12 Old 01-31-2013, 11:11 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by kiwi79 View Post
Ha, I feel the same way when feeding my gelding - the mini only gets a tiny handful so she then stands and watches through the fence while he eats his, and he is quite a slow eater. Could they be distracted with a handful of hay to make you feel better? I do this for my mini and spread it around so that she has to move around and it takes her longer to finish. Soaking it in water overnight would get the sugar content down.
They have a round bale out in the pasture but I do put hay in on the ground near their bowls. They look at me like why would I want hamburgers when I can have steak!
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post #5 of 12 Old 01-31-2013, 11:12 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by kassierae View Post
With our little guys we put their feed in a pan on the ground instead of a bucket so it takes them longer to eat since it's spread out. You could also maybe give them some timothy or alfalfa pellets.

I could try alfalfa pellets. Are the fattening?
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post #6 of 12 Old 01-31-2013, 11:42 AM
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We have the same issues with our minis at the rescue - we feed them each a tiny bit of alfalfa pellets and a tiny bit of hay stretcher - if you put a medium size (so big they can't eat it just be in the way) clean rock in their feeder it'll take them longer to eat around it. We put their salt licks (half of those white bricks) in their feeder and it takes them a while to get all the 'grain' out.

You could also just look into giving them ration balancer - which is essentially just vitamins and minerals.
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post #7 of 12 Old 01-31-2013, 12:02 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by PunksTank View Post
We have the same issues with our minis at the rescue - we feed them each a tiny bit of alfalfa pellets and a tiny bit of hay stretcher - if you put a medium size (so big they can't eat it just be in the way) clean rock in their feeder it'll take them longer to eat around it. We put their salt licks (half of those white bricks) in their feeder and it takes them a while to get all the 'grain' out.

You could also just look into giving them ration balancer - which is essentially just vitamins and minerals.

I like the salt block idea. Where would I find the ration balancer and is that the name I would look for?
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post #8 of 12 Old 01-31-2013, 12:08 PM
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I like the salt block idea. Where would I find the ration balancer and is that the name I would look for?
I have a blimp of a draft horse who's mildly obese on hay alone ;) (exaggerating) but she's fat! I only feed her 1.5 cups of Ration Balancer. I use Nutrena Empower Grass Balancer (not empower boost! I made that mistake the first day, luckily my grain guys let me exchange it xD). It's got all the vitamins and minerals that grass hay may be lacking or just not sufficient in. :) Really I think she'd live without it - but she looks Beautiful on it. She shed about 40 pounds in 5 months on it (still has a bit more to go - she was seriously over weight). She seems to be balancing out now and isn't loosing much weight any more - I think exercise is what will have to take care of the rest.
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post #9 of 12 Old 01-31-2013, 05:28 PM
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I use slow feed hay nets to feed my minis. I can feed them less, but it takes them about 3 times as long to eat when they have to work it out of the nets. It also keeps them from getting bored and being destructive.

I recently bought a jolly ball, cut a little hole in it and put a handful of apple cookies in it, the treats are slowly released as my minis roll it around. The jolly ball has been very entertaining for me, and has been more exercise than I had expected for the horses. If you are worried about them getting too many cookies you could put hay pellets in it instead, I would use timothy grass pellets rather than alfalfa, because alfalfa can be very fattening to little ones.

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post #10 of 12 Old 01-31-2013, 05:33 PM
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Just be careful about how much alfalfa pellets you give them if you do decide on that, as too much rich alfalfa can hurt their tummies or cause them to gain weight as well. We tend to only give alfalfa to our broodies and the minis that are doing more than 2 hours of work a week (really only three or four of them), otherwise they become balloons.

IMO timothy pellets are safer in bigger amounts. Probably no more than a cup or so, though. Our minis eat either Jiggs costal or timothy and look great year round.

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