Feeding Critique

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Feeding Critique

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    12-20-2011, 06:55 PM
Feeding Critique

I have two thoroughbred mares. One is 3 years old that I've had for about 6 months, and the other is a 7 year old that I've had for about a month and a half. The 3 year old's body condition is very good, however the 7 year old.. although she has gained weight since I got her, she is still thinner than I would like her to be (especially being that its winter). The 3 year old is in light/moderate work and the 7 year old is in very light groundwork as she is not broke yet.

Both mares are currently on just about the same diet:

About 30lbs of orchard grass (spread out throughout the day/night)
2 lbs of beet pulp (dry) 2x's a day (fed soaked for 2 hrs in warm water)
1 lb of flat rolled oats 2x's a day
1 cup of rice bran pellets 2x's a day (the 7 year old gets 1 1/2-2 cups)

They also have a salt/mineral block out in the pasture and plenty of fresh clean water 24/7.

I'm just looking for opinions/suggestions for improving on the feeding regimen that I currently have going for my girls. Also, my work schedule is changing which makes feeding the beet pulp more difficult because of how long it needs to soak. I was thinking maybe feeding something different for breakfast and soaking the beet pulp just for their dinner??

Any comments are welcomed and appreciated!! Thanks in advance!! :)

Oh and I was thinking of starting them on psyllium to prevent risk of sand colic. They are kept on a dry lot.. something I am not used to being from Pennsylvania and now living in Socal.
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    12-20-2011, 08:17 PM
Your horses are on a dry lot? No grass at all? If you can afford it, I would recommend putting a round bale out there so they can have something to munch on 24/7. If you can't afford that, I would definitely put them on a supplement to prevent ulcers, and put their hay in hay nets or something similar to keep them munching longer. Since your 7 year old is having some trouble with weight, I would recommend giving her a weight supplement. But if you put a round bale out there for them, you may want to wait a little while before putting her on a weight supplement. Having a round bale out there might be enough.
    12-20-2011, 08:31 PM
Thanks for the response! Unfortunately a round bale is not an option. The lot they are on is completely dry, I live in the desert and what little grass was out there has been completely eaten away. The 30lbs of hay they are each getting is always put into hay nets to make it last longer. Both of them will munch on the hay, go hang out and nap, walk around, etc, and then come back to the hay when they are hungry again. Based on the amount of time they take to eat during the day I would guess that they are only without hay between 3am and 7am, but again that's guessing based on the way they eat during the day. I can try giving more hay at night to close that gap and I will look into an ulcer supplement. Would you recommend the ulcer supplement for both horses or just the 7yr old?
    12-20-2011, 09:44 PM
Oh ok, well definitely keep putting they hay in the nets. Do they get 30lbs of hay each, or do they split it? Yeah, I would recommend the ulcer supplement for both.
    12-20-2011, 09:53 PM
They get 30lbs each and each horse gets the food listed above twice a day
    12-20-2011, 10:02 PM
Ok, that's about how much my horse gets including grain. I think it's a good diet for the most part. If I were you, I'd add an ulcer supplement to both of their grain rations, and a weight supplement for the 7 year old.
    12-21-2011, 12:14 AM
Thanks for the advice! Any suggestions on a weight supplement that won't make her hot?
    12-21-2011, 01:34 AM
How much do they weigh? For gaining weight I would add more rice bran and beet pulp, and if possible, you could get some Alfalfa hay/pellets/cubes and feed some of that to help add weight. Are they regularly dewormed? Have their teeth been done recently?

Is their hay net a regular like 4 inch by 4 inch one, or is it the smaller 1 inch one? I would definitively get a small mesh hay net, with 1 - 2 inch holes to help slow down intake, they can't pull it all out and throw it on the ground etc.,this looks like a good one
Shires Small Hole Hay Net and Hay Nets, Feed Bags, Feed Tubs | EQUESTRIAN COLLECTIONS.COM
I use the freedom feeder
Freedom Feeder Hay Net - Resourceful Animal Products Store
But it is a lot more expensive, I just bought it as it was the only one at the store and I needed it right away.
    12-21-2011, 11:44 AM
Farnam Weight Builder didn't make my horse hot...You could also try Cool Calories. I've never used it, but some people say its great!
    12-22-2011, 06:50 PM
Casey, thanks for the response! To answer your questions... The 3 yr old weighs 1050 last time I had a weight tape on her, she is in very good flesh! The 7 year old I have had almost 2 months and I havent gotten a weight tape on her yet. I would guess she's somewhere around 970.. She's not terribly thin and she is lighter boned than the 3 yr old. They are both on a regular worming schedule. The 7 yr old has had her teeth floated and after being examined it wasn't yet necessary for the 3 yr old. The hay net is a 4 inch, I will definitely look into the 1inch!
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