Feeding pasture fed horses...They look thin.

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Feeding pasture fed horses...They look thin.

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  • Old horses eating pasture grass only

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    10-30-2013, 03:34 PM
Unhappy Feeding pasture fed horses...They look thin.

So, i've recently bought 3 horses (recently being this past saturday). The person I bought them from said they were strictly pasture fed. They only eat 5 round bales of hay in the winter. And he never gave them grain. They're all on the sort of thin side BUT.. The oldest Mare, I think she's 20 or so, She's probably the thinnest, I can see her ribs and her hip bone, and I was wondering, what sort of feed should give them so they look healthy and not Bony.

I've also put a salt and mineral block out by their run in shed. And they seem to love the heck out of the mineral block. It doesn't have molasses in it either.
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    10-30-2013, 03:43 PM
Hay, hay, and more hay. They would most likely benefit from a ration balancer or vit/min supplement, since they're going at the mineral lick so enthusiastically.
    10-30-2013, 03:49 PM
What kind of hay? Not sure what kind they have here at the local feed store.
And which brand of vit/min supplement would be best.

    10-30-2013, 03:57 PM
Grass hay is best for free choice feeding.
See if your feedstore carries a ration balancer. Purina Enrich 32, Nutrena Empower Balance, Triple Crown 30%Supplement are the most common ones. You'll feed about a lb a day a horse, best divided in two meals.
Vit/min supplements are plenty, I use ShoGlo by MannaPro, quite pleased with it. I mix it in a handful of soaked alfalfa pellets, together with salt and flaxseed.
    10-30-2013, 04:20 PM
Okay. I'm on my way to the feed store. Thanks for the help!
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    10-30-2013, 04:26 PM
Don't go by what the bag recommends. Start them out with about an 8 oz measure to get the gut used to it. Then increase weekly, best divided into two feedings instead of one. Somewhere along the line you will need to consider deworming. A fecal count is best and take to the vet who will recommend a particular dewormer for each one. Horses, as they get older become more resistant to worms.
    10-30-2013, 04:30 PM
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At this time of year you need to organize a good hay supplier that will deliver you what you need for the winter and have yourself somewhere dry to store it.
smrobs and Dustbunny like this.
    10-30-2013, 04:43 PM
Before feeding feed/grains please make sure their dental work is current.

Horses just eating free-choice pasture should not be thin if adequate pasture grass was in abundance.

A sharp tooth or dental issue could be contributing to the less than optimum look you are seeing.
Being all 3 horses are on the thin side I would make sure that first their medical needs were done, teeth and worming for sure.
Once that was done and the horses are provided with ample supply of nutritious hay free-choice... only then would I add a grain/feed supplement to their diet.

The fact you write they are loving the mineral block makes me think they may not have had all their needs looked after...

3 horses, various ages, and all thin to some degree...red flag that they need someone to check out further their "care" needs...updated as necessary. They just came out of the best grazing time of the year with nutrient rich grasses....

Best of luck with the new herd.
Cherrij likes this.
    10-30-2013, 06:29 PM
The guy I got them from told me they had their teeth done a couple months ago. And they were already Dewormed. The younger two are 5 and 9. Plus that little donkey. I'm not sure how old he is.. he seems young.

My neighbor has a field across the street that has about maybe 20 or so round bales of hay he just got done doing. I've already asked him if he could sell me a few rolls and he doesn't seem to have a problem.

I went to the feed store and got a few bales of grass hay. And a bag of "tasty blend" horse feed. I haven't given them the feed yet, buy I gave them each a couple flakes of hay.
    10-30-2013, 08:16 PM
Super Moderator
Introduce this feed gradually if they're not used to it it might cause digestive upsets

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