Feeding questions - The Horse Forum

 
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post #1 of 9 Old 03-08-2013, 10:13 PM Thread Starter
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Feeding questions

Let me start from the beginning, My horse is 6 years old about 1000-1100lbs her whole life she has been on a pasture with no barn. We moved her on February 1st to a friends house because of problems with her getting feed daily. Since February 1st we have been feeding her once a day, 2 Quarts of sweet feed and weight builder and free choice hay 24/7. I don't want to keep feeding her sweet feed. Because of some leg problems she is having now, we have to move her to my house. We are building a stall and a dry lot. She will be in the stall at night and her stall door will be open all day for her to go on to the dry lot anytime during the day.

My questions are
1. What should I feed her?
2. How much should I feed her?
3. How many times a day?
4. Should I slowly switch from sweet feed to the new feed?
5. How much hay should I give her a day? (I was thinking of putting a few slow hay net feeder in the dry lot and one or two in her stall at night)
6. And anything else I should no or any advice you have for me

Thanks :)
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post #2 of 9 Old 03-08-2013, 10:24 PM
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1. What should I feed her? Start with just hay and add in grain/feed as needed.
2. How much should I feed her?Depends on her current condition, quality of hay, work load, etc
3. How many times a day?Preferably hay 24/7 and grain/feed 2-3 times daily
4. Should I slowly switch from sweet feed to the new feed?Always switch feed slowly, over the course of at least a week, preferably more.
5. How much hay should I give her a day? (I was thinking of putting a few slow hay net feeder in the dry lot and one or two in her stall at night)As much as she can eat, slow feed nets are a great idea

My horses are currently on sweet feed(grandmother's been feeding this way for 30+ years) and great quality grass hay, but since you mention leg/feet problems I would switch out the sweet feed. Generally most horses will do fine on pasture or hay, but we have dry lots and don't have the option of 24/7 hay.
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post #3 of 9 Old 03-08-2013, 10:29 PM
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Whats up with her legs? If it's founder, I would talk to the vet about what she should be eating, how much, what it does, and all that jazz.


Switching feeds--If youve been giving her 2 quarts, and you're going to switch feeds, mix the two together, then slowly keep adding the new feed in more and more-- keep the measurements at 2 quarts, not more, not less-- the poundage matters most, IMO.



The hay should be free choice 24/7.
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post #4 of 9 Old 03-08-2013, 10:35 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kassierae View Post
1. What should I feed her? Start with just hay and add in grain/feed as needed.
2. How much should I feed her?Depends on her current condition, quality of hay, work load, etc
3. How many times a day?Preferably hay 24/7 and grain/feed 2-3 times daily
4. Should I slowly switch from sweet feed to the new feed?Always switch feed slowly, over the course of at least a week, preferably more.
5. How much hay should I give her a day? (I was thinking of putting a few slow hay net feeder in the dry lot and one or two in her stall at night)As much as she can eat, slow feed nets are a great idea

My horses are currently on sweet feed(grandmother's been feeding this way for 30+ years) and great quality grass hay, but since you mention leg/feet problems I would switch out the sweet feed. Generally most horses will do fine on pasture or hay, but we have dry lots and don't have the option of 24/7 hay.
we always feed sweet feed and when she goes back out to my friends when her leg problems clear up we will feed sweet feed again I bet but because she won't have much room to run I don't want her to have any extra energy haha. Do you think if I stop giving her grain all together should I slowly put less and less sweet feed in her bucket tell i'm feeding her non or just stop feeding it to her?
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post #5 of 9 Old 03-08-2013, 10:38 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by toto View Post
Whats up with her legs? If it's founder, I would talk to the vet about what she should be eating, how much, what it does, and all that jazz.


Switching feeds--If youve been giving her 2 quarts, and you're going to switch feeds, mix the two together, then slowly keep adding the new feed in more and more-- keep the measurements at 2 quarts, not more, not less-- the poundage matters most, IMO.



The hay should be free choice 24/7.
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She has scratches on her legs and at my friends house she plays in the mud and water all day so they can't heal there. I have to keep her legs dry. I now understand to slowly switch her feed but should I feed her twice a day or still just once?
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post #6 of 9 Old 03-09-2013, 01:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mistysms View Post
Since February 1st we have been feeding her once a day, 2 Quarts of sweet feed and weight builder
I do not like sweetfeed. Akin to feeding your kids Macca's every day IMO. Low NSC feed - that is, low starch/sugar/grain is best for horses generally.

Horses are built to process little, frequent & low starch feed, so it's always best to feed hard feed little & often too, rather than just 1-2 larger meals daily. This is particularly important if you're feeding rich, starchy feed, to minimise the problems it can cause. As you're feeding a weight builder, I gather she's a 'hard keeper'? One of the problems starch overload can cause - especially when not fed little & often - is weightloss, or failure to thrive. So, especially if you can't feed little & often, I'd ditch the sweetfeed. You may then find you don't need the weight builder either.

Quote:
2. How much should I feed her?
Free choice, or 2.5% bwt hay, a nutritional supp/ration balancer and if/when she needs extra - say when she's in hard work - feed her hard feed, as needed.

Quote:
3. How many times a day?
As many as you can manage. I know we're all in the 'real world' & it may not be possible to feed more than once or twice, but if so, keep them very small, low NSC & I wouldn't feed things like oil unless I could feed at least twice daily.

Quote:
4. Should I slowly switch from sweet feed to the new feed?
Always. But depending on her condition, etc, you may not need any more than hay, aside from a nutritional supp.

Quote:
5. How much hay should I give her a day? (I was thinking of putting a few slow hay net feeder in the dry lot and one or two in her stall at night)
A slow feeder is a good move. Horses need at least 1.5% bwt daily in roughage. If you're wanting her to gain, I'd work on 2.5%
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post #7 of 9 Old 03-09-2013, 02:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mistysms View Post
She has scratches on her legs and at my friends house she plays in the mud and water all day so they can't heal there. I have to keep her legs dry. I now understand to slowly switch her feed but should I feed her twice a day or still just once?


Keep her original feeding schedule-- 2 quarts twice daily.. right?
You probably wouldnt want to give her 4 quarts of feed at once when she's used to getting only 2 quarts-- you don't want to over feed-especially while switching feed.
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post #8 of 9 Old 03-09-2013, 02:34 AM
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if you are taking her off the sweet feed do it slowly. Two feedings are better than one feeding. Hay it depends on the quality of hay on how much to feed.
I feed my easy keeper horses a 3" flake of alfalfa hay mornings and evenings.
My sr horses get a mix sr feed, a +m, dumor equistages, and a splash of oil in the evening , 3 qt scoop of a +m , and the sr feed and dumor are combined and that is also a 3 qrt scoop. You can put vinegar on her legs to dry them out and kill the bacteria, there is also a shampoo you cna get for scratches
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post #9 of 9 Old 03-09-2013, 11:29 PM Thread Starter
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I'm going to try to start feeding her twice a day. When looking for hay what kind of hay should I tell them i'm looking for? I want to be able to let her eat all the hay she wants.
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