Grain and Minerals help - The Horse Forum

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post #1 of 18 Old 11-22-2007, 03:00 PM Thread Starter
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Grain and Minerals help

Hi. I have know idea what to give my horse. He's 2, and I tend to have trouble keeping weight on him. I've been feeding Mare & Foal twice a day, and he does okay, but I'm wondering if there's a healthier feed to give him to keep him "fat" for the winter. I know corn and mollasses aren't great.
Also I don't know what minerals to give him. I can't afford the 80$ bags of minerals he was given at the stable he boarded at previously, but I don't know what he needs and what brands are good.
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post #2 of 18 Old 11-22-2007, 05:48 PM
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its hard for to totally say as im pretty sure feeds are different over there than here but these best thing for weight really is lots of grazing. If you don't have a lot of grass then I would put as much money as you can afford into hay. There really is no substitute for grazing :) someone else will likely be able to help you out with grains etc that are available to you.

As far as minerals go, im a big believer in complete supplements but as you said they can be quite expensive. As with the grains, someone else from where you live may be able to help you more with something that is suitable but not as expensive :)

"I whisper but my horse doesnt listen...So I yell!!...He still doesnt listen"


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post #3 of 18 Old 11-22-2007, 06:22 PM Thread Starter
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It's actually, winter, so no grazing. Unfortunately my horse won't eat enough hay to keep himself a good weight. It's a problem we've had with a lot of the young horses in this breed, back at the farm where he used to be. I wish I could just feed hay, but he seems to need something extra.
He seems to really like eating leaves. Green leaves off trees, and fallen dry leaves. I make sure he doesn't have access to any red maple leaves, cause I know when wilted they are poisonous, but I don't know anything about any other leaves.
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post #4 of 18 Old 11-23-2007, 02:26 AM
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Just be careful if you decide to grain your horse (complete feeds like the 'mare and foal cycle' feeds included). Any feed that has extra protein in it you have to be careful since it can effect their tendons (ive seen it happen, its not pretty). Actually, if you have a mixed hay (alfalfa, clover, grass mix) there are all the vitamins and minerals they need besided salt which they get from a salt block. If you want to give him minerals, I'd suggest Dr.Reeds. You can buy a big bag and it lasts a long time. You could also try feeding him beat pulp, this works with some horses. My friend has an arab and she feeds him beat pulp with a glug of veggie oil and he put on weight quite fast.

Other than that, make sure his deworming is on track, and make sure he's getting his fill to eat, make sure he's getting to the feeder without being chased away. Some horses are just thinner when they're young. We have 4 2 year olds at the barn. The 2 warmbloods are on the slim side, the QH cross is normal, and the draft cross is FAT. And they're all eating the exact same thing. The 2 warmbloods are at the feeder more often too. So yeah, sometimes there isn;t a lot you can do until they stop growing and you can start graining them.
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post #5 of 18 Old 11-23-2007, 04:27 AM
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I may be wrong but I've heard that horses eating leaves/bark etc means they are lacking some vitamin or mineral. Im not sure which one it is and even if its true but it might be worth checking out :)

"I whisper but my horse doesnt listen...So I yell!!...He still doesnt listen"


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post #6 of 18 Old 11-23-2007, 10:36 AM Thread Starter
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Any idea where I would check that out? SHould I just ask my vet? The receptionist is kind of a ditz there.

I'm not feeding him much grain. A yogurt container scoop twice a day, which is nothing compared to what he and the rest of the skinny horses at the previous barn ate. It keeps the weight on him, but I'd rather feed him something better.
He's not getting chased away, as he's the only horse in there. He basically has free hay all day, since the quarter bale I give to him twice a day lasts all day and night. He goes and eats his fill, and then wanders off. So the problem is more his appetite than anything. He's also up to date on deworming.
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post #7 of 18 Old 11-23-2007, 05:52 PM
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the only thing I can find is that its fibre lacking if they are eating leaves or bark. It might be an idea to ask your vet though because he should know for sure ;)

"I whisper but my horse doesnt listen...So I yell!!...He still doesnt listen"


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post #8 of 18 Old 11-23-2007, 09:37 PM
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Growing horses often have "lanky" stages. Your best bet is to supply free-choice forage and then add a feed like Strategy that is designed for a "performance" horse or hard keeper, like Strategy. Then if feeding according to the label doesn't provide enough calories to put weight on him, try adding fat to the diet as this is a more concentrated source of digestible energy and doesn't increase the risk of GI upset like feeding excess amounts of grains or concentrates does.

Cindy D.
Licensed Veterinary Technician
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post #9 of 18 Old 11-23-2007, 11:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ryle
Growing horses often have "lanky" stages. Your best bet is to supply free-choice forage and then add a feed like Strategy that is designed for a "performance" horse or hard keeper, like Strategy. Then if feeding according to the label doesn't provide enough calories to put weight on him, try adding fat to the diet as this is a more concentrated source of digestible energy and doesn't increase the risk of GI upset like feeding excess amounts of grains or concentrates does.
Is 'Strategy' a pelltized feed or a sweet feed, a mixture of both, or what?
Or a better question might be....
Assuming that one can choose between feed-types which have simular protein, fat, vitamin and mineral content....and if weight gain is the goal, is one type more desirable than another when feeding the maximum amount stated on the bag?

Thank you.
DGW
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post #10 of 18 Old 11-24-2007, 09:26 AM Thread Starter
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That's a good question DGW. Thanks.
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