Grain Schedules... - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 8 Old 08-11-2010, 02:29 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Manitoba, Canada
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Grain Schedules...

Just curious, what kind of feed schedule would you have a yearling stud colt on?

As of now he gets roughly 2 small scoops of soaked beet pulp, small scoop of complete feed, and 3/4 small scoop of sweet feed - twice a day. I know there are many prefered feed routines out there but I'm fairly new to daily graining since all our mares are VERY easy keepers! They gain 5 pounds just LOOKING at grain! Wish I had a picture of my scoop, it's not very big...this is the feed pan he uses and one feeding fills it 3/4 full.

And his body weight now (the woman that owned him before was feeding more, but added whole oats and hemp nuts?)


Anyway, interested to see what replies and advise I get from you guys! Thanks!

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post #2 of 8 Old 08-11-2010, 07:23 AM
Join Date: Aug 2010
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Adjusting to the move is enough to handle at one time, so the closer you can keep the feed schedule to what he is used to, the less there will be a risk of colic or laminitis.
I would try to get to the new barn and do the 3rd feeding yourself, gradually extending the time until the final feeding is at 9 pm.
I would also buy enough of the feed he is currently on to allow at least two or three weeks to gradually transition from the old to the new. I would make no feed changes in the first week after the move. Then, over the next week to two weeks, gradually begin adding the new feed in with the old, until finally switching altogether. Or, arrange to keep your horse on the feed he has been getting, which would be best if it has been keeping him in good condition.
Anything you can do to limit the degree and number of stressful changes will help to prevent health issues like colic, ulcers, and laminitis from developing.
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post #3 of 8 Old 08-11-2010, 08:49 AM
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I feed my yearling filly 2x a day (8am and 6pm), she gets a 4qt. scoop of a complete feed by Blue Seal. On top of that she's currently grazing all night and staying inside during the day with orchard grass hay because of the heat.

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post #4 of 8 Old 08-11-2010, 01:12 PM
Green Broke
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Young horses should have as close to 24/7 turnout as possible, to help bones and tendons grow strong. They need movement to harden and develop properly.

I see no reason to mix sweet feed and complete feed. I do not understand why people do it... I would pick one feed and stick with that. If he's getting less than the recommended amount of feed for his size and age, then he's not getting enough vitamins/minerals. You'll need to add a vitamin/mineral supplement to his diet, or switch to a different feed that you can feed less of for his weight/age.

I prefer to use no feed at all. I give my horses free choice grass hay, as much grazing as they can get (we don't have much), and a grain free diet consisting of alfalfa pellets, flax meal, and a vitamin/mineral supplement. I have my own custom vitamin mixed by Uckele Nutrition. It's only $0.41 a day to feed and I have all of the vit/min my horses need in it, without any they don't. I also have them add extra Biotin and Amino Acids, since we don't have much grazing and I feed grass hay. You could call and speak with the product developers at Uckele and see what they recommend for a growing horse. Be sure to tell them what kind of hay he's getting, how much, any pasture/grass, and other feeds or pellets.

Since going grain-free, my horses hold their weight better, have even better foot growth, and their coats just glisten. My "hard keepers" need 1/3rd the food they used to and my moody mares are easier to handle.

Even pelleted feeds use grain products, like wheat middlings, corn gluten, grain by-products, etc., so I stay away from those as well. My hay pellets are hay plus rice bran or bentonite as binding agents, that's it! Alfalfa pellets are high in quality protein and nutrition too, so it's not just a filler and empty calories like beet pulp.
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post #5 of 8 Old 08-11-2010, 02:51 PM
Join Date: Jul 2009
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I agree with Luvs, grain free is best (but I like to feed beet pulp - especially in the winter). I hate that we are feeding a feed with grain in it right now, but we are really trying hard to get some weight back on the horses. Once they are back at their desired weight, we stop the grain. However - the feed they are getting is at the vet's recommendation, though he's not a big grain fan either - unless a horse needs the extra calories and/or nutrients.

My mare, Dancer, is gaining weight slower than the rest of the horses, but she is gaining it back. Then again, she's nursing a filly that is growing like nobody's business - Rain was foaled 06/28/10 and could easily stand under Dancer to stay dry - with room to spare. Now she can't get under Dancer if her life depended on it. And she is a chunk! No wonder momma's not gaining much weight!

At any rate - we have five horses - six if you count Rain. Three of them are fed twice a day. Dancer and daughter's two year old colt we nearly lost a month ago are fed three times a day. We were feeding the colt four times a day for a while - but they were smaller meals because that's all his system could handle. At least now you can tell he's a horse and not a skeleton!

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post #6 of 8 Old 08-11-2010, 11:03 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for all the advise! I'm certainly not opposed to going grain free, I just don't know where to start! Like I said, this is my first horse that was on grain when I bought him so for the moment I'm just mimicing what he was getting...

All of my horses have only ever had a couple handfuls of sweet feed after our ride - never needed more. My 3 year old Clyde/TB filly started getting beet pulp, cool command/complete feed and some sweet feed this spring because I thought she was a little thin. I also give her a biotin hoof suppliment - neither Clyde's nor TB's are known for their strong feet...I actually have to goop on a moisturizer starting tomorrow because they're still cracking a bit and just dry.

I'm more than open to suggestions for a new feed schedule for Ransom - learning on the fly here. Hoping to show him in some halter classes next spring so I need to have him in good physical health come spring, when usually that seems to be where the horses drop weight. Depends on the winter I suppose. Anyway, thanks again and I'll look into some grain free suppliments!

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post #7 of 8 Old 08-11-2010, 11:51 PM
Green Broke
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Sweet feed is not a good choice for either drafts or thoroughbreds. You might want to put her on the same type of diet as your new yearling.

I like flax meal for putting on and keeping up weight, plus it's great for feet and hair. Feed 1/2 cup daily for maintanence and up to 2 cups for weight gain.

For a supplement, if you want something off the shelf, look for a complete supplement like GrandVite or Uckele's Equie Base Grass.
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post #8 of 8 Old 08-11-2010, 11:57 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you! I'll definitely look into flax meal - I want to wean him off the sweet feed anyway just because it adds extra spunk and right now he doesn't need it! LOL

I have a bobcat service guy coming on Friday to give me an estimate, plan to have Ransom's new pen in place by the end of the month. I know his current pen isn't ideal, but it's better than what he was in before and it's very short term.

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