Hay Analysis Says Hay is Yuck - Page 2

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Hay Analysis Says Hay is Yuck

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  • Juliet getty equine forums
  • Getty equine reading hay analysis

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    12-08-2012, 11:37 AM
Feed your horse like a horse by Juliet Getty PHD informative read on horse nutrition and feeds.
Join FeedXL online program that helps you formulate a diet. Plug in what you use and it will tell you where the holes are.

Herdof2 likes this.
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    12-08-2012, 03:05 PM
Originally Posted by BigGreyHorse    
Feed your horse like a horse by Juliet Getty PHD informative read on horse nutrition and feeds.
Join FeedXL online program that helps you formulate a diet. Plug in what you use and it will tell you where the holes are.
I take it you have read this book then? Can you tell me a little more about it?
    12-08-2012, 10:06 PM
Super Moderator
I have not read the book mentioned, so I do not know what the recommendations in it are. I can tell you, though, that you do not feed all horses the same. There are as many differences within the species as there is between animals from different species.

You have to feed TB race horses and other hot-blooded high performance horses a lot differently than an easy keeping saddle horse. You have to feed a draft or draft cross much differently than either a lean, hard-keeping TB or a easy going saddle horse. Then, there is fitting and conditioning horses for shows and halter classes. All of these differences are not even related to the metabolic problems specific to horses. That adds an even more 'horse specific' dynamic to choosing the right feed for each different horse. Some horses need a LOT more calories than others. Just like people, there are horses that can eat everything in sight and stay thin and others get a few pounds of hay and no grain and stay too fat. Obviously, you have to feed them differently.

So, there is not a right or wrong way to feed a horse. There are many different ways to feed for each purpose and for each body type and digestive system because there are many different kinds of horses and goals. You obviously don't want a saddle horse as 'high' as a race horse, either.

You would never want to feed a race horse low protein mature old grass hay but, it is just the ticket for a saddle horse. If a horse is 4 or under, I would want to add a little soybean meal to the low protein grass hay and would sure want to add Ca. I would only add grain or another concentrate other than the soy if that particular individual needed more calories to stay fat enough. I would also always add Vitamin A.

If there is a book that explains all of these little differences and how to address them with the kind of hay or forage is at hand, I am not aware of it. But, whoever said you have to build your feeding program around your hay, had it right. Start out with your hay and then add what is necessary to complete the requirements. Be sure you get a horse to a 2:1 Ca:P ratio. We do that with a mineral that has 4 times as much Ca in it as P and also has a high level of Vitamin A. Then, I only grain the horses that need grain because they are working hard or need it to stay in good weight condition.

I know you will hear a lot to the contrary, but I have no problem feeding grain. I do not even think a little sweet feed will hurt any horse that needs weight and does not have a metabolic disorder (like PSSM, IR or HYPP or ???). I do not think grain products are evil. They must be fed carefully and not fed to horses with metabolic disorders. We have 50 horses and 49 of them can eat sweet feed or grain. We personally feed a grain based pellet instead of grain. I have a number of horses with bad teeth and that have a lot of age on them, so they digest and assimilate the grain pellets much better than they could chew and digest regular grain.
    12-09-2012, 09:16 AM
Is the soybean meal something specifically for horses? I want to do what you suggest for a horse less than 4....
    12-09-2012, 09:49 AM
Green Broke
Soybean meal is what kicks up the protein level in most horse feeds.

For my own lightly ridden horses I would rather have hay that isn't too loaded with power. 2 of them would explode on rich hay and it's looking like the other doesn't need much either. Digesting that fiber is what keeps them warm through winter. I'd rather they keep eating.
    12-09-2012, 09:53 AM
Got it. Is it sold in a way that I just buy it and supplement with it? Any brands to avoid or seek out?
    12-09-2012, 10:00 AM
Green Broke
I highly recommend FeedXL.com it is a great source. You can plug in the results from your hay and all your other info and it will help you build a diet to get optimal vitamin/mineral balances. I completely changed around my horses diet once I saw what she was actually getting.
    12-09-2012, 10:00 AM
Green Broke
Talk to a Poulin grain rep. It's a smallish VT company should be available in western NY. I've found them very completely honest and helpful. They don't just try to sell you their goods. Answer questions fast and honestly. Email or phone works great.
    12-09-2012, 10:05 AM
Super Moderator
The reason soybean meal is a very good source of protein is because it has a good amount of the amino acid, Lysine, in it. It is what is called the 'first limiting amino acid' in horses. I also like to see the amino acid, Methionine, added to a feed.

You do not NEED the soybean meal for anything but optimum growth. A horse will grow to the same size with less protein. It just takes them a little longer. The horses that need extra protein the most are weanlings, followed by yearlings. Two and three year olds will grow a little faster and 'fill out' a little faster with added protein, but slower growth does not hurt them.

Protein is needed for growth and development and to put on muscle mass on a thin horse. Less protein over a longer period of time amounts to the same thing as more protein while a horse is younger. Lack of a GOOD protein source is the main reason it takes some people so long to put muscle mass and GOOD weight on a very thin horse like a rescue.

You cannot 'fit and condition' a horse without sufficient protein. But even then, I personally like to use a lower protein hay and a good 'complete' protein source like soybean meal. Then, you do not have the 'wasted protein' that cannot be used without Lysine being present. The 'wasted protein' that most horses do not utilize is turned into ammonia in the urine. Excess protein requires that a horse drinks a lot more water. It can can be very damaging to a horse's kidneys if they are old or have kidney problems. When you smell ammonia in a barn, you automatically know the horses are being fed too much protein. This also makes them drink a lot more water and makes stalls exponentially wetter and requires a lot more bedding. It can also lead to hoof problems and lower leg skin problems like 'scratches'.

So, with all of this put together, I just prefer feeding more low protein grass hay. This enables me to feed them ''free choice' hay or at least a lot more hay than a real 'rich' hay that I would have to limit. This prevents most cases of colic. Then, I add what I need to the low protein mature hay to satisfy the requirements of each horse -- grain to maintain weight if needed and protein for growth and development. This lets me 'micro-manage' each horse for what he needs and what I need from him.

I have set up management practices for many small breeders and quite a few very big breeders and boarding facilities. Many things are all taken into account, but each program is set up around the hay or hays that are available.

Hope this helps.
Herdof2 likes this.
    12-09-2012, 10:14 AM
Oh my, poor you!

If we got hay with 5% protein, and I assume that you mean just protein and not digestible protein? I would probably burn it. :(
You might as well just feed the horses straw if you got a hay like that.

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