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I need some feeding advice.

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        11-16-2009, 04:35 PM
      #11
    Super Moderator
    Roughage is VERY important to a horse. Grain is something that we have gotten into feeding, I think for ease of care and maybe even a lowered cost, although I've never calculated. One of my older horses can no longer eat hay, he chews it into a moist little ball and then spits it out in the water trough. I have to feed him a full source grain. However with horses that have healthy teeth, hay has fibrous content and nutrition that resembles the horse’s natural diet of grass. It does lack water, which is why a fresh supply of water is important.

    Horses have a really long digestive tract, the roughage is what helps to push everything through. Without roughage you can run into colic issues. I have always heard that arabs can be prone to colic but that is me going on hear-say. I did own one arab that coliced pretty severely and I have 2 friends that lost arabs to colic but I've been around horses for over 20 years so that could be coincidence. I'm just mentioning that because you said your horse is an arab.

    My thought is that you may need to move if the barn owner is not willing to provide adequate hay.
         
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        11-16-2009, 05:03 PM
      #12
    Weanling
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by sillybunny11486    
    "Just curious, why do your easy keepers get beet pulp? I thought that used to put weight on horses? And why do you only feed pellets?"

    My horses are easy keepers- so they don't need any attitives/sugar above pelleted feed. Around here most sweet feeds are low quality, and have alot of crap fillers in them. Its a junk food basically. Its like filling your tummy with candy bars instead of a healthy snack. Its a waste of calories. You are substituting nutrient rich calories, for nutrient poor ones. When you have an easy keeper you have less discretionary calories, this those that do get consumed have to be more nutrient rich.

    As for Beet Pulp, we have my weanling vet checked, dewormed, the works, he kept getting loose stool. So I thought, maybe Ill try adding more fiber, so the cheepest, fastest way to get fiber into him (without alot of extra protein in aflafa cubes) was beet pulp. He's been on it since. He gets more beet pulp, and my mare gets more alfalfa pellets. My mare needs more protein, to help her feet grow, she has been pulling her shoes off (along with half her hoof) monthly. My baby dosent need all that additional protein, I worry about him getting to fat or growing to fast, which cause developmental problems.
    That makes sense. I was asking why you gave pellets as opposed to cubes, lol...I think I misunderstood you a bit/have issues typing coherent questions. I am certainly aware that easy keepers don't need any extra calories, and the ones they do get should be of high nutritional value, which is the main reason I am opposed to giving Lilly any.

    Teff grass is relatively new in the US, with it's origins in Ethiopia. Some people around here substitute it for timothy and it's growing in popularity, in this area at least. It's actually a grain (extremely tiny grain), although it looks like ryegrass...and is pretty cheap as it can grow well even in a bad season. However our nearest grower seems to be 60+ miles away, so we are probably going to gradually switch her over to orchard grass hay or something else more readily available.

    Interestingly enough when we were first "interviewing" M, she said she'd be willing to feed anything as long as we supplied it personally. I knew she didn't feed her horses hay but I wasn't going to say anything at first, as she had already agreed to give our mare the stuff and as she actually seemed a bit interested in using teff when we described it in more detail.

    However yesterday evening, I gave Lilly a flake before I left and pointed this out to M, and she said something akin to, "Well alright, that's fine, you do that. That is all your thing. I don't do hay. I won't have anything to do with it." Then asked for the first time if Lilly was on grain, and I said...no, I don't believe she needs it, and she's never...to my knowledge...been on it before. And she acted kind of incredulous before showing me back to where she is keeping this huge bin of that sweet corn grain, and begins telling me about how the horses need it to keep warm, and that it is absolutely essential. And that, my friends, is when my brow quirked just a smidegon and I left with my ride feeling a mite conflicted.

    Hence this barrage of very n00bish queries...

    SO. I am going to talk with M, and hopefully we'll straighten some things out. I'm going to keep Lilly on the forage, and she's not getting any junkfood...except the occasional peppermint from me ;)...and if M has a problem giving it to her, then I suppose we'll have to find another place. I really, really, REALLY hope it won't come to that. But I have to know I can trust M in doing this for me when I can't be out there personally. The weird thing is, she did originally say she was fine with feeding hay, but then that comment yesterday got me puzzling.

    And yes, I've too heard that arabians are prone to colic. ):

    Thank you so much everyone for your input...if you have any more please type!
         
        11-16-2009, 05:42 PM
      #13
    Weanling
    I have SERIOUS questions about the knowledge anyone in the horse world actually has if they do not feed hay (UNLESS the horse is on a complete feed because he is a senior, etc).
    I would not even consider it, and my vet would be horrified. It is essential to the average horse to have hay or grass throughout the day for bodily and mental health.
    The cubes just really wouldn't do for a healthy, normal horse. I feed cubes as a supplement.
    If her horses are eating their feces, there is probably something lacking major in their diet as well.

    Your horse, I must say, is obviously an super easy keeper though, so if worse comes to worse, and you can't move her and "M" will not feed hay, then she will probably be okay in the short term until you could move her, but I really wouldn't leave her at a place the refuses to feed the most essential part of a horses diet.
    I do not feed hay ONLY when there is enough grass in the spring and summer.
    I feed about 40lbs a day per adult horse and 2 1/2 scoops of Strategy and Triple Crown Complete, and my horses still look thin.
         
        11-16-2009, 05:56 PM
      #14
    Trained
    I am not sure about what other areas are like, but up round these parts, there is no hay to speak of. Most farmers got 1 cut (we normally get two) and it was a late, small cut.
    Most boarding facilities in the area simply can't buy hay because there is none to buy. Some people have trucked in hay from 100s of miles away, but a lot of times it ends up being of very poor quality (ie ditch hay) and it is very expensive.
    I am really lucky where I am at, the owners of the boarding facility have wonderful suppliers who managed to find a bunch of good quality hay that if rationed properly, should last the winter. They are still forced to feed some alfalfa/grass mix cubes and beet pulp to supplement the hay.
    Just putting that out there. Horses can live without forage, but if at all possible it should be the main component in their diet. They should also be fed little and often if possible.
         
        11-16-2009, 06:24 PM
      #15
    Weanling
    In our area you use beet pulp for senior horses that are underweight. But feeding sweet feed is like just giving a kid candy, there is nothing useful in it. You're better to feed senior if she is so gung-ho on grain. At least senior has hay in it. It will be pretty costly though, so I would let "M" know your horse needs hay, loves hay and will eat hay. Is she going to pay the vet bill if she colics your horse from her frivolous ideas?
         
        11-16-2009, 06:48 PM
      #16
    Weanling
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Macslady    
    In our area you use beet pulp for senior horses that are underweight. But feeding sweet feed is like just giving a kid candy, there is nothing useful in it. You're better to feed senior if she is so gung-ho on grain. At least senior has hay in it. It will be pretty costly though, so I would let "M" know your horse needs hay, loves hay and will eat hay. Is she going to pay the vet bill if she colics your horse from her frivolous ideas?
    lol, I dun' think so. I also don't see how walking out to Lilly's paddock twice a day to supply a flake would be so difficult, if I am already physically picking it up and bringing it to her house. We would feed her ourselves but there is only one car between my mother and I, and we have weird schedules at present so we can't get out there every day, let alone even twice a day to feed. So HOPEFULLY she will agree about the whole feed the hay/no grain thing. She has been very kind and helpful about everything else, so here's knocking on wood that when I speak to her next she'll be reasonable about this. There is no shortage of hay in our area, that is for sure.
         
        11-16-2009, 06:55 PM
      #17
    Green Broke
    I would want her on more hay, less cubes. She should be getting 2-3% of her body weight in hay every day. You can add a vitamin supplement to her cubes to round out her vitamin and mineral needs. Those blocks really do not provide much in the way of minerals.

    My horses get free choice grass hay with just 2 lbs of Alfalfa pellets daily. In their pellets I mix a vitamin, some flax, and some apple cider vinegar to make it all stick. They stay very healthy, good feet & hair, and they definitely do not eat their poo... Poo eating is usually a sign of a nutrient difiency, or serious boredom.
         
        11-16-2009, 07:03 PM
      #18
    Weanling
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by luvs2ride1979    
    I would want her on more hay, less cubes. She should be getting 2-3% of her body weight in hay every day. You can add a vitamin supplement to her cubes to round out her vitamin and mineral needs. Those blocks really do not provide much in the way of minerals.

    My horses get free choice grass hay with just 2 lbs of Alfalfa pellets daily. In their pellets I mix a vitamin, some flax, and some apple cider vinegar to make it all stick. They stay very healthy, good feet & hair, and they definitely do not eat their poo... Poo eating is usually a sign of a nutrient difiency, or serious boredom.
    Thank you luvs2ride!! I really mean it. I was going to cut down her cubes as well...and what you are doing with your own horses seems like it would be a good fit with my mare. Which/what kind of vitamin do you use, again? And as you already know I am a big proponent of ACV. We will likely being going the ground flax route with her too.
         
        11-16-2009, 07:06 PM
      #19
    Green Broke
    Using grain to "warm" a horse is the biggest waste of money. Horses stay warmer with HAY. Hay takes longer to digest and creates more heat in the hind gut. Grains are processed quickly. While they will provide more calories for horses that lose weight in the winter, they will NOT make a horse "warmer"...

    Email her these links.
    Horse Feeding Myths and Misconceptions

    "Corn and barley are sometimes favoured as winter feeds because they are mistakenly thought of as "heating feeds." If "hot" implies high energy, yes, corn and barley are "hot feeds." However, corn and barley are not "hot feeds" if "hot" implies heat production. "

    Seven Feeding Myths Shattered

    "MYTH #1: Horses need grain in their diets.
    FACT: Horses evolved as grazing animals, and forage (pasture and/or hay) is still the basis of their dietary needs. The equine digestive system is designed to break down tough, stemmy plants and extract all the nutrition and energy they need from those materials. A great many horses get along very well on a forage-only diet; if your horse has finished growing and is only in light work, is an easy keeper, or is basically a happy pasture potato, he has no need for grain.


    Because the equine digestive system is poorly designed to digest large quantities of carbohydrates, there's a limit to how much grain you can feed without risking dangerous conditions like colic and laminitis. As a rule of thumb, remember that every horse should consume between 1.5 and 3 percent of his body weight in feed every day, and at least half of that should be forage, by weight."

    Myths

    Myth: Horses need to eat grain.
    Truth: Other than possibly vitamin E (if the horse does not get green grass or alfalfa) and selenium (if your area is selenium deficient), the only thing a horse on good quality forage needs from grain is extra calories, most of which come from starch and sugar. An intake of starch and sugar increases the risk of bone and joint problems in young growing horses and of colic, founder, and stomach ulcers in adults.

    Possible origin: When the cavalry needed to carry concentrated feeds on trips across country with poor grazing, and when hard working horses in cities needed extra calories to maintain weight, the only feeds available were grains. These days we have a lot more options that are healthier than grains, such as high fiber and high fat feeds, and good vitamin E and selenium supplements.
         
        11-16-2009, 07:09 PM
      #20
    Green Broke
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Cheshire    
    Thank you luvs2ride!! I really mean it. I was going to cut down her cubes as well...and what you are doing with your own horses seems like it would be a good fit with my mare. Which/what kind of vitamin do you use, again? And as you already know I am a big proponent of ACV. We will likely being going the ground flax route with her too.
    I have horsetech.com custom blend me a vitamin with their flax base. I had my hay tested and only had the vitamins I needed added to the mix. It's a bit more expensive this way, but we get the flax and vitamins in one bucket, which is sure nice, and my horses aren't getting too much or not enough of anything. They don't charge extra for the custom blend, just for the ingredients. They're a great company to work with. The flax is human-food grade, very nice stuff.

    For off-the-shelf vitamins, I like GrandVite (orginal formula) or SmartPak's SmartVite line. I used both with good success.
         

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