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Mare looking -bad- during winter... would a blanket help?

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  • Mare with low energy in the winter

 
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    02-15-2010, 12:19 PM
  #11
Started
I don't have a job (still looking... been looking for over a year), so money is very tight for me right now. I have to make due with what I can. My horses are on a 4 month rotational deworming program, they don't look like they have worms at all. Thehay quality isn't my fault. I don't buy the hay, my uncles do, and they won't change what they buy because they're basically buying for the cows and get the cheap stuff.

As far as shelter does... they have two stalls in the back of the barn/tack room that they can get it, but only one actually keeps them safe from the elements (the barn is prety much falling down), and they have a tin and wood hay shed that all the horses can get in at the same time and share... they normally get in that when it rains or something, but it isn't very warm. They also have three seperate areas of woods that are fairly thick and protect them from the elements.

I only have access to FRM feeds, so what type of senior feed would be best? I have thought about putting my girl on a senior feed, but put it off because during summer, she gets huge on pasture grass alone...
     
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    02-15-2010, 01:51 PM
  #12
Started
Quote:
I feed both my horses soaked Alfalfa pellets (she gets two and a half pounds once a day).
If you can feed twice a day I would suggest you increase the alfalfa pellets to 5# a day by feeding the 2.5# twice daily. Also if you can get it the beet pulp will really help a lot as it is more than hay(especially yours) but not as rich as Oats. And you can feed it full feed if necessary. You can soak or not as your horse perfers. That will really go far to help your mare if her main problem is winter and low quality hay.. Usually grain isn't going to help nearly as much because horses need fiber to fuel for the furnace that heats their bodies. Grain is more like a dessert after the meal. Sugar high/quick energy basically.
     
    02-15-2010, 04:45 PM
  #13
Foal
Sounds like good shelter. They huddle for warmth too.

You can buy very inexpensive wormers. Often ivermic is only about 3 or 4 $. Occasionally give the other (safeguard or something like it).

I understand the hay you have no choice on. Didn't mean to sound critical., just trying to list the facts. I totally understand you are trying to do your best for her within the framework you have, and kudos to you for asking and seeking the best for her. Too many people wouldn't care so much. I am so glad you do.

Alfalfa pellets are a great way to improve overall roughage quality. So you could try just feeding more, but that won't address the vitamin/mineral shortages as well as a senior feed will. But it will help.

You can ask your feed store what they have for a complete feed, like a senior feed. I am not familiar with that brand. I did google them. Don't see senior feed, but you should ask. And I did found one complete feed:
HORSE NUGGETS
The "original" low-starch horse feed.
High Alfalfa Based Product.
The choice of Boarding Barns for years because it is so safe to feed.
Horse Nuggets is a complete feed for maintenance of pleasure horses or horses with heaves.
A 12% protein "all-in-one" pelleted feed which can be fed with or without hay or pasture.

Hope that helps.
     
    02-15-2010, 05:32 PM
  #14
Weanling
I would suggest having her teeth checked, malocclusion can cause serious rapid weight loss. I have seen older horses go from obese to skin-and-bones over the course of a year, just because of that.
     
    02-15-2010, 06:09 PM
  #15
Green Broke
I would rather her have quality hay and be in better condition before next winter. If a horse had the option they typically will not eat the quality of hay that is fed to cows unless they are very hungry. If you have her blanketed and you have to remove it for a repair or something then she will not have her coat to keep her worm. It doesn't get that cold in AL. If you bought some better hay you could safe money on the pellets you are buying.
     
    02-15-2010, 06:10 PM
  #16
Green Broke
On the hay issue I am thinking the horses are seperate from the cows so the cows do not need the good hay.
     
    02-15-2010, 07:07 PM
  #17
Started
Our cows, donkeys, and horses are all pastured together. There's no way we can seperate them short of putting up more fencing and in my uncles eyes, the cws are more important than the horses and they wouldn't be happy with fencing some of the pasture off (and I'm not going to get them mad at me, they terrify me when they're angry)

It usually isn't this cold in AL, but the past few winters have been getting colder and colder... it's been down in the teens more often than not this winter, where last winter it was more in the twenties, and the winter before that and all it was in the thirties more often than not.

According to my vet, her teeth are fine, though she'll probably need floating again in a couple months or so... before next year, but he said it wouldn't be a problem until about fall. I'll have to feel her teeth, though, and make sure there's no edges or anything... I'll check tomorrow.

I'll also talk to the feed store owners and see what all they have. My friend buys a ration balancer from them, but they have to special order it for her and they charge her over 30 dollars for fifty pounds... I can't afford that every two weeks in addition to the feed I already buy and the mineral licks I buy.

I will, however, ask about some sort of senior feed, or something that's good for an older horse. I'm kinda hesitant to ask, because the new worker down there doesn't know a thing about horse feed (he tried to sell me and my friend goat feed claiming it would be 'perfect' for the horses problems...), but if I can get ahold of the store owner, I'll ask her.
     
    02-19-2010, 10:57 PM
  #18
Foal
Maybe call the store owner and see what she suggests. Then you can write it down and when you go in there, you can get the right stuff. That way if she isn't there when you go, you will be ok.

I work in a feed store. There are too many opinions and everyone thinks they know everything. So call the owner and see what brands they carry and what would be best for your horse. You don'[t have to spend tons to get a good feed, but the cheapest feeds are usually throwing your money away.

Maybe you can buy just a few bales of alfalfa and throw some to your horses when you are there to make sure they get to eat it. If that's too hard, alfalfa pellets are helpful
     
    02-20-2010, 12:36 AM
  #19
Started
I agree that you should try to get a Sr Feed

Also try horseloverz.com or do you have a used tack store around you? Oh and Ebay can be a gold mine. Just make sure you get something that is the right size for her and waterproof- those will make a difference in how effective the blanket it ... good luck!
     
    02-20-2010, 05:36 PM
  #20
Foal
Britt,
I would tend to disagree with blanketing her. Horses use the muscles under the skin to raise and lower the hairs of the coat. If you blanket her, the hair is trapped against her body, and she can't control her temperature. If the blanket gets soaked, she will become very cold. Blankets can create a wonderful place for the growth of rainrot and ringworm. Provide shelter from the wind, and brush out her coat.

I agree with JB44. I would start with better nutrition, and better quality fiber. Can you get beet pulp? Without molasses is better. I soak the beet pulp in hot water, and take it out warm to the horses. I also provide warm water (not just thawed, but 60-80 degrees) to drink in the winter. These two things work well for my geriatric gelding.

The fermentation of fiber is what keeps the horses warm. Both hay and beet pulp fall into this category. Many times senior feed is mainly beet pulp. I would use the available funds to purchase better hay/beet pulp for her. Worm, and check her teeth. It is good that you recognize that there is a problem, and are trying to get help with it, and correct it.
     

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