Originally Posted by Erin_And_Jasper
they are on pasture. my question was about Weight Buliders not about feed. i have talked to many people about grain and i have found one that works for me. i dont mean to sound rude. i was reading a book and it said horses dont need higher than a 10% protien.
They don't need higher protein as in 10% vs 16% of the same feed. HOWEVER, you should be feeding 4-6 lbs a day of that feed for the optimum nutrition of the horse. With a ration balancer, the protein level is higher, 30-32%, but you only feed 1-2 lbs a day for total nutrition. So the horse is getting the same amount of protein either way, but more complete nutrition and better food with the ration balancer.
Think of it this way. It's like eating a whole chicken, vs. a casserole that has a whole chicken in it. You're getting the same amount of chicken either way, but the casserole has a whole lot more stuff in it that you really don't need.
Horses on adaquate hay and/or pasture don't NEED all that extra junk in sweet feed or feed pellets. If you get him OFF that stuff, he'll actually gain weight quicker, and he'll be getting more proper nutrition.
The best way to put weight on a horse is to start with a good base diet. The best diet for a horse is one with all the QUALITY hay and/or pasture he can eat (or at least 2.5% of his body weight a day, 25 lbs for an average 1,000 lb horse). After that, you should add as little as possible for complete nutrition. A ration balancer, plus whole oats or hay pellets if more calories are needed, is one of the best ways to accomplish that.
Weight gainers won't do squat if you don't have a quality diet to start with. It's like giving a skinny kid chips and candy along with white bread to gain weight. Sure, he'll gain weight and have plenty of energy, but he won't be very healthy...
Now, if you have good hay and pasture like iride has, then no, you probably don't need much of anything extra, except maybe some vitamins "just in case". But not all hay is created equal, and most people's pastures aren't fertilized for optimum livestock production.