oh no! i dont think im feeding my horse right! - The Horse Forum

 
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post #1 of 10 Old 08-04-2008, 12:39 PM Thread Starter
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oh no! i dont think im feeding my horse right!

Ok I just read what everyone said to the person about what to feed the 2 yr old horse and after reading that I think im feeding mine wrong also. He is an adult horse..about 10 yrs old and just the right weight so I just need to maintain. He has some grass to graze on right now. I give him 2 scoops of 10% sweet feed twice a day, 4 handfulls of alfalfa cubes a day and 2 flicks of hay a day. Is that healthy?
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post #2 of 10 Old 08-04-2008, 01:17 PM
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I don't see a problem with that if he's healthy, at a good weight etc. You could always talk to your vet and ask. Every horse takes something different. You seem to have found what your horse needs.
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post #3 of 10 Old 08-04-2008, 01:22 PM
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I normally don't feed sweet feed unless i'm trying to get the horse to eat or trying to put on a lot of weight bc sweet feed has a lot of molasses in it meaning a lot of sugar which can make ur horse to be more hyper or founder quicker. If it's hot where you are it can make them sweat a lot more bc of the sugar. If you like the sweet feed what we used to do was a least mix in half and half with pellets.

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post #4 of 10 Old 08-04-2008, 01:25 PM
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Grass plus that much extra feed sounds... well, excessive. I would consult your vet for a feeding regimen - we can tell you so much, but really, we don't know the horse.


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post #5 of 10 Old 08-04-2008, 01:45 PM Thread Starter
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thanks for the replies. I just got this horse so idk if the feed is making him fat or act hyper or anything. I live in North carolina...so it is hot here this time of year. Should I decrease sweet feed in the summer..then increase in winter when there is less grass or should I decrease it all together
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post #6 of 10 Old 08-04-2008, 01:55 PM
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I don't feed sweet feed at all. Is there a reason you're feeding it? I feed pellets in Texas because it's not cold here other than that hellish two weeks in January.

It all depends on what he needs as I said. I don't think it's "wrong" but if he's a new horse I'd talk to the vet.
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post #7 of 10 Old 08-04-2008, 02:16 PM
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what was he getting before?

The generic "scoop" that basically everyone has holds right at 3 lbs. Of grain...so 2 scoops would be 6 lbs.

4 handfuls of alfalfa cubes is kind of hard to guesstimate, but I would put that at about 2-2.5 lbs.

2 flakes of hay...well that's 2 flakes of hay :) (and weight can depend on each individual bale and how it was cured/baled)

If he's average size, let's say 1000 lbs, and on a basic sweet feed (at 11% protein and 3.5% fat), he would need between 6-8 lbs of grain per day, coupled with roughly 11-18 lbs of forage (grass, alfalfa, and hay combined). - this also depends on the individual horse (for example, people with high matabolisms can eat and eat and not gain a pound, while people with slow matabolisms can eat just a little bit and either gain or maintain their weight)

For comparison, I have a 26 yo QH/TB that is on 12 lbs of senior per day (3 feedings) - lush pasture - and 6-8 lbs of soaked alfalfa plus one small flake of grass hay every day...and that's his maintenance point :)

I would say that so long as he's maintaining his weight, and not ill-affected by the extra starch and sugar from the sweet feed that he should be just fine. There are many people around here (GA) that feed sweet feed only (no pellets) - - and swear by it. It just depends on your horse :)

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post #8 of 10 Old 08-04-2008, 02:55 PM Thread Starter
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as for the question about why I feed my horse sweet feed...i do it because I thought he needed to be healthy and happy. As for the alfalfa cubes...my handfull I would say equals 4 or 5 cubes. Im sorry I can't be more exact..but I've never weighed the feed or anything..i just measure it by the scoop.
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post #9 of 10 Old 08-04-2008, 03:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sandy2u1
as for the question about why I feed my horse sweet feed...i do it because I thought he needed to be healthy and happy. As for the alfalfa cubes...my handfull I would say equals 4 or 5 cubes. Im sorry I can't be more exact..but I've never weighed the feed or anything..i just measure it by the scoop.
well I guess that depends on you as an owner, but most of our vets say it's better to take them off sweet feed if you can to reduce the possibility of foundering and of them sweating so bad, but I guess that's going to be a personal call for you.

"The horse you get off is not the same as the horse you got on; it is your job as a rider to ensure that as often as possible the change is for the better."
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post #10 of 10 Old 08-04-2008, 03:37 PM
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I don't see an issue w/ sweet feed. I have fed both types over the years. Although if your horse gets really up, a pellet will be better. I'm feeding a sweet feed to mine right now. If your horse is getting grass and alfalfa and feed twice daily then you just have to kind of use your eye... monitor the weight gain or loss and go from there. Actually, I take that back, it's too hard to tell w/ your eye until you wake up one morning and they are obese or ribby... Get a tape measure (it's for weight) weigh your horse and then do it again in a few weeks. See if you are gaining/losing/maintaining.
Those alfalfa cubes you are giving, you could just save those for treats actually... they are a nice healthy tasty treat...

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