once a day feeding with slow feeders, help - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 4 Old 07-26-2013, 10:28 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Southern Ca
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once a day feeding with slow feeders, help

Ok I have 3 horses and a pony. Currently they are all on alfalfa. They are fed twice a day, am and pm.

Horse #1 ) weight approx 1000lbs, easy keeper, gets 8lb of alfalfa in am and
8 lbs in pm

Horse #2 ) weight approx 850, gets 8 lbs of alfalfa in am and 8 lbs of alfalfa in pm

Horse # 3 ) approx 1100 pounds, senior horse, gets 10lbs of alfalfa in am
And 10 lbs in pm

Pony) approx 500 lbs, gets about 4 lbs of alfalfa in am and 4 lbs in pm

Monday I will receive the freedom feeders (slow feed nets) I ordered, I want to transition them to slow feed nets (each net will have a half barrel under to catch waste) and also I was thinking of transitioning to some bermuda. So maybe I would keep the nets full of free choice bermuda and just add alfalfa once a day. The question should I put the whole day ration of alfalfa in the net at once with extra bermuda.........or should I cut down to half the alfalfa with the bermuda??? The pony I am going to transition to all bermuda.

How would you make the transition??over how many days etc????????

I like the ideas of slow feeders so the hay lasts longer, I like the reduced waste and I am really liking that I can only drive out there once a day to feed, clean and work horses and not have to go before work.


Don't take life so seriously. After all no one gets out alive.
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post #2 of 4 Old 07-26-2013, 11:24 PM
Green Broke
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Canada
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My thoughts are that if you start adding Bermuda grass free choice then you can actually cut back on alfalfa as part of their daily diet. In that case, then you should be able to give alfalfa once a day. I might add that I'm not familiar with Bermuda grass (we don't have it where I am - I'm assuming it's a true grass similar to timothy or brome grass that we do have here).

With regard to transitioning, in general terms as each horse can react differently, I suspect you could have it completed in about week. First day add some Bermuda with same amount of alfalfa; second day bit more Bermuda with slightly less alfalfa; and so until you've reached the proportion you want, all the while monitoring how the horses are reacting to it.
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post #3 of 4 Old 07-28-2013, 07:01 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Southern Ca
Posts: 154
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ok that is exactly what I was thinking, i have been giving the bermuda (you are right grass hay) free choice with half the alfalfa portion fed once a day but so far they are eating every bite of the bermuda its not lasting 24 hours.....

I did read when you first start giving free choice they will overeat for a while until they figure out its not going anywhere...

going to keep with the schedule for the next two weeks and see how it goes

Don't take life so seriously. After all no one gets out alive.
newbierider is offline  
post #4 of 4 Old 07-28-2013, 07:13 PM
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: New Mexico
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I had subscribed to your thread and then forgot about it....sorry

I switched from practically free choice everything( oat/foragehay), alfalfa portioned, to grasshay in slowfeeder nets, free choice and still alfalfa portioned. I left a little grasshay on the ground so they wouldn't get too frustrated in the beginning, but it wasn't necessary, they preferred picking it out of the net.
Now I'm about 40% down in consumption( I weighed everything, raked together leftovers and weighed them too, to get the most accurate numbers lol). Two horses together eat 19lbs of grasshay and 10 lbs grassy alfalfa per 24 hours, which comes out to about 1.5% of bodyweight for a 1000 lb horse.
I have noticed days when they eat less, other days more. It took about 10 days to establish these numbers, I suspect yours are eating the Bermuda so well because it's a change. Horses like variety. Giving them only one type of forage must be pretty boring for them.....
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