proper feeding portions???

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proper feeding portions???

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  • Equine oats feeding portion
  • Feeding portions for a foal

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    02-21-2007, 02:13 AM
proper feeding portions???

I just bought my QH/Percheron Mare Cinder and she still had her 7 month old filly by her side- unweaned. I am in the process of weaning the filly but I would like to put some weight on Cinder. She is showing her ribs a bit and her hind quarters are a little shallow. She weighed in at almost 900 lbs but I think she should be definitely heavier then that. I am feeding just hay right now ( its a timothy mix, not high quality but good enough for this area,which was HORRID for hay this year).

I have bought Black Oil Sunflower Seeds and have alfalfa cubes. But don't know what else to feed her or how much to give her.

I have been giving her (as a treat) rolled oats and BOSS mixed together in small handful amounts.

If someone could give me an idea on the portions and what I should be feeding her to make her healthier!! That would be great :) Thanks!!

You can kind of see how skinny she is there, but since she has a winter coat its hard to see!!!
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    02-21-2007, 11:59 AM
Thats great that you know how much she weighs right now and you're right she is under. If she has been nursing that filly this whole time on just hay I'm amazed she has as much weight on her as she does! Nursing is the most metabolically demanding process there is. Did you know that the amount of energy needed to nurse a foal is more than that needed by a thoroughbred in full race training!!

Anyway, what you need to do is body condition score her so you can assess how much under weight she is. Check out this link and follow the instructions
(this is just one of many such sites)

Once you know her body condition score (she should be less than 5) let me know and we can figure out what her requirement is base don her being 900lbs and then we will increase it by a factor based on how much under weight she is.

As a basic rule feed her as much grass hay as she will eat (filly too) and then feed her a commercial feed that is formulated for lactating mares and youngstock. This will be balanced correctly for her specific needs. It will say on the bag how many pounds to feed each day based on her weight. Introduce it slowly increasing by about 1/4-1/2 of a pound per day until you get up to the correct amount. If she condition scores at about a 4 then you can increase the amount suggested for a 900lb horse by about 25%. This way you will be feeding her in excess of her current weight requirement and she will put on weight. (Basically you will be feeding her as oer her ideal size rather than her actual size).

If you feed this type of commercial feed you can also feed a little to the filly. There should be info about this on the bag. She will likely need some additional calories etc to meet the needs of her growth however be very careful not to overfeed her grain as in large boned breeds degenrerative joint disease can be an issue. So feed at the conservative end of their suggestions for youngstock. Feeding the filly some grain now will mean that she looses less weight when you wean her. Its not common for babies to loose weight at weaning due to the stress. However at her age there will be less stress than if she were being weaned at a younger age.

Hope this helps and let me know what her body condition score is.
    02-21-2007, 12:16 PM
She seems to score about a 3.5 because she's not a complete 3 but she's not a 4. Your info definitely helping!!
    02-21-2007, 01:25 PM
Wow that was quick. I didn't realize that that article didn't say to use the flat of your hand. The best way is to lay your paml flat all fingers together keeping it flat as you slide it across each of the areas you have to check. Put your weight behind it so you can really feel.

Body condition scoring is the best way to keep track (along with a weight tape) of how your horse's condition is changing. It allows you to feel through the hair which in winter can be misleading.

Can you tell me what you are feeding her now each day in pounds?
    02-21-2007, 10:52 PM
I feed her almost 5 flakes of hay right now and just a tiny bit of BOSS mixed with rolled oats (for a treat) I also gave her a few alfalfa cubes by hand today and she ate them. I'm not sure how much the flakes weigh since they are all different sizes and some of them are frozen on the bottom :S
    02-21-2007, 11:49 PM
It is really ideal to get into the habit of weighing your hay everyday for exactly the reason you give. Each flake is different. If you don't weigh it you can never be sure that your horse is getting the same amount everyday.

There are several ways to weigh hay. You can pick up a scale pretty cheaply at a drug store that has some sort of playform on it. The hay will likely fall apart so you need to put a board on the platform and subtract its weight or atre the scale so the board isn't weighed. Weigh each flake individually or as many will rest at once and add them together for final weight. Baby scales work great too or maybe your feedstore might have a scale that you hang that has a hook on the bottom. If so buy a cheap haynet and put the hay in there and then suspend it from the hook to read the weight. Regardless of method make sure the hay is not touching anthing that would make its weight be wrong.

What type of hay is it as that might give me a clue as to what an average flake weighs.
    02-21-2007, 11:52 PM
How many outs does she get? Can you weigh that too and the BOSS if I have the exact weights I can accurately figure out what she is currently getting. Also what type of oats? Whole, rolled or crushed?
    02-23-2007, 04:06 PM
So I've started playing with the info you've given me and if I assume that your hay is the lowest quality Timothy (late bloom) and assume that your flakes weigh 5lbs each then she is getting about 25lbs of hay. Your hay is likely better quality than this but you mention its frozen so that will effect it some. Once you give me the more accurate weight this will be a better prediction. However, this currently put her about 2 Mcals, 75, crude prottein (CP) below her requirement. She is also under on phosphorus.

I'm not convinced she is really getting 25lbs of hay as I say this is a guess but if you are completely under snow that wouldn't be unreasonable. I would not expact to be able to increase that by much though so we are looking at adding some grain.

If we add oats and the sunflower seads (I don't have BOSS in my system but I have sunflower seeds) at 1lb oats and 0.5lb BOSS she meets the CP is marginally under for energy and still 25g under for lys. Rember these values are to maintain her current weight not to add weight so we still have to play with that.
    03-08-2007, 10:11 PM
Proper feeding portions?

She can definitely have more alfalfa cubes, especially since you say your hay isn't the best, and have you thought of feeding rice bran pellets?
    03-25-2007, 07:44 PM

Noticed in you notes you are going to add grain, could I suggest you add lupins as well, it is high in fat. Buy it seperate so you can add what you fees is appropriate (start slowly when adding new feeds or you may end up with colic) , the feed I have has 15 percent more lupins than other feeds, it is called "look out", but I live in Australia and don't know if you can get it there. I also noticed it is snowing there, if you are weaning the foal, you could also start to rug her, this may help, as she won't be using so much energy in keeping warm. Same with the foal.

Good luck.

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