Best feed and hay - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 31 Old 11-10-2011, 11:13 PM Thread Starter
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Best feed and hay

Hi all.

I'm new to this Board and have some questions about the type of feed and which hay to feed.

We had horses 30 years ago and have had horses again for the last year. They have been kept at our son's house during the year while we moved and put up fences. We should be bringing them home Saturday.

We're in southern Louisiana. We have about 3 acres fenced with no grass. We just had the pasture cleared and fenced this week.

We have an 8 year old Draft, 2 year old Draft/Thoroughbred mix and a 2 year old Quarter Horse. All the horses are just for pleasure/trail riding.

My questions are:

Is Total Equine better feed than Strategy or is there something better?

Is it bad to feed mostly Alfalfa hay? We have an opportunity to buy a large supply of Alfalfa round bales but I was told they would colic on this.

Thanks for any help you can offer.

Sandy
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post #2 of 31 Old 11-11-2011, 01:28 AM
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There is nothing wrong with feeding predominantly alfalfa. I would not however put out the bale and allow them to free feed off of it. Mine can eat upwards of 100# each per day when I've free fed alfalfa (I needed the bales to go away before they spoiled) Stand them up and roll the hay off the bale like a roll of paper towels. It can be hard to portion it out but if the price is right, it's nice hay and it's plentiful, feed it!

My feelings on Total Equine is it's glorified ovepriced alfalfa pellets. If you're feeding alfalfa, it's the last thing you need to be adding. Alfalfa is higher in calories and nutrtients so at the most for the 2 year olds, add a ration balancer (you want the lower protein variety typically 12%) and for the herd add a vit/mineral blend that is formulated for legume hays.

Count on a large round to only last about 2 weeks.
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post #3 of 31 Old 11-11-2011, 01:51 AM
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Ummm....unless your draft is thin or in heavy work, I would be VERY hesitant to feed a draft GRAIN OR ALfalfa....

Of course there are always exceptions to every rule, but drafts, on the whole, tend towards being easy keepers AND to acquiring metabolic issues....and an easy keeper with a susceptability towards IR should NEVER EVER have grain or alfalfa.....


We have been battling weight issues with our 9 yr. old draft mare for YEARS....and reading of you thinking of giving your draft grain and alfalfa just about made me fall off my chair.

I haven't seen your draft, but unless it is thin or going to be used for heavy work, SERIOUSLY reconsider the grain and alfalfa for this particular horse. Please. You could be setting this horse up for some pretty serious health issues ...like IR or other metabolic issues and certainly founder is a risk. And as we've always been told, when a draft founders, the prognosis of a positive outcome is a good deal lower than in a standard weight horse.

The 2 yr. olds might benefit from some grain, due to their growing bodies and increased vitamin/mineral needs...but you should reconsider feeding either grain or alfalfa to your middle age draft.
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post #4 of 31 Old 11-11-2011, 02:09 AM
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IMHO feeding mostly alfalfa hay would be just fine, but as Beauseant said, you'd have to keep a close eye on their weight so that they don't get too heavy.

Truthfully, if they were my horses, I would give them a good quality grass hay and a tub of loose equine minerals free choice and call it good. Most horses are severely overfed and overmedicated these days. Mine get grass hay and minerals and they all stay fat (not overly so), healthy, and shiny year around.

Always remember that feeling of looking at a big, open country over the ears of a good horse, seeing a new trail unwind ahead of you, and that ever-spectacular view from the top of the ridge!!! Follow my training blog: http://robertsontraining.blogspot.com/
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post #5 of 31 Old 11-11-2011, 06:06 AM
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I'm in southern Louisiana as well, Folsom to be exact. You mentioning Total Equine makes me wonder if you are near us, as Sal Cannizarro really likes it and sells it here. We tried it, and for my horses it didn't do anything. I feed Nutrena products, and supplement with alfalfa. Each horse gets a different mix. We use grass hay, alfalfa hay and limited grazing. I also find horses here are prone to rain rott, so watch that. Adding copper to the diet can greatly affect that.
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post #6 of 31 Old 11-11-2011, 07:14 AM
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I think strategy is over priced. Do you have a southern states ? There brands of food are decent and reasonably priced. Reliance is comparable to strategy and about $6 a bag cheaper in my area.
Horses do best on large quantities of bad food. Alfalfa is good but too rich for general fiber. Something your field is lacking. Not sure about growing seasonsd but is it too late to get rye grass growing ? I would divide off the pasture and try to get some grass going. But 3 horses on three acres might be a bit rough.

I would feed a basic textured feed mainly for the mineral blend, and to get enough seeds to pass through to keep the chickens interested in the manure. Then a local grass hay of decent quality that isnt full of weeds.
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post #7 of 31 Old 11-11-2011, 10:05 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for all the responses.

Cakemom, yes we're in Folsom. The horses have been in Franklinton for the last year.

All the horses are in excellent health, more on the fatter side but not overweight. The main thing I'm worried about is lack of grass. I know the pasture is on the smaller side but we plan on enlarging it next year. Finances and all that seem to get in the way!
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post #8 of 31 Old 11-11-2011, 11:45 AM
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Theyre lovely horses!! I buy grass hay for $6 a bale, beautiful stuff from Franklinton. I buy baled alfalfa 3 strands from The Hay Guy for $25 a bale and Nutrena products come from Tractor Supply.
The Cannizaros are good people and the feed works great for them, it just wasn't for me. You'll need plenty of hay with that amount of pasture but you will be fine.
The barbed wire does scare me though.
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post #9 of 31 Old 11-11-2011, 11:57 AM
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Strategy Healthy Edge is very good. Right now I'm feeding Life Data's Barn Bag mixed with whole oats and my horses seem to be doing very well. I buy local hay out of Winnie (round bales) and Sulphur (square bales).
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post #10 of 31 Old 11-11-2011, 12:27 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you.

I can't wait to get them home so I can take even better care of them. I can't expect our son to do the same as we do. He has 9 horses of his own to care for. He does spend time with them but they are not groomed or ridden.

We've been feeding Strategy and sweet feed along with alfalfa pellets and hay.
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