Diet critique/suggestions - draft gelding

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Diet critique/suggestions - draft gelding

This is a discussion on Diet critique/suggestions - draft gelding within the Horse Nutrition forums, part of the Horse Health category
  • Healthy draft horse critique
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    12-04-2011, 04:58 PM
Diet critique/suggestions - draft gelding

Hi all!

I am hoping to get an overall critique on my Shire geldings diet, and if there are any suggestions on what I should change. He's 4 years old, super easy keeper, does have a bit of an issue with soft stools now and then but otherwise healthy. Isn't in any hard work so doesn't need any extra calories.

Aside from being fed around 30 to 35 pounds of hay per day (split into two feedings), he is getting twice a day:

2 cups of alfalfa pellets, soaked (about 1LB, really only feeding it so the other feeds will have something to "stick" to)
1/3 cup local vit/min supplement
1/2 cup rice bran

I want to stay away from grains/sweet feeds. I tried him on two different ration balancers (Step 7 and another that I can't seem to remember the name of... otter co-op brand) and he did fine, but didn't seem to really "bloom" on them. Same with the current program he is on - he looks good, but not great.

I'm in B.C., Canada, so sadly I'm pretty limited in what brands are available to me. I was thinking about switching the rice bran to flax seed, maybe trying a different ration balancer (though I'm not sure if there are any other types available to me)? Maybe a different vit/min supplement?

There are a couple of feeds that I'd love to try but are all in the states and don't ship here.

Suggestions and input are greatly appreciated!!
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    12-04-2011, 08:50 PM
The first thing I'd want to figure out is what's making him have soft poop. That could be part of the puzzle as nutrients are moving too quickly through him and not getting absorbed properly. Put him on a daily double dose of some type of pre/probiotic for a week. I've done well with Diamond V and it's super cheap. If that doesn't do the trick he might have a sensitivity to something in his diet.

what type hay? What's the analysis of your Vit/mineral blend?

As a 4 year old he's still got a lot of growing and filling out to do. They should mature more like Clydes and finish out around 8.
    12-06-2011, 06:10 PM
Being a draft he needs a high fat/low starch diet. A lot of people do this with commericial feeds specially formulated to be high fat/low starch and also by adding some oil to the feed. I use Blue Seal Demand for my Belgian yearling because it also has a higher protein level which he needs since he's growing, and also use canola oil.

His diet, fed 2x daily:
1lb Demand
1/2 cup Canola Oil
1oz GrowColt supplement
13lbs of hay (fed at night because he has turnout during the day)

Your boy is still growing, at 4y/o. He may need more fat and protein in his diet. Do you have any pictures of him?

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