Easy keeper feed time question - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 9 Old 02-11-2012, 07:31 PM Thread Starter
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Easy keeper feed time question

My horse is a super easy keeper.
Before I brought him home from KY he was kept several ways….1. big farm with big pastures where the whole herd only got grain a few times a week. 2. other farm where he was stall kept overnight, fed hay and grain twice a day with dry lot/minimal grass turn out daily. Here he is getting hay two to three times a day, no pasture (frozen and snowy here right now) and one cup of grain two times a day. An actual baker’s measuring cup, not a scoop or coffee can.

He really doesn’t need the grain to hold his weight, but I like to put his extra vitamins/minerals/nutritional goodies in it during the morning feeding, which he cleans up well. I’ve been giving just a cup of straight grain for evening feed because that is what he was used to.
It would be easier for everyone to get along if I could just give him his goodie grain once a day and cut the extra feeding.
Any thoughts about whether it is better to feed in the morning or the evening for once a day grainers?
Anyone else feed a small amount just once a day?

On my farm I do chores twice a day regardless, even if it is just putting out extra hay because I like to put eyes on the critters as much as possible.
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post #2 of 9 Old 02-12-2012, 12:07 AM
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What type of grain is it? You could be feeding oats, corn, rice bran, etc. Easy keepers should be fed very minimal grain, if any, so yes, cut out the extra grain.

“Good things come to those who wait… greater things come to those who get off their ass and do anything to make it happen.” - Unknown
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post #3 of 9 Old 02-12-2012, 06:24 AM
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Use a ration balancer and some hay pellets for his meals. He will get his nutrition and the hay pellets will fill him so he doesn't think he is missing out.
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post #4 of 9 Old 02-12-2012, 10:31 AM
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Ditto the ration balancers.

It doesn't take a huge amount of a ration balancer to make sure a horse has the appropriate amount of vitamins/minerals with a ration balancer.

Nutrena Empower, Triple Crown Safe Starch, Purina Enrich 32 are a few examples. I think Nutrena can now be found at Tractor Supply?

Ration balancers should NOT be feed in addition to other bagged feeds due to giving the horse excessive amounts of vit/min. They are for forage only horses
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post #5 of 9 Old 02-12-2012, 12:33 PM
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Tractor supply does carry Nutrena but I gave up. The store here didn't normally carry it and they messed up the special order 4x. Even when I handed them the flyer with pictures. I ran in there last night to get some rice bran and they had 4 bags of Nutrena Boost rather than Nutrena Balance sitting on the shelf so I guess that makes 5x they messed it up. I could give the Boost to the Walker but I'd rather not risk the pony getting into it. The fat is from rice bran in the boost but I'm nervous enough about the changes in the old girl I'd rather add the rice bran myself and keep an eye on things. It's a whole bunch easier having the same feed for all 3 and just add extra fat to the walker's meal myself.

Plus the higher fat, lower starch feeds I tried on the walker seemed like they were making her skittish so that tells me she was getting more sugar than she needed. I've resigned myself to just having to put weight on her slowly and that just the way it needs to be.

Cabin fever makes me babble.

Thing is if you aren't feeding at least close to the directions on the bag you aren't getting the right amounts of nutrients into the horse. If the bag says 3 qts and you are only feeding a cup then he's missing out. Ration balancers you only need that bakers cup.

I keep a cheap dollar store measuring cup in the bag of ration balancer. Measure it out. So much cheaper in the long run and better for an easy keeper.
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post #6 of 9 Old 02-12-2012, 01:28 PM
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I feed my super easy keeper once a day. :)

I give her a pound of ration balancer (best thing ever! I use Purina's Enrich 32) and add all her supplements to that, as well as giving her her hay and everything, once a day.

Also, I'd really suggest you start weighing your feed. Different kinds of feed have different volumes so 1 cup of one thing could be the equivalent to 2 or even 3 cups of something else.
I have a scoop that I know is exactly one pound of Enrich 32 so I don't have to weight it every time but I'm still assured of how much she's getting. However, that same scoop is .65 pounds of beet pulp so when I give her beet pulp, I have to weight it.

Fabio - 13 year old Arabian/Lipizzan gelding

Rest peacefully, Lacey.

Last edited by Wallaby; 02-12-2012 at 01:32 PM.
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post #7 of 9 Old 02-12-2012, 01:41 PM
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Only Poulin, which I do use, but it's a handy chart. Willing to bet the other manufacturers have something similar.
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post #8 of 9 Old 02-12-2012, 02:07 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for all the input.

I'm currently feeding Nutrena SafeChoice, but am looking into a ration balancer/supplement balancer. The previous farm just fed an everyday "sweet feed" and when I first got him I had to break his salt/mineral lick bar into smaller pieces or he would scarf the whole thing down in one day like it was candy! Now he is better balanced he just licks on it like a normal horse.

Because I know a tiny amount of grain, even a good regular one, will not contain all the micronutrients that he needs, I'm using the pellets as the base to which I'm adding what I want him to have. After reading some of the literature on the balancers I'm thinking this is the way to go.
In my area here are my choices:

Nutrena Empower Balance (not Boost, which TSC currently has so maybe I can get the Balance)
Hubbard Life
Buckeye Gro-N-Win for grass/mixed forage
Front Runner Suppliment (Never heard of this company before)

All seem to be near equal in what they will provide overall, just slight differences in the micronutrients, which I'm able to balance with other things.
Does anyone have experience with any of these? Opinions? Good? Bad?

My pasture is primarily orchard and bluegrass (and weeds!) and the hays I use are mix grass hays that generally don't have more than 20% alfalfa. I don't generally feed timothy or fescue hays. The soils in my area are fairly depleted from heavy ag and run a bit acidic.

Good idea Wallaby... I do have a grain scale and I will double check the weights as well. In my head I've already memorized the weights of the other feeds I give my farm critters and for whatever didn't think to check his feed since he is the only one who is getting it. My donkeys don't get any grain because they arrived several months ago as obese rescues with serious hoof issues.
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post #9 of 9 Old 02-12-2012, 02:28 PM
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Again just Poulin feeds but I know the others have them. Seen them out there. Trick here is knowing how much you feed of what.

MVP is their ration balancer. A cup twice a day on an average horse. Makes the starch/carb counts nearly not matter.

Poulin Horse Feed
Carb Safe
Mare & Foal
Performance 10:12
Perfor Max 12:12
Pro-Max 12:12
Premium Senior
Fibre Max
Alpha-Balance Equine Supplement
Endurance Sport 11:8
Challenger 14:8
Sprint Extreme
Eventer 10:10
Race Formula
Complete Diet 13
Stable Sweet Tradition
Forage Extender™
Pellet Mini Bites
Pellet Super Bites
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