Feed Recomendations? - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 15 Old 01-09-2013, 10:50 AM
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How Do i start a question??? HELP PLEASE IM NEW HERE!!!!
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post #12 of 15 Old 01-10-2013, 01:39 AM
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How Do i start a question??? HELP PLEASE IM NEW HERE!!!!
you should see a 'new thread' button somewher. if u have the mobile version(annoying & deficient, wish it wouldnt come up by default on my tab) you may need to select view full version. Welcome by the way!
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post #13 of 15 Old 01-11-2013, 05:42 PM
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Most horses dont need additional supplements . Hay, water and free choice salt .
I'm going to disagree with you on that one. It's possible that a horse on fresh grass with water and free choice salt might not need supplementation, but a lot of those still do. The reason being that the nutritional content of the grass itself is based on the soil it's grown in. The soil can be deficient in minerals because of regional deficiencies (e.g. selenium) or due to the farming history of that particular plot of land (certain crops will strip out specific minerals, which must be replaced by well thought out crop rotation or other means) Excess minerals can also be a problem- iron is a common culprit and blocks absorption of copper and zinc when they get out of balance.

There are additional things to consider when you take a horse off fresh grass and put them on hay. Vitamins A & E in particular deteriorate very quickly once the grass is cut and need to be supplemented. Omega-3 fatty acids also deteriorate rapidly. Other nutrients also deteriorate, though more slowly, so even if you had hay that was nutritionally balanced (minus the vitamins & omega-3's mentioned above) when it was cut, by the time late winter rolls around, it's much less nutritious.

Most vitamins and minerals have a wide margin of safety (even selenium has a range of safety that is unlikely to be exceeded unless you live in a high-selenium area or are feeding multiple products containing selenium) Feeding a ration balancer is a good way to ensure that your horse is getting sufficient nutrition year round. I'd consider it a requirement for horses on hay, and highly recommended for horses on fresh grass unless a pasture analysis shows sufficient levels of all macrominerals.
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post #14 of 15 Old 01-12-2013, 12:57 AM
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I too disagree strongly with Stevenson's comment, agree with Verona that domestic horses who are locked in paddocks and fed on a small(relative) selection of feeds/forages, often grown on depleted soils, are generally going to be deficient/imbalanced in a range of minerals(& possibly vitamins) and that good nutrition, as with healthy diet, plays a huge part in health. Therefore I'd think many horses may need, and the vast majority would benefit from, *appropriate* nutritional supplementation.

The problem is that word 'appropriate' above, as throwing supps at a horse willy nilly without analysing what they're getting/need, may be pointless, not good enough, or can even make matters worse & cause toxicity - that's where I disagree with you Verona. Eg. Selenium can be deadly if OD'd! Most minerals also need to be appropriately balanced with other minerals too, so feeding without knowing what the horse needs is also problematic on that note. Ca/Phos ratio, etc.
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post #15 of 15 Old 01-12-2013, 01:46 PM
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I agree with both of you. Unless your hay is very high quality and provides all essential vit/min then your feeding program is quite lacking. To even begin to know this you would have to have your hay tested. Even then, hay like this is almost impossible to find.

Pull a hair sample from your horses an have it analyzed. Let me know what you find lacking in their diets Stevenson.
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