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post #11 of 13 Old 03-15-2013, 10:43 AM
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Beet pulp is a great source of fiber.

Some feeds are also high enough in fiber that they can serve as the whole diet for a horse who cannot eat hay b/c of lack of teeth (TC Sr is one).

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post #12 of 13 Old 03-15-2013, 01:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Cherrij View Post
Hey guys. I can offer my advice, I have just finished a nutrition course.
Any horse should eat at least 2% of its body weight a day. Horses that work very hard can eat up to 2.25% -2.5% ( that is mainly any horse whose work is the same as a racehorse)
Medium workers need 2-2.25% of body weight in food.
Never, even for hard workers, should forage be lower than 50-60% of daily intake, the more the better. so lets say 70% is forage - grass hay, alfalfa etc. preferable given through slow feeders as horses should have the chance to eat all the time and also limits your losses.

Grains are quality food, but have to be very careful with those. Unless you need fast release energy, can avoid feeding then, however they will be in most mixes, but in processed form where they are quite easy to digest no matter on the NSC levels. Never overfeed just grain - no horse should have more than 1gram of starch for 100 kg of body weight in one meal, eg, 1100 lbs horse should not eat more than 3 lbs of oats in one meal as oats have 40% starch content, which aint good for horses digestive system, and that gives 0.48 kg of starch in those 3 lbs of oats.

Purchase good quality hay, can mix it with lower quality, if the horse has a tendency to get fat, but if need to up the weight then just really good hay. All the alfalfa and thimothy pellets will just help with fibre intake, but is not really forage - as they will be soaked and eaten differently. Sugarbeat pulp is good for fibre, oil meals - sunflower meal etc - lower fat but high on proteins..
When feeding 70% forgage - any mixed meal, either purchased or self made, should still go in at least 2 portions, no more than 2 kg of dry feed should enter the horses stomach..

I hope this makes sense?
so 1100 lbs horse would eat 22 lbs a day for maintenance. If want to up the feed for more energy requirements or increase weight go up to 24-26 lbs a day. there at least 15.4 Lbs should be forage, the rest can be mixed foods - your 7 lbs of different mixes - that is for a working horse. if the horse works very little, feed 17-18 lbs forage, 4-5 lbs of mix to include all supplements and balancers, vitamins etc.
If adding oil for energy instead of grain - make sure to feed more vitamin E (most feed mixes dont have that)
and no matter what you feed keep an eye on the fed Calcium: phosphorous ratio, should be at 2:1 usually, cereal grains put it down, balanced mixes can help :)

any more questions ?
You might want to emphasize this (percent of body weight) is an age old rule of thumb and can vary greatly depending on the individual horse's metabolism.

There is just as much horse sense as ever, but the horses have most of it.
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post #13 of 13 Old 03-15-2013, 02:35 PM
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You might want to emphasize this (percent of body weight) is an age old rule of thumb and can vary greatly depending on the individual horse's metabolism.
Well, it's the average horses needs for maintenance and low level work. Of course, there are be horses with different metabolisms, however the 2% feeding is mainly at horses at good weight. eg, the norm. I would guess that is easy to understand. If you have a horse at weight loss, or obese, or a skinny rescue, feeding plans need to be made together with the vet to make sure there are no problems. MOST horses will be even slightly over weight if kept at 2% BW feeding with no work.
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diet , feed , grain , hay , health

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