Feeding Schedule
   

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Feeding Schedule

This is a discussion on Feeding Schedule within the Horse Nutrition forums, part of the Horse Health category
  • Feed schedules for horses
  • Horse feeding schedule

 
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    11-21-2013, 11:41 AM
  #1
Foal
Feeding Schedule

As the title says it. What are yalls recommendations on feeding daily and what to feed everyother day or such.
     
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    11-21-2013, 11:50 AM
  #2
Teen Forum Moderator
Firstly, you should never feed an animal any type of feed every day. They should have hay every single day, and grain twice a day, once a tiny in a small amount, or not at all. Feeding it every other day will cause GI problems.

What type of horse do you have? How old is it? What do you do with it? Does it live in a stall, a dry lot, or a pasture? There are a lot of variables for what to feed a horse and its impossible to say without knowing more information. For example, my yearling filly eats 20 lbs of hay a day, 6 lbs of alfalfa pellets, 2.5 lbs of grain, a lb of rice bran, and a vitamin-which is a LOT of food and yet she is still on the thin side, but the two horses who live with her who are bigger than her eat only 15 lbs of hay a day and 3 lbs of grain, and they're as fat as pigs!


Generally speaking- slow feeding about 2% of a horse's body weight in hay and a ration balancer pellet like Triple Crown 30%, Nutrena Empower, or Purina Enrich Plus is a good place to start, but not every horse will do well on just that.
     
    11-21-2013, 12:31 PM
  #3
Foal
I know about hay everyday and wasnt sure on grain and such on feeding schedule for that or other supplements like oats etc.

I do not currently have any horses just planning a head. My wife and I are looking at a property that has 5acres. I will fence it in accordingly. The last time I owned a horse was back in 2002 which was a 3yr old paint stud that got hay everyday and grain/oats twice a week. Never fed pellets or anything else just what I mentioned and he was being worked for trail rides.

The horse(s) would be trail horses.

What are yalls thoughts on leaving a round bale out for them? Is that leaving to much out at a time and they would overeat?

So you say hay everday and grain twice a day if at all?
     
    11-21-2013, 12:38 PM
  #4
Teen Forum Moderator
Leaving round bale of grass hay out should be great. There is a possibility of over-eating but if the animals start getting too fat, you can put a slow feeder net over the bale to limit how fast they eat, or you can just take it out and throw them a part of the round bale every day.

If you feed grain, yes- optimally you should feed two to three times a day. However, if you have 24/7 access to hay for the horse and you feed less than 3 lbs of grain or ration balancer (RB is usually fed at about 1 lb daily and gives the horse all of its nutritional needs), I don't think you would see any negative effect on the horse. Still I would be careful. The reason it is better to feed smaller amounts more frequently is because horses are grazing animals and their bodies were wired to eat tiny bits constantly. When their stomach is empty or nearly empty for a long period of time, the acid builds up and causes pain and possible ulcers- then when they are given grain it is a large amount of food in a small amount of time, effectively 'shocking' their system. Some more sensitive animals will colic from this and could die. If you have the hay out all of the time though, it isn't as big of a deal if they are only grained once a day because they have roughage in their bellies.

Oats are not a supplement though. Actually they do very little for a horse nutritionally and while there are worse things to feed (such as sweet feeds), they aren't really worth the trouble or the money IMO.
     
    11-21-2013, 12:44 PM
  #5
Green Broke
Hay and/or pasture should be available as much as possible. Leaving a round bale out for them is fine, though you may want to put it in a net or ring made for horses (don't use cattle rings) to minimize waste.

For hard feed, it's best to feed as consistently as possible. Horses have rather delicate digestive systems and changing feeds or feeding irregularly can cause colic, diarrhea, etc. Cereal grains (corn, oats, barley, etc.) are not well digested, don't offer a lot of nutrients, and are higher energy than most horses need.

A ration balancer, like Endiku mentioned, is kind of like a vitamin/mineral supplement with some added protein. It's low calorie, (usually) low sugar/starch, and designed to fill in the holes that are left from a pasture/hay diet. They're usually fed in small amounts (1-2 lb per day for an average 1000 lb horse in light to moderate work). Because of the small portion size, you can get away with feeding these only once daily, but it's even better if you can split it into 2 feedings.

Hay/pasture with a ration balancer is a great starting point for most horses' diets. If the horse doesn't maintain weight on that alone there are many easily digestible, non-grain alternatives to provide additional calories. My usual go-to's are alfalfa (hay, pellets, or cubes are fine), rice bran, flaxseed, and beet pulp.
     
    11-21-2013, 12:51 PM
  #6
Foal
Thanks for the input. The leaving round bale is the way the hay would be done and only feeding the ration balancer once a day is easily doable. Is there a better time of day to feed the ration balancer? Sometimes I have early mornings or late nights.
     
    11-21-2013, 02:01 PM
  #7
Teen Forum Moderator
It doesn't particularly matter but you want the horse to get the grain at relatively the same time every day. It doesn't have to be on the hour, but you should try to feed every day in the morning or every day at night, or morning and evening consistently. Otherwise your horse might accidently get 2 helpings in a 12-14 hour span and have to go almost 24 hours before its next meal.
     
    11-21-2013, 03:46 PM
  #8
Foal
Completely understand that Endiku. That is what I was looking for as in feeding time.

What are your suggestions for the ration balancer? Also what else besides the ration balancer and hay would you recommend and how often?

Hay- Round bale left out
Ration Balancer- once daily (either morning or night but same each day).
     
    11-21-2013, 04:14 PM
  #9
Green Broke
There are many differing opinions on what to feed. It is different for a horse that is a pasture ornament compared to a race horse or performance horse.

Light or hardly worked horses (most pleasure horses) will do fine with just pasture or hay and salt/mineral blocks. As their workload increases, closer to being worked everyday, their feed intake will need to increase. Then, I would start adding an additional feed besides hay or grass.

There are exceptions of course. If the horse has health issues or has a hard time keeping weight on.

We've never used a ration balancer. It may help fill holes in their nutrition from the grass or hay.

If you are going to use round bales, you will want to use some type of feeder. There still will be some waste but not as much as not using a feeder.
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    11-21-2013, 04:30 PM
  #10
Foal
Yes I will be using a feeder.

The horses will be mostly pleasure and some trail riding. So basically pleasure so workload wont be to high at all.
     

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