Grain how much to feed - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 4 Old 04-15-2012, 10:55 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Winterville,NC
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Grain how much to feed

I have 4 horses total. I only have 2 of them at my house and my other 2 are at a friends barn. They are all on sweet feed and coastal hay. Well I bought some hay for my horses at my house from the tractor store and neither of them will eat it. I had a pony that I rehomed today and she wouldnt eat it either! Its suppose to be Coastal hay but they kept it in a 18 wheeler trailer. I shake the dust out but they just arent interested in it. Its very dry and tan. The stuff my other horses at my friends barn is more greenish in color and not so dry. Any suggestions?

Also Im feeding sweet feed to my horses. Ive been reading 1 to 2 pounds per 100 pounds. So Im feeding my horses 3 to 3 1/2 pounds twice a day. Does that sound about right? The new horse I just got today is really underweight. I got him for free. They say he is underweight because they basically dont use him for rodeos anymore so he gets no attention and all the other horses at his food. Well we bought some beet pulp because I have been told its good to put some weight on a horse. I got the shredded beat pulp not the pellets.

How much of that should I be giving him? He is a Senior horse so I do have the senior feed as well as the beat pulp. The grass isnt very green anymore so I have to take them out of their pasture and let them eat for 30 minutes in my yard where it is green. We have an area behind our house that is VERY green and thick. We will be fencing that in soon. Any suggestions would be greatly appreicated. The horse that is underweight is over 20 yrs old and around 14.2 hands. Cant be no more than 800 pounds at the very most. You can see his bones in his ribcage and hip/butt area.
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post #2 of 4 Old 04-16-2012, 04:08 PM
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Michigan
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Yikes. Six pounds of sweet feed makes me shutter.

I think you'll find that most of us steer clear of sweet feed. Main reason being the sugar. I would suggest that you look into switching the horses over to a low starch/low sugar pelleted feed. Tribute, Buckeye, Triple Crown etc.. any of their lower sugar pelleted feeds. Some people like & use Purina Strategy or Neutrena Safechoice, which are easier to get and can be found at your local Tractor Supply Co others steer clear of those and other Purina feeds as well.

Are the three other horses receiving six pounds of grain a day under weight as well? If not, and depending on the size of your horses that is more than likely to much grain. You'll find we also repeat free choice good quality hay, supplement with a feed. I personally have never fed as much feed as what the back of the bag tells you to for your average horse. Some horses here get as little as a couple of handfuls just to help them eat a powdered supplement or their flax seeds. One horse here always needs "more" so he eats about six pounds of feed a day, split into three meals. My mare nursing her week old foal has free choice access to two kinds of hay and receives 5 pounds of beet pulp and 6 pounds of a low starch feed split into three meals a day, among other things, if that gives you an idea that they are all situation dependent there is no one size fits all feed type and amount.

For getting weight on your older fella, free choice quality hay is the key and there is NO way around that. Beet pulp and a senior feed are also good things. Slowly work him up to what seems to be putting weight on him. If he needs more of a push alfalfa, corn oil and rice bran also help with weight. Do you have a veterinarian that can offer you advice?

And in regards to your hay situation, if the hay is so dried and brown that they wont eat it I suggest you buy new hay. It doesn't sound like they could possibly get what they need from that hay and they might "know better" than to eat it. If three horses wont touch it and you have to shake the dust out of it... buy new hay.

This is all JMO. Hopefully someone thats more of a feed expert than I can come along with some advice shortly
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post #3 of 4 Old 04-16-2012, 04:12 PM
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Dillon, Montana
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Very much agree with New Immage.

The only way I can think to salvage the hay is to soak it and at that point it would be more for the sake of filling their tummies than getting any nutrients. But as stated, the horses may know better, could be toxic mold etc.

Make that store gives you your money back >:(

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post #4 of 4 Old 04-16-2012, 06:54 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Winterville,NC
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I was wrong about the sweet feed. Its actually senior feed were feeding them. What about the timothy,alphalfa mixture? I just dont want the underweight guy to colic. How much should i give him of those and beet pulp? Oh and they are going to refund us for the hay. The old guy is 14 hands and 735 pounds.
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