I've always had my horses on an approx. 50/50 mix of timothy/alfalfa hay in large square bales. My thoroughbreds did exceptionally well on it, we were able to cut back their feed quite a bit which was great since they're both colic prone. Unfortunately our dealer ran out, and we found some similar quality small square bales that lasted us the winter. Coming into spring I was very happy with their weight, I've never had any weight issues with either of them.
We've hit a total rut, I swear nobody has quality hay anywhere
in this area. We now have to feed last years cut of some lady's cruddy timothy hay and I've noticed both of my thoroughbreds have dramatically lost weight, more so my 17 y/o gelding. I know I'm going to have to up their feed until we can find a new dealer but with them being so colic prone (neither of them have coliced since last fall, knock on wood) I'm very nervous about it. They're utd on all worming, shots, teeth floating, and both were scoped and treated for ulcers in the fall.
Charlie - 17 y/o, 17 hh OTTB (AM & PM)
1/2 lb rice bran
3.5 lbs Purina Ultium Competition
.5 lb Purina Equilizer
1/4 cup vegetable oil
free choice timothy hay Before (April 2011) After (July 2011)
Abbey - 10 y/o, 16hh OTTB (AM & PM)
1/2 lb rice bran
4.5 lbs Purina Ultium
.75 lb Purina Equilizer
1/4 cup veg oil
free choice timothy hay
*she tends to lose her weight over her rump and topline rather than over her ribs, but has not lost as much as my gelding. I have yet to weight tape them, my paint x mare chewed it apart Before (April 2011)
After (July 2011 - on left, note her withers,over the shoulders and rump)
I'm just on the fence about what exactly I can add to their feed (wether it be beet pulp, alfalfa pellets, keep in mind - I'd prefer it be fiber/forage types of feed, maybe give them the full 2 lbs of rice bran daily?). I'd like to know what you guys think would be most beneficial to them considering they are colic prone, I'd like to safely put some weight on them until I can find a reliable, good quality hay dealer. I was leaning towards alfalfa pellets but I'd like a few more options before I jump the gun.
Thanks in advance for your replies!