Horses--What the heck are they supposed to be eating?!
   

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Horses--What the heck are they supposed to be eating?!

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  • What do horses eat
  • What is best horse hay

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    07-12-2013, 11:59 PM
  #1
Yearling
Horses--What the heck are they supposed to be eating?!

Hay, obviously. Bear with me a minute because I may be having a preggo moment/freakout.

So we moved from Erie, PA to Southern California literally at the beginning of this month. Before now, I boarded my horses, and my BO was VERY VERY heavy handed with hay, and every horse got grain.

Moving here, it's like a total culture shock. Keep in mind, I've only had horses for two years and I've boarded that whole time. The amount of hay that my draft x ate in PA nearly gave my first CA boarding facility a flat out heart attack. And it seems like nobody here grains...I asked my husband's stepmom, and she does some sort of charro events? Anyway she's a long term horseperson, and even she only gives grain when they are doing there shows.

I ran out of the bag of Tribute Kalm whatever grain that my old BO gave us, and went to several feed stores that didn't carry it. Anyhow in trying to buy an alternative, the feed store guy was like "Why are you feeding grain?'

Um, I don't KNOW!!!! I literally have no idea, it's just that's what my horses have been eating! And honestly I give a ton of supplements! My old lady rescue, a spotted saddle horse or saddlebred x is fed the following normally: MSM, Animed Muscle Up, Wheat Germ Oil, vitamins, and occasionally a calming supplement because she's a batcrap crazy old lady.

HE suggested that if it's mostly for supplement, then to feed OATS instead? Aren't those mostly not used now? I'm so confused! Another lady looked at me like I grew two heads when I asked about grain... ugh.

Now from what I understand, horses get about 2 percent body weight daily in hay. I'm still feeding PA hay until we run out, so about a bale and a half a day. I have the old mare (rates about 20 pounds), my big filly (who has apparently been only getting a few flakes a day and keeping weight on?), about 20 pounds a day, my stunted rescue 2 year old, who weighs about 400 pounds or so, and a stunted shetland (not expected to grow, unlike the QH gelding), who weighs probably about 200 I imagine.

For lack of better instruction (I know I should have texted BO...it is an unbelievable PITA to move an entire household and 4 out of 5 of my horses here!!!!) I've been giving the old lady rescue 2 quarts of feed twice a day, and the same for my Draft X....who hasn't been getting grain (and probably really doesn't need it...)....mostly because I feel guilty like an idiot.

The stunted QH gelding I was giving over 1 qt of feed plus calf manna twice a day, and 1 qt twice a day for the shetland colt, but THEY DON'T EAT IT. Or they eat too slow and the mares push them off and finish theirs. I've started pulling them out for their meals.

No one seems to be losing any weight. How can I tell if they are? I am seriously freaking out here...the saddlebreds all look bony to me 100 percent of the time, and I am not a good judge....the QH colt turned gelding has had his ribs showing bad since I bought him, though he's gained weight....I just feel like I"m freaking out and losing perspective on how he's changed or if he is continuing to put on weight. On top of everything, I read that if a horse goes from a colder region to a super hot region, they tend to look more gaunt until they acclimatize. And boy, is it HOT HOT HOT HERE! =((((

So I'm going to take these actions:

1) I'm going to take a picture of Strider (stunted QH) tomorrow to compare to pictures of when I first got him so I can see if there are any changes. I will also measure him when I get a chance to see if he has possibly grown.

2) When my husband finally bothers to send in his receipts for the move for compensation, I'll go get these guys a roundbale, so they can snack all day and I don't feel like I'm going to have a heart attack every time they come to the fence like they're starving.

They are used to pasture with grass, so maybe they DO feel like they're starving, or like a coffee addict trying to go no caffeine. =/

Beyond that, any suggestions? Is there something else I can use to give the horses that really probably don't need grain their supplements?

/freakout and thanks for reading. *big sigh now that that's off my chest*
     
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    07-13-2013, 12:15 AM
  #2
Trained
When I lived in So Cal (Apple Valley, high desert), I fed Alfalfa hay and Bermuda Grass hay. You'll be lucky to find a round bale in So Cal, they were never fed to horses when I lived there. It was considered cow hay only. The square bales in Ca are about 100+ lbs, this time of year maybe closer to 120. I fed about 15 lbs/day of alfalfa and then tried to keep Bermuda in front of them 24/7, this was for full sized, adult horses. For the 2 year old, I'd be feeding either Purina Junior or Ultium Growth as well as the hay. The Shetland would get a little (very little) alfalfa and 24/7 Bermuda. For full grown adults with no issues, I rarely fed anything but the alfalfa and bermuda. Oh, yes, I always had free choice loose salt and lots of fresh water available.
     
    07-13-2013, 12:20 AM
  #3
Yearling
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dreamcatcher Arabians    
When I lived in So Cal (Apple Valley, high desert), I fed Alfalfa hay and Bermuda Grass hay. You'll be lucky to find a round bale in So Cal, they were never fed to horses when I lived there. It was considered cow hay only. The square bales in Ca are about 100+ lbs, this time of year maybe closer to 120. I fed about 15 lbs/day of alfalfa and then tried to keep Bermuda in front of them 24/7, this was for full sized, adult horses. For the 2 year old, I'd be feeding either Purina Junior or Ultium Growth as well as the hay. The Shetland would get a little (very little) alfalfa and 24/7 Bermuda. For full grown adults with no issues, I rarely fed anything but the alfalfa and bermuda. Oh, yes, I always had free choice loose salt and lots of fresh water available.
Thank you for that information... I need to look into that. The PA bales weigh a *lot* less than the CA ones, that's for sure...we are looking into driving over to NM and getting hay from there, as it is a significant price difference. I think the ones I am currently feeding are Orchard Grass (?).

Thank you for reminding me about the salt as well....I have it packed in a box somewhere, and it needs to be put out for everybody.

Pretty sure the grain I have is Purina, but not sure what flavor it is lol. It looks and smells kind of like raisins. Would you not be giving grain to the old lady (approx 20 years old)? If not, what would I put all her supplements in?

And BTW, I'm in Nuevo. Pretty sure it's not too far from AV. ;)

ETS: The hay I'm seeing at the feed store is about 80 pounds, 16.80/bale.


****

Also my Draft X (Perch/QH) is the same age as the stunted QH gelding (2), though she is normal sized. Not sure if that affects anything...
     
    07-13-2013, 12:27 AM
  #4
Trained
Yeah, you're about 75 miles south of where I used to be. You're near Lake Perris, if I remember correctly. I think you'll find that you'll spend in gas what you would save on hay by going all the way to NM. AZ is a lot closer and down by Yuma they grow a lot of alfalfa.

If your 20 year old needs something to put her supplements in, then I'd give her some kind of grain but would probably switch to Purina Senior for her. I wouldn't feed anymore than she absolutely had to have though, it's not cheap. If holding weight isn't an issue and you want something that you can feed to all of them, look into Strategy. It's got less molasses and stuff in it, and all of my horses think it's awesome stuff.
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    07-13-2013, 12:38 AM
  #5
Green Broke
I was going to say ...roundbale....let me know when you find any.......lol.
Here you will find alfalfa. And alfalfa. And then, for a change, alfalfa. Then oathay. And forage hay, or 3-way. Wheat-oat-barley. Or wheat- oat- rye.
Bermuda. Possibly. Grasshay....almost non- existent. Timothy, maybe. Orchard. Teff, if you're lucky. The latter cost a fortune( I currently feed grass hay from Nevada, 100 lb bale 22$
If you want to store hay for winter, get it now. Check Craigslist.

Now, due to the types of hay available here it is really not necessary to feed grain at all unless you have really hardworking horses. The supplements, together with either a vit/min or a ration balancer, in a handful of soaked hay- or alfalfa pellets or beetpulp, done.
For weightgain, alfalfa and grainhay. Never fails.
One thing, I found, will be necessary, is electrolytes in summer.and a pinch of salt in the soaked pellets. To make them drink.
For keeping roughage in front of them nearly all the time, any type of slowfeeder will do that.
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    07-13-2013, 01:23 AM
  #6
Trained
Quote:
Originally Posted by deserthorsewoman    
I was going to say ...roundbale....let me know when you find any.......lol.
Here you will find alfalfa. And alfalfa. And then, for a change, alfalfa. Then oathay. And forage hay, or 3-way. Wheat-oat-barley. Or wheat- oat- rye.
Bermuda. Possibly. Grasshay....almost non- existent. Timothy, maybe. Orchard. Teff, if you're lucky. The latter cost a fortune( I currently feed grass hay from Nevada, 100 lb bale 22$
If you want to store hay for winter, get it now. Check Craigslist.

Now, due to the types of hay available here it is really not necessary to feed grain at all unless you have really hardworking horses. The supplements, together with either a vit/min or a ration balancer, in a handful of soaked hay- or alfalfa pellets or beetpulp, done.
For weightgain, alfalfa and grainhay. Never fails.
One thing, I found, will be necessary, is electrolytes in summer.and a pinch of salt in the soaked pellets. To make them drink.
For keeping roughage in front of them nearly all the time, any type of slowfeeder will do that.
I never used a "slowfeeder", back then we never worried about stuff like that. Hay was $8/100 lb bale TOPS back then too. I remember squealing like a mashed cat when it went over $100/ton. So, slow feeder is a great idea now! I always just left loose salt around and they ate it pretty well. Or, if one was a little picky, I'd soak a little beet pulp and add 1 oz per feeding. I never used electrolytes, my vet didn't like them unless the horse was an endurance horse, and only on a ride.
     
    07-13-2013, 01:28 AM
  #7
Yearling
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dreamcatcher Arabians    
I never used a "slowfeeder", back then we never worried about stuff like that. Hay was $8/100 lb bale TOPS back then too. I remember squealing like a mashed cat when it went over $100/ton. So, slow feeder is a great idea now! I always just left loose salt around and they ate it pretty well. Or, if one was a little picky, I'd soak a little beet pulp and add 1 oz per feeding. I never used electrolytes, my vet didn't like them unless the horse was an endurance horse, and only on a ride.
"squealing like a mashed cat"...lol
I told my husband we need to figure out slow feeders very very soon. I also searched craigslist for roundbales.....yeah...they don't exist around here. XD

I remember getting my first California id.... $6. I also remember candy bars being less than a dollar. Must be getting old rofl
     
    07-13-2013, 02:34 AM
  #8
Green Broke
Slow Feeding Horses on Paddock Paradise Tracks - Paddock Paradise Wiki
All kinds of slowfeeders here.
I'm totally hooked on slowfeeders. Sooooo nice to see them picking at it like they would grazing...little here little there, off to the next one, all day long. And almost zero losses. Heck, I even have to buy straw now. I used the leftover oat/forage hay as bedding before lol.
My nets save about 40% on hay and keep horses happy. What more can you want.....
     
    07-13-2013, 10:11 AM
  #9
Started
demonwolfmoon, it seems you have followed me - lol

I'm from Mercer, PA originally and moved to Romoland, CA in 1998 so I know exactly where Nuevo is

Here's a couple links that may be of help to you:

1. I THINK this might be the same feed store I bought feed from in Winchester, CA. The fella owned race horses and was very savvy about the right things to feed, provided the horse owner was interested in listening. He was Mexican and spoke excellent English.

I bought strictly Bermuda hay and bought it from him, most of the time. His Bermuda was imported down from the Imperial Valley (CA) and was always top quality. Yes it's pricey BUT the bales weight 115 - 130 lbs and are three twined - meaning let hubby jockey them around. I popped a cartilage in my right elbow thinking my 5'2" female self was "maly-man" enough to jockey those bales around -- not even close using a hay hook.

Winchester Feed
(951) 926-3090
28543 Winchester RD, Winchester, CA 92596

2. You might also get some information at the Wild West Arena, also in Winchester, on a side road. At the very least, go to the bar, order a sandwich and a beverage and drown your sorrows. They used to have trail rides that left from the arena but I left SoCal in 2003.

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Wild-...31244386942564

3. For nothing more than pure awe, education and entertainment go to the Domenigoni Reservoir Museum in Hemet and also take the road tour.

They've changed the name to something else which really tisses me off that somebody decided they no longer want to honor the Domenigoni family name, on whose properties that reservoir is built. It is now known as Diamond Valley Lake

Diamond Valley Lake

4. For the best garlic bread sticks anywhere in this United States, go to Temecula. I can't remember the name but they are the only restaurant that has a HUGE duck pond on the corner that you can see from any direction.

4.1 Then there's "Old Towne" Temecula that still has the old jail and is full of "stuff" to spend your money on

When you get tired of SoCal, continue on my path and just follow me right into southern Middle Tennessee and retire Except retire up on the Cumberland Plateau where the allergies aren't quite as bad as they are down here in the Basin, a/k/a Tennessee Valley - lol

5. Almost forgot vets. For the horses I had used "Winners Circle" in Hemet, CA. Dr. Beck is a heck of a vet but I'm sure there are new vets around. https://www.facebook.com/WinnersCirc...56851294354991

6. Danny Sullivan, from San Jacinto, was my farrier and he was fantastic. Never sored my horses - two of whom stayed barefoot all the time. The horse in my avatar always wore shoes and never once did I lose a shoe in the five years Danny was my farrier.

He may not be shoeing anymore but if you can find him, I'm sure he could give you someone reliable. He has mules and always participates in the annual Ramona Pageant with one of them.

Hope this helps give you boost in your new and very different life. All I can say is "the very best of luck".

I landed in Romoland, November, 1998, and couldn't wait to get the h**l out of there in September, 2003 and move to Tennessee. I thought I could handle the dry arid Low Desert heat and I couldn't.

The dirt stinks to high heaven when the temps hit 95 and higher. I was single then and couldn't afford to water
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    07-13-2013, 10:41 AM
  #10
Green Broke
WTW, I will try out the bar next time we're down there visiting inlaws lol.....I just might need to drown my sorrow, too lol
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