How does this plan look?
 
 

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How does this plan look?

This is a discussion on How does this plan look? within the Horse Nutrition forums, part of the Horse Health category

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    • 1 Post By jaydee

     
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        02-11-2014, 12:58 PM
      #1
    Started
    How does this plan look?

    I think I've finally come up with a feeding plan for my horse.
    -24/7 access to grass hay in winter
    -24/7 access to pasture in summer (unless he starts getting fat, then on a dry lot for some of the day)
    -1 lb ration balancer/day
    -alfalfa cubes in winter for extra calories (and if that's not enough, oil or rice bran)
    -plus a once daily hoof supplement (Biotime)
    He's a 9 year old QH in light work year round. Looks great in the summer, but needs a bit more in the winter.
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        02-11-2014, 01:03 PM
      #2
    Started
    Compared to him just getting hay/grass right now.
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        02-11-2014, 01:16 PM
      #3
    Showing
    Take him off the pasture in the morning when the grasses are in the rapid growth stage. As the day warms the sugar increases then decreases later in the day. Much safer to let him out around dark. You'll have to feed him hay during the day but he'll likely be glad to be in as that's usually when the bugs are out.
         
        02-12-2014, 01:01 PM
      #4
    Started
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Saddlebag    
    Take him off the pasture in the morning when the grasses are in the rapid growth stage. As the day warms the sugar increases then decreases later in the day. Much safer to let him out around dark. You'll have to feed him hay during the day but he'll likely be glad to be in as that's usually when the bugs are out.
    Thanks
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        02-13-2014, 06:00 AM
      #5
    Trained
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Saddlebag    
    Take him off the pasture in the morning when the grasses are in the rapid growth stage. As the day warms the sugar increases then decreases later in the day. Much safer to let him out around dark. You'll have to feed him hay during the day but he'll likely be glad to be in as that's usually when the bugs are out.
    Actually saddle, you're partly right - sugars do increase during the day. It's photosynthesis which produces sugar, so depending on the weather, the longer the day, the more sugars. Plants use up that sugar over night to grow(also weather dependant - frosts will shut down the growing). So early morning is when the sugars are generally lowest & afternoon/early evening is when they're generally highest. Type is one other big consideration too & 'improved' cattle fattening varieties such as rye grass are very high sugar, whereas native grasses are generally lower.

    Also re feeding hay, sugars are only used during growing & aren't depleted with processing/storing. So depending on type, how grass was grown & what time of day/weather it was cut in, may be just as high as the highest fresh grass.

    OP if you're feeding a good 'ration balancer' that balances his diet well, you shouldn't really need another 'hoof specific' supplement. If however, the rest of his diet leaves him deficient in the nutrients that are in that hoof supp, then it may be the most appropriate for him. Also consider magnesium levels & also that lucerne is quite high in calcium, protein & potassium, which may or may not be a problem depending how much & what he gets in the rest of his diet.
         
        02-18-2014, 11:29 AM
      #6
    Foal
    If he's used to being on pasture then it doesn't matter what time of day he's on it. Just keep an eye on his weight which it seems like you're way ahead of that. Now as for the question you asked, yes that seems like a very good diet plan. If he's still dropping a little weight in winter just mix some beat pulp with the alfalfa cubes (if you use shredded beat pulp and hot water you only need to soak it for about 20 minutes) and make kind of a mash out of it. This should give him plenty of fiber to keep him warm throughout the night. I'm in tn so we get bad winter weather from dec through feb so we blanket them at night and on windy days they have light turnout blankets on while in the pasture. That's usually all it takes to keep the weight on them. Just remember its not so much as the calories you give them but the fiber so the bacteria have something to eat so they can generate the heat in the hind gut to keep your horse warm. If you think he might be getting cold feel his ears. If they're warm then he's fine. If not throw him some hay and blanket him. Hope this helps
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        02-18-2014, 12:13 PM
      #7
    Super Moderator
    It doesn't matter that they are used to being on pasture - if you're going to restrict their grazing to keep their weight down and as part of laminitis control then its common sense to keep them off the grass at the times of the day when the levels are highest
    Its also better to have a daily grazing restriction plan as that way the horses metabolism adjusts to it and less risk of digestive upsets
    I would use slow hay feeders in the summer when they're being fed hay - grass has high levels of water in it that just gets 'peed' out whereas the same volume of good hay is all feed and you can end up with an even fatter horse
    I would also not start adding supplements to a ration balancer unless the one you use is low in something your horse specifically needs - its very easy to over do things or just waste money
    If a horse is struggling to keep weight on in the winter and you are already feeding it to the max then the best way to deal with it is to throw a blanket on it - I worry that overloading their digestive systems with too much high calorie foods and too much bulk in an effort to keep them warm can sometimes contribute to colic attacks
    loosie likes this.
         

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