only oat and alfalfa what? - The Horse Forum
  • 1 Post By Left Hand Percherons
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post #1 of 5 Old 08-22-2012, 10:48 AM Thread Starter
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only oat and alfalfa what?

Need some ideas!
Very easy keeper Arab and "normal" QH together 24/7 turnout in drylot.
The only hay available and affordable is oat hay and alfalfa.
I have a slowfeeder barrel with slightly bigger net openings for the oat hay ( they can't get it out of the 2" holes, destroy the net out of frustration) and give the daily alfalfa flake in an extra tub.
The Arab is on the absolute minimum amount per weight of miniature horse feed. But he has figured out that there are oats falling out from the slowfeeder and happily chows down on it. Which makes him very lively at times, but he at least moves
I give the alfalfa for CA / Ph balance. And the ist hay is yellow, not green and obviously cut relatively late since oat grain is readily falling out of it.

They also leave the coarse stems of the oat hay, I weighted it for about two weeks. They waisted a good 30% , which I use for bedding in the run-in.

Question is, is there any way of offering it with less waist without having to portion the hay and loose the slow and always hay available effect?
Or is there a supplement/ ration balancer who can coubteract the high Ph in the oat hay so I can stop the alfalfa?
any creative ideas are welcome
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post #2 of 5 Old 08-22-2012, 11:16 AM
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Oat hay runs around 1.5:1 so it's not bad by itself as long as you're not also adding grains to the diet. They will eat the stalks if they're hungry. Are they tossing out the oat hay to get to the alfalfa or is it separate? In the current hay situation, I'd make them clean it up.

Beet pulp is a good Ca source (10:1), switching to an alfalfa pellet or cube if cost competitive would eliminate the search for only "the good stuff". Your water might also be a good Ca source if it's hard.
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post #3 of 5 Old 08-22-2012, 11:28 AM Thread Starter
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Oh, they clean up the alfalfa completely . I feed it separately. Also feed alfalfa to counteract the high sugar oat hay....well, maybe not that high since it resembles oat straw more than oat hay.
I am seriously thinking of feeding restricted alfalfa and the oat only as a something-to-nibble-on-in-between, also rationed. Maybe that way they don't waste so much of it? come the easy keeper is also the bossman......makes it that much harder.....:/
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post #4 of 5 Old 08-22-2012, 02:55 PM
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Maybe you're over thinking this. If they're leaving 30%, cut them back 30% for 2 Weeks and see if they start dropping weight or if they stary cleaning up after themselves. I'm just thinking outloud but perhaps they aren't crazy about the high fiber oat hay because it generates so much heat in the digestion process that they have figured that out. A couple of mine go off their feed and drop weight in the hottest part of summer.
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post #5 of 5 Old 08-22-2012, 03:09 PM Thread Starter
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I'm already cutting back with the oat hay. They finish the alfalfa, but search only for the best parts of the oat....the oat kernels. Could be the heat, since they eat mostly at night. And the high fiber oat......yup, you got a point. Easy-keeper-bossman-arab could stand less belly.....he looks 17 months preggers....the QH is in ideal condition, no excess belly, really nice.
See, that's my problem. Keeping her the way she is and slim him down. Not easy at all. That's why I give the miniature feed to him. She gets normal feed and eats most of the alfalfa. He aims straight for the sweet oat hay.
When I bought them they shared a stall and two flakes of oat straw a day. He ate most of it and was only a bit on the lean side, she was very underweight.
So, a slowfeeder with oat hay makes no sense then?
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