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Slowing down feeding? My options?

This is a discussion on Slowing down feeding? My options? within the Horse Nutrition forums, part of the Horse Health category

     
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        01-01-2011, 01:20 PM
      #11
    Trained
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Wallaby    
    I thought the important thing was that she always had hay to be eating? And not precisely how many times a day she was fed? Because she does get enough at her feeding (and she eats slowly enough) that she still has hay up until about 2-3 hours before she's fed again... So technically, she is grazing 24/7.
    You are basically free-feeding her, you're just only putting out a days worth at a time. What you are doing is fine and will not cause our favorite geriatric Arab mare any harm. =]
         
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        01-01-2011, 01:39 PM
      #12
    Banned
    How about making her little 'hay stations' in her pasture. You are feeding her enough hay, if you could just space it out a bit, it would go a little longer. Make up 4-5 hay bags and tie them out in the pasture. Or just spread your flakes throughout her pasture. Let her roam to find her flakes. Once summer hits, you should be great. It always looks like she has great pasture there!
         
        01-01-2011, 03:01 PM
      #13
    Super Moderator
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by riccil0ve    
    You are basically free-feeding her, you're just only putting out a days worth at a time. What you are doing is fine and will not cause our favorite geriatric Arab mare any harm. =]
    Oh! Cool! I didn't realize that!
    I'm glad I have you guys, I would be so lost right now without you. Also, I'm glad Lacey is like the best first horse ever. Haha

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by corinowalk    
    How about making her little 'hay stations' in her pasture. You are feeding her enough hay, if you could just space it out a bit, it would go a little longer. Make up 4-5 hay bags and tie them out in the pasture. Or just spread your flakes throughout her pasture. Let her roam to find her flakes. Once summer hits, you should be great. It always looks like she has great pasture there!
    That's a great idea! However, it rains quite a bit here and I'd worry that the hay would get too wet? She's kinda picky and if her hay is soaked through she won't eat it at all, even if she's "starving". Silly girl!

    I suppose I could make up a few bags like this: Smith Brothers and then waterproof them all over, and perhaps make the opening, that I put the hay in through, be on the bottom so water couldn't seep in through the zipper/velcro/whatever I use to hold it shut... And then attach them to tree or something facing away from the wind/rain so the hay would stay mostly dry until she ate it all... Maybe I'll make one and test it out, then make more if it works out amazingly... Good idea! I even already have enough nylon cloth and nylon webbing to make a respectable one...
         
        01-01-2011, 03:27 PM
      #14
    Green Broke
    If it wasn't crappy grass hay she would be eating it quicker. Why do you choose to feed crappy hay? I think it is important to feed twice a day so they have something in there belly's longer. Especially if it is cold the digesting keeps them warm.
         
        01-01-2011, 03:53 PM
      #15
    Super Moderator
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by churumbeque    
    If it wasn't crappy grass hay she would be eating it quicker. Why do you choose to feed crappy hay? I think it is important to feed twice a day so they have something in there belly's longer. Especially if it is cold the digesting keeps them warm.
    You are probably right.
    I feed her yuckier stuff (I've just really assumed that it was "crappy" because it's more of a golden brown, no green, but smells good and it's soft, she was eating only it last year and she was way too skinny, and she doesn't like it as well as most other hay, but it technically hasn't been proven to be legitimately crappy, that's just my opinion of it) because it's $4.75 for an 80 pound bale of local hay (the crappy stuff) compared to $12.95 for an 100 pound bale of Timothy (the other grass hay option). I figure that since I'm mixing it with alfalfa ($12.95 for 120lbs) and she's returning (she was a little too skinny, imo, in Nov.) to a perfect weight on that combo, why should I pay more for something that's working just fine currently? And since I'm just using it to keep food in her belly and not really for the nutrition content (she's getting enough alfalfa to be doing fine nutrition-wise, imo) It seems fine to me to go cheaper.
    And, I have to feed her alfalfa because the llamas she lives with are fed alfalfa and otherwise, she'll just steal their food and not let them near hers, so they go very hungry.

    I'd really like to understand where you're coming from though, why would it be bad to go the lower nutrition/protein route for belly filling hay?
    Also, I haven't mentioned this on this thread, but Lacey is a laminitis/founder risk and she's a rather easy keeper, so I don't want her to be fat.
    I like her to be a little round but I really think that she's naturally so muscular that what I think of as her being "round" is just her being super buff. She really is like an HYPP positive QH when she's muscle-y.
         
        01-01-2011, 04:10 PM
      #16
    Weanling
    If she is at founder risk why are you feeding her alfalfa??? That can increase the chances of it happening. Don't feed her crappy hay just as a filler!!!! What kind of hay is it??? Make sure you hay does not get wet and then sit their because it can get moldy! Its all about quality NOT quantity! Your horse is eating slow and I don't understand why you want to make it slower?????? It doesnt makes sense to me.....
         
        01-01-2011, 04:31 PM
      #17
    Izz
    Foal
    Wallaby, could you be kind to post a picture of this "manger thing" you are feeding your horse from? It sounds interesting to me since it makes your horse eat that slow.

    I don't understand why you want the horse to eat even slower and cut down on the amount also? You obiously have a system that works very fine! Lucky you Instead of cutting down on the amount of feed, perhaps you could increase the workout for her? Just a suggestion if possible.
         
        01-01-2011, 04:40 PM
      #18
    Trained
    Horses are designed to be constantly eating poor quality hay. I think your system sounds fine!

    Lucerne/alfalfa, especially soaked, is actually a good hay for founder risks as it is low in sugar compared to most grass hays. It's energy comes from protein.

    Poor quality grass hay is also recommended as a good filler for founder risks - less sugar.

    So basically you are doing the exact right thing. Keeping her belly full with lower sugar hats, and the alfalfa is supplying energy in the form of protein, not sugar. If you need some more calories when she is working, I would add in a high fat feed like rice bran or soybean meal. Add a molasses free mineral block and that is basically the perfect management plan for an older, founder prone pony.
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        01-01-2011, 04:40 PM
      #19
    Trained
    *hays, not hats lol.
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        01-01-2011, 04:50 PM
      #20
    Weanling
    I agree with soaking the hay to get the sugar out. Couldnt poor quality hay up the risk for colic though?
         

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