What type of hay and additional feed needed?
   

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What type of hay and additional feed needed?

This is a discussion on What type of hay and additional feed needed? within the Horse Nutrition forums, part of the Horse Health category

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        10-20-2011, 03:35 PM
      #1
    Foal
    What type of hay and additional feed needed?

    I am new the the horse ownership area. I rescued five horses two weeks ago and need to know what nutrition they need. I have been told that Alfalfa is not good for them in large quatities. I have been shopping around for hay and I am finding so many different blends and I am not sure what to buy. Some offer 75/50 Alfalfa - 25% Brome, some are 50-50 and others 25 Alfalfa - 75 Grasses. Do I need to source Timothy too? Can I supplement them with hay cubes? The reason I ask is they seem to have a high content of alfalfa. Thier wieght is good and don't need to put any on. What about pellets? Sorry to be a pain, but with winter coming quickly I wanted to be prepared. Not sure if breed is needed for informed answers, so here is a list of what we rescued.

    1 Quarter Horse
    1 Tennessee Walker
    1 Puruvean Paso
    1 QH/TW cross
    1 yearling PP/QH cross.

    Thanks!
         
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        10-20-2011, 03:42 PM
      #2
    Green Broke
    Your a new horse owner an you decided to rescue 5?!?! I would get outside help if I were you. Call a vet, have them come out an assess the horses. They can give you way more help than we can.
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        10-20-2011, 03:52 PM
      #3
    Yearling
    Yes, have a vet evaluate them and help you work out a good nutritional plan.

    I'm in alberta too, and that alfalfa is great for cows, however it would be better if you keep to no more than 30% in your hay mix for horses. We have a choice here of several native grasses which horses do well on; brome and timothy being two of them. You want nice green, sweet smelling bales with no dust or mold in them. Beware of last year's hay. We had so much rain when people were baling, many were baled wet and that equals white and black mold
         
        10-20-2011, 03:58 PM
      #4
    Foal
    The farrier was out on Tuesday and the vet is coming tomorrow morning. She will be giving them thier shots and a check up. I will discuss with her what she feels will be the best options. I was just curious if I needed to supplement with hay cubes in addition to the grass hay. I guess I should have said, new to keeping horses at my home, my daughter has been showing her Arab for 4 years but he is stabled at where she trains. She has been very helpful, but she is only 12 and I just wanted to know I was doing all the right things for these horses that were abused and starved.
         
        10-20-2011, 04:03 PM
      #5
    Yearling
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SageBush    
    The farrier was out on Tuesday and the vet is coming tomorrow morning. She will be giving them thier shots and a check up. I will discuss with her what she feels will be the best options. I was just curious if I needed to supplement with hay cubes in addition to the grass hay. I guess I should have said, new to keeping horses at my home, my daughter has been showing her Arab for 4 years but he is stabled at where she trains. She has been very helpful, but she is only 12 and I just wanted to know I was doing all the right things for these horses that were abused and starved.
    Unless you cannot get bales, I wouldn't think you need to supplement with hay cubes. It's only hay in cube form. Your vet will be able to recommend the proper supplements you might need for each horse I use Hoffman's on my two and I like the results. There are other supplements just as good out there.

    Even if you've stabled your horses for years, it can be a bit daunting when you finally keep them at home and now you're responsible for getting them proper hay and nutrition. The stable owner used to do that and knew the sources. Good luck with your rescues and remember to post pictures!
         
        10-20-2011, 04:18 PM
      #6
    Foal
    Thanks for the quick response. I definitely have no issues getting bales, its just what mix to buy. Thankfully the hay here in Alberta is abundant this year and reasonable. I just don't want to buy hay that is too high in alfalfa.
         
        10-20-2011, 04:39 PM
      #7
    Green Broke
    Alfalfa isn't as evil as everyone says it is. It's good for putting on weight and energy. Here at the university we feed 3 flakes of alfalfa an only 1 of grass. We only feed grass because of variety and bulk. There is no extra nutritional value to feeding grass with your alfalfa. You can feed just alfalfa, many many people do.
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        10-20-2011, 04:48 PM
      #8
    Green Broke
    Of course I'm speaking of hay that is an alfalfa mix, which most alfafas are. Most farmers that grow straight alfalfa will only sell it as cattle food.
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        10-20-2011, 06:07 PM
      #9
    Green Broke
    With such a variety of horses, it might be useful for you to use a ration balancer along with hay (ration balancers are formulated to complement either grass or alfalfa hay, so get whatever is cheaper in your area and then buy the complementing ration balancer)

    For those horses with higher calorie needs, you can supplement their diet with rice bran, beet pulp and/or oil.

    Here's a very informative website about ration balancers: Ration Balancer
         
        10-21-2011, 09:53 AM
      #10
    Foal
    I agree with DELETE, alfalfa hay is not evil. We have used it for years with no issues , it doesnt really make horses "hot" & etc like most folks think.
    I have found it interesting in reading posts on the forum about feeding and people describe how they feed a cup of this and a scoop of that ......does anyone weigh what they are feeding? I weigh my feeds/forage etc, so that I can follow manufacturers directions on their product. A scoop of alfalfa cubes weighs a lot more than a scoop of beet pulp so I find it very beneficial to know pounds/weight of what your feeding. If you contact a feed/supplement co for help they will ask how much by weight that you are feeding in forage, grain etc.
         

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