Winter feeding? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 6 Old 09-25-2012, 05:19 PM Thread Starter
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Winter feeding?

This is going to be my first winter with my horse. We get pretty bad winters here, meaning that if by chance it doesn't snow, all the grass will die anyway. I am a little worried about maintaining my horse's weight during the winter months. She is a 7 year old, 1400 lb percheron/quarter horse. How much more grain and hay will she have to eat to make up for not being able to eat grass outside all day (For example, will she need twice as much hay as she usually gets and the same amount of grain)? She gets light to moderate riding at least every other day and is currently turned out from about 7 in the morning to eight at night, and the riding will probably not change since I will have access to the indoor arena. I want to make sure that she is getting the proper amount of food to compensate for the lack of grass.
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post #2 of 6 Old 09-25-2012, 09:16 PM
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Well, it really depends. If you see her start to loose weight, up her feed. If you see her getting fat, cut her feed. Give her free access to hay (if possible and if she is not apt to eat it all even if she is not hungry) and you can keep her grain the same unless she starts loosing weight.
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post #3 of 6 Old 09-25-2012, 10:03 PM
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you could try 25lbs of hay per day spread out to 2 or more feedings with what ever grain you give or that hay amount and allow to free feed on oat straw, so she constanly has roughage with no grain as their will be grain in the straw.
If she starts dropping weight up the hay amount.
She should be eating aprox 30lbs of food per day to hold her weight however all horses are different and may need more.
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post #4 of 6 Old 09-27-2012, 08:01 AM
Green Broke
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I up the hay a lot more so than the concentrates.
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post #5 of 6 Old 09-28-2012, 05:58 AM
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Hi, basically agree with all above. But I wouldn't necessarily start feeding more if the horse started dropping weight.... thinking of all the fatties I know that desperately need a big drop!

Originally Posted by toke View Post
How much more grain and hay will she have to eat to make up for not being able to eat grass outside all day (For example, will she need twice as much hay as she usually gets and the same amount of grain)?
Horses need on average 2-2.5%bwt daily in roughage. Can't tell you whether that'd be twice as much as you're giving now, cos dont know how much you're giving now. She won't need grain just because it's winter. High starch, hard to digest feeds like that aren't the best for horses anyway & if she needs more than the hay/grazing gives her, I'd give her more of that and perhaps include a little lucerne/alfalfa hay &/or beet pulp &/or ricebran or such instead of grain.

I do believe well balanced nutrition is important for health & most horse's diets are deficient/imbalanced in a range of nutrients, so you'll have to weigh up what she's getting compared to what she needs, to work out what supps may be appropriate for her. FeedXL Horse Nutrition: The D.I.Y. equine diet planner is a great resource for that.
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post #6 of 6 Old 09-28-2012, 01:50 PM
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What I mean is start feeding them more if they start getting less than the perfect weight.
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