Feeding amount help please? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 5 Old 01-12-2014, 12:23 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Australia
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Feeding amount help please?

So I have moved my mini to a pasture with short very dry brown summer grass (as I'm in Australia and it's summer here). I feed her twice daily, a mix of alfalfa and wheaten hay equivalent to 1/4 of a flake for each feeding.
She also gets 1 cup of pellets twice a week and 1 or 2 carrots daily.
She is on the pasture 24 hrs but whenever I arrive for feeding I never really see her grazing too much on the pasture.
She is 33" and 2.5 yrs old. I think she weighs 260 lbs. She only gets very light exercise two or three days a week as the heat is extreme at the moment.
I just want to know if what I am feeding her seems excessive?
When the spring grasses start to grow I was going to stop her hand feeding altogether.
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post #2 of 5 Old 01-17-2014, 11:04 AM
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Michigan
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How does she look? If she looks thin, add more. If she looks heavy, feed less.

I would be leery of keeping a Miniature Horse on enough pasture to require no hay, myself. I have found that they do best in a dry lot, fed hay, offered limited pasture. They can get to heavy quickly and be at risk for laminitis. I also do not see any reason to feed alfalfa. For what its worth, our seven minis are on about 1/2 bale a day of a very grassy (Timothy) hay. About 30 pounds of hay between the lot of them, and it is the dead of winter, several feet of snow and cold. They each get 1 cup of a low sugar pelleted feed, also.

Be careful with the spring grass!
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post #3 of 5 Old 01-17-2014, 12:36 PM
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Ontario
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Minis and ponies are particularly sensitive to spring grasses during rapid growth. It's best to keep her off or you may wind up with a cripple. We feed grass hay here. I know of no one feeding wheaten hay, oat hay yes. It is better to feed the pellets daily, even if a smaller amount than surprising her system twice weekly. One small carrot daily is fine but they too have natural sugars.
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post #4 of 5 Old 01-23-2014, 02:07 PM
Green Broke
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Alberta, Canada
Posts: 4,355
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Basically, you should be feeding 2 pounds of feed (hay) per 100 pounds of horse. If she's on grass, maybe even less. Ponies store their calories very well and even the bigger ones can appear to live & stay fat off of very little. I've never known a mini to be a hard keeper, especially a young one so don't go for any high-carb feeds or anything with alfalfa.
She probably doesnt even need the pellets or the carrots lol but a treat every now and then is ok.
I know long term exposure to fresh grass is not good for them either. So basically you should just be worrying about what not to feed them instead of what to feed them. In nature they would be constantly on the move and burning calories, but in our modern world, let's face it, they stand around in confined spaces all day, which means they have very little need for rich feed that will give them energy.

"If a horse fails to do something that is because he was not trained to do it. If a horse fails to do something properly that is because he was not trained properly."
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post #5 of 5 Old 02-24-2014, 11:47 PM
Join Date: Feb 2014
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What's the body condition look like? All horses are different so the amount of feed varies greatly. The show horses and breeding stallions always consumed much more than the broodmares and young ones that were just pastured. Even 2 show horses could require different amounts of hay and grain depending on their metabolisms.
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