Senior Feed with Alfalfa
I am currently feeding nutrena Triumph Senior to my two hard keeping thoroughbreds. I am feeding based on a 1100 lbs horse. I am currently feeding 4 lbs of grain and 10 lbs alfalfa to them. Is this enough? is it enough forage for them?
Any other recommendations on adding etc.
If they're easy keeping quarter horses than yes it's enough but for the rest of the world, it's about 1/2 what they need. Is the hay cleaned up by the next meal? That would be the first thing to increase. I would honestly expect you to increase the hay to 20# each as a starting point. One small square should last you no more than 2 days between the 2 horses. It's cheaper to provide extra calories in forage than adding more senior, BP, oils...
I honestly have no idea how much a flake of hay weighs (they can vary too, depending on how dense it is). My TB is a relatively easy keeper, but this is what he eats on a daily basis. If I remember the scoop measurement correctly...mine gets 8 quarts of Purina Equine Senior a day and two flakes of hay with dinner. In warmer weather when the grass is lush he's just out grazing, but in the winter we put two flakes per horse out in the fields. Overhearing a conversation at the farm the other day (I never knew what kind of hay we fed), they all eat grass hay.
I'd agree that 4 lbs of Triumph Senior and 10 lbs of hay daily would be enough for some easy keepers. If your TBs are hard keepers (like many TBs are) then I'd start at the feeding directions on Triumph Senior as a start. For an 1100 lb horse in light work:
8-11 lbs Triumph Senior
11-20 lbs hay
For that much grain, it would be best if you could split it up into at least 3 meals daily. Even better would be to switch to something that could meet nutritional needs with less or no grain, and then fill in calories with beet pulp, rice bran, etc.
I thought I was missing something, but think you're referring to the 10lbs alfalfa as 'hay'?
Seriously?? There are people that think 10lb of roughage daily is adequate for a full sized horse? I disagree thoroughly. Horses need *at least* 1.5%bwt daily in roughage, but 2-3% is generally appropriate, *for maintenance*, not weight gain* So... 10lbs = 4.5kg(I'm in Oz), which is 2% for a 225kg horse - IOW, smallish pony! And if they're 'easy keepers' who get fat on that much, don't reduce amount, but choose something lower sugar/starch, or soak it before feeding!
So OP, assuming the horses get no grazing or other hay, they would need *at least* double that much hay. I also wouldn't feed alfalfa as the main forage ration, as being so high in protein & calcium, etc, can be too much for many horses & also imbalanced nutrition. I'd personally provide them with free choice grass hay + the 10lbs alfalfa.
As they're 'hard keepers', especially if they've been racehorses or otherwise intensively kept & stabled a lot, especially as they've been on high starch & low roughage diets, I'd want to treat for ulcers & feed a probiotic, to help the gut become healthier.
I can't find an ingredients list anywhere for the Nutrena, but I wouldn't feed them any grain as a rule, or other high starch/sugar ingredients, as this can actually contribute to weight and other health probs. I'd instead look for a healthier alternative such as beet pulp, rice bran, etc. If you must feed grain, ensure it's fed over as many(at least 3 if poss) small meals daily as you can, rather than just 1-2 big meals, to minimise the 'side effects'.
Well balanced nutrition is another consideration for 'hard keepers', as they may be that way due to mineral deficiency rather than lack of calories.
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