raising a draft horse
Hey guys I have a few questions about raising draft size horses. I brought home a 12 year old Percheron mare who was bought at a meat market. The people who bought her thought they could raise a horse, but she hasn't seen a farrier since January and could use a few more pounds. They didn't own a hoofpick and had no clue what to feed a horse. Needless to say she could use some tlc.
Now people have been giving me some insight about feeding drafts, everywhere from half a bale a day to two bales daily. I feed 3rd cutting bales, mostly Timothy, that weigh between 50-60 lbs. I have no problem feeding lots of hay, especially since the weather here in Michigan is below freezing at night. I also have been giving her about a half pound twice a day of equistages by dumor.
Can someone give me a guideline of how much hay/ grain would be a good amount for winter? Also any recommendations on grain would be greatly appreciated. I will post a photo so you can see her condition.
Also, I have had the vet out and a good farrier coming soon for her.
I like giving hay 24/7
And a little feed as possible
I don't have a draft but, that's what I'd do
She should be able to eat 1/2 bale (30#) easily for maintenance. For putting on weight, she will eat closer to a full bale. She can stuff 2 bales in for a few days than she'll waste as much as she eats. I would add 1# soybeans or 3-4# alfalfa (hay or pellets) to the diet to provide a good protein source to help build up her topline. Most horses don't care for soybeans by themselves. You will have to mix it with something to improve the taste. What is Equistages? RB?
Don't try to do too much. Just getting all the hay she wants will go far.
Thank you. Equistages is a grain from tractor supply. I can't recall off hand what the ingredients are, but a lot of people around here feed it.
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At 1# on the Equistage, you are not providing much of anything to fill the gaps in the hay. You need to either up it 3-4# or add a vitamin/mineral blend. It is a low protein feed so you still need to add some type of high quality protein, Ca is low for feeding with grass hay so alfalfa will help up that value.
OK thank you. My hay is 80 Timothy 20% alfalfa. Should I still increase grain and minerals?
I think all horses need some type of supplemental vitamin and mineral added to the diet. I put it out free choice and if they need it, it's there. (I use either MoorMan's Grostrong or Progressive Nutrition loose minerals.)
Has she exhibited any hindend hitch in her giddy up? Is the muscling in her loin and butt asymetric?
My mare is a small draft horse she eats free choice hay all day - I tie it up in a small hole hay net, like it seems you do too :)
She also gets Nutrena Grass Balancer - it's a pelleted formula that has all the vitamins and minerals that horses need, but no grain - my mare is fairly obese though xD
I find the best way to Up a horse's weight is the use of thoroughly soaked alfalfa/timothy hay cubes. It's about $15 for a bag of it, I give 2 quarts a feeding, 4 times a day on top of free choice hay and the regular grain feedings to our OTTB who's a very hard keeper. It just re inflates them, it also helps ensure they have enough water in the day.
My mare doesn't have a giddy up lol. And what muscling she has is symmetrical. I will look into adding more minerals to her diet. Currently she has access to a stockman big 6 block from tsc. I will look into those that you both have mentioned. Thank you so much. She has had a bad past and I want to get her as healthy as possible.
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