I know there is another thread going around right now on what you feed your horse. I was just hoping someone could give me their recommendations for what I should feed mine.
They currently get almost free choice alfalfa/grass mix hay. I feed a lot and often so they pretty much get to eat all day if they would like. Then they get Purina Ultium (love this stuff!) about 2 lbs a.m. and p.m. Then they get ground flax seed, 1 cup of black oil sunflower seeds, 1 cup of oats and 1 ounce squirt of Coco Soya. They get that a.m. and p.m. as well.
Dallas - 6yr AQHA Gelding - 980lbs, moderate work (usually 4 days a week) All around horse WP, HUS, Speed, the works.
Sony - 3 yr APHA Filly - probably about 900lbs??? light work ( about 4 days as well just not ridden very hard) All around pleasure prospect.
Dallas seems to be doing well on this program. I guess most of my concern is about Sony. She is young and growing. I have had only for 2 weeks and seems to doing well. The person I got her from had me start the oats, I never fed this prior. So I guess whats good for adding extra calories but is inexpensive?
If it ain't broke then don't fix it. We learned that lesson the hard way, switched the bagged feed based on a "recommendation" from our feed store guy and 6 months later they both had crap feet.
What your doing sounds great, if their holding their weight and have nice coats and perky eye's, grow nice hoofs leave it be.
Nature made them to eat hay, and your already giving them that almost 24/7. The only thing I suppose you could do is to get your hay checked at your local AG centre.
My 6 year old 16.1hh (1100-1300 lbs) gelding gets free choice grass hay and 2 pounds of a high fat nutritionally balanced ration and mineral balancer and he is worked 5 times a week at least. He is a little chubby..
I would seriously consider cutting out a lot of that, giving free choice grass hay instead of the alfalfa mix, and only feed the alfalfa a few times a day. Cut down the Ultim to 1 cup per feeding, cut out all those oils and the oats and just add flax and a balanced mineral supplement to the Ultim.
I really highly suggest getting your hay tested, and then talking to an equine nutritionist about balancing it out with a few supplements. I haven't looked up the exact contents of these feeds, but it sounds like a really high protein, too low fat diet (read: hard on the kidneys). Yes young horses need more protein, but usually feeding a legumey hay (such as alfalfa) takes care of the protein they need.
anebel if she does what you are suggesting the diet will not have the vitamins/mienral needed for a growing baby!!!
WOW actually what you are feeding isn't "too" bad ... what are you wanting for her?? how does she look and act now??
The only problem I see is that the Ultium(as much as I hate Purina) is a fairly decent feed that is balanced and by adding all the "other" stuff you are unbalancing the diet... If she were mine I would get rid of everything but the Ultium and stuff her with good quality grass hay ... also make sure you are feeding the recommended amount of feed for her age and size
actually if she were mine she would be on free choice hay/pasture with a ration balancer and possibly some alfalfa pelelts/cubes or beet pulp :)
Personally, I would feed just the ultium and cocosoya, and NONE of the rest (no oats either). If they need more food to keep their weight on, then your hay might not be the best quality OR the Ultium might be too high energy and causing your horses to burn too many calories.
That is exactly what happened when I started feeding it to my anglo gelding. Just to keep barely enough weight on him, he was getting 6 lbs a day plus 1 lb (about 1.5 cups) of rice bran, plus nearly free choice bermuda hay. When we switched him to hay pellets, flax, and vitamins, he GAINED weight on just 3 lbs of pellets (alfalfa since my hay is 100% grass) and 1 cup (4 oz by weight) of Flax, and maintains weight and muscle tone nicely on 1.5 lbs of pellets and 1/2 cup (2 oz) of flax (with added vitamins of course).
So, if your horses really NEED all that feed and fat just to stay at a good weight, then Ultium may not be the right choice for you. Between the alfalfa/orchard hay and ultium, they are getting a LOT of digestible energy, which increases metabolism, which makes them burn more calories, which makes them need more feed/calories.
I agree though, feeding less than the recommended amounts of a fortified feed, then adding a supplement, is just silly. If you're not going to feed the full amount, then you need to switch to something different, or to an unfortified grain or hay pellets with your vitamin.
actually I differ with not feeding a 3yo more I have one and have helped with several others and they do NEED more until they are DONE growing not alot more but more ...
the best company that sees that is Buckeye and of course the NRC show slightly higher numbers for them as well ...
Feed companies like to sell specialized feeds. It adds to the frenzy, lol. Yes, a 3yr old may need more FOOD, but not necessarily different nutrition. I'd be more inclined to feed a young horse more hay first, then adjusting the amount of concentrate as needed.
Alfalfa pellets or hay has 15-17% protein on average (sometimes more). Added to a grass hay diet, that will provide much of the quality protein, amino acids, and nutrition that any age of horse will need. A younger or harder working horse should get more alfalfa (up to 60% of the daily intake of forage by weight), while easy keepers or idle horses should get less. Add a little fat and a vitamin/mineral supplement, and you have a very well rounded, healthy diet.
LMAO L2R I dont' feed any grain products LOL you know that ... the NRC has the nutrition ona GROWING horse higher then a "Mature" horse
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