Looking to cut out grain. suggestions?
As the title says I am looking to get my horses off grain with them now being in my back yard and not at a stable. I rode a TWH that only had grain on occasion and she never got skinny.
They are in a lush pasture, and are rotated between 2 to keep the grass growing.
Take it out then =). Horses don't need grain, it's like potato chips to humans.
My mare needs it though because it's very hard to keep weight on her. ESP if you have good forage, it will be better for their health.
Do I need to wean them off it?
Do I need to feed more hay?
As long as they have enough grass, you should be able to keep them on the same amount your feeding them now. In the wild they usually forage and eat 22 hours of the day so I always like to keep something in front of them to munch on. I've been told that you only need to wean them off when your changing feeds, in your case your just cutting it out. What do you feed them?. You could think about just giving them some supplements if you feel they aren't getting enough from their hay.
For "grain" I feed mine 1/2 scoop of Alfalfa pellets (3 qt scoop, about 1.5 lbs) with flax and Nutri-Plus supplement. I use the flax because we do not have any grazing (hfresh grass has Omega 3's, but hay does not). You could skip that part and do just the hay pellets and supplement. It makes a well rounded diet without the sugar and starch! If you find any losing weight, you can increase the hay pellets. During the winter, feed plenty of grass hay and add in the flax.
well they get a mix of pellet and sweet feed along with daily dewormer, joint supplement and bran... I like to keep them on the 4 'supplements'. I know joint supplement comes in pellet form.
They won't need bran (wheat bran actually isn't good for horses on a regular basis). Use the hay pellets to mix the dewormer, joint supplements, and vitamin supplements. I use a little water or Apple Cider Vinegar (helps with flies) to mix everything together.
by flax you mean flax seed right? have never known anyone to feed flax hence why I dont know.
Yes, flax seed, whole or milled. You can buy 50 lb sacks of whole flax from most feed stores (most will order it if they don't carry it). Just feed it whole, horses eat and digest it fine.
Or you can buy milled flax products like NutraFlax from horsetech.com and Omega Horseshine from Omeghafields.com. You won't need it with your fresh pasture though, only when you have to start feeding hay in the winter.
I have to feed bran. my horse colics without it, they hay is very fine here. when I move back to MI tho I will be taking them off it, they hay is just different.
how much Flax tho? a handful?
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