Need Advice From Feed-Savvy People
I'm picking up my clydesdale soon. I need to stock up on hay before the long trip. What kind of hay would you suggest I get? As of now, she is in pasture.... getting very little exercise. Needs to gain some weight. She is 2 years old and full of energy.
Once we arrive home, she will still have access to pasture part of every day and will be worked on the ground regularly.
I've been told by a few draft owners to stay away from grain. Open to any other feed advice =)
I am a very long way from a draft expert but I would suggest just a good quality grass hay or mix of grass/alfalfa. Alfalfa is really good for putting weight on an easy keeper, but it can make some horses a bit hot.
The grain thing - I don't feed corn, barley , wheat , but do feed oats without any problems.
I have the opposite problem to you - our Highland is like a blob , I mean she could give a whale a run for it's money on the blubber scale.
I find with Dora all that is really needed is grass and hay. She gets alfalfa in winter to help with the cold and small rations of hard feed in her stable ( but only to encourage her into her box at night. )
You may find that she looks like she needs to gain some weight because of her age - they grow in fits and starts - and at some ages look underweight because all the energy is diverted into growing rather than fat/muscle building.
Most sources of meadow hay are good - ours has a good mix of hay and natural flowers / herbs as chemicals are not yet used over here very much.
Find a HIGH fat High nutrition feed... Grass hay unlimited is always a given ...
if you can't find a good high fat feed look into a ration balancer and add fat in the form of rice bran
The draft rescue next to me feeds grain to their horses for sure. :D I feed pellets/oats mix with oil added to mine. Personally I prefer to stay off alfalfa. My qh is EXTREMELY picky, so if I give alfalfa/grass mix she pics all alfalfa and spread all grass around just wasting it. So I'd recommend just to get good timothy or orchard (whatever is common in your area).
Thanks =) I had to decrease the alfalfa in my OTTB because it made him HYPER. it was hard, though, because he was so hard to keep the weight on. Winter was a real challenge... the cold weather alone made him extra hot, plus much skinner. I'm concerned about her collicing in the trailer, too... since she's been in pasture for several months and I'm going to put her on hay durring a 4 day trailer ride =/
Thanks for the replies! You're all awesome.... making this move a lot less stressfull with your help =)
Make sure she still gets what she is used to otherwise you could cause colic. I know from experience with horses going cross country and not having the same feed avaliable. Rice bran, beet pulp and grass hay should get her fat without making her hot. Everything else sounds good, but make sure you don't cut her regular feed without adjusting to the change.
This is where I'm really stuck =( Her previous/current owner has her in her friends pasture because of some personal reasons. All my clyde is getting is grass in the pasture. I don't know what to do.... how do I not cut out her current feed to avoid collic??? :-(
I agree, grass, mix, or Timothy hay. Orchard Grass is a nice high nutrient hay that's available in much of the West Coast.
If she's only on pasture, you don't need to worry about colic with hay. If you decide to give her some kind of feed, then you'd just need to start slow, with small meals, building to a full meal over a 2 week period.
The hay should really be enough though. Feed free choice and see how she does. If she still needs more weight, add in beet pulp (1-4 lbs dry weight a day), a vitamin supplement, and some stabilized rice bran or flax (1/2 to 1 cup a day).
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