Need some advice/help with my feeding rountine
I am so lost when it comes to feeding. Until I started getting on here, I was only feeding Sweet feed (that's what my dad always fed and I never thought to feed anything different because his horses always done fine on it). So within the last few months I have completely gotten rid of my sweet feed and do not use it anymore. I have everything on Reliance 11 pellets, Alfalfa pellets and I just bought some Beet pulp but want to make sure it is needed before I start feeding it and I am not exactly sure how to feed it. So any help/advice would be greatly appreciated. I feel so lost at the moment.
Okay I have two miniature horses. One is a 17 month old colt, he is 28 inches and the other is a 3 year old mare, she is 32 inches, who is in foal for a Feb. '10 baby.
I am currently feeding them Reliance 11 pellets, 1 lb twice a day. I am also adding 1 lb of Alfalfa pellets twice a day mixed in with it. They both get free choice hay.
This is my mare, so you can see her size.
And this is my colt.
I also just got a 4 year old Standardbred mare. She is 15hh exactly and getting ready to start training so she will be in work.
She is getting 1 1/2 lb of each twice a day. With free choice hay.
Here is a pic to see her now.
I don't want any of them to start loosing weight but I don't know if I am mixing the right amounts of feed together. I would actually like to see them put on a little more weight before winter. My big mare just came off 5 acres of pasture so I am the most worried about her as I don't want her weight to drop because she isn't on grass anymore. Again any help would be great. Also if you think different feeding routine is needed please let me know. And also anything you could tell me about feeding beet pulp would be great.
first, look at the labels on your feed bag. it will give you a general ball park of what to feed for the grain. they usually recomend a little more than what i like to feed a horse. beet pulp will expand alot depending on how long you soak it. i dont give it to a horse unless I think they need more fiber, and hay isnt working so well. beet pulp is kind of a junk feed, it had alot of sugar, unless you get it w/o molasses. it probably dosent have as much nutrients because its dehydrated/dryed. it the beets outter skin, its mainly just fiber. i would start with a little amount, maybe 8oz (before soaking) or something like that. I dont think the minis need it, maybe the mare, since like you said shes off grass so you are worrying about potential weight loss. alfalfa pellets and cubes are great substitute for hay, and usually inexpensive, you just have to becareful becaue it has more proteint then timothy hay. my horses get very little food, but both are easy keepers:
not sure hh, about 500-600 lbs
1 scoop 12% pellets
1/4 scoop beet pulp
1/2 scoop alfalfa hay cubes
1/3 cup ground flax
mare- 14.3 about 1000lbs
1 scoop 12% pellets
1/2 scoope alfalfa hay cubes
1/3 cup ground flax
they only get one feeding per day.
they are on a grass pasture, which is turning brown atm
they get about 3 flakes of hay a day, or more if they would eat it all and not keep using it as bedding
so keep the grain ration the same, if you see weight loss increase the alfalfa and beet pulp a little at a time (maybe like 1/4 scoop) it takes a few weeks for horses to show weight loss and weight gain, usually. if its in your budget i would go for an increase in hay first, see if the horse eats more. i prefer to give a horse as much hay as possible before I give processed feeds/grains.
if you see weight gain, more than you want t decrease the feed/grain, before you decrease the hay especially in winter.
Thanks.. They have free choice hay.. It's unlimited to them :) They eat as much as they want and when they are down with what they have out there we put more... But it's not the best of hay. Where we are you take what you can get. It's not molded or anything like that it just isn't the best hay.. But all of them seem to do fine on it.. On the beet pulp bag it says to soak it 2 hours before feeding it? Does that sound right? Also am I supposed to soak it in cold,warm or hot water?
I wouldn't worry about any of them dropping a bit of weight, as they look like they could all stand to lose a bit. Not saying they are much overweight either, but they look on the heavy side of 'good'. Horses don't need to fatten up to cope through winter, like bears, for eg. It isn't any healthier to fatten them up for winter as it is for us to do the same<G>. They may eat more hay in the colder months though, as digestion of fibre produces heat.
I don't know much about beet pulp, except that it seems popular at this point in time & there's not much in it, nutrient-wise. It is high fibre & *can be* very high in sugar. I agree with sillybunny that I wouldn't bother feeding it, unless they weren't getting enough other fibre - say they had a prob with hay for eg.
I would be feeding the horses hay, with a *good* complete supp to provide the necessary balanced nutrients they were missing. If they don't get any green pick, I would also keep feeding the alfalfa cubes(I'm assuming they're just alfalfa, nothing else?). I don't know the Reliance 11 pellets, whether they're a 'ration balancer' or just a pelleted feed. If they are grain-based, I'd be hesitant to feed it to the ponies, or any horse prone to lami.
Regarding what exactly you need to supp them with for balanced nutrition, depends on their environment & what's in their feed, so an analysis of the hay would be helpful. There are programs/services such as FeedXL.com which I find great to do a basic diet analysis and analyse & mix & match feeds to work out the perfect diets. Unfortunately what they tell you on the feed package is not always accurate.
I'd be playing it by ear regarding weight with your STB. Add some oil, sunflower seeds, eg, to her feed if you find she's not doing well on what you're currently giving her.
Okay. Thanks so much.. I am going to check out the site.
Alright thanks so much. I am def. going to join that website, just need some extra money first lol
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