What to feed a 6yr old gelding?
My 6yr old gelding (a big boy), a pretty easy keeper, is currently eating a pelleted 12% all-stock feed and 24/7 pasture.
I want to switch his feed to alfalfa pellets, oats, and flax. I like the idea of that simple diet to supplement his grazing and improve his coat and health as well as build some muscle.
Any opinions on this diet? Pros and cons?
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If he's an easy keeper adding the alfalfa pellets and oats is an unnecessary expense and will lead to just a fatter horse. If he can maintain his weight on pasture, than at most what you need is some type of vit/mineral supplement. You can acheive this very cheaply with just a loose mineral blend (I'm a huge fan of Grostrong) plus added extra white salt. You can also go with a ration balancer if those are available to you. You only feed 1-2# per day but they are packed with protein, vit and minerals. I would definitly add flax to the diet (4-8 oz). Not only will it improve his coat but it will offer some bug itch relief later on.
How much pelleted all stock 12% feed is your horse getting right now?
One of the main reasons im switching his feed is because im going to start keeping him stalled up during the hottest part of the day (10am-4pm) because sunscreen is just not enough for his bald face. He is starting to get severe burns on the nose.
So he will not be on pasture 24/7 any longer. He doesnt get much feed now. Just a scoop or two in the afternoon. More of a treat than to build weight.
I plan to continue feeding the same amount and possibly decrease if he gains too much weight.
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A scoop or two is quite a bit depending on the size of the scoop. Do you have any idea how big the scoop is?
I would simply provide your horse with good quality hay while it is inside, to replace the grass time.
You can also get a fly mask with a nose cover if you want to leave your horse out during the day.
If I were you, Laura, I would just give him a vitamin supplement and no grain if he's a really good easy keeper along with grass or hay of course. Flax is good too. I like Always' suggestion of the flymask with a nose on it. What really helps my bald faced pony in the summer is putting Desitin on his nose too. You can get it at the dollar store.
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