Help me with my feed plan! Please!
**Please be aware I am still learning the proper way to feeding my horse.**
Anyway since I have moved my TB to my own barn I have been trying to figure out a perfect feed plan for him. He is under weight but not majorly with a little bit of his ribs showing. Weight tape weighs him at about 960 lbs. And he is in moderate work.
Where I used to board him at they used to have him on a standard full scoop of 12% sweet feed (3 Qt feed scoop) and another scoop (3 Qt feed scoop)of beet pulp x2 a day. Now that i'm researching more on nutrition it is more determind on weight and what not. It is rather obvious. Duh. As of now my horse proably is getting 3 standard scoop (3 Qt feed scoop) of 12% sweet feed and 3 Standard scoop (3 Qt feed scoop) of beet pulp THROUGH OUT THE DAY not all at once. He does not get hot. He did gain some weight but now has seem to stop. I do not want to up his feed anymore!
So therefore is there something else I can feed him to substiute the sweet feed which I have read (correct me if i'm wrong) that sweet feed is really not the best.
So I have been researching rice bran and have heard people are having very good results on it. And having to feed less then the sweet feed which would make me feel so much better for my horse. What feed plan would you guys suggest for my under weight OTTB?
Here is a picture of his some what current weight. Give or take a few pounds. Depending on the lighting his ribs show more they are now. Its annoying thou I have been seeing those ribs since I have had him! 2 years! ugh
Also he is dewormed on schedule and the wormer is in rotations!
Is that weight from before or after he gained the weight? I've recently moved my two to a self care place from pasture board and am also very early in learning about and playing with their feed. I plan to measure them for weight at least once a month...and adjust feed accordingly. My mare and gelding are on nutrena safe choice. They get the lowest recommended amount for maintenance because I'm not working them until I get my farrier out to deal with their feet (his hand is healing from an injury). They also get about 1.5% of their body weight in hay per day. I'm also considering a hoof supplement, but I'm waiting until after Christmas to decide on that so I can get an idea if the nutrition change from 24/7 pasture to pellets and hay is enough to kick start healthy hoof growth.
This is after he gained some weight. So basically his current weight at the moment.
I'd cut the sweet feed out all together, even if it doesn't make him hot. It's basically like feeding candy, low nutritional value but it sure tastes good :wink:
Let's hope he is not a picky eater, it can be difficult weaning some horses off sweet feed. First things first, I believe any thin horse should have access to free choice hay, so if he already is, great! I'm really big on beet pulp, any forage type feeds really. You could try him on some Triple Crown Senior, or I've also had some great results from Purina's Ultium.
You don't necessarily need to up his feed for weight gain. A good weight gain supplement and good quality hay & feed wouldn't require a whole lot of feed per meal. I personally like Finishing Touch by Buckeye.
I thought we discussed this in another thread of yours? *scratches head* or am I losing it?
As stated on your other thread, get rid of the sweet feed all together, and start feeding that Tripple Crown Senior that you purchased to replace it. Introducing it slowly, and weeding out the sweet feed while you do this, gradually get to 6lbs a day, and increase if needed.
Of course, free choice of hay, but you are already doing that, and pasture. Pasture is very important, because of the nutrients pasture offers, and how high it is in vitamin E.
Also, looking into that SmartDigest Ultra or another digestive aid that offers digestion support. I really am impressed with the SmartDigest Ultra, but that's because that is the supplement I've experienced.
Cocosoya is a great addition to your feed, it is crammed packed with rice bran, omega 3's and 6's - great for weight gain, coat conditioning, etc, etc.
Teeth, worming etc, etc - you know this.
Ok! Whew! Glad I am not losing it. :P
To feed your horse accurately to ensure sufficient weight gain or to maintain your horse's weight you need to know how much total food he should get a day. That means in either pounds or kilograms how much forage and grain he is getting in a day. But you need to know his weight first.
Here's what I suggest:
You mentioned he weighs approximately 960 lbs.with an activity level of moderate work. A horse in moderate work should be fed 2% of their body weight per the NRC nutrient requirements of horses.
You mentioned your horse was on the thin side so you could start with a conservative weight goal of 1000 lbs. and weight tape him every 2 weeks to see how much he weighs. If he gets to a good weight level recalculate his total feed per day using the 2% body weight with that new weight and then feed him that amount per day to maintain his weight.
The equitation is as follows:
1000 lbs. X 2% (BW) = 20 lbs total feed per day.
The next part of the equitation for his moderate work activity level is grain to hay ratio. How much of his total feed per day is hay and how much is grain. For moderate work level the grain to hay ratio is 40% grain and 60% hay.
The equitation is:
20 lbs total feed per day X 40% grain = 8 lbs. grain
20 lbs total feed per day X 60% hay = 12 lbs. hay
These are guidelines and every horse is different some horses are easy keepers and other horses can't keep weight on.
To keep your horses grain intake down (so you can help prevent a potential colic problem) :
-you can find commercial grains that are high in fat (these grains will usually have oil or rice bran in them. Your performance grains will have this extra fat)
-Use your existing grain and add extra fat; oil (flax, coconut, cocosoya), flax seed meal or rice bran
- Mix your grain with alfalfa pellets, they are higher in calories than grass hay.
If you want to see if he is getting enough total feed per day right now with him being at 960 lbs do the equitation above just put 960 lbs were the 1000 lbs is now. The grain to hay ration will remain the same since it is based on his moderate work activity level. Once you have his total feed per day weigh his existing grain and hay and see if it match's the guideline.
The accurate way to know your horse is getting the right amount food neither under or over is to weigh their grain and hay. You can weigh it once using a container and then you use that container to measure feed out each time. Or you can use a bath scale.
Remember to make all diet changes slowly whether you change the grain or the amount. You can safely increase your horses grain 1/2 lb - 1 lb a day every few days. If you are changing from one grain to another try to mix the new grain with old before starting him completely on the new grain. Whatever you reduce the old grain by replace that amount with the new grain.
Hope I have been of some help but if you are still not sure I recommend calling your vet and asking them to help you with your horse's diet plan.
We're going to be adding a diet plan (for free) on HorseMomsSupplements.com in a few days. Once it's up I can post here that its available.
I hope that helped.
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