How much gran & hay to feed for winter. - The Horse Forum
 
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post #1 of 5 Old 12-02-2010, 10:08 PM Thread Starter
Foal
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Indiana
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How much gran & hay to feed for winter.

Okay. So, my barn owner and I are kind of going back and forth about feed for my horse this winter. We went through a bag of Strategy in nine days. The guy at the feed store told us that averaged 7lbs a day or 3.5lbs per feeding. Now, to me that seemed like a lot, but granted I have never owned my own horse before. I did feed at a boarding barn though. None of the horses were underweight, and the only horse that got over 2lbs of feed was a percheron cross who was in heavy training all the time.

Now, the difference was, those horses were fed oats, not Strat. like my horse. What is the difference nutrients wise?

My horse is approx. 16.2 and a saddlebred cross. I have not had a chance to weight tape him, but will as soon as I can. He is VERY edgy, so burns a lot of energy being... on edge. haha! We have been feeding him 1scp (normal quart scoop) of strat per feeding with 2 generous flakes of hay per feeding. He has already filled out considerably since I got him a month ago. He is not in heavy work either. Barely any actually! haha

I firmly believe, and have been told by numerous people, that hay is really what keeps weight on horses, so if you up anything in the winter, it should be hay.

I feel like I am going through more feed than is necessary since he is not being worked. I would just like some more educated opinions on what I should feed him. His hay is a great grass/alfalfa mix that I LOVE. (he does too! hah) I hope to be able to get some imput from a few vets and other knowledgeable horse people I know, but I would like to have as many opinions as possible!

I am sorry about the novel I just wrote... Thanks so much for taking the time to read and reply!! I really appreciate it!
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post #2 of 5 Old 12-02-2010, 11:25 PM
Green Broke
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Arkansas
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Oats are just "extra" feed, for added calories. A good vit/min supplement should go with them for full nutrition.

For your horse to get full nutrition of any fortified horse feed or grain, you need to feed at the bag's recommendations, or close. If you don't, you need to add a good vit/min supplement.

I personally do not feed any feed/grain. I use alfalfa pellets, flax, and a good vit/min supplement. I have two horses that get oats for added energy (they're lazy!). The rest do great on a grain-free diet, even those in moderate training. (I feed mixed grass hay, no alfalfa in it)

You're right, hay is key for keeping weight on horses, but they still need extra vitamins and minerals that hay is deficient in. You can provide that by using a fortified feed, a ration balancer feed/supplement, or a good vit/min supplement.

Last edited by luvs2ride1979; 12-02-2010 at 11:27 PM.
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post #3 of 5 Old 12-03-2010, 09:32 AM
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Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Illinois
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Does your horse need to gain weight??

Think of hay as the wood for the furnance :)

If he is egdy I would not be feeding him any true grains ie:corn, oats or barley

Being in Indiana look for Kent's Topline32, Tributes Esstenial K, Buckeye's Gro N Win, Progressive's Pro Advantage Grass Formula, or PUrina's Enrich 32 or Nutrena's Empower BALANCER. There are all no grain vitamin/mineral supplements with added amino acids and many time probios as well.

Free Choice hay or as close to it as you can get will help keep his weight on and keep him warm :)

I have been called the NSC Nazi more then once ... I hate traditional feed methods of loading our horses up on grains and junk food :)
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post #4 of 5 Old 12-04-2010, 06:04 PM Thread Starter
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Location: Indiana
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No, he does not need to gain any. He's gotten up to a pretty good weight since I got him. Maybe he could use just a few more, but not a lot at all!

I really would like to keep him on Strategy as he does really well with it. I took luvs2ride's advice, and looked into the feeding recomendations on the bag. it says to feed 0.3lbs per 100 lbs of body weight per day. I know he is at LEAST 1000lbs right now, so if I'm doing the math right, 1000 divided by 100 = 10. 10 times 0.3= 3lbs. So I am supposedly giving him over TWICE the reccomended feed. -sigh-

So, I guess my question is, if I back his feed way down, will I need to dramatically increase his hay intake? Unfortunately, he doesn't have access to free choice hay or a round bale or anything. I'm in school, so I can't go throw him afternoon haysnacks and I'm pretty sure my BO won't be able to. Should I just ask that he gets hay thrown to him in the pasture every day very first thing in the morning?

Or, if no one is able to get him extra hay outside daily, should I keep the Strategy where it is?

I am so confused. -shakes head-

I want my own barn... lol!! Free choice hay in hay feeders alll day long! lol
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post #5 of 5 Old 12-04-2010, 06:25 PM
Green Broke
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Arkansas
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More than the recommended level isn't a bad thing. It's when you feed less than you need to worry about your horse not receiving enough vit/min content.

If you look on the Purina web site, it says not to feed any LESS than 0.3 lbs per 100 lbs of bodyweight.
Purina Horse Feeds - STRATEGY
If he's in "light work" he should be getting 6 lbs a day.
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