Switching feed/hay? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 3 Old 04-25-2014, 10:00 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Apr 2014
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Switching feed/hay?

Do you guys recommend slowly weaning a horse over to a new feed and hay? Or just do it all at once? Sunday I bring home an 8 yo Appendix gelding, he is an easy keeper and has far too much get up so I was going to switch him off the two scoops a day of 12% pellet he is on now and put him on a ration balancer. He has all day grazing and I would give him at least four flakes a day, he is currently eating coastal but my BO has fresh hay and I can't believe I don't remember what it is but I think it's grass! Will have to double check. I also want to add a capful of paprika (he is black, or at least a very dark brown at the moment) and a 1/4 cup flax seed. The girl that has him now doesn't have any other horses so I don't think she would mind parting ways with his remaining food.
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post #2 of 3 Old 04-26-2014, 08:25 AM
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When it comes to hay & feed changes you should always do them slowly.
When the horse comes home, bring home a bale or two of the hay he is use to. Make a gradual switch over from one to the other over the course of a week or so...

As for the feed/grain...
I would change the hay first completely then make a switch over on the feed/grain fed.
Again over the course of several days...

The reason behind slow change over is the horses digestive system does not do well with abrupt changes. The animal become accustomed to certain foods and amounts, when suddenly changed they get stomach upset, sometimes colic, sometimes impaction, sometimes allergic reactions or just not eating, period.
By changing one thing at a time you allow the animal to acclimate to the new feed source and you also can watch for any bad reactions and know from what change it came.
The hay the horse currently eats and what you will be switching to also may have a difference in nutrients...= weight gain/loss. So, if you suddenly changed his hay & feed and then had a weight drop, stop eating or sickness where would you begin to look for answers...

My opinion...change the hay first, then start the feed if you think the horse still needs that done. Watch closely for several weeks for weight and attitude changes good or bad...

Congratulations on the horse and ENJOY!!
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post #3 of 3 Old 04-26-2014, 09:15 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you! I will definitely follow your advice. He comes home tomorrow, yay!
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