The Horse Forum banner

1 - 10 of 10 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,415 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
My horses have hay 24/7 never run out. Winter has come early already 6 inches of snow, that's here to stay till spring.

I feed alfalfa pellets and timothy pellets with a vit/min costom made by horse Tech. Currently on 6 lbs per day of the hay pellets. Thinking of cutting it back to 2 lbs per day, he's not being worked hard do to footing.

By cutting down on the hay pellets would it really make much difference?? In the calorie intake. Hay isn't great quality pretty much grass an weeds, some bales More weeds then others.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,023 Posts
If your hay is poor quality, I would be gentle easing off on the pellets. Personally, if the horse looks good and there are no changes except less work, I wouldn't cut back at all - less work, true, but colder temps will require more calories. If he's overly fat, then I would gradually reduce the pellets by a pound at a time, giving a week between reductions to monitor weight and make sure he's not dropping too much.

I don't know where you live, but in Montana it looks like we're going to have a gnarly winter. I've been beefing Dreams up and he's positively plump at the moment - which is fine by me. Plenty of time to work a fatty in the spring, but playing catchup with a thin horse over the winter SUCKS.

-- Kai
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,377 Posts
I seem to recall that one or both of your horses had gotten to where you were worried about them being too skinny last winter. If they are prone to that, why not just keep them on the feeding regime that's working for them right now?
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
13,661 Posts
I would absolutely not cut them back.
You are feeding a forage product, but it is of higher quality than any hay roll you are buying and offering.
Those pellets are your consistent source of nutrition that hay rolls, don't care where it comes from, do not offer. {I too feed hay rolls and see for myself quality changes roll to roll}


You have written several times of how skinny Ice gets and how even the easier keeper{Cinder?} of your horses to maintain appearance took a nosedive.
You haven't reached anywhere near the cold and worst of winter..its mid October..
I would far rather you write in late February that you need to diet the horses because they weathered the winter nasties so well than lament and worry now because of to thin and not yet are you out of fierce winter weather .:frown_color:
What your horses do not use as "energy" with riding they will use as energy staying warm as the winter blasts arrive..
Nope, I would not be reducing a forage product fed...
Forage, heck they can use all they can get in any form of introduction with how severe your winters become.
:runninghorse2:...
jmo...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,702 Posts
I don't ever seem to work my horse enough to affect her weight. Fitness, yes, weight, no. Horses keep warm in winter through the heat of digesting roughage. When nights are in the single digits for months, my horse and pony begin to eat a phenomenal amount of hay. Blanketing is more to keep hay costs down than to keep the horses warm.

Last winter, with hay in front of them at all times, I still had to feed concentrates to keep their ribs covered.

In a nutshell: feed by eye, not by theory.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,520 Posts
Winter has also arrived here in Alberta. It is -20 celsius and will be -28 with the windchill tonight. We have enough snow now that it likely will not melt until spring....

My horses haven't been worked in weeks. I have a mare that is a bit of a fatty and I micro-manage her eating all spring, summer, fall. Now that there is enough snow that they need to paw to find it, I have turned her our with the boys. She is looking pretty plump & I will keep an eye on her weight, but with our harsh winters I'd rather the horses be a little chunkier.

My boys are already in their winter blankets as the snow hit before they could get a decent coat.

I feed my horses beet pulp, ration, ground flax seed, etc. And I continue to feed this all throughout winter as it does help them maintain their weight.

I would keep feeding what you're feeding. Especially if you live in a harsher climate, your horses could probably use the extra calories. Especially if your hay is not the best quality.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,415 Posts
Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
Thank you for all the replies. I'm not sure I'll cut them back to only 2lbs. Maybe 4 lbs being I can only get alfalfa pellets. Feed store had no timothy pellets, didn't get them in on last order.


There on a really good vit/min to cover what hay lacks. I just have to keep the calories high enough to keep both horses a good weight.

Both horses are blanketed neither have much winter coat yet. A picture from today, after our epic fail for a trail ride.

Riding for now is done,ice can't do barefoot appearently.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,824 Posts
I would not cut down on feed during winter. If you have a real harsh winter you will need to add more forage, or a better quality of forage. Maybe you could find some small bails of good hay .
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
13,661 Posts
ramboo that horse is not obese, nor have extra to lose either.
To score him I would put him in a safe spot and currently holding steady "5" but now add cold, wet, wind and the animals needing to use more energy to stay warm {blankets or not} they burn more calories and quickly convert stored fat reserves and become thin...
A nasty circle I think you only this year stopped rotating around and around...

This year you go in with Ice looking really nice in condition...
As I said earlier, I would far rather need to put on a diet when winter leaves than play catch up and struggle to keep the horse warm and not shivering as was last winters bleak reminder...
Plentiful hay rolls stored so no running out occurs...
A steady supply of pelleted forage feeds plus the supplement for meeting the unmet needs of just a forage based diet for health...

Why can't you order in the timothy pellets you want/need instead of what arrives on the delivery truck you are stuck with or do without?
You can order, specific order from Tractor Supply customer service desk..and if you order 10 or more there is a discounted price and if you have the Neighbors Club you add that discount to each item...
I order special stuff all the time from my store...pay for at time of special order but am assured it will be in my possession by the date promised.
Rural King will do the same thing when you go to the customer service desk...money talks or feet walk and no business wants to lose a customer. :neutral:

Again, I would not reduce the amount fed, not even cut it back but feed what the animal is accustomed to eating...
Still sleek, his coat barely starting to fuzz up Ice needs every calorie he is given plus his blankets already.
:runninghorse2:...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,415 Posts
Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
Have plenty of round bales in barn so won't run out. Yeah I could special order the timothy pellets. But it something they normally stock. They have a 5 pallet order just didn't come in, when the other feed orders came in.

Feed store guy says they aren't always getting everything ordered. And the timothy pellets weren't on the truck this last order.

I have 4 bags left of timothy pellets so can just feed less of it...more alfalfa. Feed store should be getting in the timothy pellets within the next two weeks.

Yeah I'm thinking keeping them on same amount is best. Round bales are lower quality then last year. Lots of weed an junk most put out is wasted.

Cinder looks fairly good too this fall. Both blanketed in medium weight blankets. Added blanket liner under ices blanket ,he was shivering this morning. Only 21 degrees but high humidity so bone chilling cold.

I found some nice small square bales for 6 dollars a bale. Only 20 left I bought all. So have some really nice grass hay to feed. Not huge bales average 50 to 60 lbs. Think I'll keep them to feed when it gets single digits and below.

If I feed it now they'll quit eating the round bale hay.
 
1 - 10 of 10 Posts
Top