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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So, i've recently bought 3 horses (recently being this past saturday). The person i bought them from said they were strictly pasture fed. They only eat 5 round bales of hay in the winter. And he never gave them grain. They're all on the sort of thin side BUT.. The oldest Mare, i think shes 20 or so, She's probably the thinnest, I can see her ribs and her hip bone, and i was wondering, what sort of feed should give them so they look healthy and not Bony.

I've also put a salt and mineral block out by their run in shed. And they seem to love the heck out of the mineral block. It doesn't have molasses in it either.
 

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hay, hay, and more hay. They would most likely benefit from a ration balancer or vit/min supplement, since they're going at the mineral lick so enthusiastically.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
What kind of hay? Not sure what kind they have here at the local feed store.
And which brand of vit/min supplement would be best.

:)
 

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grass hay is best for free choice feeding.
See if your feedstore carries a ration balancer. Purina Enrich 32, Nutrena Empower Balance, Triple Crown 30%Supplement are the most common ones. You'll feed about a lb a day a horse, best divided in two meals.
Vit/min supplements are plenty, I use ShoGlo by MannaPro, quite pleased with it. I mix it in a handful of soaked alfalfa pellets, together with salt and flaxseed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
okay. I'm on my way to the feed store. Thanks for the help! :D
Posted via Mobile Device
 

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Don't go by what the bag recommends. Start them out with about an 8 oz measure to get the gut used to it. Then increase weekly, best divided into two feedings instead of one. Somewhere along the line you will need to consider deworming. A fecal count is best and take to the vet who will recommend a particular dewormer for each one. Horses, as they get older become more resistant to worms.
 

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At this time of year you need to organize a good hay supplier that will deliver you what you need for the winter and have yourself somewhere dry to store it.
 

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Before feeding feed/grains please make sure their dental work is current.

Horses just eating free-choice pasture should not be thin if adequate pasture grass was in abundance.

A sharp tooth or dental issue could be contributing to the less than optimum look you are seeing.
Being all 3 horses are on the thin side I would make sure that first their medical needs were done, teeth and worming for sure.
Once that was done and the horses are provided with ample supply of nutritious hay free-choice... only then would I add a grain/feed supplement to their diet.

The fact you write they are loving the mineral block makes me think they may not have had all their needs looked after...

3 horses, various ages, and all thin to some degree...red flag that they need someone to check out further their "care" needs...updated as necessary. They just came out of the best grazing time of the year with nutrient rich grasses....:think:

Best of luck with the new herd.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
The guy i got them from told me they had their teeth done a couple months ago. And they were already Dewormed. The younger two are 5 and 9. Plus that little donkey. I'm not sure how old he is.. he seems young.

My neighbor has a field across the street that has about maybe 20 or so round bales of hay he just got done doing. I've already asked him if he could sell me a few rolls and he doesn't seem to have a problem.

I went to the feed store and got a few bales of grass hay. And a bag of "tasty blend" horse feed. I haven't given them the feed yet, buy i gave them each a couple flakes of hay.
 

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Introduce this feed gradually if they're not used to it it might cause digestive upsets
 

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Do you by chance have pictures of the horses? So we can see just what condition they are in?
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Yeah i do.
Pasture Horse Grazing Atmospheric phenomenon Grass

Horse Vertebrate Mammal Pasture Mane
Not sure if you can tell, i wasn't that close. I'll see if i can take better ones in the morning.
 

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In addition to what has already been mentioned, I wonder if they might need a bit more protein in their diet. Some grass hays, and therefore some grasses, don't have much protein in them at all. When feeding a horse, I like to have absolutely no less than 10% protein on my easy keepers, but on my hard keepers, I like to keep it up somewhere around 15%-18%.

For that reason, I like alfalfa for keeping weight on a horse. You can get it in pellet or cube form from the feed store. Added protein helps them to build and maintain muscle, which it looks like yours need with the prominent spines and pointy hips.
 

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My mare had a bout with a health issue & she lost some weight last year. I had really good luck with adding oil--try either canola oil, soybean oil (which is just plain vegetable oil) or a combo of both. Also, Cocosoya is good. Corn oil isn't great. I've heard people having good luck with DAC oil too.

I generally prepare a "snack" for my mare, usually after work, of 3-4 measured cups of alfalfa pellets, 1-2 cups of rice bran & 1-2 cups of timothy hay pellets & drizzle about a cup of oil over it all. Mix well.

Add oil gradually or you'll see some loose poops. Start out with 1/8 cup for a few days, then increase by 1/4 cup every 5 days or so.

This combo has really packed the pounds (& muscle & shine) on my mare. I started in May & she is nice & fluffy now going into winter.
 

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I think they could do with a bit more weight on them - especially going into winter when you're already going to have to feed extra for warmth - unless you stable at night or blanket
Agree some higher protein would help - especially if they're young horses - and adding more fat to their diet too - you could use a complete feed that's high in fats and protein or use alfalfa pellets and maybe some rice bran. If they winter out they will burn up calories just keeping warm
 
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