PA, where the State motto is: "If it makes sense, we don't do it!".
You might also consider Safe Starch Forage from Triple Crown. A little pricey but guaranteed to be around 10% NSC.
You could also supplement with some long stem hay--if you give both (the TC SS and regular hay) you wouldn't have to worry about overloading them on the bad stuff....
Not sure about the NSC of the cubed hay (alfalfa or timothy/alfalfa). Seems to me the Blue Seal hay stretcher pellets are 22% NSC and the Nutrena/Agway hay stretcher pellets are 15% NSC. The only drawback is the BS is lower in calories while the N/A is higher in calories. My horse was okay as long as I mixed the two equally but if I tried to give her the N/A pellets only, which were lower in NSC%, she would go nuts from all the calories.... It's enough to drive a body crazy!!!!
Not to mention the risk of hyperlipimia in horses whose food is withheld... particularly the fat IR horses. If you have been told NOT to feed your IR horse free choice forage, definately rethink your plan and do some more research.
"Kindness is free" ~ Eurofoal
--- The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances.
My mare has never been diagnosed IR but she is an air fern. I always used to keep her on free choice hay. IMO that is the best way to go. She always got VERY little grain (if any) and the free choice hay. This always worked ok no matter what pasture buddy she had until I got a shetland pony about a year and a half ago. Those two get along but compete for food like crazy. Even now, no matter how much hay I put in front of them they will not stop eating until the other does and that's pretty much never. They were eating close to 5-6% of their body weight daily in hay and getting larger and larger. I had to put them on a diet for their safety.
When I started feeding 2.5% of their body weight in hay daily they would have that finished in under an hour. So I went out and got a hay bag with extra small holes in it. Millers sells them, that's the best price I've found so far. The small holes force them to take longer eating and the 2.5% of their body weight in hay now takes them almost all day to eat. They spend very little time without food in their mouths and if they weren't so darn competitive they would probably have more then enough.
...So I went out and got a hay bag with extra small holes in it. Millers sells them, that's the best price I've found so far. The small holes force them to take longer eating and the 2.5% of their body weight in hay now takes them almost all day to eat...
That's what I did, and I wish I had known about those hay nets sooner! My mare is IR, but in this kind of cold weather, I don't fret about exact poundage of the hay she's getting. The important thing is that she has something to munch on for the majority of her day and night, and those hay nets do the trick. Of course it helps that my (lovely!) orchard grass hay is only 6% NSC.
Funny that you're calling orchard junk hay. Up here Orchard/Timothy is PRIME hay...
Ditto! All the horses at my farm get Orchard Grass (some along with Alfalfa, most of them just the Orchard). My vet actually asked for my hay dealer's phone number recently, as it's the best grass hay he's seen in this area. It's nice hay and it's certainly not cheap around here! The air ferns in my barn are in excellent weight/health on Orchard and little to no concentrates.
Wanted to mention also that Triple Crown does make 100% Timothy cubes. I've found that a lot of stores only stock the 50/50 and the straight Alfalfa, but if they can get those, they can also order the Timothy by request. It is a little pricier.
Horses need FUEL to keep warm. There is no coincidence in "calories" being a unit of heat. Horses "burn" calories to crete body heat. Also, body fat provides some insulation to the vital internal organs. There's no harm in horses having more "insulation" during cold weather. We put on jackets; you can put a "jacket" of body fat on your horse. It also gives you a margin in case your horse loses weight for some reason.
Corn is a traditional heat-producing grain to feed in the winter.
Actually corn is not a heat producer it costs energy to burn it. Forage i.e. hay is the the heat producing food. For IR horses you have to watch their diets and unless you have a long supply of TESTED hay you will probably have to keep them blanketed well so they don't have to burn calories to keep warm. To test if you blanket is keeping them warm enough put your hand inside and it should be nice and warm (without sweating). If it is cool then your horse needs a heavier blanket for that weather.
Every mighty oak was once a nut that stood its ground.
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