Feeding the yearling and two year old and height question
I just got a 14 month old TB filly. She is super sweet and is in great condition body wise. She was getting fed "a full scoop" (so I am guessing 4 lbs or so) twice a day of Omaline 100 sweet feed. I use Blue Seal Sentinel LS. Should she be getting the growth formula? It has 14% protein I believe. The reason I hesitate is because I also have a big boned Han/Appendix 2 yr old that was getting 8 lbs a day of the BS Growth and in spite of good quality free choice hay, was still rather ribby. His joints started to swell. My trainer said he was getting too much protein and to stop all grain and only feed hay. I cut him way back, and slowly got him back up to 6 lbs a day and he is still a bit ribby but no joint swelling. Thoughts?? He gets 16 hours a day turnout in a group with grass and free choice alf/orch hay in his stall and a mineral block. I don't want to overfeed the baby but I aslo really want her off sweet feed!
She is about 14.2 at the withers right now, she sting tests to 16 hands but her first owner said she should get close to 17h. Any way to estimate? Just curious! TIA!
Far from an expert here, but I do have a 16 month old BWP gelding at home. He has been eating ration balancer, but in the last few weeks really is hitting a growth spurt and was getting too ribby, so I introduced some Ultium Growth. He put the weight back on with only 1.5 pounds added to his 1.5 pounds of RB.
As for the height, I was always told to add 2 hands to their yearling height, and do the two string tests. For my guy, the +2 hands put him at 16.3, the one string test (elbow to egrot swung up to wither) at 16.2, and the other at 17h (center of knee to coronary band in inches). So I am going with the average of 16.3! He is 15+ hands at the withers now, but I haven't measured him in a while for an exact number.
TB farms feed all kinds of hot stuff to babies (my experience at 200+ TB horse farm made me pack my warmblood up as fast as possible). they fed TBs in irrigated pasture, alfalfa and sweet feed.
WBs will get ocd and all kinds of cysts and nastiness on hot food - grass hay, no oats for the first 2 years. no more than 1/2 calories from alfalfa if you must feed. keep them a tad ribby so they don't grow too fast. some rice bran seems to be okay for bloom. I've known breeders who've ruined entire foal crops with feeding warmbloods like TBs.
I have both TB and WB foals... They get fed the same. 1/2 scoop of 11% grain. In good pasture once a day, in winter twice a day. Plenty of pasture in summer, orchard grass/ alfalfa mix in winter. Rice bran added for extra fat calories in cold winter weather. The WBs are plenty portly the TB slightly ribby which is ok with me. All horses get Source micronutrient supplement
Size: rule of thumb adding 2h to 12 month height has been pretty accurate. If 14.2 at 14 mos was probably around 14.1 at 12 months , so est of around 16.1h. I don't see 17h there....
I feed mine based on how she looks and feels. She's an Anglo/Tk. This spring she was up to 10lbs of Trubute Growth plus DAC colt grower vit./mineral. She was going through a growth spurt and got very ribby. She's slowed back down and got a bit of flesh covering her ribs, so I gradually backed down on the grain. She's down to 7lbs now. She is pastured for about 16 hrs a day and then in a large stall with grass hay and her grain. You just have to keep looking at them and feed them accordingly. I ask my shoer's opinion of her weight every 6 weeks or so and any knowledgable friends too.
My WB get pasture and a ration balancer in summer and free choice mixed hay with ration balancer in winter. Mine are usually a little too plump. I might have to start bringing them in off grass. The most recent research I've read seems to indicate that baring trauma, most OCD is developed in utero so what you feed your broodmares is far more important than what you feed the babies.
Get her off the sweet feed and on to a good feed formulated for babies. I use Triple Crown Growth. Try and find a low sugar/starch, high fat, low to no grain feed. In September with a 14 month old in good condition, I would be feeding in the 6-8 lb range per day.
Get OFF "growth" or anything labeled that way, until you can understand the contents, not just what the label may say.
Find a nice low sugar/starch feed with high fat feed, fed at minimal amounts, and lots of good quality hay with perhaps a ration balancer.
Nothing worse to over feed a growing horse and wind up with "fast growth" and OCD problems.
Less is more with the kiddos as long and the ratio of forage to concentrates is appropriate (more forage) and the vita/mins are also appropriate to balance out the diet of a youngster during their growth years.
As JB said the protein level is not a problem, it's the carbs. If you need to add calories, do it with fat (oil).
I've been a breeder for 30 years with not one case of OCD, because I took the time to understand and learn about the young horse diet (and it can differ between breeds). And long before these specialty feeds were out there. Critical to not just look at the label (marketing), but look at the contents.
I fed my now 4 year old Growth until she was 2. We went through some swollen joint issues right before she was weaned, and she would go through spurts of being ribby, and then looking pot bellied. I kept her on a decent timothy round bale, and supplemented with alfalfa pellets.
She was just PPX'ed and her joints x rayed clean, for what its worth. I did have her on rejuvinaide as a foal for OATK, and OCD pellets from 4-12 months.
The trainer is mis-informed about protein causing problems. It just doesn't. Under-feeding protein by a little can cause far more issues than a huge amount of excess protein.
Feed a low sugar quality Growth feed to both of them and you'll be fine.
Or use a ration balancer, any one, at the amounts for their ages, and supplement calories with alfalfa pellets.
The protein myth needs to go away. Seriously, it has to be one of my bigger pet peeves. It causes a lot of harm as people usually end up feeding more simple carbs which has been directly linked to issues. Where did people come up with the idea that protein causes issues?
My 18 month old Balou du Rouet filly out of a TB dam, is 16hh now and was probably 15.3h as a yearling last April. She is not just tall but she is really substantial through her entire body as well
She is growing evenly, have never had an issue with any of her joints, I don't excessively feed her by any means (she is on 4 lbs of Tribute Growth per day and 2 lbs of Tribute Essential K RB and free choice 2nd and 3rd cut alfalfa/timothy hay), I couldnt see feeding her less and I sure wont feed her anymore either. Each time I look at her I am very happy with what I see ...
Here are some pictures of her that I took last week ...
I find - overall - that youngster owners freak out at the "Protein" word and feed less than they should trying to stave off perceived OCD and/or growth issues and they end up with really ribby and crappy looking babies overall
Ive never scrimped on the feed component - ever - and they are always fed high qualify, high end feed where I hope and believe the science has gone into making the best feeds possible for their growth and stage of development ...