I have a Registered Irish Draught, 17.3 and about 1700 pounds. We took him off his scoop of sweet feed and scoop of oats two weeks ago after tie back surgery. I wanted him as quiet as possible during his 30 days of stall rest. I am extremely happy with how quiet he is. He gets all the hay he can eat, hasn't lost much weight just some muscle. When I brign him back to work what would you recommend feeding. I would like to keep him as quiet as possible but I also know he needs something more, maybe?
I had a great big ID cross like that and he did well on a sort of EPSM-y diet -- a small amount of Strategy or something else low in NSCs, and a glob of oil to add fat.
Once he's out on hay/grass he won't need a ton anyway -- my guy would do fine on about half what the smaller horses ate, once a day, when he was out 24/7.
You can do lots of searches on the EPSM diet on here, but the very basic version is to keep starch/sugar low and fat high. Tends to give them energy and allow them to build muscle without making them hot, and of course can prevent the onset of EPSM which these big guys may be prone to...
Luckily ID are normally easy keepers. Many do quite well on rest with just a very good hay and maybe a handful of grain at feeding time to prevent him getting upset. Mine are on either Strategy or a Ration Balancer.
I'd go with straight hay, plus one good vit/min supplement
He should eat 2- 2.5% of his bodyweight each day total intake.
So that's 35-45lbs a day, roughly a bale a day.
divide that up into several offerings a day, and feed it in a net so has to eat it slowly.
Then all he needs is one good quality vitamin /mineral supplement which since he has had tie back surgery I would offer as a mash.
Either wet it and feed it or add it to handful of wet sugar beet pulp.
Melyni (PhD) PAS, Dipl. ACAN.
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Strategy at one point was Dr Valentine's recommendation for EPSM horses because it was one of the lower NSC feeds out there.
That is far from the case now. Strategy's NSC value is in the low 20's. There are oodles of fortified feeds and non-"feeds" out there with lower NSC values, some as much as half that.
Alfalfa pellets with a vit/min supplement is low-NSC and can be as high calorie as you want. It's pretty economical too. The alf brings nice protein, especially lysine, with it, but you can always add more pretty cheaply if necessary (ie Uckele's Tri-Amino).
______________________________ The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET