I have a 6 month old Pony colt, he is a full blooded Connemara and does have a bit of Tb in his background. He gets free choice salt/minerals, all he can eat grass hay....and a flake of Alfafa. What is the best grain/pellet to supplement with? He is a pony, hopefully he will grow into a big pony, but I feel as if he could use something extra, as he is growing so fast on just hay. Would love some ideas so I can do some extra research. thanks!
agree a good ration balancer and use as directed. he needs good quality hay but if he is like my pony you will need to be careful in how much you feed - try to keep him thinner rather than fatter (hard to do for a pony!) - is he in a dry lot or pasture?
I've "grown up" a few of these sportponies now and the ration balancers I've used are LMF Super Supplement & TDI-10. I feed just a little less than is recommended and then top dress with a Adeptus Augment to get some of the minerals the RB is missing. That's pretty much it. I'm not on the "ban alfalfa" bandwagon like some are, especially if it's just one flake per day and said pony isn't fat.
He gets all he can eat grass hay, and one serving (flake) of alfafa per day. He has access to salt, but I will start him on an extra grass hay supplement. I do not want to overfeed, but hate the thought of underfeeding him too. He is on a 2 acre lot, with one old pony as of now. We have no pasture at this time of year He is ribby though, and that worries me.
I do not scrimp on hay, they get all they can eat.
How ribby is "ribby"? Easily feeling ribs is perfect for a horse this age.
One flake of alfalfa - 5lb? 4? 10? That makes a difference BUT, some alf with a grass hay diet is actually good, as the alf is high in calcium and that can make up a deficiency the grass hay might have (for a growing youngster).
If he's ribby, then you're not feeding too many calories, so you can't - shouldn't - reduce that to slow his growth. Your best option, BY FAR, is to make sure his nutrition is keeping up with the growth, since that's where you start running into DOD issues So yes, a ration balancer could be a very good idea.
______________________________ The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET
We breed both Purebred and Part-Bred Connemaras-ours are raised on a Ration Balancer (I currently use TDI 10 but have also used LMF super supplement) fed as directed. In summer we typically feed orchard grass hay--or none at all depending on pasture conditions (we have irrigated/green pasture nearly all year round). We also feed Loose Salt (I have a few that are not inclined to use the blocks) and 4oz of Ground Flax--or more on based on individual needs.
We also feed Alfalfa Pellets/Orchard Grass or Grassy-Alfalfa throughout the fall and winter until the pasture returns. We always feed by weight not volume here. I actually prefer to use the Alfalfa pellets over straight Alfalfa hay as it is easier to measure/work with.
My young ponies almost universally will have growthy periods during fall and spring (seems to be related to pasture sugars). Nearly all of them have been easy keepers but I have known a few that needed additional supplementation over and above what we typically feed (one in particular had some TB in her and I fed her like a horse until she was nearly four years old.
Its not just rib-coverage but the development of lean muscle mass ect that one must pay close attention to--I think this may be doubly true with the ponies as they tend to be such easy keepers that their is a real tendency to underfeed adequate nutrients. My best piece of advice is use the smallest amount of high quality protein/mineral source (quality RB is definitely the way to start).