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What do you add to your grain

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  • What do you add to your grain

    I’m sure this has been asked a billion times.

    We have 3 horses on 20 acres. We pasture them in the spring/summer/fall weather permitting in fall.

    2 thoroughbreds and one APHA. My one thoroughbred gets obese breathing air. When he was stalled he got like 1 flake alfalfa and maybe 2 flakes of Timothy grass, a handful of Purina enrich. No supplements.

    The only thing the paint eats is pasture and hay in the winter. He might get a handful of grain.

    The other TB who I’ve posted about (lots of times, last year he looked like he was dying) looked beautiful all summer on the grass. No grain needed. Last year I was feeding him 5lbs of TC senior, cool calories and some smartpak supplements.

    We moved to the in-laws land and he’s been good. Til we hit low 20s and he looks bad again.

    I don’t want to feed 6+ pounds of senior again. Last winter he was on hay 24/7 and blanketed. The others weren’t.

    I just picked up two bags of alfalfa pellets, anything I should add for wintertime? I did have sickly TB on MSM and it made a huge difference. Vit e? Exceed 6 way? Something similar?

    Should I get blood drawn and tested?

    So many questions, where should I start? Equine nutritionist?

    The other two yawhoos are fine.

    https://www.instagram.com/streamlinesporthorses/

  • #2
    I feed a vitamin mineral supplement plus salt in a small mash of oats, beet pulp and/or alfalfa cubes depending on what the individual horse needs. And flax.

    Comment


    • #3
      How heavy-duty is your blanket? What temps and wind chill does it go on/come off?
      What kind of wind-break/shelter does your horse have?
      Is he outside 24/7 or can he be stalled at night?

      I like using alfalfa pellets/cubes and safe choice/strategy to supplement hay. I've also used purina ultium for weight gain.

      FYI, my profile says central Florida, but I'm in Park City, Utah... so similar winter, but not quite as bitter.
      Last edited by Janet Conway; Oct. 11, 2019, 05:53 PM. Reason: added my location

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      • #4
        My equines have more clothing than I do. I don't start blanketing until it's in the mid-teens unless wet weather with high winds move in. I have TO sheets, 180 gram turnouts, 220 gram turnouts, 240 gram turnouts, 360 gram turnouts; blanket liners, and lots of fitted fleece sheets to get them dry if needed. Two of each for each animal. I live on the high plains--weather can change in a heartbeat. Might need heavy turnouts for overnight when the temps plummet, and a lighter turnout during the day when it warms up. Just this past Wednesday it went from sunny and 60 to snow with a low in the single digits. For my area, better to have too many blankets than not enough (but all have been bought on sale at the end of the season.) My guys have a great run in--barn and stalls used primarily for vet visits, farrier visits in winter weather, hay and tack storage. Pictured below is my run in-

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        • #5
          I think we are in similar country. I have 4 air ferns and then one 29 yr QH who needs extra TLC in winter & spring.

          The vet recommended feeding a higher performance grain (I think the Purina Ultium was recommended) instead of a senior since she has no issues chewing/eating. Ration balancer as a top dressing. We feed free choice grass hay along with pasture - but she gets extra alfalfa.

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          • #6
            If he drops weight when it gets bitter and MSM made a huge difference I'd consider if he's dropping weight in the winter because the cold weather kicks in something that's causing him pain. MSM making him better would have me looking for arthritis.

            If he's hurting, there are a lot of ways to proceed by managing his pain, but not very many of those will have anything to do with what you feed him.

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            • #7
              4 air ferns and one senior PPID arthritic gelding. Gelding's winter rations are 20+ lbs of grass hay + 2 1/2 lbs of alf pellets mixed into a pound (dry weight) soaked/rinsed beet pulp pellets with 3/4 cup of flax, 2 oz oil, 1 tbs plain white salt twice a day. Morning bucket also includes a vit/min pellet plus glucosamine sulfate, MSM, extra vitamin E and his Equioxx for arthritis. In summer, when there is green pasture to munch all day, he gets no beet pulp, no oil, a pound each of tim pellets and alf pellets, 1/2 cup of flax twice a day, same vit/min pellets, glucosamine, less vitamin E, same salt and 10 lbs of grass hay divided. Love single ingredients for the ease of tweaking through the different seasons.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by streamline View Post
                We moved to the in-laws land and he’s been good. Til we hit low 20s and he looks bad again.

                I don’t want to feed 6+ pounds of senior again. Last winter he was on hay 24/7 and blanketed. The others weren’t.
                Why not?

                He sounds like a typical TB and your other one sounds unusual. Few TBs winter well on hay alone, even 24/7. Most need the additional calories of a complete feed - and blankets and/or shelter. And you need to feed it at the recommended levels. I believe 6lbs is the minimum feeding guidelines for TC Senior. Lots of TBs eat far more than 6lbs/day to maintain their weight.

                Every horse is an individual and you need to feed it appropriately, and not like your easy keepers. Because it's not one.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by streamline View Post
                  . My one thoroughbred gets obese breathing air. When he was stalled he got like 1 flake alfalfa and maybe 2 flakes of Timothy grass, a handful of Purina enrich. No supplements.
                  I'm curious why you didn't feed a bit more Timothy and less to no alfalfa, for a horse that easy-keeping?

                  They also still need a good v/m supplement

                  The only thing the paint eats is pasture and hay in the winter. He might get a handful of grain.
                  Add a good v/m supplement

                  The other TB who I’ve posted about (lots of times, last year he looked like he was dying) looked beautiful all summer on the grass. No grain needed. Last year I was feeding him 5lbs of TC senior, cool calories and some smartpak supplements.

                  We moved to the in-laws land and he’s been good. Til we hit low 20s and he looks bad again.

                  I don’t want to feed 6+ pounds of senior again.
                  I understand not wanting to feed gobs of feed, but what is the deeper issue? 6lb isn't a lot, especially for a high quality low NSC fiber-based feed like TC Sr.

                  Last winter he was on hay 24/7 and blanketed. The others weren’t.

                  I just picked up two bags of alfalfa pellets, anything I should add for wintertime? I did have sickly TB on MSM and it made a huge difference. Vit e? Exceed 6 way? Something similar?
                  You're going to have to feed more pounds of alf pellets on a calorie basis to equal that of TC Sr. 2lb of TC Sr is about 3000 calories. That's 3lb of alfalfa pellets. Replacing 4lb of TC Sr means adding 6lb alf pellets.

                  Should I get blood drawn and tested?

                  So many questions, where should I start? Equine nutritionist?

                  The other two yawhoos are fine.
                  Given his issues are during the Winter, I'd consider testing for PSSM Type 2. Otherwise, it's probably just him, and his calorie needs skyrocket when it's cold. He may not utilize Vit E very well and while all that fresh grass provides a lot, hay provides little to none. Fresh grass provides a lot of Omega 3, hay a fraction of that.
                  ______________________________
                  The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Some horses no matter what the breed may need additional feeding during the Winter to maintain good condition. I guess I am wondering why you balk at feeding him what you know from the past works?

                    Once the grass is gone hay alone ( no matter how great the quality)is just not enough for some to thrive.

                    Give him what he needs. 6 pounds isn't a lot-- It is 1 bag a week.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      A good fat supplement that is also nutritious might be a good choice. I feed 2 lbs of TC Senior to my two along with 1 cup of Omega Horseshine. Also added is a vitamin mineral supplement which changes. Currently, it is California Trace. My large warmblood and smaller arab warmblood do well on this.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by S1969 View Post

                        Why not?

                        He sounds like a typical TB and your other one sounds unusual. Few TBs winter well on hay alone, even 24/7. Most need the additional calories of a complete feed - and blankets and/or shelter. And you need to feed it at the recommended levels. I believe 6lbs is the minimum feeding guidelines for TC Senior. Lots of TBs eat far more than 6lbs/day to maintain their weight.

                        Every horse is an individual and you need to feed it appropriately, and not like your easy keepers. Because it's not one.
                        ^^^ this

                        this isn't that much grain. Most of my horses get this much or more grain all year, in addition to pasture and hay. And mine are mostly easy-keeping WBs, not TBs.

                        Here's the formula for keeping weight on an 'average' horse with no underlying medical issue causing weight loss:
                        Keep him warm so he's not shivering off calories -- this means blanketing, shelter, all the hay he can eat.
                        Keep him pain free -- if he's stiff and sore in the colder weather, might be worth looking at MSM, previcox, etc
                        Give him the calories he needs: I like TC Sr. You could also add some oil or a weight-gain supplement.
                        Make sure his teeth are good/checked/floated so he's able to make good use of the food he is getting.
                        A good man can make you feel sexy, strong, and able to take on the world.... oh, sorry.... that's wine...wine does that...

                        http://elementfarm.blogspot.com/

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by streamline View Post

                          The other TB who I’ve posted about (lots of times, last year he looked like he was dying) looked beautiful all summer on the grass. No grain needed. Last year I was feeding him 5lbs of TC senior, cool calories and some smartpak supplements.

                          We moved to the in-laws land and he’s been good. Til we hit low 20s and he looks bad again.

                          I don’t want to feed 6+ pounds of senior again. Last winter he was on hay 24/7 and blanketed. The others weren’t.

                          I just picked up two bags of alfalfa pellets, anything I should add for wintertime? I did have sickly TB on MSM and it made a huge difference. Vit e? Exceed 6 way? Something similar?

                          Should I get blood drawn and tested?

                          So many questions, where should I start? Equine nutritionist?
                          How much hay/grass is he getting? With TBs, starting with as much good or high quality hay as he will eat is a good thing. Then you add a concentrate. The TC Sr is a good choice, and you can call or email TC free of charge for real advice from real, credentialed equine nutritionists. If you are paying $25 a bag for TC Sr, it will cost you $3 a day to feed 6 lbs. You can factor that into your choice. Not sure how much alfalfa pellets cost per day, or Exceed, or Vitamin E. It's usually much less expensive to feed a well balanced, quality feed than little bits of this or that. The only supplements I feed when I use TC Sr are TC 30% and flax, and not every horse gets them.
                          "When a true genius appears in the world, you may know him by this sign, that the dunces are all in a confederacy against him."

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            The alf pellets I get are $16/50lb bag. Vitamin E can be had for $.11-.13/1000IU so dirt cheap.
                            ______________________________
                            The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET

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