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how much loose salt to add to feed to encourage drinking?

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  • how much loose salt to add to feed to encourage drinking?

    How much salt do you add to feed to encourage water consumption? it's been f'n cold here and I've noticed they aren't consuming quite as much water as usual, so I decided to add some salt to their dinner last night. Just wondering how much I should add.
    If i'm posting on Coth, it's either raining so I can't ride or it's night time and I can't sleep.

  • #2
    I give a 1/2 tbsp morning and night of electrolytes. They both take good long drinks after eating breakfast and dinner.

    Comment


    • #3
      I give 1 tbsp morning and night of plain granulated salt. Same as they get in the summer.
      Aelfleah Farm, Scurry, Texas
      BLUE STAR Arabians and
      Arabian-influenced Sportponies
      www.aelfleahfarm.com

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      • #4
        None. I prefer to just wet their meals or feed a sloppy mash rather than try to force hydration via sodium loading--it makes no sense to me.
        Click here before you buy.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by deltawave View Post
          None. I prefer to just wet their meals or feed a sloppy mash rather than try to force hydration via sodium loading--it makes no sense to me.
          Ditto. I've been making warm mashes out of their grain (ultium makes a nice mash all on its own) and also offering a bucket of warm water at feeding time. Some drink it, some don't, but at least they're getting some water with their grain.
          RIP Victor... I'll miss you, you big galumph.

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          • Original Poster

            #6
            DW- they are already getting soaked with hot water chow. I'm just a little extra worried about the old guy.
            If i'm posting on Coth, it's either raining so I can't ride or it's night time and I can't sleep.

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            • #7
              I had a vet tell me that he helped with a study involving dehydration. He said that horses that were force fed (added to food, not put out free choice) salt or other electrolytes actually were more dehydrated than horses who weren't. I wish I knew where the results were published.

              The vet recommended putting out another bucket with flavoring (gatorade, apple juice, etc) to encourage drinking.
              A lovely horse is always an experience.... It is an emotional experience of the kind that is spoiled by words. ~Beryl Markham

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              • #8
                I had a vet tell me that he helped with a study involving dehydration. He said that horses that were force fed (added to food, not put out free choice) salt or other electrolytes actually were more dehydrated than horses who weren't. I wish I knew where the results were published.
                This is what I've been saying for years. Drowned out by conventional wisdom.
                Click here before you buy.

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                • #9
                  I do not agree with salting food daily to make sure a horse gets what you think he needs. I provide loose salt and also the apple flavored red blocks and they can choose. (The blocks are much softer than typical salt blocks. They can easily crumble pieces off.)

                  BUT when I first brought Libbey home, she was NOT drinking hardly at all. I can't remember now exactly how much she was drinking but it like barely a 5 gallon bucket in 3 days. I called the vet and he had me add a heaping Tablespoon of plain salt morning and night. Once I did that, she was drinking water like crazy and going through 10 gallons a day.

                  She had been neglected and was eating snow instead of having access to fresh water. The vet said that horses can go into a type of "survival mode" where their body starts shutting down and the drinking mechanism slows or quits all together. I'm sorry I don't have studies or technical terms, but he said he has seen it many times with neglect cases. They just lose the thirst for water after they have been dehydrated and deprived for so long.

                  Adding the salt REALLY jump started her and after a few days of force feeding the salt, she was drinking like a normal horse and I discontinued the salt feeding.

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                  • #10
                    Not sure which apple blocks you mean, but I've seen some that are basically sugar blocks with a little bit of salt in them. Yeah, they bite off big chunks all right!
                    Click here before you buy.

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                    • #11
                      Skip the salt, bring hot water.

                      Our horses will happily drink water about the temperature you would drink hot tea or cocoa. Just below the blowing and sipping temp. And they want the bucket held. Dumping it in their stall bucket and moving on is not sufficient.
                      ::I do not understand your specific kind of crazy, but I do admire your total commitment to it::

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                      • #12
                        AT, humans do that too. SO many people don't drink enough, are chronically mildly dehydrated, and don't even realize it. They do indeed lose the feeling of thirst. The more you drink, the more you miss it more quickly. Up to a point, of course
                        ______________________________
                        The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by deltawave View Post
                          Not sure which apple blocks you mean, but I've seen some that are basically sugar blocks with a little bit of salt in them. Yeah, they bite off big chunks all right!
                          They are not sugar blocks deltawave. They are salt and mineral blocks that have apple flavoring, but they are made a bit softer than other red mineral blocks. The softer texture is in the way they are processed. The more heat and compression, the harder the block.

                          There is NO sugar listed anywhere in the ingredients.

                          I'm sure you'd love to prove that I'm an idiot, but I'm not stupid enough to buy blocks of apple flavored sugar and then think it's a salt/mineral lick.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I do the warm/fresh water trick too. A couple of mine will always drink deeply at the last bed check when I swap out the buckets w/ new warm water ones.

                            For the old girl, I tried soaked alfalfa pellets. She turned up her nose at them but the two young guys scarfed them down like candy (even cold and half frozen). Why don't my old ones eat like the young (fatter) ones?

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              SmartAlex-I'm glad to know I'm not the only patsy in this crowd-hold the bucket, indeed! Another good way to get more water into them is to wet the hay. I put the bale in the wash rack and hose it down before feeding it. When the weather turns this cold, I treat my guys like recovering colic victims.

                              A good friend of mine sprinkles a light covering of bran over the surface of the warm water she leaves in the stall. It seems to make the water more inviting. If you shake a flake of alfalfa over the bucket so the loose leaves float in the water, this will make them dip their noses into the bucket, too.

                              The way my horses save my backside, I'll proudly hold a bucket of water for them!

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by lesson junkie View Post
                                SmartAlex-I'm glad to know I'm not the only patsy in this crowd-hold the bucket, indeed! Another good way to get more water into them is to wet the hay. I put the bale in the wash rack and hose it down before feeding it. When the weather turns this cold, I treat my guys like recovering colic victims.
                                Just make sure you are supplementing with a good vitamin/mineral supplement if you're routinely washing and soaking hay. Water soluable vitamins are also washed down the drain. Also from what I understand, a portion of potassium and also some micronutrients and minerals are water soluable as well.

                                Also wanted to add: Nearly all my horses will drink if you bring out a fresh bucket of water and hold it for them.

                                And a trick that some endurance riders use is an "oat float." Sprinkle the surface of the water with rice bran and oats to encourage drinking.

                                I use soaked beet pulp and all my horses are good drinkers except for one. And she gets about 2 gallons of water with her beet pulp at night, which definitely helps.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Last winter when we started soaking hay, my horse cut his plain water intake in half. He was still getting plenty in his beet pulp, and we feed supplements. We were just amazed how the soaked hay affected the water bucket. He also stopped dunking hay which was nice.
                                  ::I do not understand your specific kind of crazy, but I do admire your total commitment to it::

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by Auventera Two View Post
                                    Just make sure you are supplementing with a good vitamin/mineral supplement if you're routinely washing and soaking hay. Water soluable vitamins are also washed down the drain. Also from what I understand, a portion of potassium and also some micronutrients and minerals are water soluable as well.

                                    Also wanted to add: Nearly all my horses will drink if you bring out a fresh bucket of water and hold it for them.

                                    And a trick that some endurance riders use is an "oat float." Sprinkle the surface of the water with rice bran and oats to encourage drinking.

                                    I use soaked beet pulp and all my horses are good drinkers except for one. And she gets about 2 gallons of water with her beet pulp at night, which definitely helps.
                                    I don't make a habit of hay soaking-only in this unusual weather-how soon would I have to worry about washing good stuff down the drain?

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      I wouldn't worry if you're only soaking a few days here and there or a week or two during the worst part of winter. But if you're soaking for a few weeks or months at a time, I would definitely be supplementing. But then I supplement no matter what anyway, soaked hay or not.

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                                      • #20
                                        OK, thanks, Auventera-I can't think they lack for much, they are pretty fat, shiny, and sassy.

                                        Now-how to get them not to kill themselves running around on this awful ground!

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