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Could I simplify my feeding program more?

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  • Could I simplify my feeding program more?

    Right now I'm buying 3 grains and alfalfa pellets, plus various supplements. I'd like to simplify what I buy even more, but am not sure it's possible without sacrificing the quality of my feeding program.

    Horse 1-easy keeper QH, in light work
    1 lb Triple Crown 30%
    smartflex III
    Smartdigest (I want to keep this b/c there is a noticeable improvement in his stool quality when he is on it)
    Smart Omega 3

    Horse 2-senior normal keeper TB, retired
    3 lb TC SR
    .75 lb TC 30
    3 lb alfalfa pellets
    Smart Omega 3

    Horse 3-senior normal keeper TB, light work (boarder)
    3 lb TC SR
    1 lb Alam
    3 lb alfalfa pellets
    (various supplements provided by owner)

    Horse 4-young easy keeper Morgan, out of work
    .75 lb TC 30

    All the horses get various amounts of hay, the TBs' get free choice. Plus out on pasture around 15-16 hours a day (night t/o)
    come what may

    Rest in peace great mare, 1987-2013

  • #2
    Personally I would probably put the TBs on a maintenance level of TC Senior (5-6 lbs, up to 8ish which is what my hard-keeper TB gets), the easy keepers on around 1 lb. 30% only, keep your Smartdigest for the one and toss everything else. All that measuring is a lot of work and, IMO, no benefit to it when you are using a high-quality feed like TC Senior. Add a nice quality hay, and lots of it, and voila, a very good feeding plan that IMO is just as sound as this with 1/5 the work.

    KISS is a good idea as well if you should get sick, need help, or otherwise need a relief feeder. The less complicated, the better. I would worry that someone subbing for me would not get all this right and cause a colic. I keep *1* grain in my barn (TC Senior) and have weighed and marked a scoop and charted everything, etc. -- a completely horse-clueless person could feed if I got hurt and they needed to.


    • Original Poster

      I know I should probably just ditch the alfalfa but I like it because of the high calcium. My senior TB had ulcers when he came to my farm and I'm pretty sure the boarder's tb has ulcers now. I figure the alfalfa can't hurt and as far as measurement goes its just a "scoop", so not terribly complicated.
      I'm thinking about ditching the joint supp b/c I'm not really sure its doing anything, but my TB's msm has to stay b/c he also shows improvement on it.
      I have my horses on the smart omega 3 b/c of the omega 3 levels (anti-inflammatory) rather than b/c it's a coat supplement. Both TC grains are high in omega 6's. I don't know if it's worth feeding or not. I guess I should probably just take them off it and see what happens. If I get bad results I could always just put them back on it.

      I have high quality hay and decent grass, so they are getting calories/nutrients from that.

      come what may

      Rest in peace great mare, 1987-2013


      • #4
        How about the QH on MSM instead of the joint supplement? Not exactly the same thing, but it's inexpensive and you're already buying it anyway.

        Are alfalfa pellets less expensive or easier to manage than alfalfa hay in your area? sounds like the TBs are turned out separately from the QH and Morgan, so maybe upping the alfalfa in their hay will let you skip the pellets?