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Nutrition - What to feed?

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  • Nutrition - What to feed?

    I purchased a coming 3 year old mare who is in the 15.2-16hh range. She is currently located in Canada, and will be transported to the states (WI/IL area) in about a month and a half. (yay!!)

    For those knowledgeable in nutrition, I am looking for recommendations for feed that I can purchase in the States.

    I moved within the last two years, and sold my last horse prior to moving. I am therefore in the process of establishing with a new veterinarian by my current home, and this information will additionally be run by that individual. However, I would appreciate suggestions from those of you who are knowledgeable in the nutrition area - especially for young horses.


    Mare's current feed: "Masterfeeds Equine Developer 16% Ration" http://www.masterfeeds.com/view.php?...trition/Equine , BOSS, Flax, Probiotics. Access to grass 24/7, and quality hay.

    She is very healthy, a great weight, shiny coat, etc.

    This feed is only available in Canada, and the developer is intended for horses through two years old. I will have enough of her current grain to let her adjust from the move, but will shortly after need to switch her feed.

    What is an appropriate protein percentage for her feed as a three year old in light training? I will keep her on the Probiotics and Flax. She will also be on Springtime Bug Off Garlic. She will also be fed quality hay and have access to grass pasture for the majority of her day here.


  • #2
    What she's been on is basically fortified COB, much starchier than I'd feed any horse, let alone one with some growing to do.

    I'm a big fan of starting with a ration balancer (30% protein, but you'll feed 2 or 3 pounds per day) especially since your mare will be in light work and it sounds like she'll be getting plenty of good forage.
    "Why would anybody come here if they had a pony? Who leaves a country packed with ponies to come to a non-pony country? It doesn't make sense!"


    • #3
      Maybe you would like one of the Triple Crown feeds. I have my baby on TC growth and I love the feed. My gelding is on TC complete and he's also doing very well.


      • #4
        Start with what brands you have access to

        TC Growth would be a great choice for a 3yo. Compete wouldn't be bad either.

        How much of that feed was she on? That's just as important as the "what"

        There's really no need to keep a horse on probiotics unless there's a proven situation where it helps. Grass is a great probiotic. Many fortified feeds now contain some level of probiotics. Keep the sugars low, and the digestive system is pretty good at self-regulating
        The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET


        • #5
          What kind of hay will she be getting? You really need to start there, because if you're feeding lots of modest timothy (which is just fine) your requirements in a grain are going to be totally different than what you'd need if you were giving super nice orchard, which can have twice as much protein in it.

          I wouldn't plan on making up your mind until you find out at least what variety of hay the mare will be eating.

          A 3yo in light work needs slightly more protein than an adult horse in the same amount of work, but unless you at least have a ballpark estimate as to what the protein content of the hay is, it's impossible to say how much the concentrate would need to provide to make up a lack, if there is one.

          I could feed a growing horse nothing but half-and-half of my 1st and 3rd cutting orchard hay and meet their protein requirements completely. But they would be lacking in some vitamins, minerals, and essential amino acids. Adding a high-protein concentrate might or might make up that excess, but probably at the cost of too many calories.

          Bottom line: start with the hay if you want to really be precise about what you're feeding. Failing that, ask some local breeders what they are happy with in feeding youngsters in your area. Maybe they've already done the math.
          Click here before you buy.


          • Original Poster

            Originally posted by WarDance View Post
            Maybe you would like one of the Triple Crown feeds. I have my baby on TC growth and I love the feed. My gelding is on TC complete and he's also doing very well.
            This was suggested by a friend who also boards at this facility. At what age or point do you transition from TC growth to TC complete?

            Tomorrow I will look into what the protein content is in the hay and post back then.


            • Original Poster

              Originally posted by JB View Post
              There's really no need to keep a horse on probiotics unless there's a proven situation where it helps. Grass is a great probiotic. Many fortified feeds now contain some level of probiotics. Keep the sugars low, and the digestive system is pretty good at self-regulating

              I plan to keep her on the probiotics she is on to keep her diet the same while she transitions through the trip and settles into her new home. I don't want to change too many things at once. The facility has one large grass pasture currently and they are adding an additional pasture this spring. If by the end of summer the grass is lacking (due to the inability to rotate more than 2 pastures... there are only 3 horses in addition to my mare so it may be no issue.. not sure yet) should I be concerned about her having those necessary probiotics? If she has always been on it, is there any concern for colic or digestive issues when taking her off since she has had it consistently throughout her life in addition to grass 24/7?


              • #8
                Originally posted by Senszuri View Post
                This was suggested by a friend who also boards at this facility. At what age or point do you transition from TC growth to TC complete?

                Tomorrow I will look into what the protein content is in the hay and post back then.
                I was told that it depends on the horse. This filly is from a line that tends to go through a growth spurt in the summer of their 3yo year. She's now a 3yo so I will probably switch her in the fall or winter. I just want to keep her on the growth during what should be a pretty dramatic size change....she's already 16.0