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Feeding Advice;Grain,Hay Pellets, etc.

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  • Feeding Advice;Grain,Hay Pellets, etc.

    I am currently in a little bit of a dilemma. My horse isn't getting much hay outside. He probably gets 2 flakes in the morning and he is being ridden 5days a week. Boarding barn hasn't bought more hay for the winter yet...Don't ask. So, I have started feeding 1 cup of timothy before he goes outside.He seems really grouchy and not very happy when he gets brought in at 2. He always just seems not happy about something and he was never like that in the spring or summer. But he was also getting 4 flakes AM, and 2 flakes at noon. So, if you were me what would you do? Should I give him more hay pellets in the morning before he goes out? I think he is hungry from being out there all day without much of anything. There isn't any grass out there anymore. Any suggestions would be helpful. Thanks in advance.

    Horse is 15.3hh, worked for 30-45mins 5 days a week, and 5 years old.

    Right now my horse is getting

    AM
    2 Flakes
    4 cups safe choice
    1 cup timothy hay pellets
    1 smartpak(joint supplement)

    PM
    3 cups safe choice
    5 flakes pm
    Last edited by MorganJumper848; Dec. 11, 2012, 12:03 PM.

  • #2
    Not much forage, horse now grouchy...I'd say he's got ulcers.

    And what you're giving him for hay pellets is a piddly amount. He needs more hay, real hay.

    However you make that happen is up to you, but my vote would be for moving him to a barn that gives a damn about their boarders and their horses.
    "If you think nobody cares about you, try missing a couple payments..."

    Comment

    • Original Poster

      #3
      I don't think he has ulcers. I'm looking for other boarding facilities but its not easy where i am located. I will give him more pellets in the meantime. If I want him to get enough to supply another 3 flakes worth, how much more should I give him?

      Comment


      • #4
        If there is not any grass outside, then there needs to be a noon feeding. Or, the hay they are getting needs to be in slow feeders so it last longer. And definitely don't ride him on an empty stomach. When my guy was getting cranky I started grooming and tacking up in his stall where he could nibble alfalfa pellets. I'd let him eat 1# before work. It really helped with his attitude and movement.

        Comment

        • Original Poster

          #5
          Originally posted by PNW AMTS Dealer View Post
          If there is not any grass outside, then there needs to be a noon feeding. Or, the hay they are getting needs to be in slow feeders so it last longer. And definitely don't ride him on an empty stomach. When my guy was getting cranky I started grooming and tacking up in his stall where he could nibble alfalfa pellets. I'd let him eat 1# before work. It really helped with his attitude and movement.
          I never ride him on an empty stomach I always let him eat first. It can just be kind of annoying when you have to wait for them to eat. I also don't want him to go outside with a stomach full of grain and then not get much hay so thats why I thought it would be good to add some hay pellets with his AM grain.

          Comment


          • #6
            You need an estimate of how much those flakes weigh.

            My cattle are grumpy too this year. With the drought they do not have hay 24X7 in front of them. Oh sure they come at me like sharks for their grain and fiber pellets. And inhale the hay they are fed 2 X a day. They look great and are fit and healthy....just not happy they can not inhale hay!

            But back to horses....you need to be feeding him a min of 1% his body wt (as dry matter) to meet your coarse fiber rule. So a 1000lb horse needs over 10lbs....lets just round it up to 11lbs of long stem fiber.

            Then after that if the drought has hay in short suppy you can start adding in other fibers. Your hay pellets for example. SBH pellets, brans,BP and more.

            So grab a $3 fish scale at Walmart and weigh those flakes. Then if not meeting your coarse rule find your own hay or buy some cubes , soak, and give them as a hay subst. Feed those up to at least the coarse fiber deficit....if not more. After that you can/may add in hay stretcher fibers.

            My horses are having to make do with 12lbs of hay per ave sized horse (1100lb). This is down roughly 5lbs from their usual winter ration. So to offset the fiber deficit my drought ration is a high fiber ration (20% crude fiber) which contains higher fiber ingredients including SBH pellets, BP, wheat bran, alfalfa pellets amongst other ingredients such as whole crimped oats(not dehulled steam rolled), whole roasted soybeans( not soybean meal) and BOSS ( the ones I got look a bit smallish but test just under 40% crude fiber....yeah more fiber).

            Comment


            • #7
              The cup of timothy pellets isn't giving him any forage...I would switch to cubes in the am if you want to supplement your forage...I'm confused though, he's getting 2 flakes in the am and 5 flakes in the pm? 7 flakes a day total? or am I not reading that right? Is he staying in overnight? With what you have to work with, if he's kept in overnight- I'd go with his normal feed but add about 2lbs soaked hay cubes (you might have to prepare this so it's fed) then he'd be turned out with 2 flakes of hay- then come in at night for 5 flakes? I'd try to get those 5 flakes in a slow hay net in his stall to last thru the night...That's just the first jiggle I'd try......
              Kerri

              Comment

              • Original Poster

                #8
                Originally posted by kasjordan View Post
                The cup of timothy pellets isn't giving him any forage...I would switch to cubes in the am if you want to supplement your forage...I'm confused though, he's getting 2 flakes in the am and 5 flakes in the pm? 7 flakes a day total? or am I not reading that right? Is he staying in overnight? With what you have to work with, if he's kept in overnight- I'd go with his normal feed but add about 2lbs soaked hay cubes (you might have to prepare this so it's fed) then he'd be turned out with 2 flakes of hay- then come in at night for 5 flakes? I'd try to get those 5 flakes in a slow hay net in his stall to last thru the night...That's just the first jiggle I'd try......
                Yes. The hay outside is really weird. He gets 3 flakes when he first comes in. Then they give him 2 more at PM check which is 6-7. When I am there I give him 2-3 more flakes. Which is 5-6 days a week. I thought pellets and hay cubes were the same thing but in a different version? Im confused.

                7 flakes total when I am not there 1-2 days a week.
                9-10 flakes total when I am there 5-6 days a week.
                My problem isn't the evening it is the morning.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Generally hay cubes are thought of as hay subst (meet long stem fiber needs for chew time and touted to maintain gut motility).

                  Other high fiber ingredients such as your hay pellets are hay stretchers. Anything under an inch in fiber length (not pellet length) would be a stretcher. So yes while your hay pellets are still made of hay....they are too short in fiber length to be coarse forage.

                  Comment

                  • Original Poster

                    #10
                    Originally posted by D Taylor View Post
                    Generally hay cubes are thought of as hay subst (meet long stem fiber needs for chew time and touted to maintain gut motility).

                    Other high fiber ingredients such as your hay pellets are hay stretchers. Anything under an inch in fiber length (not pellet length) would be a stretcher. So yes while your hay pellets are still made of hay....they are too short in fiber length to be coarse forage.
                    Okay thank you for the breathe of knowledge. Now I need to find out what each of the flakes weigh. I am going to say about 1-2 pounds.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      You really need to weigh the hay to find out how much is really in a flake. If each flake weighs 1.5-2 lbs, then he's probably getting enough food.
                      Jigga:
                      Why must you chastise my brilliant idea with facts and logic? **picks up toys (and wine) and goes home**

                      Comment

                      • Original Poster

                        #12
                        I will do that. I'm guessing he is either bored or hungry. So I will have to find a scale I can use to weight it.

                        The other thing thought is he is a competition horse so he is burning calories almost every day.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          My thought for slowing him down in the evening feed would be to make his hay last longer and keep food in his gut at a steady rate all night, that will help him not gulp down his morning feed as quickly maybe....as will the hay cubes before he gets turned out..... If they don't want to throw more hay, ask if his night feed can be split and they can throw 2 of those flakes for lunch and he can get the other 3 for his late feed....more effecient that way anyhow.....wouldn't use any more hay and would be a better use of it.
                          Kerri

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Do not know how big he is....but if only 1lb per flake (and those would be tiny flakes) then he is being shorted coarse fiber. Especially on the days you are not there.

                            It is hard to say until you get a weight. My small alfalfa bales flake off in 5lb big honking flakes.

                            I do not have any small grass bales but my 3X3 big squares flake off in 17 to 20 lb flakes.

                            Grab a fish scale at Walmart and a trash bag to hang it in...and weigh.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by MorganJumper848 View Post
                              I will do that. I'm guessing he is either bored or hungry. So I will have to find a scale I can use to weight it.

                              The other thing thought is he is a competition horse so he is burning calories almost every day.
                              Is he dropping weight?

                              Comment

                              • Original Poster

                                #16
                                Originally posted by D Taylor View Post
                                Is he dropping weight?
                                I don't think so. He is on the lean side though.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by MorganJumper848 View Post
                                  I don't think so. He is on the lean side though.
                                  You may find he needs more feed(safe choice). Get a weight of that too.

                                  Comment

                                  • Original Poster

                                    #18
                                    I weighed the hay last night. Each flake weighs 1.3 pounds. So I am going to say he is only getting around 9 pounds of hay a day. So I need to supplement 3 pounds a day. So I looked at the timothy pellets website, and it says it is a long stem fiber supplement.http://midvalleymillinghaypellets.com/timothy-pellets

                                    Should I still buy the cubes?
                                    I added 1 pound of pellets to his morning feeding. I will see how he is this afternoon. I didn't want to add them all at once since i know you are supposed to make feeding changes "gradually".

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Do you live in a cold climate? Then he should be getting even more forage than the typical guidelines of "so much per % of body weight." If you add working him on top of that then he needs even more. At 15.3 he is decent sized. I don't weigh my hay, mine get a morning and evening feeding all year round but they are getting roughly 25-30 pounds of alfalfa / grass mix per horse every day . I keep track of when I start feeding a big bale and that keeps me on track too.

                                      Hay pellets/ cubes may give them more forage, but they eat them so fast I think it would be better to either buy your own hay to supplement or tell the barn that he needs more. Your horse should get the hay he requires, you shouldn't have to buy extra. You are already paying for that in your boarding fee.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by MorganJumper848 View Post
                                        I weighed the hay last night. Each flake weighs 1.3 pounds. So I am going to say he is only getting around 9 pounds of hay a day..
                                        If you're convinced he doesn't have ulcers now, then he's certainly at risk for them with inadequate forage. Unhappy horse, empty stomach . . . I'd be pretty suspicious.

                                        Of course this time of year a lot of them just are standing around in MUD when they're turned out, and that can make them cranky and stiff, too.

                                        He needs more hay, and IMO the addition of decent forage virtually never has to be done gradually unless the horse is extremely sensitive to feed changes. Can you buy some hay of your own, keep it in your trailer, and chuck him a few flakes in the morning or have someone else do that for you?
                                        Click here before you buy.

                                        Comment

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