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Simplifying Feeding Different Horses

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  • Simplifying Feeding Different Horses

    I have mares\babies, young gelding starting work, middle aged gelding that is hanging with mares\babies and not doing much, stallion that works\occasionally breeds and a hopefully preggo mare (that is an easy keeper).

    Right now I feel like I am feeding SO MUCH feed. I would like to feed a complete feed (easy keeper mare is on Purina 30% RB) and then add calories\fat as needed for the others.

    I like the RB since you know they are getting all the nutrients they need but what is the best thing to add to it for more calories\fat?

    Right now it seems they are all on the slim side and I would like to add some weight. (Worming this week too) (Most of them are on a round bale for free choice hay too)

    So what should I add that would work for everone and just increase\decrease individually?
    Member of the "My Saddlebred can do anything your horse can do" clique

  • #2
    There's a million different answers for this ;-) My "go to" is alfalfa.... the easiest way for you to do it would be actual alfalfa hay, you could monitor how much you throw to which horses.....second, would be cubes or pellets.
    Kerri

    Comment


    • #3
      The problem with feeding a RB to harder keepers is that you usually end spending more, sometimes a LOT more, to add more stuff to get the calories up. And, you'll be dipping into at least 2 cans to give them those calories. You have other options that allow for 1 product, 1 can, to meet both nutritional and caloric needs.

      But, if you don't have harder keepers to the point you have to add many pounds of something else to get calories up, then you can do alfalfa pellets - easy scooping, don't need to mix any water. Beet pulp is a very viable option, though I recommend at least dumping some water in - it does not take soaking to get it soaked enough. Put the beep and the water in first, then get everything else ready, and it's plenty soaked enough.

      You're still going to be feeding "so much feed". Ration balancers don't negate that
      ______________________________
      The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET

      Comment

      • Original Poster

        #4
        thanks! I was thinking alfalfa cubes and beet pulp....I've been giving the boys alfalfa cubes in their food but didn't know if I should add anything else.

        How much water do you have to add for beet pulp?
        Member of the "My Saddlebred can do anything your horse can do" clique

        Comment


        • #5
          The thing with the alf cubes is that they can be very hard and can be a cause of choke for some horses. Some are softer and break up very easily, but not all. Alf pellets are also easier to store, IMHO, taking up less volume per pound than the cubes.

          When I do my beep, I generally us about 2-3x the volume of water to beep. I just eyeball it now, but that's about the general range. I literally put the water in, put the beep on top, swirl it around if it's a larger volume, fix the rest of the meals, and it's all done.
          ______________________________
          The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET

          Comment


          • #6
            I think the first thing you need to do is tell us how much/what kind of hay you feed, and how much/what kind of grains you feed.
            come what may

            Rest in peace great mare, 1987-2013

            Comment


            • #7
              While I don't have the range of horses you do (mine are all critters in varying degrees of work- from glorified trail horses to hard working, prelim event horses), but I seem to have hit the KISS principle, for the most part, in my feed room. I have two feeds: an RB (Pennfield's), and a high fat/high fiber/low NSC feed (Fibergized). I have horses who JUST get the RB, a few who get the RB and a small amount of Fibergized, and some who JUST get Fibergized. I even have one who gets a cup of Fibergized with his RB (that MIGHT equal 1lb a day, but I'm not even sure it does that), since the little shot of Fibergized seems to help keep a bloom on his coat without making him fat(ter).

              You could probably do something similar with just about any feed brand that offers a quality RB and a quality high fat/high fiber feed. It's hard to get too much simpler (ie, one kind of feed) without having to do stuff like oil, beet pulp (which I thick is a PITA), and other add ons.
              Amanda

              Comment


              • #8
                Alfalfa and beet pulp together is not my favorite- two fiber sources, two high calcium sources. They don't really compliment each other. Pick one or the other.

                My first go-to for calories is alfalfa pellets and rice bran. But any fiber and fat combination should compliment each other fine.
                Don't fall for a girl who fell for a horse just to be number two in her world... ~EFO

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by yellowbritches View Post
                  You could probably do something similar with just about any feed brand that offers a quality RB and a quality high fat/high fiber feed. It's hard to get too much simpler (ie, one kind of feed) without having to do stuff like oil, beet pulp (which I thick is a PITA), and other add ons.
                  I was just going to suggest something similar to what yellowbritches does.

                  Instead of worrying about soaking whatever "addition" you choose to feed, just get a barrel of a good quality senior feed, and a barrel of the ration balancer. Horses of ANY age can eat senior feed; it's good quality stuff that's easy to digest, and usually low in sugar. Mix/match the senior and ration balancer as needed for each horse.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Texarkana View Post
                    Alfalfa and beet pulp together is not my favorite- two fiber sources,
                    Horses are designed to eat a very high fiber diet. A few pounds of another fiber is nothing compared to the 20-30lb of fiber they're already eating

                    two high calcium sources. They don't really compliment each other.
                    It's FANTASTIC for horses eating only grass or grass hay

                    My first go-to for calories is alfalfa pellets and rice bran. But any fiber and fat combination should compliment each other fine.
                    Fat is not a necessary addition for most horses. It's not that 1-2lb of rice bran will hurt, but it's not necessarily more beneficial. Besides, in a great deal of the country, many rice bran products are ca-fortified to bring the ca/phos ratio back in balance, so you're not adding more phos to offset the ca in the alf.
                    ______________________________
                    The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by JB View Post
                      It's FANTASTIC for horses eating only grass or grass hay
                      Fantastic how? Grass and grass hay already generally has a correct Ca:P ratio of around 2:1, depending on the type and location. Alfalfa is often around 5:1 and beet pulp around 3:1.

                      The OP mentioned she has babies, where keeping the amount of calcium and phosphorous in the diet in correct balance is most critical. While horses don't generally see adverse effects until the ratio of the overall diet reaches 6:1, why would you get that close to pushing it when there are other options?

                      Fat is not a necessary addition for most horses. It's not that 1-2lb of rice bran will hurt, but it's not necessarily more beneficial. Besides, in a great deal of the country, many rice bran products are ca-fortified to bring the ca/phos ratio back in balance, so you're not adding more phos to offset the ca in the alf.
                      Necessary? No, but it is effective and often more efficient. The OP mentioned she wants to simplify her feeding-- if you have a truly hard keeper or horse requiring increased calories, it is near impossible to get enough calories in them with fiber alone. Fat is well tolerated by most horses and can greatly reduce the quantity of "feed" given at meal times, one of the OPs initial complaints.

                      There are numerous, numerous, numerous ca-fortified rice bran supplements available nationwide. It's really not an issue to find one these days.
                      Don't fall for a girl who fell for a horse just to be number two in her world... ~EFO

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Texarkana View Post
                        Fantastic how? Grass and grass hay already generally has a correct Ca:P ratio of around 2:1, depending on the type and location. Alfalfa is often around 5:1 and beet pulp around 3:1.
                        It's easy for grass/grass hay to have a ratio that's too low. If it's borderline at the lower acceptable level of 1.5:1, then adding a couple of pounds of a 3-5:1 product IS going to be beneficial. If the forage is already 2:1, then adding that bit isn't going to be harmful in any way. Looking at the last 12 years worth of "grass hay" analysis at Equi-Analytical, the % ca ranges from .278-.745, and the phos from .147-.333. This means you could absolutely have something either unbalanced in favor of the phos, or lower than the minimally accepted 1.5:1 ratio.


                        The OP mentioned she has babies, where keeping the amount of calcium and phosphorous in the diet in correct balance is most critical. While horses don't generally see adverse effects until the ratio of the overall diet reaches 6:1, why would you get that close to pushing it when there are other options?
                        If it's that big a concern, then test the forage. Adding 1-2lb of a 5:1 product is not going to put you at 6:1. If it does, then no, you should not only not be feeding those, you should be feeding extra phosphorous.

                        Necessary? No, but it is effective and often more efficient.
                        one should not assume that more fat is more efficient for all horses. They just are not designed to use fat in the amounts people tend to think IS necessary. Some go straight to fat calories without really addressing the base of the diet first - adding fat is not the first thing you do.

                        The OP mentioned she wants to simplify her feeding-- if you have a truly hard keeper or horse requiring increased calories, it is near impossible to get enough calories in them with fiber alone. Fat is well tolerated by most horses and can greatly reduce the quantity of "feed" given at meal times, one of the OPs initial complaints.
                        I'm not disagreeing, but that's not something you just jump to right off the bat.

                        There are numerous, numerous, numerous ca-fortified rice bran supplements available nationwide. It's really not an issue to find one these days.
                        And that's exactly what I said - if the concern is too much calcium, then by using the fortified rice bran products, you're not helping that situation.
                        ______________________________
                        The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET

                        Comment

                        • Original Poster

                          #13
                          Sorry I meant pellets not cubes on the alfalfa

                          I've been feeding a 12:8 pellet to all the horses and it has done great up till now, I think the heat is starting to get to everyone ugh. Mares with babies are getting 9 lbs each per day and everyone else (besides fat mare) are getting 6lbs. Geldings and Stallion are getting alfalfa pellets added right now. Fat mare is getting 1 cup of RB twice a day. The girls and my show gelding are out on roundbales that are a very nice coastal. The stallion and 2 yr old are getting costal or tifton 85 hay 2x daily.

                          I had them on a senior feed last year (purina senior with amplify) but fed a lot of it and didn't see any difference in their coat or weight for the way higher price.

                          I really wanted to try to feed less "volume" but it seems like I am going to no matter what direction I go in LOL May just up the alfalfa pellets.
                          Member of the "My Saddlebred can do anything your horse can do" clique

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I like the RB since you know they are getting all the nutrients they need but what is the best thing to add to it for more calories\fat?
                            More calories and fat. Calories can be gotten any old way (hay is best) but fat comes in many sources, too. Lots of people use oil. I prefer Purina's Amplify and there is not a horse I've put on it that doesn't pick up weight FAST and develop a drop-dead gleam-y coat in the process, either.

                            It's my "secret ingredient" (along with green grass) when the skinny broodmares come to my place.
                            Click here before you buy.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I feed my horses a RB and supplement with rice bran and alfalfa pellets. During the winter, my horses required some extra groceries and I supplemented with a little beet pulp, but have been buying hay as my boarding barn doesn't feed enough hay. Now that they are a little hefty on the weight, I've quit feeding the beet pulp and am contemplating cutting back, at least for a bit, on the rice bran and alf pellets.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                I have 5 horses in very different stages of age, work, etc. They all eat the same feed- a 10% textured feed and free choice grass hay. I make their rations custom with "additives".
                                For example, hard working endurance mare 10 years old gets 3 lbs AM and PM of feed, plus 1 scoop of Daily Omegas Plus, 4 oz of whole flax and 1lb of alfalfa cubes.

                                Easy keeper lighter work load 19 year old mare, she gets 1lb of feed AM and PM plus 1/2 pound dry weight beet pulp shreds and 1 scoop Daily Omegas Plus.

                                3 year old growing Arab gelding endurance prospect, no work yet but eats me out of house and home gets 4lbs feed AM and PM, 2lbs alfalfa, 1 scoop of daily omega, 4 oz of whole flax and 1 pound dry weight beet pulp
                                "As soon as you're born you start dyin'
                                So you might as well have a good time"

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