Feeding 101

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Jlow

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So I'm looking for some advice on how and what I should be feeding my minis and if there's anything else I should give them. Currently, they are on a pasture 24/7 and I'm feeding them 3 cups of grain each per day along with 1/2 flake of alfalfa hay each 2x a day (per the vet as they are underweight). I've been told by several people they should be given flax seed to prevent binding , Psyllium to prevent sand colic. Any advice would be greatly appreciated as I am new to horses and just want to make sure I'm doing things right and keeping them healthy
 

Ryan Johnson

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I love when this question is asked as I dont think its an easy question to answer. I am also a a firm believer what works for me , certainly wont work for others.

My horses are on pasture 24/7 and I have good quality grass for most of the year in my paddocks. My minis are fed good quality meadow grass throughout the year. I add in Lucerne (alfalfa) in winter to boost protein and help with condition. Throughout winter they get a low sugar pellet and some lucerne chaff with a supplement and they have access to a mineral block. Throughout winter , I make sure they have free choice to the meadow hay.

I really limit grass intake with my two mini mares at the start of spring and at the start of autumn. Our sugar content here in the grass is extremely high at those times of the year and causes issues for may minis and ponies and horses in general, throughout the country.

Psyllium is great for removing sand from the gut and helping to prevent colic.

Lastly , a good worming program & dentist visit will most definitely help your minis putting on weight.

Good luck :)
 

Tammy Katz

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I too am new to mini horses. I have done quite a bit of research. But here is my question. The tree mini's have been in a sand only pen, and have been given baled alfalfa, and a grain. Now we will be putting them in a small field to start and then a larger one after that. Should they get a grain, or anything else? I will give them a salt block, and or free mineral mix. Should I do anything else.
 

Ryan Johnson

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When it comes to feeding , what ever changes you make , needs to be done gradually and slowly. As they are not used to pasture grazing ,I would introduce them to it on a lead . 10 mins a few times a week then gradually build up. You will need to keep a close eye on their weight to see if they need grain on top of pasture. What I would strongly recommend is having a small yard in your pastures , where u can lock them up when needed . Yes to the mineral block .
 

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