Feeding the minis

Discussion in 'Miniature Horse Forum' started by Sharondoright, Oct 13, 2019.

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  1. Oct 13, 2019 #1

    Sharondoright

    Sharondoright

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    Hi wonderful people. My 2 year old had a colic episode, and thankfully is fully mended. Doc put him on an equine senior mash during recovery. Doc suggested Purina Mini pellets as a supplement to provide needed minerals which are lacking in my local area (selenium, copper, magnesium?). I read the feeding guideline on back of feed bag, and am amazed how much Purina suggests feeding. Both my 17 year old mare and the 2 year old gelding are in great body condition, and I don't want to get them chubby. Currently, feeding about 2 and a half flakes of grass hay between them, and a small handful of the purina mini grain morning and night. Purina suggests 3 pounds of hay for the mare and slightly less for the 2 year old, PLUS up to 2 pounds of their grain daily. Am I nuts, or is that WAY too much? Thanks! Doc said follow the guidelines.
     
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  2. Oct 13, 2019 #2

    Marsha Cassada

    Marsha Cassada

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    If you follow the recommendations for the weight of the horse, that is how much of the Purina they will need to get the nutrition listed on the bag, which is the reason you are using it. If you don't like that much pelleted food, try looking for a more concentrated balancer. I use Dynamite, and they only get a heaping tsp a day. Ration balancers are usually pricey, but you don't need much so they go a long way.
    I keep hay constantly in front of my horses. I don't think the hay you are feeding is adequate. They need plenty of roughage going through the gut. Especially with winter coming on, they are going to need to eat more to stay warm.
    I would also suggest top dressing with salt to encourage drinking. Salt blocks aren't always enough.
    Glad your little one recovered. Colic is for sure scary. I have only had one episode personally, with a horse that was new to me. After he recovered, I noticed that every time there was a weather change, he would get green around the gills. I put him on a prebiotic and never had any more trouble with him as long as I owned him.
     
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  3. Oct 13, 2019 #3

    Sharondoright

    Sharondoright

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    Thanks. Lady I bought from is very involved with local mini club, and said she fed 1 to 2 flakes per day each. Grass hay. Everyone I talk to says low sugar diet, not to over feed. Do your minis eat the hay constantly, and stay at good weight?
     
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  4. Oct 13, 2019 #4

    chandab

    chandab

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    If you talk to very many mini people, that have been with minis long-term and especially those that show; you'll find most are not impressed with the mini and pony feed and that it is more for easy keepers.
    Many minis do not need a full-serving of standard commercial feeds as they provide too many calories, so a more concentrated feed such as a ration balancer or a vitamin mineral supplement is all many require. [If you don't feed according the directions, you are shorting them on the nutrition provided by the feed. If the feed is too much for your horse, pick one with a lower feeding rate.]
     
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  5. Oct 14, 2019 #5

    Sharondoright

    Sharondoright

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    Thank you. I do need a mineral deficiency in my area, per vet, which these feeds offer. I will have to search out a specific mineral supplement that doesn’t add calories. I read the Purina mini info closely and it claim s to be designed to feed in addition to hay, and is largely crude fiber. I would love a suggestion on mineral supplements.
     
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  6. Oct 14, 2019 #6

    chandab

    chandab

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    Being you are in Boise, I hope that's Idaho, that's the only one I know. LMF feeds northern formula line up would be a good choice. I'd have to look closer at their line up to help figure a formula, but off the top of my head, the Super Supplement G (think I got the name right) would probably be a good choice. (This would be more specific to your region).
    Since, it sounds like Purina is available, the Enrich ration balancer is a good choice, at 1/4# to 1/3# daily for Minis, how much depends on size of mini.
    I'm on my kindle, so hard to type, we'll start with this much info and go from here.
     
  7. Oct 14, 2019 #7

    Marsha Cassada

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    If you talk to 1000 miniature owners you will get 1000 feeding opinions! I have pasture for mine, but I try to put them on dry lot part of the day when the sugars are highest in the pasture. But I always have a slow feed hay bag in the dry lot. They can nibble at will. In the winter it is easier to think one's miniature is fat because of the thick coat. Be alert to that. Exercise is the best way to keep them fit. Take her for walks with you, or do some ground work exercises with her. If she is playful, try some toys in the pen. Mine enjoy gallon plastic water jugs; I put a handful of sunflower seeds or alfalfa pellets in the jug and they keep busy.
    Companies like SmarkPak and Dynamite can customize a supplement. My area has plenty of selenium naturally, so I have to choose a supplement that is low or void in that mineral.
     
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  8. Oct 14, 2019 #8

    Sharondoright

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    Yep - Boise Idaho! Thanks so much for the specifics. I grew up with a horse, but we always boarded her at the navy base. So... I never learned about nutrition. I am learning as much as I can, but so many opinions and so many ways to go...
     
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  9. Oct 14, 2019 #9

    Sharondoright

    Sharondoright

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    Thanks! We have space to do pasture - but is mostly weedy right now, as we haven't planted pasture grass. We were told not to give them much access to grazing. I have let them in my lawn to graze for an hour here and there. But after the colic, I am not doing that anymore. I did get a giant red ball at walmart for them to kick around, which is sitting idle. I am doing lots of feeling for bones through their winter coat, and really I feel like they have a bit too much hip and wither bone, so have been upping their hay intake. I did give them both a giant white salt block in their feed tubs (now they can't move the tubs around either - bonus). They both use the salt often. After another reply, I looked into a top dressing for them, and might move toward that, particularly in summer when they don't need to keep warm. I have a Vet appointment for the 2 year old so will verify my concerns then as well. And we have a good base weight for both minis to ensure we aren't too far afield in skinny or fatty.
     
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  10. Oct 14, 2019 #10

    Sharondoright

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  11. Oct 16, 2019 #11

    Willow Flats

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    I am using the Purina Enrich balancer that Chandab mentioned and it has worked quite well. It is low in sugar and my horses are healthy with nice shiny coats.

    Figuring out feed is challenging at first and requires changes as you go along depending on the time of year and condition of the pasture. I vary the amount of pasture time mine get regularly. Exercise is key too with these little guys!

    Have fun with those cuties!!!
     
  12. Oct 17, 2019 #12

    Sharondoright

    Sharondoright

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    THANKS!
     

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