How much grain to feed?

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Mrwdaw

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Right now my three minis are only in pasture. How do I know how much grain to feed in the winter?
 

dalvers63

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It all depends, IMO, on horse condition. My two don't really get grain. They get a ration balancer (1 cup a day per their weight) and some Haystacks special blend pellets. These are just hay pellets and they only get about a cup a day. I usually increase their actual hay content if needed in the winter. Summer time, my gelding gets 4lbs of timothy a day and my mare 3lbs. Come winter my mare will go up to 4lbs a day to keep weight on.

So come winter, keep hands on your minis to see how their condition is and feed more or less as needed
 
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Marsha Cassada

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Depends on what you mean by "grain".
I think horses that are on pasture need a vitamin/mineral supplement. You might look into that. Every company will have a different amount recommendation.
Some people call different feeds grain: some call it pellets, some call it supplement, some call it grain... To me, "grain" is simply oats. That's the farmer's daughter in me!
Good for you, planning ahead for your horses.
 

chandab

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Forage first, so pasture and/or hay; then add what's needed to fill in the nutritional gaps. Most minis do well on a ration balancer or vitamin mineral supplement to fill in where forages lack; and either should be fed daily, year round. If forage and a ration balancer (or vitamin/mineral supplement ) doesn't keep their weight, then consider a feed with more calories.
How much hay and ration balancer depends on the size of the mini (and the directions for the ration balancer).
 

Kelly

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Are yours on pasture right now 24/7? If mine were they would be big ole blimps! ♥️♥️Totally fat little things 😝 … 2 of mine only get 1 hour pasture right now, while the other 2 get about 4-6 hours pasture. I don’t feed them a grain, but they are all feed a ration balancer along with coastal hay, all measured out and weighed perfectly. I feed Purina Enrich, but there are several other brands on the market that are great too. I don’t really change anything for the winter months, unless a horse is getting too skinny, then I up their hay. I feed 1.5% of their body weight in hay daily. So for example, if we take a 250 pound horse X .015 that would equal 3.75.

250
x .015
=======
3.75 pounds of hay daily plus their small portion of ration balancer (I follow the directions on the bag)

That is how much I feed.… Those little piggies!! 💕💕 And I also feed in the smallest hay nets I can find, that works really well for us. My favorite hay net at the moment is from hay burners equine, the 3/4 inch holes:



Good luck and happy feedings!! 🥰🥰
 

Mrwdaw

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I am a new mini owner so learning alot. Two of the minis are one and the other is two. They are on pasture during the day and I put them in for the night. I just want to take the best care I can.
 

Cayuse

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Mine don't get grain, I tried a low NSC grain when I first got them but even 1/4 cup caused weight gain and attitude issues. I just feed good quality hay, 5 lbs a day (1.5 lbs per 100 lbs body weight) weighed out so I don't cheat, and a heaping 1/4 cup of timothy pellets for their supplements. ETA: mine get no pasture, they are on an almost dry lot and get a few nibbles here and there, enough to keep them nosing around.
 
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As @Kelly stated....Most minis turn into round rolly-pollies with that much pasture. How do you keep their condition around 5.5 with that much pasture?

We are in the plains of Colorado. We have 8 ac of pasture that we Hay. Once the hay is brought in...my boys get around 1.5 hours of pasture for supper each day. I have to adjust the individual horses time out up/down to keep their weight and condition correct (one gains super easy, the other less so).

As winter sets in and the pasture browns up...The boys get MORE time out not less! Which makes them very very happy :)
On inclement weather and snow days...they simply get our hay for supper until the snow melts enough for them to go back out again. (albeit, I still often let them out to play in the snow...they love to run in the snow!...but I still feed them hay until the snow melts down)

For their incentive to come in each evening when I whistle for them...They get a 1/2 scoop each of alfalfa/timothy mix pellet mixed with a mini's supplement pellet. They NEVER get any prepared/pellet/commercial feed as their primary food source.

Last year, even in the middle of winter, I had to limit their pasture time to 3 hours as they were gaining too much weight! :)

Once the pasture gets going strong and greens up...we do the reverse, shortening their time out until the hay is going strong. At which point they are very limited again to keep their condition to 5.5.

I agree with @chandab...grass! grass! grass! grass! then only supplement on a horse-by-horse basis to their individual needs (My primary driving horse gets xtra protein in the form of alfalfa/timothy mix to keep his muscle condition in balance)

HTH!
 

Willow Flats

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Like Kelly, I do not feed grain. Just hay and the ration balancer. Some also get supplements for their individual needs. I also weigh the hay so I know how much they are getting.
When trying to determine how much turn out time they should get I timed mine eating some weighed out hay, and that gave me the idea (loosely) how much they could consume in that amount of time, so in general they are getting an hour and a half when there is lots of grass and longer if it's dry grass or they have been working. I have two driving horses and they get more turnout time. The other guy would just get too big. It's something that fluctuates with the seasons and amount of exercise each horse gets around here.
 

Dragon Hill

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If you can't find a ration balancer, I use a senior feed. It's easier to find, and safer for the minis than most feeds you're likely to see. You are going to feel for ribs and backbone through all that hair to tell body condition. I'm pretty sure there's a body condition chart somewhere on this forum if you do a search. Hay helps them keep warm more than grains. Since yours are growing babies, they may need something more than just grass/hay. Just remember a little goes a long way with a mini.
 

Maryann at MiniV

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Our young ones are fed for their first two years a 14% pelleted grain which includes supplements. The amount depends on their need. They are on pasture part of the time and get hay as well. In winter, the grain amount doesn't change, but their hay amount increases to keep them warm. As Dragon Hill described, it's good to do the "touch test" to feel for a layer of flesh over their backbone and ribs. In winter, they grow so much fur that actually putting your hands on them is important. Oh, and a mineral/salt block is down for them year round too.
 

Susan

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As @Kelly stated....Most minis turn into round rolly-pollies with that much pasture. How do you keep their condition around 5.5 with that much pasture?

We are in the plains of Colorado. We have 8 ac of pasture that we Hay. Once the hay is brought in...my boys get around 1.5 hours of pasture for supper each day. I have to adjust the individual horses time out up/down to keep their weight and condition correct (one gains super easy, the other less so).

As winter sets in and the pasture browns up...The boys get MORE time out not less! Which makes them very very happy :)
On inclement weather and snow days...they simply get our hay for supper until the snow melts enough for them to go back out again. (albeit, I still often let them out to play in the snow...they love to run in the snow!...but I still feed them hay until the snow melts down)

For their incentive to come in each evening when I whistle for them...They get a 1/2 scoop each of alfalfa/timothy mix pellet mixed with a mini's supplement pellet. They NEVER get any prepared/pellet/commercial feed as their primary food source.

Last year, even in the middle of winter, I had to limit their pasture time to 3 hours as they were gaining too much weight! :)

Once the pasture gets going strong and greens up...we do the reverse, shortening their time out until the hay is going strong. At which point they are very limited again to keep their condition to 5.5.

I agree with @chandab...grass! grass! grass! grass! then only supplement on a horse-by-horse basis to their individual needs (My primary driving horse gets xtra protein in the form of alfalfa/timothy mix to keep his muscle condition in balance)

HTH!
Can you tell me which mini supplement pellet you use and if there are any vitamins contained in the alfalfa/Timothy pellet?
 

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