How much hay do you feed?

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tinacvt

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I have a 31 inch gelding who I had been feeding alfalfa hay to half a flake. He porked out he is now getting a grass/alf mix and I have cut him down to 1/3, I have not been working him due to the record heat here in Az. Is this ok? Any opinions would be great. P.S. he is my first mini but I've had horses for 24yrs.
 

hhpminis

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It is really hard to go from a big horse to a mini as we all want to overfeed them. IT just doesn't look like enough food!

If I were feeding 31 inch overweight horse, and this is really not enough info to go on, I would probably be feeding 1 pound of hay twice a day, I feed alfalfa, and a cup of a well balanced pelleted grain, I feed a 12% Strategy.

Again, just giving us a height is hard to give advice. Is he a quiet horse, does he pace, is he nervous, etc.

I also would try to get some esercise in even if it meant early morning or evening romps.

Remember and I am sure you know this from horse experience, it did not go on fast, it has to come off slow as well.

Play with the amount of feed and keep cutting back until he starts to lose. When he gets close to where you want him start upping the feed slightly until you have him maintaining a healthy weight. Get it down now before he gets hairy this winter as it is hard to tell what they are really like under a fluffy winter coat.
 

minis_4ever<3

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well i have a job to feed,water,and bring in miniature horses, and i give them all one flake of hay. but watch the weight of the flake some are bigger them others. and it also depends on the type and coulor and oh mi oh mi theres alot to feeding
\

i hope this helps you


goodluck.

cara
 

Marty

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It's hard to say. They are all so different and we all have our horses under different conditions.

I do not like alfalfa hay. I do have my pregnant mare on some, but I do find that it is hard on the kidneys and you have to really watch that they are taking in enough water. Since this heat wave, I have also cut down on it and have added more grass hay.

As for my other horses, they get orchard grass and the hay amount thing depends too on how much pasture they are getting. Mine also get Purina Omelene grain 2 times a day.

I cannot go by the weight or the flake because some of my horses will blow up like balloons where others don't and no two flakes are the same anyhow.

So for me it's an individual thing here. I just go around and look at them all the time and say "you get more cause you need more and hey you over there, you get less cause you are getting to look like the Goodyear Blimp."

I would say to you to just keep an eyeball on your guy and if you see him getting obese and blowing up, then you will know when to cut back and vice versa.
 

Miniv

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Switching him off straight alfalfa is probably a good thing......especially since he's not being worked at all.

Have you weighed your flakes of hay? I highly recommend that. (I'm the "weigh your hay QUEEN" -- as Marty would say!
) You can get an inexpensive kitchen scale at most stores that sell cooking supplies. Calibrate a Rubbermaid dishpan on it to -0- and then lay one of your average sized flakes in it.

He shouldn't be getting any less than 1lb and not over 2 lbs. of hay per feeding, twice a day. Then, you should check out a good quality grain. Our grain includes vitamins and minerals, so we don't feed a supplement. A good brand to try is Purina Strategy. Purina also makes Omelene 200, which is good too -- for a basic all around grain. One cup per feeding is a good start.....

After setting his feed intake, check his ribs and backbone after a couple of weeks and either increase or decrease a little depending on what you find.

There are other things you could consider feeding, such as Beet Pulp, but at this point, you might as well try to keep everything simple for now. I am all for keeping a horse's diet as simple, but well balanced as possible.

MA
 

rabbitsfizz

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First question has to be How old is he?? Then, what does he do?? What do you want him to do?? What sort of grazing do you have, does he have free access, how much does he weigh, how much does the hay you are giving him weigh?? So many factors. I do have to say I hate the way people tend to obsess over the weight of their Minis- unless the horses weight is life threatening- ie it could founder, or it is supposed to be a show horse or driving animal, why on earth does it matter if it is a few pounds overweight?? I think we need to take a good hard look in the mirror before we start inflicting these feed regimes on our little ones. OK off soapbox on to problem- I feed ad lib hay when I feed hay. I graze 24/7 up to Christmas- at the moment the grass is pretty bleached out due to the weather, but I give no extra feed. One of the easiest ways to get weight off is to make the horses system work for the fat- ie do not feed so much!! I NEVER limit hay/fibre intake though as this will upset the horses digestive system, they need fibre to live. At least, this is the way I have always kept my horses, it works for me!! My mares are fat at this time of year (actually to be honest they are fat at all times of year
) So?? They are not running races or jumping through hoops, why should they not be fat?? My stallion is not fat, but he spends all his days rushing around defending his mares from bears wolves and that well known terrible threat "The Pinto Next Door"
My other stallion, who is too old to care about such things any more (Until he sees the younger guy, that is) is fat. Now, were you to be driving and working this guy |I would be saying Yes, you have to get a bit of weight off him before you do that or you will do him harm. So- more info please!!
 
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