Hey there everybody! We have a mixed herd, mini, fatties, drafties, and arabs. We feed a high quality 60% orchard grass / 40% alfalfa mix hay and also a high quality pure alfalfa hay. My question is we are currently on a high fiber feed 25%, protein is 14% and fat is very low around 3%. I am adding 1/2cup oil to harder keepers feeding a day. . Would it be more cost efficient to switch to a commercial high fat feed (as in could I feed them less for more impact)? Or would something like oats make sense with the alfalfa hay? They currently all have a great weight. We’re going into winter and want options if we need to up calories. I cannot feed anymore oil due to picky eaters. I do soak their feed.
if your local co-op or feed store has a nutritionist i would ask them
I’m not an expert by any means, but I feed Timothy/Alfalfa hay along with soaked alfalfa pellets and a 30% protein ration balancer and have had lots of luck. The ration balancer is highly concentrated to supplement a forage based diet, so you feed a very small amount!
Mine lives on 3# soaked alfalfa cubes, 1# renew gold, corn oil just because, 1 qt equine senior, FC hay which a blend of orchard/Timothy, smartgut, cool calories and flax seed twice a day. We finally have a good mixture of the diet to work to balance weight! He’s also on 24/7 turnout which makes a huge difference. We’ve been increasing his alfalfa up until he quits finishing it due to the reduction in grass and him being a snob and not wanting to eat hay since we still have some grass! We don’t do the alfalfa gay due to issues keeping it fresh as it has a larger tendency to mold than what we feed.
I like feeding alfalfa with oats or rice bran (oats are easier to get where I live now) for the Ca/P balance, then top dress with a vitamin/mineral balancer. As long as horses have good teeth, the oats have high nutritional value and whole oats are a lower glycemic index than rolled or bruised. I really liked the rice bran because it has fat and fiber and vitamin E, and will add condition and shine to any animal I’ve used it on. The alfalfa is a good protein rich forage that is also great for stomach soothing, and with pellets/cubes great for older horses when soaked.
thank you everyone!