By Maddy Butcher Gray
you consider this summer’s poor hay quality and this winter's cold weather
, many readers have
mentioned their struggles with maintaining their horses’ weight.
are some tips.
thanks to Dr. Rachel Flaherty of Back Cove Equine for her comments and suggestions.
Adding or upping amounts of beet
pulp, alfalfa pellets, alfalfa cubes, hay cubes, hay stretcher pellets are all
good ways to increase calories and nutrition. It’s a great idea to soak all
these feeds, Flaherty told me.
Forage is an excellent option. Consider Lucerne Farms forages.
grain and/or switching to a more complete feed is ok..
care should be exercised whenever you make changes to a horse’s diet. You may
want to consult with your vet about diet changes for your horse, since there
can be many health issues associated with increases in grain, especially.
grain amount can lead to colic (one rescued Waldoboro horse this winter died from colic
when his new owners gave him lots of grain right away)
unsoaked cubes can cause choke in vulnerable horses (those with poor teeth,
those with a tendency to bolt their food, those with a history of choke)
can give some horses diarrhea
with metabolic issues probably aren’t the ribby ones, but still, be careful
when giving these horses a lot of carbohydrate-rich foods.
foods (with a lot of clover and/or alfalfa) can be difficult to digest and give
some animals too much energy, says Flaherty.
Chopped Hay, Forage – those are all terms for chopped grasses, usually
preserved with a bit of molasses and purchased in 50-pound blocks. Some are
mostly timothy. Some are high in alfalfa. Dengie can be a good addition to a
horse’s diet. Again, use care in giving large quantities or making sudden
CocoSoya oil and have been giving it to my toothless Shetland. I give her a few
ounces per feed and the others get one ounce per feed. Corn oil has been recommended to me, too. It's cheap and you can buy it right off the supermarket shelf.
while it’s obviously high in calories, not all horses tolerate oil. They will
tell you by either just not eating it (even when poured on top of grain) OR
having running stool. Use care.
us your tricks for keeping the weight on this winter!