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Passa prefers to feed a grass hay diet with a commercial feed rather than add a lot of supplements to the diet. Then, of course, you are going to have to supplement their diet. But this is the easiest and most economical way to do it in the long run. If supplements are necessary, he recommends, "Pick a good supplement and a good feed, follow the directions, and stay with it.
We run into a lot of situations where people are using a variety of supplements and they counteract other things.
People end up increasing the amount of protein energy considerably with supplements. Good-quality hay is usually the best we can do, with additional supplements added as needed on an individual basis. Siciliano cautions that if the pastures in your area are low in nutrients, the local hay will be similar.
He may be getting two flakes of hay, but how much does the bale weigh? They vary all over the place," he says. Those responsible for developing feeding programs for the non-grazing horse should bear this in mind. Even with a set feeding schedule, hay should always be available. In removing horses from pasture, we alter their natural way of life. As a result, some behavioral and health-related issues can develop. Sheer boredom can produce habits such as chewing, kicking, and cribbing.
These stable vices generally result in a damaged barn, but they have the potential to cause serious health conditions. A horse with good intestinal performance, in combination with a healthy diet and plenty of water, is better equipped to live without pasture grazing.
Some horse owners find ways of occupying stall-bound horses with various toys and feeding devices. To avoid the problems that are often associated with non-grazing horses, owners should provide an adequate alternative to pasture grazing. Turning out on a dry lot and establishing a regular exercise routine helps keep weight down on the easy keeper.
Some overweight horses can be fitted with grazing muzzles—enabling them to be turned out on pasture. The availability of quality feeds and supplements have enabled horse owners to help their horses adapt to pasture-free environments. However, most agree that nothing beats the real thing. Boulton emphasizes that owners who are able to supply pasture should remain educated about what is growing in their backyards. But she has had success with an easy, very inexpensive way to make hays safer.
Her focus was on the levels of water-soluble carbohydrates sugars in hay, which are powerfully affected by the weather conditions before hay is cut and while it dries. About the lowest-sugar hay you can get is hay that was rained on between cutting and baling.
But how do you tell if your hay has too much sugar? Have it tested, says Watts—the look of hay is no indicator if its sugar content. Part of her poster included samples of various hay types from different areas of the United States. But how can you cut down on carbohydrates for your horse when the hay is already baled? The answer is simpler than you might think. Remember those WSC—water-soluble carbohydrates—discussed earlier?
Beyond the Hay Days. A Refreshingly Simple Guide to Effective Horse Nutrition.
Water-soluble means they dissolve in water: "Simple sugars, disaccharides, and short-chain fructan are soluble in cold water, while the longer-chain fructans are soluble in hot water," says Watts. Her research found up to a The plant species, its initial amount of WSC, and its maturity at cutting all can affect the WSC reduction potential, she said. Carolyn Heinze carolynheinze. The Grass is Not Always Greener The word "horse" conjures up images of graceful, powerful animals roaming across miles of rolling hills, periodically stopping to graze on lush, green grass. Favorite Share:. Chinese Medicine.
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