Want your winter feeding or nutrition questions answered?

Lost when it comes to horse feed, forage and supplements? What works for your horse? Join the discussion
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Want your winter feeding or nutrition questions answered?

Postby admin » Wed Oct 19, 2011 8:47 am

We've teamed up with The Pure Feed Company and want to know what you need to know this winter.

Its the same problem every year, summer ends and Autumn is upon us and after that the winter. With the winter's being a lot harsher than usual a lot of horse and pony owners are left wondering what they can do to protect their equine friends during the tough winter months.

We're inviting all the H&R readers to submit their feeding, nutrition or dietary questions to us, we will then pick the top 5 or best questions and The Pure Feed Company will answer them for you.

This promotion will end on the 1st November 2011, and answers will be re-posted back on this forum, facebook and the H&R page.

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Re: Want your winter feeding or nutrition questions answered

Postby admin » Mon Nov 14, 2011 10:26 am

Q:
I have a 20-year-old Appaloosa X gelding. He lives out 24/7 but puts on
weight just by breathing! However, as he suffers from arthritis in his
hocks, he ideally needs to be on a joint supplement. What would you suggest
feeding alongside this that won't fizz him up or make him put on weight, as
he won't eat the supplement without feed!

Answer from The Pure Feed Company:
Providing your lad with a wide spectrum of all the essential vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and amino acids is vital, as they are especially important for horses over the age of 15 – free radical production is higher in older horses and the key antioxidants (such as vitamin A, C and E) will help to mop those up. Because the ability to digest and absorb seems to be lower in older horses too, try to look for a balancer which contains pre and probiotics, then you’ll be helping to keep the microorganisms in the hind gut functioning at the optimum population. By feeding a high specification balancer such as Pure Balance, which is low in starch and molasses free, as a base to add his joint supplement to, you can be safe in the knowledge that your gelding will be getting all the nutrition he deserves, just without those dreaded extra calories.

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Re: Want your winter feeding or nutrition questions answered

Postby admin » Mon Nov 14, 2011 10:28 am

Q:
My 15 year old horse prefers to live out in winter can you recommend a suitable feeding regime? He has good grazing and haylage and he is ridden daily.

Answer from The Pure Feed Company:

Horses can utilise up to 80% of their dietary energy just to keep warm in the winter so it is important that he gets enough slow releasing energy in order to keep his body temperature at the optimum, whilst not losing weight through the workload that he is doing. It is fantastic that he has access to a constant supply of forage (as this provides a warming effect in the hind gut) which helps to ensure that the concentrates going in can be used for storing fat rather than keeping warm. His current diet may need some more calorific value now that the weather is getting colder, so try looking for a feed with a higher DE MJ/kg than he was getting during the summer/autumn and remember to keep the starch and sugar levels to a minimum to avoid diet related problems such as azoturia, laminitis and excitability.

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Re: Want your winter feeding or nutrition questions answered

Postby admin » Mon Nov 14, 2011 10:36 am

A:
I also have 6 yr old ISH mare who despite being quite fat in summer dramatically drops condition in winter. However she is also very fizzy and I'm not sure how to feed her enough to maintain a decent weight but keep her from killing me! Last year she was on unlimited hay, daily turnout and two huge feeds of sugar beet, nuts and chaff, she is regularly wormed and has teeth checked every 9 months. Any advice/solutions gratefully received!

Answer from The Pure Feed Company:

The key to maintaining weight over winter is to try and prevent the weight loss rather than correct it once it has already happened, so now would be the perfect time for a diet change. Look for a feed which is dense in slow releasing energy sources, such as oil. By providing slow release energy, there will be no bursts of excitement and through this more consistent form of calories, should increase her ability to put on and maintain weight better in the cold. A good tip is also to supply consistent access to forage, as due to the warming effect in the hind gut, less energy will be burnt trying to keep warm. Pure Condition would be a great option for your mare as it has the correct cool energy required for excellent conditioning without the usual behavioural problems associated with high starch diets.

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Re: Want your winter feeding or nutrition questions answered

Postby admin » Mon Nov 14, 2011 10:39 am

Q:
Hi, I have a 6 yr old ISH mare, that we do Workers, XC, farm rides etc with, I struggle to put weight on her despite her having 3 feeds a day an unlimited hay/haulage. (she is regularly wormed and has her teeth checked twice a year) We have also recently bought a gorgeous 4 yr old 14.1hh Connie that we have had castrated, he also needs to put some weight on over the winter to be ready for showing in the spring. Advice would be gratefully appreciated. Thank you.

Answer from The Pure Feed Company:

It can indeed be tricky to maintain weight in the colder weather, and some horses are prone to dropping off drastically, but there is definitely something that you can do to improve both of your horse’s conditions. Most energy is burnt off and utilized through keeping body temperature constant. Make sure that they are rugged up nicely so that they are not wasting precious reserves trying to keep warm. You are doing just the right thing providing ad lib forage, as this creates a warming effect in the hind gut when it is fermented and will also supply a good trickle of energy for them. If you want to introduce more safe calories to their current ration of feed, then oil is a fantastic way of doing this. If necessary, you can gradually add 2-300ml per day (introduced over a period of 3 weeks) and you should find that their weight fluctuates significantly less by doing this. Alternatively, you can look for a complete conditioning feed which already incorporates slow releasing oil for you, such as our Pure Condition.

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Re: Want your winter feeding or nutrition questions answered

Postby admin » Mon Nov 14, 2011 10:51 am

Q:
My 12 year old TBX is going to live out this winter as he has COPD and needs more fresh air. What should I feed him?

Answer from The Pure Feed Company:
Your horse’s diet really depends on a few key factors – how much work he is doing, current weight, if he is prone to losing weight over winter and how well he copes on his current diet. If he is living out all winter then he will be burning more energy just keeping warm so I advise increasing his calorific intake through supplying a feed which is high in fibre and dense in slow releasing energy. If he is typically a poor doer then look for a feed which contains a good percentage of oil as the energy source, as this is slow releasing and sustaining, like our Pure Condition, and avoid any feeds which are high in starch and sugar, as this causes a quick burst of energy. However if he does not really need any extra energy and he puts on weight easily, then look for a feed with low calorific value (again with no added sugar or molasses), such as our Pure Easy. Supplying ad lib hay in the field is also something to consider if the grazing is poor.

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Re: Want your winter feeding or nutrition questions answered

Postby admin » Mon Nov 14, 2011 10:55 am

Q:
I have a 15.3hh 7 year old Appaloosa gelding on shared loan. At the moment we are feeding him oats and pony nuts and has been getting this feed for a while now but even with this he can still be really lazy but on the odd occasion he has sudden outbursts of energy which he does at the time you don’t want him to, leaving me being thrown off usually! Is there anything else feed wise we could try him on to keep his energy up and the keep the energy he has under control?

Answer from The Pure Feed Company:
The bursts of energy that you are seeing are most likely to be coming from the high starch diet he is currently on. Once the high energy is used up in that short burst of excitement, it is likely that there won’t be enough left to sustain him in the work that he is doing. I suggest looking for a diet which contains slow releasing energy and has a low starch and sugar level. This should eliminate any diet related excitability whilst also providing sustainable energy for his work. Try looking for a fibre based diet which has oil as the main energy source. Our Pure Working may be a good option!

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Re: Want your winter feeding or nutrition questions answered

Postby Yasmin and chico » Fri Jan 06, 2012 5:17 pm

Q: what can i feed my horse in winter :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll:


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