Feeding the Fat Buckskin

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Preach it Ellen! (Or  arsenic, whatever works LOL)

Slow times since the cold is upon us and I just got back from the holiday from hell (Family, right? If they don’t kill you nothing will LOL). That is a whole blog post unto itself for another day.

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How I felt this weekend a bit….

However, Shawn, the barn owner texted us all yesterday about upping the feed for our horses. And I wanted your opinion on what you think. We are entering into a COLD spell this week (It has been flip flopping back and forth weather wise (60’s then 20s then 40s) but now it is staying in the low 20-30’s day and low teens at night!

DAY

DESCR HIGH / LOW PRECIP WIND HUMIDITY

TODAY

DEC 27

AM Clouds/PM Sun
28°13°
20%
NW 12 mph 36%

THU

DEC 28

Sunny
24°14°
0%
NW 13 mph 34%

FRI

DEC 29

AM Clouds/PM Sun
31°21°
0%
SSW 9 mph 41%

SAT

DEC 30

AM Snow Showers
30°13°
40%
W 14 mph 60%

SUN

DEC 31

Mostly Sunny
24°10°
0%
NW 16 mph 39%
Holy shit that is some cold  weather (look at Sunday!) BRGHHH (we don’t usually get it this cold in DE!).So she wanted to know if we wanted to up our food a bit for our horses.
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This GIF just made me laugh…

A bit of back story for those new to the Remusverse: He was hugely overweight when I got him. HUGE. But over the last few years we got him in a bit better shape. He actually lost weight last year (too much) but this year he seems to be going into winter in a good weight. He gets 2 flakes of hay (coastal/grass) twice a day and a half/lb of a 10 percent pellet (she has it custom made) and his supplements from Smartpak which inlcudes Smartdigest and a multivitamin (see below).  He used to be on a insulin deficiency supplement and magnesium but he honestly has handled not being on it for over a year now with no cresty neck returning so I think he is okay with what he is on.

Remus’s SmartPaks 

  • Mega-Cell™
    Remus’s Mega-Cell™
    QTY: 1 scoop
  • SmartDigest® Ultra Pellets
    Remus’s SmartDigest® Ultra Pellets
    QTY: 1 scoop

So I think I should up his grain a bit and possibly his hay as well. They also have alfalfa available should he need it but I don’t think he needs that. What are your thoughts on upping his grain a wee bit to give him a bit more in his feed tub during the winter? His ration now doesnt even cover the bottom of the feed pail it is so sad. HA! He looks a bit like this when he eats!

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A lot of the horses at our barn are on reduced rations for various reasons. We should call it the Fat Farm! Shawn is very strict on diets and if you say not to feed more she will NOT feed more. But she also is very adaptable to changing needs and I love how she asks for our input.

I don’t want him losing weight over the winter, and while he still is well padded, he is not fat by any means. I am thinking of upping him to a lb of his grain and maybe an extra flake of hay overnight. He cleans up his hay (it is in a haynet) every night so know he would eat it. Any thoughts?

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Thanks as always for being my voice of reason! I hope everyone had  a relaxing holiday (Or at least more relaxing than mine LOL)

20 thoughts on “Feeding the Fat Buckskin

  1. Sorry your holidays were crappy 😦 I’m a big fan of the all you can eat hay buffet. Increasing hay is always my first go to. With more hay he will have higher fiber in his gut to digest which creates internal heat. If he is cleaning up all his hay every time, I’d give him a bunch more until he is leaving just a titch behind. Course my horses have hay bellies so I probably give too much.

    Grain is trickier to increase, for me at least. I view grain as cereal. It can be filling, has a lot of good things added, but also comes with a bunch of sugar and fat. If he is in a good weight now and you just want him to maintain, I’d leave his grain where it is and add the forage.

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    1. thanks! (my hoiliday was not bad but My family drives me insane (My mom died in 2014 and it just sucks without her, my dad is a pain, my sister and brother are a pain…you get the picture 🙂 LOL I am back home now and my hubby comes home today from UK SO YAY!! (PS I will increase his hay thanks again!)

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  2. Your temps look downright warm to me! Currently feels like negative 13 here. I don’t usually play with grain, just up hay. The process of digesting is what keeps them warm and grain is gone in such a short amount of time.

    I need a week to recover from the craziness of Christmas.

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  3. We get down into the single digits or below zero every winter and like many others have said, we always increase hay (usually with an extra serving around 9-10pm) but we never increase grain. Digesting all that fiber is what helps them the most, grain doesn’t really help. Also – horses evolved in cold climates and handle cold much better than humans do – they’re not even gonna blink at those temps 🙂

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    1. thanks so much and yay new blog to follow and yay I love your cob!! He is gorgeous. Thanks i know he isnt really cold or going to freeze (They are in the barn at nite) but upping the hay will make me feel better!!

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  4. I’d up hay first. If you’re worried about warmth, that’s the best way to keep them warm. If my horses need additional weight maintenance beyond free choice hay, I’ll add that pellets to their feed before upping grain. I kinda hate feeding grain.

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  5. We are currently sitting at -43*C 🤣

    I never up the grain when it gets cold, only the hay. My girl lives on a hay free for all and when it is getting low and they aren’t keeping their faces stuffed in the remaining bale, she definitely isn’t at warm.

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  6. OMG that’s freezing!!! And we get cold when it gets to 30 degrees at night LOL. It seems like many people here have already said up the hay, and I’m no different. I’d up the hay for him – grass hay. The way horses break down the grass hay in their cecum creates more warmth than with alfalfa, so if you up the grass a few days before the cold spell, it allows the horses to stay warmer 🙂 But I’m sorry your holiday was crappy! I hope your New Years is better 🙂

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  7. ugh yea this weather has me feeling super bummed, blargh. stay warm!!! maybe if it’s too cold to do anything else we should finally just say the heck with it and hit the trails at fair hill?? maybe eventually??

    anyway more to the point, i’m no expert at anything feed-related for horses but would echo what others say: upping the forage seems like it might have more bang for your buck, esp considering Remus’s history. charlie gets an alfalfa pellet in his meals (soaked) and seems to do quite well with it! good luck!

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  8. I free choice hay even with my chunky guys though they all live out. If I could get Subi to eat enough hay… I also like soaked cubes/beet pulp/hay pellets for extra forage and fluids in the winter and all 3 get varying amounts (even Jiminy). Soaking increases perceived volume but gets lots of fluids in everyone which is extra important for me (Hello Batty…).

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  9. I second upping hay as stated multiple times above. They’re call hay burners for more reasons than just consuming it at light speed – it keeps ’em warm! It’s crazy to me how much warmer your area is than ours through this cold front – you’ve got about 15-20 degrees more than we do lol. I’m grateful my horses live in a bit warmer area than I do, but even they are gonna be dealing with some negative temps pre-windchill over the next week. MEEP!

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  10. I would be inclined to increase the hay ration before the grain ration since it is slower to digest it might keep the Remus furnace burning a little longer than grain might. My barn also feeds a soaked/soupy lunch ration to help the horses with water intake in the cold.

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  11. The act of digesting is what keeps horses warm, so I’d up the hay and not the grain. I used to live on the east coast and moved to CA 7 years ago. Most people out here don’t feed grain at all (and we don’t either) and it’s been really eye opening to me. I’m not saying I’m opposed to grain for every horse, I’m not a fanatic. But you’d be surprised how well horses can do without it. And the hay will keep him warmer anyway.

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  12. Personally, I’d add the alfalfa. Several vets I have worked with have told me that that they feel that horses on coastal hay only, especially when they aren’t moving around much/stuck in a stall, are at an increased risk for colic. Instead of adding more coastal I’d be more inclined to add a flake of alfalfa, and maybe even have it soaked first if that is feasible at your barn. Just my 2 cents though!

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  13. It’s currently -12 here and -23C with the windchill. I keep my horses on a roundbale with a nibble net 24/7 and have found they are eating more than before. Annie gets 6lbs of alfalfa , 1 cup minerals, 5tbs magnesium and I’m going to be incorporating oil again when I figure out what kind she likes (mare is piiiiicky). I had been soaking the alfalfa cubes but poor Annie gets about 1/2 done the bucket and it freezes 😦

    That being said, I upped her grain after our vet visit in October and haven’t raised it during the cold weather. The horses are eating more hay, which is what they need. I wouldn’t up his grain – just the hay!

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    1. HOLY COW that is brutal. I dontk now how you guys do it. it is 6 degrees here this am with a windchill of minus 10. I just can’t LOL! I have upped his hay and may even get them to start a flake of alfalfa if this cold stays (Which it looks like it will). He is now getting 3/4 a lb of his grain (Not too much more). Thanks!!

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