Grain vs. Alfalfa Pellets

Joined
24 December 2006
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17
Location
Ontario, Canada
Hi Everyone, My 3 year old TB mare is underweight (bought off the track). It was suggested to me to get her off grain (she's on 2lb, 2x day) and put her on alfalfa pellets, BOSS, and rice bran. Naturally this process would take over 2 weeks. Any thoughts on this? Why is grain no longer recommended for weight gain? Or was it ever?
 

JaneSteventon

Well-Known Member
Joined
26 August 2005
Messages
160
Hello, Suspect it's because alfalfa is a fibre feed and therefore much healthier and safer for your horse to eat than grain. I feed soaked alfalfa pellets to mine and they do great of them. The digestability of alfalfa is also improved by the addition of unmollased sugarbeet so mine get that as well, and also grass nuts when no grass is available. They are TBx 's who live out and work and they do great. You can also adjust amounts easily. Mine get tiny amounts in summer to mix in vit and min supplement and loads in winter to keep thier weight on. Barley was recommended to me years ago for a skinny TB i owned, but looking back i wish i had fed her on the diet i feed mine now, think she would have done much better.
 
Joined
24 December 2006
Messages
17
Location
Ontario, Canada
just curious...how much beet pulp are you feeding? And what is the purpose? Does it add fat? Do you have to soak the pellets? My mare is 16.2 hands and 850 lbs (I got her about a month ago). I suppose the vit/min. supplements are for balancing?
 

JaneSteventon

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Joined
26 August 2005
Messages
160
Yes feed the sugarbeet for fattening purposes as they live out, but I don't think it contains fat as such. They get 1.5kg a day which is the most that is recommended for big horses. Mine are 16.0 (520kg) and 16.2 (540kg) this is winter weight. They usually weigh about 20kg more in summer. Sorry don't know lbs. Supplement is for balancing but i only use seaweed as alfalfa is supposed to be nutritious. Also feed cooked linseed, but am guessing that rice bran is similar stuff. Yes the sugarbeet is soaked and the alfalfa and grass nuts. Hope this helps. The sugarbeet is unmollased, don't know if you can feed as much mollased sugarbeet.
 

Tia

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Joined
21 January 2004
Messages
26,100
If you are talking grain as in oats, then oats have traditionally been used in Canada and other cold places, because most of the goodness from them is transferred into heating.

If you are looking for fattening the mare, then the Rice Bran Oil will help enormously and what about using Hi-fat Hi-fibre pellets?

Buy some good quality hay in and feed her ad-lib but put her on this slowly if she hasn't been fed ad-lib before.
 
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