Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Analysis Paralysis--horse feeding

I have a herd of  various horses with various needs...They eat different amounts, need different calorie counts and have different positions in the herd. I'm trying to figure out what to feed and how to feed them best that each one gets what he/she needs. 

Gorgeous Dixie Lynn--pretty much lives on pasture, but needs a few more calories through the        winter--near bottom of the herd.
Mike's Dixie--lives on just pasture and hay and is fat--near bottom of the herd
Sherman--needs a fair amount of high quality feed and is a bully about being fed, so needs a larger  amount of feed and needs to be kept from stealing the other horse's feed
Liberty--Much like Sherman, needs a higher volume of feed, but can't keep his feed away from  Sherman when he wants it.   
Duke--Mike's 3 year old who is still a stallion (this will soon be rectified). He was out running around  with Mike's Dixie, a foal (Stormy) and a mule until we penned him up to start getting him halter  broke and turned into a solid citizen.  He has gone from heavy to too skinny. I'm contemplating  letting him out to eat more forage than the hay he has been getting. I have been feeding him a couple  times per day, but he frets when left alone and has not done well in confinement. So I need to make  sure he can eat all his feed, but that he feels secure enough to actually start eating again.
Jezebelle--Mike's mule who is on her way to live somewhere else (someone want a mule that is  mostly wild and likes to stomp dogs, gorgeous, but cagey and hates dogs.
Stormy--6 month old foal who is of good weight...a little too heavy but since it's winter I don't want  to cut her back too much.
Hermoso--Paso fino gelding from a rescue in florida...very cute, not a bad weight but could gain  more. Hasn't come to Mike's yet, so I'm not sure what will happen when he comes here.  He  currently eats Bluebonnet Omega Force feed (which I love) but not a huge amount.
Vandy--Needs a little more weight, but has held his weight well at Teresa's over the last month on  pasture, getting fed sporadically. Also currently eats Bluebonnet.
Joe Bob--Yes, his name is really Joe Bob. He has been on one scoop of One and only, which I can't  get down here. Not sure about his ease of keeping yet, but he may be slightly insulin resistant and  may have to have his sugar watched.

Liberty, Sherman, Vandy, Hermoso, and Gorgeous Dixie were all with me in Bluff Dale.  Duke, Jezabelle, Stormy and Mike's dixie were all at his house to start.  He fed his horses Omolene 300 (because of the foal, who was an orphan) and Country Acres 12/8 pellets. I fed my horses Bluebonnet Omega force. It is similar to Ultium and another ADM feed that was high in Omega 3's.  The price point is around $25 per bag give or take.  Mike's feed is much less expensive and I can get it down the road, but I have been so happy with the Bluebonnet I really hate to switch. It seems like they could all eat it and be ok if I fed it in adjusted amounts, but dang, it's so expensive. I have wondered about feeding the "working" horses the better feed and the ones who are just hanging out something else.  

I know there are a million different ways to do this and there isn't a right or a wrong, but there are so many choices I have a hard time making up my mind.

What I haven't been able to decide or figure out is if omolene is good for the horses or's been around for so long but it seems like it has too much sugar? Shrug. I have been guilty of buying the TSC 12% sweet feed in a pinch too and they don't seem to be suffering.

But the real dilemma is how to get some weight on Duke really fast. So I would love some suggestions...

Anyway, pardon the paralysis, and please I do take constructive advice.

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