Alexa_buying a horse

Feed/buying material for health

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I NEED LOTS OF HELP! I am buying a horse, if you look up thunder acres it sells alfalfa. The alfalfa will be used as PART of the meal! But how many pounds of alfalfa am I gonna need per month? IF IT IS USED AS PART OF THE FEED THERE ARE THREE PARTS OF ONE MEAL, ALFALFA,PELLETS,VITAMIN PROTEIN. Help?

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A quality grass hay is a better choice, only adding a bit of alfalfa if the horse isn't thriving. That said, a horse should ideally have free-choice hay or grazing. Add to that a good mineral supplement and you have it pretty much covered.

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Many horses can't tolerate free choice alfalfa. It is high protein which most horses don't need. It's also expensive, but if you're in CA, probably most hay is expensive. We also need to know how your horse is kept. Does it have any turnout? How much work does it get?

Here's an article that explains how to feed a horse. And your vet can help you also. http://www.thehorse.com/articles/35663/horse-feeding-basics

Edited by jubal

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So my horse will be in a pipe coral have shaded lightly ridden each day. I might start showing. But it will be turned out once a day I’d say for bout an hour. 

Get back to me soon this is really helpfu

 

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Find out from the present owners what and how much the horse is being fed now. Any change of feed needs to be done slowly. If you are boarding the horse somewhere, get the barn manager to help you. You really need someone who knows horses to help you. Taking care of a horse is not the same as having a small pet. It can go bad very fast.

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Don't get caught up in fads thinking you have to mineral this and supplement that.  

In general, horses need hay for the roughage, to keep their digestive tract healthy and moving things along.  They get nutrition from it as well, so be sure to choose clean, dry hay that is stored indoors and isn't allowed to get wet, damp, dusty or moldy.  IMO, alfalfa hay isn't a good choice for most lightly worked horses.  When I lived in CA I bought 3 to 3.5 tons of hay (100# bales sudan grass) for my horse for the year, stored in a barn but covered with a tarp.  I lived in farming country and this helped prevent the dust of plowing and harvesting from settling on top of the hay and working its way down into the bales.  

I live in Georgia now so I feed differently because hay is produced very different here. The bales, like what I used to buy by the ton in CA, are only 45# and a ton of this hay costs twice as much as a CA ton of square bales because hay sellers don't sell by the ton here, they sell by the bale.  The smaller bales of GA hay take double the room to store in a barn.  Out here, most people bale in large round bales and only use the square bales for overnight horse camping.  Economically, it was more affordable for me to buy the large round bales as that was the best price I could get for the amount of hay my horse would need.  So I modified my feeding by building a large manger for round bales and bought a mesh net to go over the hay to prevent waste underfoot.  
This means my horses have hay free-choice 24/7 and I give them their pellets once daily.

HAY: 
Unless your horse is being vigorously worked more than half the week (riding more than 4hrs/day and worked hard enough to blow hard and sweat) it won't need alfalfa, unless you wish to feed a small portion as a treat.  A good grass hay would be better for your horse and more affordable for your budget.

PELLETS:
Choose a good, balanced feed.  Most commercial feeds already have a balanced vitamin and mineral content so you shouldn't need to purchase other supplements.  Something simple like Purina Strategy at 14% Protein and 6% Fat for medium work or Dumor Maintenance at 12%P/2/5%F for light work. I feed my regularly trail ridden horses Strategy and I get the bags of feed at a Tractor Supply store.

SALT:
I keep a mineral salt lick available at ALL times.  The horses will choose how much they want/need to take.

 

Welcome and congrats on horse ownership!

 

 

 

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