I am trying to wrap my head around a need for a new feeding regime for my old guy. Since the grass has stopped growing, and he's solely reliant on hay for forage, he's not doing as well...dentist was out, and his teeth are nearing their end with a few missing and just wearing down too much.
I have been adding soaked beet pulp and soaked hay cubes in the last two weeks, which he thinks is the best thing in the world as he's always tended towards the IR and has Cushings, so is more used to austere feeding than getting the biggest meal in the barn!!
I know you're supposed to weigh out forage replacements while they are dry, but does that mean that a bag of Dengie or Triple Crown chopped forage offers the same value as a bag of hay cubes you then soak? It would certainly be easier to feed the chopped hay and not worry about soaking, but I am trying to make sure I'm thinking about it correctly.
Thanks for sticking with me on this long one Any further tips from those that are feeding oldsters hay replacements? I am trying yo figure out how to get enough of the hay replacements into him with the two available feeding times at the barn as well....should I put another feed tub up in his stall?
Not exactly. Just for example Triple Crown adds a little bit of molasses and veggie oil to their product.
Maturity of when the forage was cut would also reflect into nutritional value. But I would not sweat it so much. I would find the product that works for your horse and stick with it. If that means you experiment with a few different products then go for it. But since he is IR and Cush you would want to avoid molasses added products.
As far as a feeder big enough to deal with his meal size ...I find a huge fortex pan works best. Bolting it to the stall wall with one large bolt at the top makes it rotate up side with ease. That makes cleaning a breeze, but I rarely have to clean it as my gelding licks it clean!
Also if you can find them SBH pellets are very low NCS and a suitable forage stretcher for a metabolic. Some horses love them...others not so much and sorta pick at them.
TC makes a Safe Starch Forage as well that you might like if he's Cushinoid (sp).
If you have access to Southern States, their hay pellets are the small pellets instead of the bigger ones, might be easier for your guy to chew.
Agree with above posters, start with equivalent dry weights and then monitor. If he is amenable, you could put the forage into a 40 or 50 gallon water trough for feeding, I use these for hay, and while they CAN flip them over, mine tend not to. They will move them about occasionally, but not dump them...