what do you feed your horses

Discussion in 'Feeding Horses' started by aussie_rider91, Sep 20, 2012.

  1. Erika Roberts

    Erika Roberts Active Member

    My 8 y/o tb gelding gelding is on grass and hay at the moments! Has been pretty much all through winter! He will be fed a hard feed in the summer
    2 scoops of chaff
    1 scoop of Lucerne chaff
    1 scoop of mill mix
    1/2 scoop of soaked barely
    Sunflower seeds
  2. LiveLoveRide

    LiveLoveRide New Member

    5 year old Quarter Horse Mare - Light Work (2-3 times a week)

    Per day:
    1 scoop Oaten Chaff
    2 scoops Lucerne Chaff
    1.5kg Pegasus Liberty
    60ml Equilibrium
    2 teaspoon Garlic
    1 cup Canola Oil

    She gets enough lush grass 24/7 that she doesn't need hay. She doesn't even touch it when I put it out for her, so I don't bother anymore. She's naturally a pretty good keeper. I'm going to switch her off the Liberty onto a less "heavy" pellet feed soon, as she's finally starting to fill out and lose the ribby look that she had when she came to me about 6 weeks ago. She's looking great now! But we'll see how the pasture fairs when summer rolls around.


    Can someone explain to me why some people feed so much chaff? 4/5 scoops of oaten chaff? That seems like a lot to me, and must cost people a fortune. I was always told a horse's stomach can only hold as much as a plastic bag, and if you fill it up with chaff, they won't absorb the nutrients from their other grains. If I want to put weight on a horse I feed unlimited hay (it works out cheaper). My hard feeds only contain a small amount of chaff to act as a slowing agent so they don't scoff down the good things. So my question is, what's the reasoning behind feeding a whole bucket of chaff? :confused:
  3. blitzen

    blitzen Gold Member

    My pony, in light to moderate work, is recovering from ulcers and is mid course of gastropel.

    He's on: lucerne chaff, sweet chaff, alka pellets, canola meal, whey powder, slippery elm, celery seeds, msm, equimin and salt.

    Plus compressed oaten hay. Pre ulcers, he had no alka pellets or slippery elm and had crushed lupine instead.

    My mare, in light work, is on the same diet except has oaten chaff instead of lucerne and full fat soy instead of canola. She's buckskin and went brown this winter, so Ive stopped things that may change colour. Plus she gets about 400gms crushed lupins. Oh and no slippery elm for her. I did start her on alkapellets at the same time as the pony as it's touted as a wonder feed. We'll see.

    I feed for protein, fibre & sand (the sweetchaff) and now, improved tummy function. Always happy to hear advice tho.
    I don't feed much chaff, but do feed a lot of hay.
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2012
  4. paula223

    paula223 Gold Member

    My Boy doesnt seem to be touching his hay so i just put 2 scoops in as i like to think he is getting some roughage,so yeh 2 or 3 scoops at the most
  5. Ali

    Ali Well-known Member

    Mine are all a mixed bunch, I've got 1 that I need to get a bit of weight off ( a 20yo mini prone to founder) 3 that I need to keep about how they are now, no heavier. (2 TB's and a young welsh x) and 2 that still need abit more condition ( a growing 2yo and an elderly 28yo) . I am currently feeding oaten and lucerne chaff, whole soaked lupins, Breeder, Copra and the two that need abit more are both on Omega Weightgain, plus the 2 oldies (20yo mini and 28yo TB) also get MSM. They all get salt. The mini gets Founderguard and the 2yo also gets Red Cell twice a week. The mini only gets a small amount of oaten and lucerne chaff plus about 100gms of lupins. They are on grazing 24/7 and they also get oaten hay once a day. I tend to alter the amounts they get depending on their condition, if they get abit lighter in condition I increase the amount of lupins and Breeder. If they get abit too 'round' they have these cut back abit. One day a week they will have just hay and grazing, no hard feed.
    With feeding it tends to be abit trial and error, what suits one horse may not suit another.
  6. aussie_rider91

    aussie_rider91 New Member

    Remaani, What a difference, she looked incredible at the end !!

    It is interesting to see what people are feeding their horses, it's good to see a fair bit of natural stuff in there too. Few things I havent heard of before!
    I'm always a little funny about using supplements as I've always liked to keep it natural with herbs/natural foods.
    However I recently lost my old tb to an incredibly bad hoof absess (first time any of my horses have had one) and I've become a natzi about their hooves and their overall condition.
    What supplements/natural materials are you using for hooves and overall condition as well as nutrients?
  7. Freestyle

    Freestyle Well-known Member

    I've got a fatty wb filly and she just needs to look at food to get enormous!

    I feed her lucerne chaff (1kg) and 500g Hygain balanced.

    It is a concentrated complete feed, including biotin for strong feet - i love it **)

    She also gets ad-lib hay inside 2 slow-feeder nets (double bagged).
  8. Deb2

    Deb2 Guest

    Blitzen - my horse windsucks, although has no other signs of ulcers, so it would seem to be a habitual vice for her. All the same, I am caucious about feeding her anything that might be ulcer flaring, hence no raw grains, no added salt (the pellets have enough and I give her electrolites), no garlic, and I stopped the sweet chaff as I was concerned that it was the hulls of oats, which are a no no for windsuckers. Do you know if the sweet chaff would be a problem for an ulcer sufferer?

    LLR - I top my horse up with chaff as she wont eat hay at the moment due to plentiful grass in her paddock. She probably does not need it, but I would rather waste my money on chaff that she will eat than hay that she will waste.**)
  9. Remaani

    Remaani Guest

    I don't feed oaten chaff except to the Mini's (that are hardfed).
    But everything else here, the only chaff they get is Lucerne because i feed ALOT of hay. ;)

    Thankyou, i'm VERY happy. :)
    I don't like seeing skinny youngsters, well any age really.
  10. Anna E

    Anna E Guest

    Movement, movement, and more movement. Mine are all paddocked 24/7 on (currently) about 9 acres. In summer they run on 100 acres of stubble with hills, gravel, dams to wade in, and sand.
    I don't feed anything specifically for feet, but all 5 (of varying breeds, backgrounds, sizes and workloads) have good feet. One little mare came to me 6 months ago with crap feet: she gets a basic diet of lucerne chaff, lupins, and a vit/min supplement, no biotin or anything. The change in her feet over 6 months has been huge, and I truly believe it's the movement on varying terrain that has made all the difference.
    My Arab X, in full work, but a VERY good doer, gets:
    Scoop lucerne chaff, 500 g oats, 500g lupins, and a supplement with Vitamin E/Selenium, plus salt. One feed a day, plus ad lib grazing/hay depending on season. He is trained for 80km endurance rides on this diet.
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 7, 2012
  11. Arnie

    Arnie Gold Member

    Mine don't get chaff either and I'm often confused why people over feed it. I think maybe due to lack of education or they feel bad for not feeding a HUGE feed?

    My horses do only have a HANDFUL of lucerne chaff offering no nutritional value what so ever but just to combine their barley and FFS and are on a wheaten hay roll and have slow feeder hay nets at night in their stables.

    Photo's taken yesterday...

    In full 6 day a week work rising 6 year old purebred arabian gelding:


    Rising 3 year old purebred arabian filly in no work:


    I've also had skinny thoroughbreds and other breeds on the exact same diet plus lupins.
  12. Freestyle

    Freestyle Well-known Member

    I think you've hit the nail on the head - people feel good about giving a full bucket, without really understanding why they are feeding it.

    All my horses are on ad-lib hay and no chaff. WA is pretty much the only place that feeds "chaff", because it's readily available and relatively cheap. IMO hay is much better for their digestive health and also has the benefit of preventing boredom so I won't be feeding chaff any time soon :p
  13. Deb2

    Deb2 Guest

    I can assure you Arnie, I am not feeding plenty of chaff due to lack of education or to minimise a bad feeling if I were not feeding a HUGE feed.

    I want my horse to have some dry roughage, but due to the grass being too yummy at the moment, she wont eat her hay, so I have swapped hay for more chaff.

    She is eating a bag of oaten chaff a week, and that is preferrable to me than zero hay.;)

    When the grass loses some of its yummyness, she will be on much less chaff and lots of hay.;)
  14. Arnie

    Arnie Gold Member

    I didn't mean anyone to take it personally Deb, there's no need to justify yourself :). Just my opinion and observation ;), not pointing the finger at absolutely everyone.
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2012
  15. Deb2

    Deb2 Guest

    I know its just your opinion, which you are more than entitled to, of course;), but I just wanted to point out to you that there are more than two reasons for why someone might be feeding a large bucket of chaff.

    I much prefer feeding copious amounts of hay, but dear, sweet Shilo has other ideas at the moment.;)
  16. beaudacious

    beaudacious Well-known Member

    My horses are on grass 24/7. The smaller paddocks are mainly kike but the large one is a mixture of kike, winter grass, thistles, several different native grasses and about 5 different types of fodder/fruit trees.

    They also have an oaten hayroll in their small paddock that they can pick at whenever they want.

    Between three horse my total outlay each day is 1 cup of TDI, 1 cup of tru care, 1 1/2 cups of FFS, salt, a vit/min supplement and 2 cups of alkapellets. They also get 3 different types of chaff (total ammount per horse is equivilent to 1 Roma scoop) just so that they arent chasing half a cup of cubes around an empty feed bucket.
  17. Arnie

    Arnie Gold Member

    And I'm well aware of this but this was my opinion regarding other aspects of chaff feeding.

    Again, no need to justify yourself.
  18. Deb2

    Deb2 Guest

    Ditto to you!:)*
  19. beaudacious

    beaudacious Well-known Member

    1) Because everybody does it so it must be correct ;)

    2) It tends to be an automatic reaction to add chaff when something goes wrong. If the horse loses weight, isnt eating its hay or has limited access to long stemmed roughage the first thing most people do is up the chaff. In some cases they are completely warranted but most of the time it's a knee jerk reaction.

    3) People seem to believe that their horses need big hardfeeds because they are big animals.

    4) Feel good factor.

    5) Convenience.
  20. Remaani

    Remaani Guest

    The filly i posted pics of,i described what she was fed, however it filled a 8lt bucket (which she got twice daily).
    The barley, salt, canola & vit/min then fill the rest with lucerne chaff.
    So in reality, was a very small amount of feed considering, but with adlib hay in the paddock, i see no point in increasing the quantity of her hardfeed.... the stomach isn't that big. ;)

    I've seen ponies the SAME height & age, fed the grain/pellets then the rest of a 20lt bucket filled with chaff! :eek: :eek: :eek: (& they get plenty of hay too).

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