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Re: Hay cubes, feeding oil and shots

> If you have to feed hay cubes, will soaking them reduce the danger of
> choking?

Yes, increasing the Sloppy Factor is one way to do that. Good way to mix in
lots of other goodies, too.  :-)

> If you wanted to feed a lot of oil, what is the maximum amount that you
> could give per
> feeding? Mine get 1.5 cups per feeding at 2 feedings per day (12 hours
> apart). How much
> could I give them at each of these 2 feedings?

It depends on how long it takes them to finish the meal.  If the oil were
fed in a fairly condensed meal, say mixed with a quart of grain that was
gobbled up in 10 minutes, then I'd say no more than about a cup a meal, and
feed such meals several times a day (if feasible, which I know is tough).
If you mixed the oil into a great big pan of soaked beet pulp, or soaked hay
cubes, etc, that it took the horse an hour or two of nibbling to finish up,
then you could probably mix several cups of fat in, depending on how
cooperative the horse was about it.

So I guess my recommendation would be to feed the fat in such a way that he
was actually eating no more than about maybe a cup of fat per hour, and then
figure out some way that works for you so that the horse is nibbling his way
through as much fat as possible throughout the day.

The reason for trying to 'dilute' the amount of fat per meal is because
critters rely on bile from the liver to emulsify the fat into fatty acids
that can be absorbed in the small intestine.  Most species have a gall
bladder that stores bile until a fatty meal comes along, and then dumps it
more or less all at once.  Horses don't have a gall bladder, they secrete
small amounts of bile all the time---so you'll get better digestion and
absorption if you don't overwhelm the relatively small amount of bile.  Feed
the fat in a smallish trickle instead of a big deluge, because any fat that
sneaks its way past the small intestine without being broken down and
absorbed is just wasted and contributes to loose poop.

Having said all that, you can feed pretty much as much fat as you can
convince your horse to eat.  Texas A&M were feeding their research herd some
pretty huge amounts of fat without problems, the best I've ever managed to
convince a horse to eat per day was about eight cups of oil per day (and
that was in big sloppy mashes as described above).

Can't help you with the vaxes needed for XP.

Susan G

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