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Re: [RC] feeding for the cold weather (Susan G?) - heidi

   I am wondering if during these cold snaps I should
adjust my feeding to provide extra calories.  I do up their
grain (Purina Complete Advantage with Glanzen 3 supplement) by
about 25% (from 2 to 2.5 scoops, probably about 5 lbs at most)
on really cold days.  I've read here (from Susan G? I think)
that alfalfa is a 'heating' feed: would adding some alfalfa
pellets help my guys stay warm?  Or would oil be better?

Protein has a high heat of digestion, so is a good thing to add in warm
weather.  Forages also help with heat, as they provide a "steady state"
energy production in the hindgut.  Alfalfa helps both ways--so yes, some
alfalfa pellets would be good in the cold.

Beet pulp is also worth considering--no protein, but does add the forage
to the hindgut without you having to feed hay to the whole herd.

Certainly fats help, too, in that they contain more calories per unit of
weight.

For a quick cold snap, I'd be more inclined to use the beet pulp and/or
the alfalfa pellets.  I'd be more inclined to use fats if I were designing
a diet for the entire cold winter, simply because it takes a bit more time
to acclimate a horse to being able to utilize the fats well than it does
to the other two.

I would not "up" a grain ration in cold weather--carbs are quick calories,
and are more apt to just "turn up" the blood sugar for a couple of hours
instead of helping the horse maintain a steady state of staying warm. 
(Unless, of course, you want to go out and feed every couple of hours...)

Heidi



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Replies
[RC] feeding for the cold weather (Susan G?), A. Perez