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Proper nourishment


I've lived and kept horses in Houston for years and years, be glad to help
you with feed problems for this locale.

Your mare may have dropped 30 lbs simply because this climate takes some
getting used to and the changes in feedstuffs, surroundings, and companions
may have had an additive and adverse effect.  

The coastal hay she is getting is what our friends in the western states
call bermuda grass hay (coastal is a variety of bermuda, we specify here
because we grow other varieties too).  It is good horse hay, depending on
the source it runs about 9-11% protein.  You may hear of incidences of
colic on this hay but not in horses with adequate turnout, horses stalled
all the time occasionally have colicked.

I don't know what sort of pasture you have, most horse pastures are in
coastal or bahia grass and are good sources of forage.  Horses do graze
them close to the ground, you can't see how fast they grow until you take
the horses off for a couple of days.  With the onset of cooler weather, the
bermudas will go dormant; unless rye is seeded, the pasture isn't going to
last much longer.  

Just so you know, we aren't selenium deficient here.  

I would be a bit concerned that several horses fed loose could mean that
some may not get all the supplements, wormer, or feed intended as they
change buckets.  Horses eat at different speeds <G>.

How many ribs can you see?  How many could you see in Iowa?  Is she stabled
at all here?  Was she there?  Is her exercise/work load the same?

Our horses (8 of 'em) are on 24 hour turnout with a run in shed, have about
6 acres of actual grazing land and are supplemented with all the coastal
hay they will eat in 24 hours.  We feed grain individually and the amounts
vary from a half pound to six pounds, twice a day.  There is simply that
much difference in metabolic requirements among our herd.  they are fed
individually.  I want to see the last rib or two on all of them but the
half pounders sometimes look as if they haven't any ribs at all <G>.  Our
hay consumption varies from none to two bales a day, depends on the
weather.  If we get decent rains without flooding, they don't touch hay for
about 8-9 months of the year.  In winter, they eat a bale to two bales a
day, depending on how the well annual rye grows.  


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