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Re: feeding schedules

As a shift worker and single parent, I have had to vary my feeding schedule
out of necessity.  First rule:  If they are out of hay for any extended
time such as hrs, then they get hay and the next feed of grain will be
earlier and only the one time.  Horses have to have the hay, but not the
grain.  If fed grain without hay, it can and most probably will cause
colic.  We try to get 2 grain feedings per day, but obviously it doesn't
always work.  Also, after a long ride, they are given a few hrs to eat hay
before any grain is offered.  With regular worming, (knock on wood), I have
had not digestive upsets or colic.  Hard part of this is haveing enough
good quality hay on hand.  Right now(AGAIN) we seem to be having another
drought here in East Texas.  Hay was hard to find in 96 and culd be bad
again now.  Usually, we don't have to water our yards, but now I am
watering...........I musts admit that I also feed a variety of things to my
horses.  Several yrs ago, it was a bad hay year due to too much rain--now I
have plenty of pasture, so that would not be a problem.  To deal with the
changing of hay availability, I now feed half of the grain in form of
complete pellets and half with mixed grain without the molassas(my 11yo
doesn't have trouble scooping the non-molassas mix) and then I add BAGGED
alfapha by the handfuls.  Has been working well the past few yrs.
This gives me the flexibility of uping or downing if one of  the
ingredients is on short supply without really changing the 'routine' of the
feed.  Horses almost always have free choic hay and/or pasture.  
Mary Ann. Tx

From: Gayle Ecker <>
To: C.M.Newell <>
Subject: Re: feeding schedules
Date: Wednesday, May 13, 1998 9:02 AM

On Tue, 12 May 1998, C.M.Newell wrote:

> How important is being prompt
> when feeding i.e. scheduling the times? 
> 	Back when I was a barn manager, I used to think it was a big deal. Then
> met a 3-day eventer who expalianed that she fed within a 2-hour window
> (with free-choice hay), as at an event, she had less control of the
> schedule, and didn't want to add more stress to the horses. If their
> feeding time was not carved in stone, they seemed less anxious.
> 	I tried this out, and found that it works for me. Been doing it for over
> 15 years now. Good thing, too, as my schedule would make it impossible
> my crew to eat at set times!
> 				--CMNewell, DVM

I started out feeding my horses (Arab show horses) to the "exact feeding
regime" too, thinking I was being so very good at management :>.  
The horses became demanding, pushy, fretful and some were
downright ignorant if I was half an hour late!  I started to vary the time
and kept to about a three hour window (occasionally longer when we were 
coming home from a show and the neighbour would just put the hay in for
After a while, that kind of behaviour disappeared and I honestly believed
that I had calmer horses as a result.  We never seemed to have any
digestive upsets as a result of the varied feeding schedule.  I have since
suggested this as an alternative to others and get good feedback.  So for
what it's worth, I fully agree with Dr. Newell!


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