Mixing/Homemaking Horse Feed???
This may be a stupid question but I have always bought ready mixed feed in the past, and so did my trainer when I rode with one.
To those of you who mix or make your own feed for your horses, what are the ingredients that you put in? How much do you have to feed?
I realize that the nutritional needs vary from horse to horse, but I'm curious as to the basics of mixing, making and feeding "homemade" horse feeds.
Great question!! Thanks for posting it!
When I worked at the feed mill, we custom mixed for several barns. It depends on what you want in your mix. Some had supplements added, then % of oats, and whatever to complete. We had a winter and summer blend of molasses (winter had more oil in it so it would not solidify in the cold weather). One barn did not want barley in the mix. According to them, it made the geldings itch. Check out a feed mill (if you live in a farming area). Since they buy the farmers crops, they usually mix some feeds also. It does work out cheaper, but you may need to order larger quantities and storage may be a problem.
I agree with checking with your local mill. Ask to talk to the nutritionist on staff. For one thing, they may already have a formula on hand that fits your needs. I have a 12% and 14% textured formula on hand at my mill (I'm one of the nutritionists), and either formula can be easily adjusted to make it a pelleted ration. They also keep all customer rations on file and you can use one of those. You can even request a certain customer's ration if you know you'd like to try it. Seldom are they exclusive rations, meaning only THAT customer can use them.
Before going in there, try to have an idea of what you want...
Pellets or textured?
Oats based (likely)?
Corn or no corn?
Molasses? If yes...dry or liquid?
Do you need added Lysine in your area?
Do you want to add vitamins/minerals to your mix or do you want to top dress it?
Do you want to add roughage to you mix (alfalfa pellets, rice bran or similar)?
Do you want to add something for skin and coat (biotin, soy oil, flaxseed)?
I can see if I can put my formulas in a form that I can share it. They'd look like yiddish if I were to write them the way they are in my computer program. Please feel free to PM me if you'd like to see it, as I don't really want to post it publically. They may need to be tweaked for your area, as they were designed for central KS.
I don't feed grain to my horses, but this is a recipe I saw in the December 2008 Horse Journal:
Homemade Senior Feed
2 parts alfalfa meal
1 part wheat bran
1 part beet pulp
1 part steamed, flaked oats
Mix with warm water and feed with a vitaminn supplement.
I got a recipe from a trainer: it was oats, flaked corn, vitamin/mineral concentrate, salt, and butterscotch soybean oil. The percentage of ingredients varied depending on who was getting it (younger/older/etc.)
I have a big freezer and mix
5 bags of oats
2 bags of corn
2 bags of barley
This is then mixed into soaked beet pulp, with 1 ounce of Mackintosh suppliments and 1 teaspoon of ground flax each.
feed according to eaches needs with Maya (hard keeper) and Rosario (stallion) getting an equal amount which is far more than what the others get.
I am very pleased with the results I am getting and can say that my horses have never looked so good.
The best place to begin is to have your hay tested. Some hays are lacking or too high in some ways. There was an interesting article posted a few days ago about rice bran.
I mix my own feed it's just C.O.B Corn Oats and Barley . Then I can add what ever i want molasses or whatever supplements that they need for the day and that way I know that they are getting the right amount of everthing
Our feed consists typically 75% oats, some barley, some alf. pellets, vit ade, some salt, some other minerals, molasses, corn, 200-300 pounds rice bran, and I'm sure there's more that I'm missing.
But we get large quantities at a time during winter we get about two weeks worth at a time. In the summer we get a week's worth at a time. Which amounts to....between 14-18 bags of feed a week depending on how many horses we are feeding and age/size of the horse.
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