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Finding Good Nutrition in Boarding Stables

When you have your horses at home you have the flexibility of feeding them each individually, although you lose much of this flexibility in boarding situations. Your budget is likely taxed by the cost of boarding and there are no guarantees that the barn manager will reduce your bill even if you buy your own different feed.

Many barn managers choose to find the most reasonable price on the highest quality feed they can find. The barn managers also donít like it if owners bring their own feed since this can cause confusion during feeding time. However, many barn managers understand the different needs of horses and will feed any supplements the owner wants to provide. Although there are some barn managers who but feed that already has the necessary balance and doesnít require supplements. Even if you provide a barn manager with supplements there is still little chance that they will reduce your bill.

You may end up paying an additional thirty to forty dollars per month on top of your regular boarding costs if you donít get a decrease in your bill by brining in your own feed. However, correcting the situation by feeding a supplement is often the best option. Most barn managers will accommodate their customers in this area since they realize the difference in horses needs.

You should look at possible reasons if horses are too thing such as deworming schedules, pasture time and the amount of grain and hay fed. Underweight problems can usually be solved with rice bran. Extra calories in the form of fat are provided through an all-natural supplement that contains stabilized rice bran. However, never confuse rice bran with wheat bran. There is twenty percent of fat in rice bran along with naturally high levels of Vitamin E and Iron. For optimum weight gain you should feed one to two pound per day and you will also get the added side benefit of improved coat condition. An improved diet will often take about four weeks before you start to actually see benefits.

Often times, horses that are thin are not getting enough good fiber in their diets. The boarder often has little control over the pasture and hay quality in addition to quantity. Fiber supplements are one way that you can improve this feeding situation. Overall fiber intake can be improved through four to five pounds of alfalfa cubes, alfalfa/timothy cubes or chopped forage products.

In addition to underweight horses, concern should also be given to overweight horses. Restrict the horseís diet in both grain and hay or pasture to take weight off and exercise the horse more often. It is difficult to find grain rations that have vitamin and mineral fortification. To balance the vitamin and mineral requirements of a horse five to eight pounds of rations are typically required. Feeding this much grain just isnít practical for overweight horses. It is best to feed a specialty diet feed or feed the horse a supplement that provides the additional requirements all in one package.

If supplements are only giving you a portion of what you need then you should be careful when mixing them. You may duplicate certain nutrients when you mix others to make up for what is missing and this could lead to potential toxicity. It is also more difficult for employees to keep feeding consistent when more supplements are required.

You should also remember to recognize the fact that each horse needs different levels of protein. More protein is required by pregnant mares and horses under two than the mature horse. Only one protein option is usually offered by boarding farms. Managers will often use a twelve percent protein diet when there are different ages of horses in the barn since it falls between the protein needs of multiple ages. You should also pay attention to the importance of clean, fresh water available at all times for the horse along with a free-choice salt.



Read the next horse nutrition article on Cost of Feeding Your Horse.
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