1. How should I store my feed?
Keep in a dry, well-sealed ventilated storage area.
Store your bags or hay off the ground preferably on wooden pallets.
Treat your Feed Storage area like your own kitchen or pantry.
2. How long can I keep my hay and feed for?
Ensure you rotate your feed on a first in first out basis and try to use all your bagged feeds within a reasonable period of time depending on what type of feed it is.
Hay from both the Northern and Southern hemispheres will normally keep for at least one year (keeping in mind it is harvested and pressed over a 3-4 month time frame).
If any light both (UV or Sunlight) is on the hay for any length of time it can change the outer appearance colour of the bales.
3. Are there any other important feed management areas I should be aware of?
Rats love to eat all kinds of feed so ensure your feed storage is secure and sealed - Implement a rat bait or trap program if necessary.
Water Humidity Rain Splash Moisture will speed up the manifestation of mould so turn over your stock carefully – Take the time to smell and view each new bag of feed or bale of hay you open.
4. I have insects in my feed room and in my bags of feed?
These are usually annoying grain weevils that are a problem worldwide – They breed and multiply very quickly especially in warm, humid climates.
They especially like to get into Cubes, Pellets, Mueslis, Brans.
Try to keep a look out for which feed you think they arrived in ,Segregate these bags as best you can and contact your supplier for his advice and next course of action.
Whilst weevils breed well in warm conditions they do resent sunlight and by moving the affected bags outside the weevils will scatter but your feed room or storage area may need spraying as well as your pallets if wooden.
5. I am spending a reasonable budget each month on my horse’s feeding but they are not putting on weight or looking well?
Ask a qualified and experienced dentist to rasp or file their teeth at least once a year and to remove caps and annoying wolf teeth.
Deworm paste your horses 4 times per year preferably using a rotational (different) ingredient at least once.
Weigh your feeds and hay amounts so that you know exactly what amounts you are feeding.
A simple guideline feed equation is to feed at least 1kg per 100kg of bodyweight total per day of a mix, muesli, cube, pellet, nugget depending of course on the horse’s work, temperament, age, stress, weather, environment, illness, injury etc.
AND at least 1-1.5kg per 100kg bodyweight total per day of Hays, Fibres, Chaffs – Local grasses (pastures) have no nutritional value in the tropical climates but can provide some filler input into your horse’s diets.
Clean your feed bins and water buckets out every day.
Look after these items like you look after your own kitchen utensils.
6. Which Oil should I use for my horse ?
For Coat shine or Hair gloss, 40-60ml per day of oil will help whether it’s Canola, Soybean, Corn, sunflower, Safflower, Palm, Linseed (Flaxseed), Rice Bran, Camelina or Coconut.
Oils fed to horses can be a very rich source of energy as well.
Compared to cereal grains, oils can have 2-3 times the amount of energy and this digestion occurs in the small intestine.
The energy released is bound by the muscles with no lactic acid released during this process.
Keep in mind to always introduce anything new to your horse slowly step by step in small increments over at least 7 days (10-14 days is even better).
The horse will take time to adapt once oil is added to the diet but after 4-6 weeks you will definitely notice a difference.
Different oils have different amounts of fatty acids which come with both positives and negatives.
Omega 3 fatty acids have, for example, anti-inflammatory properties and offer immunity against allergies and gastric ulcers.
Oils have a high fat content and therefore add calories to a diet and is great for horses unable to consume more volumes of feed.
Omega 6 and 3 fatty acids are essential and horses cannot produce them naturally and despite on-going research the actual amounts required by horses and ratios is unknown.
It is estimated that horses should have a diet that contains more Omega 3 than Omega 6 and that a 1:1 ratio benefits digestive, reproductive, pulmonary and joint health.
If Vitamin E is part of the equation this will help with protection against muscle damage but also is a powerful anti-oxidant.
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It is easier to digest than carbohydrates and protein, creates less heat via digestion and therefore keeps the horse happy with a supply of cool energy.