Monday, February 28, 2011

It's been almost a month...

And a lot has been going on. I will warn you a little with this post; it may be lengthy.

So, to start out with, Danielle still hasn't gotten Lilly. It's been a BUNCH of phone tag with the lady that is keeping her (LeeAnn) and a lot of wasted time so far, BUT we believe LeeAnn took Lilly to the vet last week to get her shots up to date! This is a major step in the right direction. Danielle wants to make sure Lilly is completely up to date and negative for any diseases before bringing her to the farm (VERY SMART!). I'll keep you updated on this process.

Another thing that I have been busy with is trying to put some weight on Santana. I took some pictures on her birthday (January 26th) and, when comparing them to the pictures I took of her on the day I got her (December 10th), I noticed that she had lost quite a bit of weight. She had been getting fed the same feed that the other horses were being fed, Heritage 14% pellets made by Big V Feeds.So I made the decision to switch her feed to something more natural vs. feeding her more of this feed. Horse feed is a lot like dog food in the way that there are often a lot of fillers present. Things like corn meal, etc that don't really have any nutritional value. In my opinion, this feed is not the best feed for a horse to eat.

After quite a bit of research and some opinions, I decided to go with alfalfa pellets instead of any type of grain. Alfalfa is a type of hay that is very high in protein. The pellets are basically a compressed version of the alfalfa hay and do not contain any types of grains or sugar of any sort and there is very little processing necessary.

The recommended amount to feed a horse that is trying to gain weight is about 1 pound per 100 pounds of horse. This would mean that Santana would need about 11 pounds per day. Once she is up to a good weight (she is almost there now), you can back the amount down to about 8-9 pounds per day.

I also added ground flax seed to her diet. Many people eat this as well. Once ground, the flax seed is a light colored powder that is just sprinkled on the top of her pellets. She is getting about a cup of this per day currently. Once she is up to good weight, I will back this down to 1/2 cup per day. The flax seed adds "good" fat to her diet to help her gain/maintain weight. This also helps tremendously with her coat! She will be gleaming once she sheds her winter coat!

Also, since she is on a straight alfalfa diet, I need to add a multi-vitamin to her diet. A lot of processed feeds contain these vitamins and minerals in them as well as the fillers and sugars, etc. I chose a multi-vitamin that is specially formulated for alfalfa diets and horses that are in medium to heavy work.
I never knew a horse's diet could be so complicated! Back in the day, my horses were super easy keepers. I never really had to think a whole lot about what I was feeding them because they always stayed fat and happy.
This coming Saturday (March 5th) will make 4 weeks that Santana has been on this new diet. i will make sure to take pictures and show the before and after. I can already tell a difference, but I want to see what you think!

No comments:

Post a Comment