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feeding a horse
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feeding a horse

how much sweet feed can you feed a horse a day w/o causing any problems?  we have several horses & they have started losing weight fast one has died. what else should we feed the ones that r looking skinny to prevent them from starving to death as well...they have plenty of hay.
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Horses can lose weight for a variety of reasons. It is concerning that your horses are losing weight rapidly, and even dying. About food.. Have you weighed it out?  The amount of food you feed one horse in a day should be about 2.5 percent of the horses' body weight (the weight you want teh horse to be). For a 1200 pound horse , that would be about 8.2kg (18.0lbs) of forage (hay)  per day, and 5.5kg (12.0lbs) of concentrates(grain)  per day. You should aways feed more hay than grain .  Here is a helpful website to figure out how much of each:

http://www.baileyshorsefeeds.co.uk/feedingexplained/calculator.htm

So, what you need to do is get a weight tape (from your feed mill or even TSC), and weight your horses.  However, the amount of what to feed them is based on how much the best weight for the horse would be.  1200 lbs is average weight. It is apparent that at this point they are underweight, so you need to make sure you feed for what they should weigh, NOT what they weight right now..
There are other reasons a horse could lose weight...one is internal parasites (worms). A regular deworming program is very important, otherwise the hay and grain you give the horses will only be feeding the worms and not the horse!! It is best to consult your horse Veterinarian about what de-wormers to use when...it depends on your region in the USA, time of year, etc.  And, there is not just one de-wormer that will kill all worms.  Please consult your Vet.  Also, while you have your Vet at your farm, please have time take a look at your horses' teeth.  Over time, horse's teeth get worn in such a way that they have points and unevenness...it makes it extremely difficult or impossible to chew the hay and grain, and most of it falls out of their mouth, or they end up not eating as much as they should. This could lead to weight loss. The Vet. can "float" (file" the teeth to make it easier for the horses to chew and will also lead to better digestion.
When you feed hay, is it in flakes/square bale or a round bale? Sometimes, one horse in a herd is very pushy, and so will overtake the hay, leaving the more timid horse(s) pushed to the outside and not having access to the hay. If you are feeding flakes, make sure you have 1-3 more piles than horses, and that they hay is spread out A LOT in many small piles.  If you have more than 4-5 horses eating one round bale, you might consider putting another round bale in the field.
Please let me know if you have any other questions, and let me know how your horses are doing with my suggestions.
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I have a horse we bought 2 years ago along with her  2 year old mare. We don't know how old the "Mama" horse is, but she again became pregnant about a year ago. She was fed hay and 16% feed while pregnant and still began to lose her own weight. The baby was born very fat and healthy, now 5 months later, the baby continues to be a chubby one, but the Mama has gone down severely. Her hips and ribs are showing. We are feeding her a 14% feed mix twice a day along with hay and rye grass. She started falling about a week ago and requires help getting up with a tractor and straps. We have moved her to the barn with stalls to keep closer watch on her, but is falling almost daily in the early morning hours. What can we do to help her regain strength and weight that we are not already doing? She is also being wormed every other month.
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Rachael;  I answered your other post on this matter.
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ok I really dont want to sound mean, but if your horses are rapidly loosing weight and you have to get someone to tell you all of that basic information that EVERY horse owner should know then WHY do you have horses? suggestion would be to donate the horses to an equestrian vet college or something along that matter. they will be taken care of as best as possible, and when back to health adopted. or put to sleep if conditions are not treatable. then they might use them to do tests etc. I know its harsh, but I am passionate about horses, and I would never own a horse without knowing all of those essential health BASICS for horses. They need regular maintnece and attention, PERIOD
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oh and depending on their condition. they probably shouldnt eat sweet feed to start ask your vet what they should be eating, and feed them that. please
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Avatar_m_tn
What hmmack392 said!  OMG what is wrong with people?  Are you for real?  First of all, wean the foal off of the mare!  He is sucking the nutrition out of the mare.  The foal should not be fat anyway, and you are setting it up for having OCD and other developmental issues by allowing it to be fat.

If the horse is starving to death and is falling down to the point where you are using straps and a tractor to get her up, why have you not consulted a veterinarian way before this got so far out of hand?  And if you don't have proper knowledge about horses and horse care, why on earth did you breed this poor mare?

Sounds like you should not own horses, right about now.
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And rarely do well informed horse owners feed sweet feed.  People are feeding low carb feeds these days.  Horses should not eat a bunch of sugary carb laden food, as it messes up their metabolism.  Insulin resistance, etc.

Sweet feed contains simple or quick burning carbohydrates (simple sugars/carbs) that offer insulin spikes.  It is broken down in the front gut.  This sort of energy is usually saved for high performance horses that need quick energy (like race horses or gaming horses).  

Horses need feed that contains complex carbohydrates that offer slow burning carbohydrates (complex carbs), and that are broken down in the hind gut.
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