Saturday 17 September 2011

Getting Ready For Winter

I have been feeling a bit under the weather lately, but I am now feeling pretty much better so it’s back to blogging So first off here is the newest addition to our horse’s forage, our feed supplier strongly advised we give our horses some straw to munch, considering he suppliers Her Majesties Royal Stud with straw and they too feed it we thought it couldn’t be such a bad idea, so here it is.

All our equines seem to really like it, Tipper and Madeline seem the most fond of it, at first Pip wasn’t too big on the idea of going from haylage to straw but he soon realized he was just having the straw as extra and was still having the same amount of haylage and was then happy to dig in, they are all really enjoying it and it will help to keep them warm when the weather starts to turn colder.

We have also added barley rings to the horses and ponies hard feed they seem to go down pretty well so that is good, the thoroughbreds are now having very big feeds so if we want to give them anymore we are probably going to have to split it into two feeds. Anyway that’s some of our preparation for the coming winter, and yes I know it’s still quite a long time till winter, but Niko ruined his condition by cribbing and while we have stopped him from cribbing he still needs to build up more condition before winter.

Next post I’ll be telling you some more about my training and how that is going, but for now that’s all.


Sherri B. said...

So sorry you have been unwell but happy to hear you are on the mend. - Well now, royal straw...hmmm, they may just start really getting fine mouthed about their food! haha. Seriously, it is so nice that you have someone that is helpful and gives you good tips for the horses needs.
Have a good Sunday.

Sand. said...

Huh. I've actually never heard of feeding horses straw! Do you do that to add roughage and let them feel full, without upping their calories? I know that's why we did it with cattle, but they have a different digestive system...
Hmm...does this mean that Moon will eat the straw in his stall when he moves?? :O

Daisy said...

How interesting! Straw to snack on!!
So sorry though, to hear that you haven't been feeling well. Delighted that you're on the mend and back to blogging!

Debi said...

Glad your on the mend and back to enlightening us. Never given straw. I guess you're using it as a filler maybe. I do supplement with hay especially in the winter. It's a little hard to keep weight on thoroughbreds,so I might tweak his diet a little, not much. Always interesting to hear what others are doing.

RDA Pony Tales said...

Not many people know you can feed straw, but as you mentioned, the straw you are feeding your equines is proper good quality straw from your supplier and will have been stored correctly too. As you will know, some straw is not beneficial to feed which is why it is used for bedding and also why they tend not to eat it. Barley and oat straw can be as nutritious as a lower quality hay, although your equines seem to have the best of everything :) I have no need to feed Spotty up before winter. He has enough fat on him to see him through to next spring!
I am sorry you have been under the weather, perhaps the change in temperature has not helped. It has been feeling so much cooler here and I also thought I was coming down with something last week. Maybe I could do with eating some Royal quality straw too! Abby

allhorsestuff said...

Sorry to hear of the crud-keeping you down a bit.

That photo of Madeline and Niko meeting over the munching is so blame cute! Is crop that and make a clever title.

There's a new one- straw- really? horses? Bedding is what we use straw for in the U.S.
After doing an intense session of math on the Calcium/ Phosphorus ratio my mare is now getting with the new hay my Barn Owners for for the yr. Wow, math and stuff on it was intense but my.peace of mind is relaxed now, knowing she is balanced. If the Cal/ Phos balance is off for too long, it makes the bones and muscles weaker and can lead to untimely injures.

What value is tour straw?

Edward said...

Thanks every one for the comments

Sherri, ha I do hope they don’t start getting fussy still I can always rely on Murphy and Madeline to eat whatever they are given those two sure do love to eat. And yes it is good to have helpful tips that really work the straw is making such a difference.

Sand, we are feeding straw as a way of filling them but it is also putting the weight on quite fast, but it all depends on the type of straw some have a fairly low amount of calories but some can really get equines fat. If you are interested in feeding straw I would recommend a lot of research first as it can be dangerous I know that sounds odd but it can compact in the gut. Oh and yes I think Moon may eat his bed but it really all depends on how good the straw is and what he’s like, he may love the stuff and eat his whole bed, Murphy will eat his whole bed if he has a bed of straw so we use shavings, maybe you might want to use them for Moon, but it shouldn’t do him any harm to eat a little bit of his straw bed. Anyway I will stop yakking on now and let’s just hope he doesn’t eat his bed.

Deanna, they sure do love snacking on it.

Debi, yes it’s a filler but it is putting weight on them very well too, I don’t think we would do very well feeding hay as a filler as the ponies would get too fat still it seems there isn’t much that Murphy won’t get fat on.

Abby, all you say is very true you know your straw :) Murphy seems to now be in the same boat as Spotty, Murphy is so very fat now, well at least he is happy, I am hoping he will lose a lot of his weight in winter.

KK, we use straw for bedding in England too just sometimes feed it as well, but judging from my comments it seems they don’t feed straw in the USA very much. Sorry we don’t have any of our forage tested so I couldn’t say the value of the straw.

Anonymous said...

Hi Edward,

I've never heard of feeding straw although ours always seem to eat theirs if they are bedded down on it. It seems you have done your research though and with the price of hay going up and up maybe it's something we will see more of in the future. I am having to feed up my old pony to get her ready for winter, she doesn't hold her weight any more and gets quite thin in the winter even with as much hay and feed as she can eat. unfortunately I won't be able to feed her straw as she has bad allergies to it so I have to use shavings or rape straw bedding for her. Glad you are feeling better and that your horses are all happy and healthy. Hannah :)