I am buying a yearling colt. Can you help me with cube rations?

Asked March 20, 2013, 7:27 PM EDT

I am buying a colt and the seller has offered to sell some hay cubes they just bought, with him. I am wondering what I will need to supply him other than the water cubes and trace mineralized salt block? There is some controversy over supplements. He currently eats what he gets due to the hay shortage. It is all high enough quality but not one consistence source. I would like to keep him on the cube year round as I only have 1 horse to feed. He is also currently on Progressive, but I do not know the amounts. I am wondering what the safe sound advice is on growing him steady and healthy. Thanks.

Natrona County Wyoming horses nutrition

1 Response

Horses require about 3% of their body weight each day in dry matter intake. Grass hay usually provides suitable nutrition with around 7-10% crude protein content. You should evaluate the label of your cubes or have them tested. Alfalfa is often a little touchy for young growing and old horses contrary to popular beliefs. Alfalfa often has a high level of nitrogen naturally, and producers, including myself apply phosphorus fertilizer to maximize the hay yield. The high phosphorous in alfalfa hay and cubes tends to tie up larger amounts of calcium in the young and old horse's diets causing limited growth in young horses and bone weakness in old horses. Horses evolved on grass and it fits their metabolism. Knowing your horse's needs and the actual components of your feed is crucial. Often commercial mixes provide components that are unneeded and expensive. A trace mineral block and decent hay are sufficient. Feeding horses steady levels of concentrates (grain and mixes) is not usually needed unless they are being worked, gestating, or recovering. If horses get to much protein in their diet they can have difficulty processing it and "founder" causing lameness and health problems. Colts are more touchy just like infant children. Your UW Cooperative Extension office in Casper (at the fairgrounds) can give you material and you can find research-based information on horse nutrition by setting you advanced search functions on your browser to only search ".edu" web sources. The University of Nebraska has excellent material which you can access by going to "unl.edu", then typing Animal Science, and then Horse respectively.