Saturday, March 20, 2010

Horse Health Care: Sunflower Seeds and More ...

Here's a guest comment/post from Garth, one of my readers in response to my blog post about hay testing.

It was so good that I just had to post it! I so dig great new information, especially about horse health care, nutrition, bodywork, and horsemanship.


Here's what Garth says:

I liked the blog. It's a good introduction to hay analysis. You could expand on it in the next issue.

I've been asking and getting a hay analysis for as long as I can remember, Our fields up here can vary so much from one farm to the next, and even one field to the next. I of course get my hay from the same farmer all the time and the same field: 15% to 20% alfalfa the rest orchard grass since my horses don't do to much but stand in the field all day.

It's to icy this year to ride cause we're having such a mild winter and very little snow.

The hay I get is deficient in selenium, always has been, so I buy a 5 pound bag and feed about a teaspoon a day per horse. Most supplements advertise they have selenium in their feed but the quantities are not adequate. You would have to feed 20 pounds of supplement a day to get an adequate amount of the mineral. Besides 5 pounds is cheap and it lasts for years. This is always a problem with supplements, the quantities are so benign almost to the point of making them ineffective because they have to cover such a broad spectrum of feeding situations. The base ingredient in supplements is grain so I have a bag of grain that I only feed if the horse works hard for a day and then not more than a cup.

Sunflower Seeds
The most important feed I give my horses is one cup or sometime two cups of sunflower seeds. They are cheap and the horses gobble them up like candy. Johnny Cash (pictured above) gets right upset if he doesn't get his seeds. This will supplement your carbo-deficiency. I feed 1/3 of a 70 lb. bale of hay per day per horse and if they get any fatter I'm going to cut that back. You will find that the seeds will make a huge difference in their coats. My horses never get blankets. Actually I don't own blankets and they have such lush coats their starting to shed already. It's going to be an early spring.

According to an equine nutritionist friend of mine there is everything in sunflower seeds that a horse needs in the way of supplements. I think so to, at least both my horse's have always been health and happy.

The last time I bought sunflower seeds the feed store was out of the straight sunflower seeds so I bought a big bag of the bird seed mostly sunflower but has some other seeds in there to. Johnny thinks he's getting an extra treat with this bag.

Looking forward to your next blog



Thanks for your feedback about horse feed, Garth. Sounds like you've got your horse health care and feeding program down pat. I love to learn about different feeds, their nutritional value, and how to feed them.

I appreciate you taking the time to write and share your information! Stephanie

1 comment:

  1. Thanks. I've wanted to feed sunflower seeds, but no one could tell me how much to feed.