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Saturday, September 3, 2011

FEED and weight, what to do?

Wow! have you ever read the bag your feed comes in?   While I make sure to read it more closely than most foods I purchase for myself... it is astonishing how much weight this is going to be on my trip.

Navarre can not eat  complete feed, they are too high in sugar as most use molasses to bind the pellets together. Therefore I can't allow Sweet Pea to have any either as they tend to fight over each others feed no matter what I do to separate them.  I can lock Navarre in his stall and sure enough Sweet Pea will have left something behind as she decides hay is more her taste.  Then as I let him out they both rush to the others bowl to see what is there!   Just like two kids that get a slightly different diet, the other is always better.

Navarre is an EASY keeper! Thank goodness!  It is only his medical issues that make his feeding more difficult and demanding.

Sweet Pea is a HARD keeper! But she is food smart, as where Navarre is not.  HE will eat himself to death.  SHE will piddle around eat till she is full and go on to something else.   She prefers hay over a large portion of  feed.

Hay is going to be an issue on my trip!
With Navarre's medical issues I can't just accept hay from anyone!  Such a quick change in diet is enough to throw him into a colic. So I am going to have to add a hay stretcher into their diet!

I do not like doing this, but at this point it appears to be my best option.
Hay = HEAT in the winter.  so I will try to carry some alfalfa cubes as well, but they require being soaked in water and that alone creates another issue.  Water is going to be a problem in the winter no matter how much I plan.

SO Heat! .... hay stretcher to keep their gut going, Alfalfa cubes to give them more heat, and OIL!   YEP!

Right now my kids (horses) get rice bran oil every day...
Navarre gets one to two cups a day!
Sweet Pea gets only up to one cup a day!

I will replace 1/2 of their rice bran oil with corn oil!   Why! two reasons... Rice bran is EXPENSIVE ... AND it is a cooler burning oil in their body! (so I only feed rice bran in summer to keep them from getting so hot)   So the Corn oil will not only save me 2/3rds the cost but will also give the horses a better heat source at night!   THIS heat is what I am after!

OIL= heat, gut protector, and sugar replacement in horses with PPSM.

Think about it! What is the second thing your vet does if your horse colics?
After checking for stomach for extra acid he puts oil down the stomach to move (hopefully) what ever is blocked in the intestines.  a constant source of oil helps the horse NOT to colic so easily, for a horse like Navarre this is very important.

Sweet pea is on a low carb diet... the weight of 1/2 a scoop of her feed is +/- 2 lbs
Navarre is on a NO carb diet... the weight of 1/2 a scoop of his feed is +/- 2lbs
THEN you ADD the 6 ( yep SIX pounds) of hay stretcher for EACH horse that alone is 4+4+12

they get fed twice a day... 2 lbs each time is 4 lbs
then 6lbs of hay stretcher each is 12 lbs
total of 16lbs a DAY just for basic feeds! This is not including the extra they will need to keep up the demands of the walk OR for HEAT to make it through the night unprotected.  ( yes I will pack rain coats for them but... that's it)
16lbs is not including the weight of all the oil that has to go on that food, OR the supplements that are required  for Navarre and his medical issues.

I will break their feeds into thirds on the trip but that does nothing for the weight of the matter.

so I am figuring the oil will weigh at least two pounds if not just under.  After weighing the supplements that weight 9 oz a day for just Navarre... Then oil on top of that ... I'm adding three pounds a day.

19lbs for ONLY one day!
5 days of feed is going to take up almost 100 lbs! That is a lot of feed, a lot of space! That is a lot of worry!

Not to mention keeping this feed from getting wet! Zip locks are great but they sweat like any other plastic when they get wet, hot, cold etc... I am figuring a river bag is going to be my outside layer!

IF anyone has a or several river bags I can borrow please contact me!   I will need them for sure!

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