Today I decided to get some work done before the rains came, which included getting my yard mowed.
I put Cookie up in the front yard so she could begin mowing the grass. It gives her some good green to eat, she leaves me fertilizer for my fruit trees and lawn and it saves me money on gas for the actual lawn mower.
While she was up front I hauled 4 loads of dirty straw to the curb, fertilized all the flowers on the outside of the fence and replaced some straw around them. I managed to bag up 4 bags of manure to sell. Since she had been free feeding she poops a lot! Now that she's back on a schedule I think things will slow down just a bit.
I had noticed this morning Cookie was off her feed. I didn't think much of it at first. Sometimes horses just don't feel good. I did note she hadn't eaten all of her dinner and I began searching for manure piles. I had found 2 that looked normal but yet something wasn't quite right so I grabbed a stick and began poking around. It was a loose pile in the middle and wet. Of course I instantly became worried and started searching in my mind for the cause. By the time I finished feeding her, I hadn't come up with anything so I went in and ate breakfast.
I had been feeding her 1 1/2 lbs. of Alfalfa pellets. I switched thinking the pellets would last longer, and they didn't last nearly as long as the cubes did. So I switched back. When I was getting her cubes ready this morning it dawned on me that with the cubes she gets more per pound and that intake of more alfalfa will cause her to scour some. Ding Ding! So I figured it out. Without realizing it, I gave her more alfalfa than she was accustomed to. I'll cut her back to 1 lb of alfalfa, 1 scoop of vitamins, 1 scoop of Flax seed. I'll omit the DE for a couple days and give her Pro Bios for a few days to help her stomach get situated.
At any rate, she appeared to be feeling better when she got into the front yard. She mowed around for about 2-3 hours and then I put her back in her paddock. I'll check on her again in about an hour and see how she's doing. She still has hay left over from this morning, but I'll feed her more come dinner time. Now she gets around 7 lbs of hay in the morning, 5 lbs at lunch and 10 at dinner. That helps to keep something in her stomach through the night.
Adjusting feed can be trial and error, and I do know better than to give her more that she is accustomed to or it can cause problems. Although I just didn't think it would because she was getting the same weight per pound, the amount is certainly not the same between pellets and cubes. Even if you soak 1 lb of pellets, it's not going to give you the bulk amount as cubes do. Lesson learned! Re-introduce the amount of cubes more slowly to avoid digestive problems.
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