Hard Keeper Feed Sponsorship is reserved for Sanctuary horses who require additional feed other than the standard dairy quality hay.
We are blessed to have access to dairy quality hay, which greatly increases the overall health of our equines. We have had to buy non-dairy quality hay and can quickly see the difference in the horses. We'll try to keep with dairy quality hay as long as our supplier is able to come through for us.
What other feed do we provide to the hard keepers you might ask (please keep in mind that not everyone gets all of the feeds listed and the quantity differs for each hard keeper)?
Alfalfa - We supplement the dairy quality hay with alfalfa. We prefer to buy baled alfalfa rather than pelleted alfalfa but we may offset the baled alfalfa with a little bit of pelleted alfalfa depending on the quality of the alfalfa. The weather has played a factor in our hay over the years so if need be we'll supplement with pelleted alfalfa as well.
Senior feed - We supplement with senior feed. We prefer to stick with Nutrena senior but have and are willing to try other senior feeds to see if it helps an individual horse. We don't have a standard feeding schedule that all horses have to use. We individualize each feeding ration to make sure it meets the needs of each horse.
Safechoice original - We offset the senior feed with Safechoice original for additional proteins and fat to provide an overall balanced complete feed.
Sweet feed - We use this more as a filler and don't depend on it 100% to keep the weight on a horse.
Oats - We like using oats to help keep the molasses from keeping the sweet feed from clumping. We also like to add it to the other grains. By using oats, it is easier to see if the horse is processing all of the grain or if the body is starting to fail and unable to process all of the grains. If they aren't processing the oats, we know they aren't processing the other grains as well.
Beet pulp - We use beet pulp on the very hard keepers (Bo and Junior). It's an acquired taste so we work up to it.
Calf manna - We keep this for the very hard keepers because we are afraid that it might cause ulcers. This feed is used sparingly and only as needed during the deep winters.
Calf manna weight booster - We use this powder on a few of the hard keepers but have to keep an eye on it to make sure the horse doesn't eat around it (it's another one of those acquired tastes).
Please remember that not every one of the hard keepers gets all of these feeds. It's a complete list of what we provide. We also provide Rabbit with an antihistamine for her heaves.
We also soak all grain to make it easy for them to eat (less grinding and wear on their teeth) and reduces the chance of choke.
If you would like to know specifically which horse has what type of grain ration/amount, please let me know and I'd be happy to show/tell you.