ENHANCING A HORSES’S DIET WITH PREMIUM FORAGE FAQ
What level do you suggest introducing new forage to a Performance Horse?
Blending forage over or introducing new forage into a horse’s diets should be gradual, to not upset the horse’s digestive system; typically this is a 7 to 10-day adaption. Start with adding 25% of the new forage as a beginning level. If you don’t have enough forage or if your current forage is of marginal quality, go up to 50% of Standlee Premium Western Forage® for the forage component of the diet.
When is the best time to start introducing new forage to a Performance horse?
For performance horses, one should try to make the diet transition long before getting to the performance aspect. The changes in increasing the quality of the forage should happen in the early training stages. Its important not to make any dietary changes prior to a big event, when a horse goes into competition, as to not upset the digestive system.
Do you recommend pelleted or chopped forage?
Either forage format is fine, whatever is most convenient. Horses are hind gut fermenters of forage, so the fiber length doesn’t matter. This means horse owners can choose between long forage, a pelleted product, a cubed product or a chopped product, and they will all digest the same.
Does Standlee Premium Western Forage have mixed forages as well as straight forages?
Standlee Premium Western Forage® offers a wide variety of mixed forage products. Mixed forages are manufactured by taking two pure forage types and blending them together. Standlee® can blend several different types of forages including alfalfa with orchard grass, alfalfa with timothy grass, and alfalfa with oat grass. There are potential combinations that can be blended to adjust nutrient profile of the final diet.
Do you weigh chopped forage the same as you would weigh pelleted forage, even though the chopped would be more product?
Yes, all chopped forage should be weighed just like pellets. All the intake recommendations for horses, or daily feeding recommendations are based on weight values. Feeding more accurate amounts is best attained through weighing feed, vs estimating or free-feeding forage (always measure weight instead of by volume).
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How does Standlee Forage stay so consistent in quality?
We live in a high desert area in Idaho and that allows us in the summer months to control how much moisture our forage gets, and since it doesn’t rain very often. Standlee® forage is irrigated, which gives us the opportunity when the forage is at the proper stage of maturity to cut, we simply turn that irrigation off and we can harvest that plant without the worry of weather condition. The forage then dries so rapidly that we can quickly protect it, so that it doesn’t lose any of its nutrients or any of its color, versus forage that is stored or exposed to elements.
What is it about Timothy forage that horse owners like?
Timothy is a very traditional forage for horse owners. It is traditional in the fact that horses consume it well, and it has a moderate amount of protein and calories. Horse owners like to have it because it feeds so well, and the horses consume it so well.
What is the difference of Timothy Grass vs. Orchard Grass forages?
They are both grass forages, so they are the same in that aspect, as opposed to how different alfalfa would be from either one. Typically, orchard grass has slightly higher protein and calories compared timothy grass.
When starting to use Standlee Premium Western Forage, can a horse owner cut back on grain ration?
In most cases, yes. On our website, StandleeForage.com, we have a tool called the Forage Calculator. This tool shows horse owners how replacing a portion of your local hay with Standlee forage boosts the nutrient content, and how they can end up feeding less grain than the horse’s current diet. Adding Standlee Premium Western Forage® to a horse’s diet is not only safe, it’s also natural and logical.
Standlee Premium Western Forage® recommends checking with your Veterinarian and/or Nutritionist before changing your horse’s diet or adding different forages.