Standlee Barn Bulletin

The Standlee Barn Bulletin is your source for insightful articles about premium western forage and beyond.

5 Tips to Get Your Horse to Drink More Water During Winter

5 Tips to Get Your Horse to Drink More Water During Winter

Water is the most essential aspect of any horse’s diet. Without adequate water intake, horses will not survive. An adult horse (1000 lbs.) in a cool, comfortable environment that is not working, or lactating, needs a minimum of seven to...

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3 Tips for Choosing the Right Hay for Your Small Animal

3 Tips for Choosing the Right Hay for Your Small Animal

Are you new to owning small animals? Did your five-year-old beg for a friendly, little hamster for their birthday to snuggle with and entertain them? Maybe you’re joining the world of 4-H, and your middle schooler is excited to start...

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Sheep are ruminant animals, like cattle, meaning they have a four-compartment stomach designed to ferment and digest plant fiber (pasture/hay). The four-compartment stomach retains fiber long enough so bacteria and other microorganisms can ferment and digest it. This fiber digestion process features rapid fiber intake, followed by hours of regurgitating, re-chewing and re-swallowing of the partially digested fiber.

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With a digestive system uniquely designed to digest fiber, sheep rely heavily on quality fiber to satisfy their nutrient requirements. In fact, sheep can easily meet their nutrient needs when fed high quality fiber (pasture/hay), a free-choice trace mineral salt (designed for sheep) and fresh, clean water. Daily fiber intake can range from 1.75% of body weight to nearly 4% of body weight, depending on the quality of fiber available and their reproductive status. High-quality fiber is important since sheep, when given the opportunity, are selective eaters. On a pickiness scale, sheep fall somewhere between goats, as the most selective eaters, and cows, being the least selective eaters.

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Forage Selection in Winter

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Plant fiber source selection for sheep depends on the lifecycle of the sheep and season of the year. When high-quality pasture is available, primarily during spring, summer and fall, sheep will utilize pasture plants, both grasses and legumes, as the primary source of nutrition. In the winter months, when high-quality pasture is not available and during times of peak nutrient requirement, stored forage (alfalfa, alfalfa/grass mixed and grass) becomes the major nutrient source to meet their needs.

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Grass Forage

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High-quality grass forage, such as timothy or orchard grass, are excellent nutrient sources for sheep that are not nursing or are in the early stages of pregnancy (first 15 weeks). These animals have low maintenance nutrient requirements and can be fed grass forage during the early winter months prior to lambing. Feeding mixed (alfalfa/grass) forage or pure alfalfa forage may provide too many calories to sheep, causing them to become overweight.

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Alfalfa/Grass Mixed Forage

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These forages contain more calories (energy) and protein compared to grass forages. Alfalfa/grass mixed forage is an appropriate choice for ewes as a flushing diet. The flushing diet is fed beginning two weeks prior to breeding and for the first three weeks of the breeding season. The flushing diet provides extra energy and protein, which cause ewes to ovulate more eggs, resulting in ewes giving birth to twin lambs rather than single lambs. Alfalfa/grass mixed forage is ideal for ewes in late pregnancy since the bulk of fetal growth occurs during this time. It also becomes the “go-to” forage choice in late winter and early spring prior to lambing.

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Alfalfa Forage

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The straight alfalfa forages contain more energy and protein compared to grass forages or alfalfa/mixed forages. High-quality alfalfa is the forage of choice for ewes during lactation. During lactation, the ewe is producing milk, often for multiple lambs, and repairing reproductive tissue, which requires more calories to maintain body condition. The high calcium content of alfalfa forage is also valuable and supply the ewe with adequate calcium for milk production. Growing lambs are fed alfalfa as the main forage source, since both protein and energy will help fuel growth and development nutrient requirements. Alfalfa is a great forage choice in early spring when ewes are lactating, and the nursing lambs are growing but high-quality grass pasture is not yet available.

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If you have questions, please contact the nutritionists at Standlee Premium Western Forage, or consult with your veterinarian.

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By Dr. Stephen Duren
Standlee Nutritional Expert - Performance Horse Nutrition

", "urlWithHost": "http://standleeforage.com/standlee-barn-bulletin/feeding-sheep-during-winter", "rating": 0.0, "commentsCount": 0, "trackbacksCount": 0 }, { "id": 661065, "type": "BlogsPosts", "date": "2021-01-05T00:00:00", "author": "Jessica Wright", "authorPictureUrl": "/CatalystImages/UserProfileDefault.jpg", "trackbackUrl": "http://standleeforage.com/BlogRetrieve.aspx?BlogID=11741&PostID=661065&A=Trackback", "url": "/standlee-barn-bulletin/introducing-smart-beet-pellets-and-shreds", "title": "New Name, Same Premium Product – Introducing “Smart Beet”", "postFeaturedImage": "/images/blog/beet_pulp_to_smart_beet_image.png", "metaTitle": "Introducing Standlee Premium Smart Beet Pellets & Shreds", "metaDescription": "New Name, Same Premium Product – Introducing Standlee Premium Smart Beet Pulp Pellets and Shreds.", "body": "

What is beet pulp?

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Beet pulp is a by-product of the sugar industry. Sugar is extracted from the beet leaving the pulp. The sugar finds its way into foods and grocery stores, while the pulp is used as an ingredient in animal feeds (less than 5% sugar). Beetpulp is rich in fiber and is unique in its form, as it is soluble fiber and highly digestible.

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Why change the name from “Beet Pulp” to
“Smart Beet”?

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Our Standlee Premium Beet Pulp Pellets and Shreds are made up of dried pulp and Concentrated Separator By-Product (CSB). CSB is a secondary molasses produced during the separation of sugar from regular sugar beet molasses. It contains most of the molasses components but is lower in sugar content than ordinary molasses. See our FAQs on the Standlee website to learn more.

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Due to labeling regulations in select states requiring products with more than one ingredient to not have a single ingredient name (i.e., Beet Pulp), we have changed only the name to “Smart Beet.” Everything else is the same, from the quality ingredients used, to the incredible benefits of adding beet pulp to horse and livestock feed programs.

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What are the same great benefits of feeding Standlee Premium Smart Beet to horses and
other livestock?

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Contact Standlee Customer Support or our nutrition experts at 800-398-0819 with any questions!

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Featured Products

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\n\t\t\tPremium Smart Beet Pellets\n\t\t\t

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\n\t\t\tPremium Smart Beet Shreds\n\t\t\t

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", "urlWithHost": "http://standleeforage.com/standlee-barn-bulletin/introducing-smart-beet-pellets-and-shreds", "rating": 0.0, "commentsCount": 0, "trackbacksCount": 0 }, { "id": 661036, "type": "BlogsPosts", "date": "2020-12-21T00:00:00", "author": "Jessica Wright", "authorPictureUrl": "/CatalystImages/UserProfileDefault.jpg", "trackbackUrl": "http://standleeforage.com/BlogRetrieve.aspx?BlogID=11741&PostID=661036&A=Trackback", "url": "/standlee-barn-bulletin/5-tips-for-horse-hydration-during-winter", "title": "5 Tips to Get Your Horse to Drink More Water During Winter", "postFeaturedImage": "/images/blog/winter_horse_nose.jpg", "metaTitle": "5 Tips to Get Your Horse to Drink More Water During Winter", "metaDescription": "Issues associated with water intake during the winter months usually revolve around horses not drinking enough water. Here are 5 tips to get your horse to drink more water during winter.", "body": "

Water is the most essential aspect of any horse’s diet. Without adequate water intake, horses will not survive. An adult horse (1000 lbs.) in a cool, comfortable environment that is not working, or lactating, needs a minimum of seven to ten gallons of fresh, clean water every day. The amount of water required is closely related to the amount of feed the horse has eaten. Most horses will drink 1.5 quarts of water per pound of dry feed intake. If a horse is consuming 20 pounds of dry hay per day, the horse would be expected to drink approximately 7.5 gallons of water each day. The water requirement is higher if the horse is in training, nursing a foal, growing, pregnant or in a hot/humid environment. The best way to ensure adequate water intake is to always provide free access to fresh, clean water.

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Issues associated with water intake during the winter months usually revolve around horses not drinking enough water. Water that has frozen or is near freezing will result in decreased intake. Water consumption reaches its maximum when the temperature is maintained between 45 and 65 degrees Fahrenheit. Similarly, horses that must eat snow as their only water source, will not eat enough snow to satisfy their necessary water requirement completely. This decreased water intake can result in digestive upset or \"colic,\" associated with feed material becoming impacted (stuck) in the digestive system. Therefore, the water source should be free-flowing or heated to prevent freezing and guarantee the horse is drinking enough water. When installing a heating device for water, be certain that any electrical unit is properly grounded to prevent electrical shock of the horse. Horses are very sensitive to electrical shock and will quit drinking to avoid shock.

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Here are few easy tips to assist with increasing your horse’s water intake:

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  1. Wet your horse’s feed at a ratio of 2 parts feed to 1 part water. This can increase the hydration status of your horse.
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  3. Offer a wet mash, every day, of soaked beet pulp shreds or pellets, timothy forage pellets or alfalfa forage pellets. If you are concerned about adding too many calories to an overweight horse’s diet, try soaking and offering teff forage pellets. Soak these forage or fiber sources at a ratio of 2 parts water to 1 part forage.
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  5. Wetting down the long-stemmed hay you offer your horse can also boost water intake slightly.
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  7. Flavoring your horse’s water can also encourage water intake, especially if you are traveling and have a picky drinker.
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  9. Provide a salt block in your horse’s paddock or stall to help stimulate thirst.
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Download Standlee's Free Infographic - Exploring Winter Water Intake in Horses \"PDF

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Horses primarily eating hay will consume more water than those eating both hay and grain. Fiber increases the water holding capacity of the hindgut. Better quality hays, such as alfalfa, are typically higher in calories compared to grass hay. Other baled hay substitutes, such as forage cubes and pellets, can be fed to replace poor quality hay. Standlee Premium Western Forage offers a wide variety of Alfalfa and Alfalfa mix products ranging from baled, long-stemmed forage, to cubes, pellets and chopped forage. Also available are Standlee Premium Smart Beet (beet pulp) shreds and pellets that increase the calorie content of the forage portion of the diet and are highly digestible.

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If you have questions, please contact the nutritionists at Standlee Premium Western Forage, or consult with your veterinarian.

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By Dr. Tania Cubitt
Standlee Nutritional Expert - Performance Horse Nutrition

", "urlWithHost": "http://standleeforage.com/standlee-barn-bulletin/5-tips-for-horse-hydration-during-winter", "rating": 0.0, "commentsCount": 0, "trackbacksCount": 0 }, { "id": 661019, "type": "BlogsPosts", "date": "2020-12-14T09:01:40.463", "author": "Jessica Wright", "authorPictureUrl": "/CatalystImages/UserProfileDefault.jpg", "trackbackUrl": "http://standleeforage.com/BlogRetrieve.aspx?BlogID=11741&PostID=661019&A=Trackback", "url": "/standlee-barn-bulletin/3-tips-for-choosing-the-right-hay-for-your-small-animal", "title": "3 Tips for Choosing the Right Hay for Your Small Animal", "postFeaturedImage": "/images/blog/two_hamsters_eating_hay.jpg", "metaTitle": "3 Tips for Choosing the Right Hay for Your Small Animal", "metaDescription": "Rabbits, guinea pigs, hamsters, gerbils, chinchillas, prairie dogs, and other small animals each have specific nutrient needs, including fortified foods, we’ve shared three tips below for finding and choosing the perfect hay for any of them.", "body": "

Are you new to owning small animals? Did your five-year-old beg for a friendly, little hamster for their birthday to snuggle with and entertain them? Maybe you’re joining the world of 4-H, and your middle schooler is excited to start out with a rabbit project? Or maybe you jetted off to college and wanted a small, furry friend to keep you company? Selecting the proper forage type for your small companion animal can be confusing, especially if you’re a newbie!

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While rabbits, guinea pigs, hamsters, gerbils, chinchillas, prairie dogs and other small animals each have specific nutrient needs, including fortified foods, we’ve shared three tips below for finding and choosing the perfect hay for any of them.

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Tip 1: Match the nutrient content of the forage to the nutrient needs of the animal.

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Forage generally comes in one of two types: legume forage and grass forage. Common examples of legume forage are alfalfa and clover, while grass forage includes timothy, orchard, meadow or mixed grass. The legume forage will have a higher nutrient content. Therefore, alfalfa forage will contain more protein, calories and calcium compared to grass forage. Legume forage (alfalfa) should be selected for young, growing animals or pregnant, lactating or underweight animals. Mature small animals that are not involved in these activities should be fed grass forage. Feeding a legume forage with more protein and calories than they need can cause them to become overweight. To learn more about the right type of forage to feed your small animal read or blog post from May, 2019 - What type of forage is best for your small animal?

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Tip 2: Select a forage that is soft but has some fiber.

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Forage that is soft to the touch and not brittle or poky will be consumed the best by rabbits, guinea pigs, hamsters and other small animals. If forage is too mature (meaning it’s grown past its ideal time to be cut and baled), it will contain very coarse, tough stems and your small animal will not want to eat it. Forage that contains all leaf with very little stem is well consumed but lacks enough fiber to stimulate proper digestive health and tooth wear.

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The best approach is to select forage that you can bend and twist without hearing the shattering of coarse stems. If you buy your feed online or in a store where you can not physically see it until the box or bag is open, purchase from a forage company you can trust to offer consistent, quality forage for your small animal, such as Standlee Premium Western Forage.

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Tip 3: Rotate forage selection to enhance palatability.

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In the wild, your small companion animal will select and eat a variety of different forages based on taste and availability. It is always beneficial to rotate your grass forage selection or to feed more than one type of grass to stimulate proper forage consumption. For example, feeding both timothy and orchard grass will stimulate good forage consumption for your small animal.

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Summary

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Our three take-aways for feeding your rabbit, guinea pig, hamster, gerbil, chinchilla or other small companion animal, the most ideal forage are:

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If you have questions, please contact the nutritionists at Standlee Premium Western Forage, or consult with your veterinarian.

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By Dr. Stephen Duren
Standlee Nutritional Expert - Performance Horse Nutrition

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The horse has evolved as a grazing animal and forage continues to play a pivotal role in equine health. Horses are non-ruminant herbivores, also known as “hindgut fermenters”. Their digestive tract is made up of a simple stomach, small intestine and large intestine. The natural feeding habit of the horse is to eat small amounts of roughages, often. Domestication brought a change to this. Modern horse management practices incorporate stabling, increased grain-based concentrate consumption, meal feeding and limited pasture access. These changes led to a myriad of problems by undermining the horses’ digestive capabilities.

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To ensure optimal health, horses must be given access to a high-quality fiber-based diet. Grain concentrates and supplements should only be fed to compliment the forage offered. If high-quality forage is fed, most horses only require a low intake of a vitamin and mineral pellet (ration balancer pellet). As horses increase their workload or physiological demands, e.g., pregnancy or lactation, additional concentrate may be required. Standlee Premium Western Forage® Timothy provides consistent nutrition to maintain optimal gastrointestinal function and support digestive health. In third-party testing, Standlee Premium Timothy Grass had higher nutrient content compared to a locally sourced grass hay (Perron, et al., 2019). Feeding Standlee Premium Western Forage products (bagged forage or bales) will boost the quality, consistency and nutrient profile of marginal quality forage. This will help satisfy horses’ nutrient requirements and decrease the amount of grain needed.

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Horses require an absolute minimum of 1% of their body weight in dry forage per day; for a 1000lb horse, this equates to 10lb per day. A safer guideline is to provide horses with a minimum of 1.5 to 2% of their body weight in dry forage per day (this equates to 15 to 20lbs of dry forage per day for a 1000lb horse). Some classes of horses cannot tolerate diets high in sugars and starches, for example, senior horses. Standlee Alfalfa or Teff Grass is an excellent choice for senior horses who may require diets lower in sugars and starches. Standlee provides premium, high-quality forage, in several varieties, to satisfy the nutritional needs of all classes of horses. Standlee Forage is grown in the Western United States and is without equal, in quality and nutrient profiles. Research shows Standlee Alfalfa and Timothy Grass provided a more consistent and appropriate profile of key nutrients than comparable locally sourced hays (Perron, et al., 2019; Stewart, et al., 2017).

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There are several options available when adding high-quality western forages to your horse’s feed program. Bagged pellets, cubes or chopped forage products are easy to incorporate into your existing feeding program to improve the nutritional value of lesser quality hay. For instance, if you are currently feeding 1.5 to 2% of your horse’s body weight in lesser quality hay, improve the quality by replacing a portion of the hay ration with Standlee Forage pellets or cubes (be sure to replace on a pound for pound basis). Benefits to bagged forage products include guaranteed consistency in quality and nutritional profile, less waste and easier storage and handling than larger bales. Standlee also provides consistent, high-quality compressed bales for those preferring long-stemmed forage.

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If you have questions, please contact the nutritionists at Standlee Premium Western Forage, or consult with your veterinarian.

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By Dr. Tania Cubitt & Dr. Stephen Duren
Standlee Nutritional Experts - Performance Horse Nutrition

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Scientific References:

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Perron, B.S. & Jacobs, Robert & Jerina, M.L. & Gordon, M.E. & Duren, S.. (2019). Comparative assessment of intake and consumer preference of Standlee Premium Western Forage Alfalfa hay versus a locally sourced alfalfa hay using objective attributes. Journal of Equine Veterinary Science. 76. 96-97. 10.1016/j.jevs.2019.03.136.

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Perron, B.S. & Jacobs, Robert & Splan, Rebecca & Jerina, M.L. & Gordon, M.E. & Duren, S.. (2019). Glucose and insulin response to feeding Standlee Premium Western Forage Alfalfa hay versus a locally sourced alfalfa hay. Journal of Equine Veterinary Science. 76. 89. 10.1016/j.jevs.2019.03.119.

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Stewart, R.L. & Jacobs, Robert & Jerina, M.L. & Duren, S. & Gordon, M.E.. (2017). A comparative assessment of Standlee Premium Western Forage Timothy Hay versus “standard” locally sourced hay based on consumer perspective. Journal of Equine Veterinary Science. 52. 98. 10.1016/j.jevs.2017.03.146.

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Stewart, R.L. & Jacobs, Robert & Jerina, M.L. & Duren, S. & Gordon, M.E.. (2017). A comparative assessment of Standlee Premium Western Forage Timothy Hay versus locally sourced grass hay using nutrient composition, glucose and insulin response, and palatability. Journal of Equine Veterinary Science. 52. 77. 10.1016/j.jevs.2017.03.097.

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