Balancers and baby horses

Jane&Ziggy

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My new trimmer asked what I gave Charlie to eat. I said, "A handful of chaff, a sprinkle of Agrobs organic grass mash, and half a scoop of Forage Plus balancer because I have some left from looking after Ziggy."

She said she understands that youngsters don't need a lot of feed, but she is always keen to know that they are getting all their vits and mins. I think the Forage Plus will be covering that for now, but it won't last long, so I should think of something else. I asked at my local farm shop and was recommended Bailey's Stud Mix, in a giant bag, but I hummed and hawed because I'm used to buying Agrobs, Thunderbrooks and so on.

Can anyone recommend anything that will keep him in tip top shape?
 

Frances144

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@Jane&Ziggy - do you have no grass this time of year? If so, then give the stuff but if you do have forage, then you don't actually need to feed Little Himself anything. Not nothing. Nature is providing. Feeding for the sake of feeding does no favours especially this time of year.
 
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carthorse

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I'd go for a balancer rather than a stud mix, there's no way you'll want to be feeding enough of a mix for him to get the optimum amount of vits & mins. You can get specialist youngstock balancers & looking on some feed company sites will let you compare different ones, but I'd be inclined to just go for a normal low calorie balancer.
 
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MrC

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Well Faran is ok Suregrow by Dodson and Horrell and he looks fab.

I feed

1 x cup of balancer
1 x cup of fibrebeet
2 x 100ml scoops of linseed meal
Big handful of unmolassed unoiled chaff just to stop him bolting and he looks like this right now

5720707E-9B11-4A7E-96C3-FDA5BC652026.jpeg

He’s out 24/7 on good but short grass and gets just that one feed per day.
 

Jane&Ziggy

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Well Faran is ok Suregrow by Dodson and Horrell and he looks fab.

View attachment 99713

He’s out 24/7 on good but short grass and gets just that one feed per day.
Indeed he does look fab!

I'll look for that balancer or something like it. We have grass, but it's very short now. Charlie forages in the hedges too (Mattie can't be bothered). He only gets a token feed each day - a handful of chaff and a handful of Agrobs grass mash, which is just dehydrated organic meadow grass and herbs - but our grass is heavily grazed and I don't think there's much in the way of vitamins and minerals in it.

@Jane&Ziggy - do you have no grass this time of year? If so, then give the stuff but if you do, then you don't actually need to feed Little Himself anything. Not nothing. Nature is providing. Feeding for the sake of feeding does no favours especially this time of year.
If I had grazing like yours I would agree - but my field is just the one field of 3 acres, and it's been grazed for more than 8 years. I'm not sure there's much apart from calories left in the grass!
 
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eventerbabe

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Never fed a balancer to a youngster! Mine would have popped with the extra feeding. Chaff and a multivitamin supplement have always served us well. My (not so little) youngster was on a hackup bespoke supplement but now on harbro one scoop vitamins with a bit of low calorie chaff and is thriving. I'm very lucky with my grazing though. 15 acres for 3 horses so lots of scope to rotate and no one field grazed too much.
 
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Jessey

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I would tend to agree if your grass isn't all that then something basic to provide vits and mins is a good thing, up to you if you go for a powdered vit & min supplement or balancer or a pelleted balancer. The difference between a v&m sup and a balancer is the latter also provides protein, which youngsters do need but can get from grass and hay so it depends if you need it.
Mine all got grass, hay and a powdered sup in enough of something to carry it and did great.
 
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newforest

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This made me scratch my brain. I looked back in the diary and it says I will start her off on a broad spectrum supplement as she is still growing. But that was January.
What hedges do you have, what can you pick?
 

Jane&Ziggy

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I would tend to agree if your grass isn't all that then something basic to provide vits and mins is a good thing, up to you if you go for a powdered vit & min supplement or balancer or a pelleted balancer. The difference between a v&m sup and a balancer is the latter also provides protein, which youngsters do need but can get from grass and hay so it depends if you need it.
Mine all got grass, hay and a powdered sup in enough of something to carry it and did great.
I really don't like the soya which seems to be the base of all the feed-type balances, so I think I'm going to go for Forage Plus https://forageplus.co.uk/product/young-horse-feed-balancer-winter/, which is a super quality vit and min supplement. They recommend adding some linseed meal to ensure enough protein and I will do that. He gets enough to eat overall (at least his waistline tells me so) and the little tiny bit of bucket feed he gets is also forage,

This made me scratch my brain. I looked back in the diary and it says I will start her off on a broad spectrum supplement as she is still growing. But that was January.
What hedges do you have, what can you pick?
There is a big hedge (used to be trees but cut this year) at the bottom, and Charlie mows it regularly.

i can pick forage for him easily but don't have a lot of time for that at the moment so I think a supplement is sensible!
 
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