Miniature horse animal feed
Miniature horses are prone to overeating, which can cause health problems. If your mini eats like a horse, give it a special diet meant for the smaller equine.
Radio interview source: Chris Goodwin, Marketing Manager Horse Business Group, Purina Mills
The nutritional needs of miniature horses are similar to large horses, but you have to consider a miniature's body size when creating a feeding plan.
Chris Goodwin is a marketing manager for Purina. She says it can be a challenge for owners to provide good nutrition while preventing the animal's weight from ballooning. Miniature horses and ponies are metabolically efficient with their nutrient intake, so don't overfeed them.
"If a person has a mini and a regular horse, sometimes they feed them too similarly to their regular sized horse, and then that can get them in a weight condition that's not optimal," she says. "We always like to say that these little minis live on a lower feeding rate, but we do need to watch and make sure that they get the nutrition that they need."
If you just feed miniatures less, they won't get the vitamins and minerals they need. Plus, the little guys will always be hungry. Goodwin says there are special feeds formulated just for miniatures and ponies that provides the right amount of nutrients – and allows them a nice-sized ration.
"We have our Amplify nugget which is a high fat nugget," says Goodwin. "And what's wonderful about that is we're getting a certain amount of fat in their diet with the flax seeds, the vegetable oils, the rice bran. The optimal fatty acids that they need to have that strong immune function, but yet not supply a fat level that could possibly be excess and put weight on them."
Read the back of the bag for feeding rates, which specifies rations starting for miniatures and ponies weighing 100-pounds and goes up to 700-pounds. The quantity of both hay and pellets should be adjusted according to the horse's activity level, and body condition. Also be sure you provide free-choice salt and clean, fresh water.
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