Dumb horse question..but I don't know the answer!

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by Cara, Jul 6, 2008.

  1. Cara

    Cara Songster

    Aug 30, 2007
    If I keep my yearling filly up at our house with hay and good feed (not sweet feed), will she grow bigger than if I left her out on pasture alone with the rest of the yearlings? She has put on a lot of muscle in the past month, noticeably more than the others, but will she actually end up bigger?
  2. Wildsky

    Wildsky Wild Egg!

    Oct 13, 2007
    I think she'd be happier with the other horses.
    Happyness = better health.
  3. sred98

    sred98 Songster

    Jan 18, 2008
    She definitely needs to be with at least one other horse! We found out the hard way when our neighbors finished their fence and moved their 6 horses and left my baby by herself. She went a little nuts. We got 2 new ones and she is good as new, now. We were worried she might be permanently affected. She did NOT do well at all by herself. She is just turned 2, so she is a young one. They are herd animals and need that interaction that being with other horses provide. I'm sure there are people here that only have one horse that is doing fine, but I wouldn't want to risk it.

  4. Cara

    Cara Songster

    Aug 30, 2007
    I forgot to add, she is not alone. We are looking after one of the ranch mares and her filly, as the mare is lame.
  5. Their Other Mother

    Their Other Mother Songster

    May 1, 2008
    Mostly it is genetics that will determine size. Although malnutrition will stunt growth but I don't think that is an issue with your horse. If you are working with it daily and grooming it then it is only natural for her to look better than the range horses. Just like a person who works out at the gym vs a couch potato.
  6. Wolf-Kim

    Wolf-Kim Songster

    Jan 25, 2008
    By being up at the house with less competition for food, will help her max out. I know sometimes a bunch of yearlings in a pasture can lead to quite a bit of competition for food. If the competition is too fierce, it can lead to less than ideal nutrition.

    I bought two horses from a lady who kept two colts and a stud all in one pasture. As you can imagine, the colts were left out. By the time I got them they were emaciated. Of course, this stunted their growth. Now, BlackJack the surviving colt is making a comeback, but it is very slow and it is taking him several years to get to the size he should have been in the first place. Does that make sense?

    I think all the special attention your giving her is going to show in the end.

  7. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    the only way she'd end up taller from being kept home and "fed up" would be if she was going to be actually malnourished on the pasture. Which I assume would not be the case since you would not be keeping your other horses like that either. So if by bigger you mean taller, the answer is no.

    if by "bigger" you mean heavier, then you certainly might be able to get more total weight on her at home BUT that is not actually a good thing for a young horse. Any muscle she puts on now can perfectly well be put on later as well.

    Really, til they are 3 or so, it is best to keep them a moderate weight -- good nutrition, but not fat and not overmuscled. they grow up better that way and stay sounder in the long run.

    Have fun,

  8. ibpboo

    ibpboo Where Chickens Ride Horses

    Jul 9, 2007
    always changing
    Quote:Although the original question wasn't mine, I really like this answer! Thanks so much for this answer, it helps me too!
  9. Chatychick

    Chatychick Songster

    Jul 9, 2007
    Blue Mound, Kansas
    I wouldnt feed her any type of feed with molasses in it unless you want hoof problems. I had 4 horses here this winter and all they got were oats and alfafa pellets and believe me when they got here they were very underweight and with oats and pellets and hay they changed so much it was wonderful. Molasses leads to hoof problems and I dont feed mine anything but oats and hay ...I have a Appy that tends to have hoof problems but since he has been on just oats and grass and hay when needed no more problems...take it slow and easy at first and increase it slowly...it will gain and maintain well.

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