Katy Starr (00:01):
Hi, I'm Katy.
Dr. Tania Cubitt (00:02):
And I'm Dr. Cubitt. We're going Beyond the Barn. Come join us on this journey as we bust equine and
livestock nutrition myths and interview some of the most intriguing experts in the country.
Katy Starr (00:15):
We'll go behind the scenes of how premium Western quality forage has grown and brought to your favorite farm and ranch retail store. We're so glad you're here. Welcome back to another episode of Beyond the Barn. Dr. Cubitt, I think this is our last episode of 2022 that we'll be recording.
Dr. Tania Cubitt (00:36):
I think so, I'm excited.
Katy Starr (00:39):
So on this one we wanted to try something a little bit different. We've been doing this for not quite two years, but we wanted to go over some of our favorite discussions that we've had. Favorite little tidbits from some of our, I guess I'd say our top 12 episodes that we've done so far on the Beyond the Barn podcast.
Dr. Tania Cubitt (00:59):
Yeah, it's just like the 12 Days of Christmas except, the 12 most favorite topics.
Katy Starr (01:05):
And so just to remind you all, a quick reminder to be sure to always work with your veterinarian and nutritionist before you make any drastic changes to your horse's feed program. Or you can always reach out to us and talk directly with Dr. Cubitt or Dr. Duren on specifics that you would like to know. So our first one we're gonna chat about today is, wasn't too long ago, it was actually episode 45 and this one was "Why Skipping a Hay Analysis Could Cost More in the Long Run” with Sarah Fessenden who is the Business Development Manager for the forage and soils laboratories at Dairy One and Equi-Analytical.
Dr. Tania Cubitt (01:43):
That was a great episode. She was great to have on.
Katy Starr (01:46):
Yeah, she did such an amazing job and I feel like she gave us such good information about what they do over there. But let's talk about one of the highlights of that episode I think was what's the point of sampling hay? Why should we even bother with it? What's the point of doing it?
Dr. Tania Cubitt (02:02):
Well it is so important because if you look at the horse's diet, the largest component of any horse's diet is the forage part of the diet. So you might be feeding your thousand pound horse anywhere from 25 to 30 pounds of hay a day and maybe he's only getting a ration balancer, so one pound of grain. You can see how important knowing exactly what you are getting out of your hay is. And so over the past few years, I think everybody can appreciate that everything has become more expensive, whether it's your own groceries, going out to dinner, gas prices and feeding your horses has gotten more expensive. So in order to be really efficient and not waste any money, we need to know exactly what we're getting out of that hay, that large component of your horse's diet. And it's not to say, oh, I'm gonna have to go buy a different hay. It's just, if I know exactly what I'm getting then I know exactly where I need to fill any holes with an additional grain or concentrated feed or maybe even a supplement. But if you don’t what you're feeding, you're just blindly using the hay as a roughage and you're feeding the two and a half percent of body weight, but we don't really know what nutritional content we're getting out it. We really could be overfeeding some nutrients and that would then cost us money.
Katy Starr (03:23):
Right. And just make it easier to balance the diet. You said costing money, I remember, I think it was another episode you talked about how people commonly not necessarily over supplement but over supplement with the wrong things and just start throwing stuff at their horse and end up spending all this money that maybe they don't need to.
Dr. Tania Cubitt (03:43):
Yeah, we really love our horses to death and we do everything with the best of intentions. We are trying our hardest to fix ailments that they have and fix it in a more natural way. But simple things like not weighing out your grain. If the back of the bag says you need to feed four pounds and you're just scooping it or even your hay pellets or hay cubes, if we say feed two pounds and you're just doing a a heaping scoop and that could be six pounds, then you're really over supplementing or not feeding according to the recommendations.
Katy Starr (04:18):
Right. And another thing that she had mentioned that I cannot even hit home enough on is just the importance of taking a representative sample when you're taking samples of the hay.
Dr. Tania Cubitt (04:31):
Katy Starr (04:32):
Because if what she gets in the laboratory, if they get a sample in that's not representative of your haystack or whatever you're wanting to analyze, you're not going get results back that are going be accurate to begin with.
Dr. Tania Cubitt (04:45):
And we think that, okay, we buy hay from farmer X and he cuts it from the same field every year and he grows the same plants and he treats the field the same and the field is in the same location. So we would assume, oh well all of the hay’s going to be the same, but it's not. There are high points in the field, there are low points in the field, there are wetter parts in the field, there are shady areas in the field, there are areas where there might be more nutrients in the soil. And so every part of that field could have a slightly different grass nutrient content. So right from the same field even, it's really important that we take a representative sample, which means if there are 50 bales come off the field, we'd like you to sample 10%, so five of them.
Dr. Tania Cubitt (05:34):
So go and take five random bales out of that 50 bales stack and sample it. Now the best-case scenario, the ideal way to do it is with a core sampler and it's a drill with this big, long metal, hollow tube that is gonna drill right into the middle of that bale. And then you put that in a bag and you mix it up all of them together and mail that off to Equi-Analytical. Now I know that Sarah would be cringing when she hears this, but some people just don't have access to a hay corer. And whilst that will give you the best, most accurate sample, sometimes we have to crack a bale open and take a handful of hay out of the center of a bale. And what I'll do then is put all of those in the bucket, say I'm still taking the five bales, put it in a bucket, mix it up and send away that sample or a subset of that sample. Not ideal, but better than nothing.
Katy Starr (06:31):
Well and another option is extension is such a good resource and often you can go to your local extension office and they will have something like that that they may let you use or come out and do for you.
Dr. Tania Cubitt (06:44):
Some feed companies offer it for free. So yeah. Ask a lot of questions before you go doing it yourself, but if all your options are exhausted, that is a kind of rudimentary way to do it.
Katy Starr (06:55):
Right. So the second episode I wanna talk about, and actually I did this one with Dr. Duren, but it was episode 38, "Have the Top Performing Horse with Nutrition Management,” and so on this one I wanted to talk to you about how would you compare feeding performance horse, and obviously performance horse can have a broad range of different animals, you know, but how would you compare feeding a performance horse to a maintenance horse?
Dr. Tania Cubitt (07:22):
If we start with a maintenance horse, cause that is the easiest place to start, that's kind of, your horse is not doing any exercise or is doing light exercise and is a very easy keeper. This is just what's going to maintain their current body weight standing in a field or coming into a stall and not doing, not being pregnant, not growing, not doing exercise. So what is it just going to take to maintain my horse? And there are nutrient requirements set by scientists for meeting that horse's goals and a lot of times most of our horses will do fine on a good quality hay or pasture and something like a ration balancer, which is a concentrated vitamin and mineral pellet. Sometimes we have those harder keeper maintenance horses, maybe it's an Arabian or a thoroughbred just doesn't maintain their weight very well, even when they're just standing doing nothing.
Dr. Tania Cubitt (08:16):
And they might need a is either a slightly higher nutritional value hay like adding in alfalfa, or they might need you to bump up to a grain concentrate that maybe you're feeding it one to three pounds a day. So that's a maintenance horse. Super simple. Everyone gets plain white salt, but they're not really doing anything. When it comes to feeding the performance horse, now there is no categorization of what is a performance horse, anything that exercises pretty much as a performance horse, whether it be my Amish buggy clients or when you were talking with Dr. Duren, most likely the, the highest level of performances usually racehorses or horses that are competing at the Olympic level and traveling around the world. That's when you put the most stresses on a horse. When you put them on a plane and you fly them to different countries.
Dr. Tania Cubitt (09:07):
Now they've had the travel stress, they've usually changed time zones and so they're dealing with that. And so horses, just like, people also have what we call a circadian clock. So they're, when they want to eat, when they're sleeping, when their hormones are secreted is all based on daylight cycle. And so we upset that. So we upset everything in those extreme elite-level horses. And it comes down to so much more than feeding, but it's management and just like Olympic level athletes, the riders start to actually say they're here in America and they're gonna go compete in Australia. They look at the time difference and they will actually start training the horse at the time that it will be in Australia when they're going to compete. So that might be the middle of the night here in America. So they'll do tricks like that.
Dr. Tania Cubitt (09:55):
Olympic athletes will do that too. They'll, you know, runners, sprinters will race in the evenings. So there's that. But also making sure that you can keep the horses gut healthy when you're traveling them. But even just for what we would consider a domestic performance horse that is doing eventing or dressage or show jumping or your western disciplines and they're not necessarily having the travel component built in, then they need higher calories and protein and vitamins and minerals. And we know that across the board, I know we're Standlee Hay and we have fantastic hay, but there are certain minerals that are always going to be deficient like copper, zinc and selenium. And that's why a maintenance horse would always need to have a ration balancer. But for that performance horse we're gonna feed them the best quality hay we can, the highest nutritional value because that's going, you know, they have to eat at least 25 pounds a day, so let's get as much bang for our buck as we can out that. But most of the time those horses are going to need to be supplemented additionally with even more calories, then it depends on what the horse is doing as to where those calories are going to come from. If it's a racehorse, we're looking at sugars and starches to tap into that quick release energy. If it's a western horse doing slower exercise or maybe a lower-level dressage horse, then we might be tapping into more of the fat fiber energy pathway because we don't want them too hyped up.
Katy Starr (11:23):
Right. Excellent. And episode 41 we talked about "You Want to Feed your Horse What?!” , we've heard some crazy things. So for this one, for this little summary, I would like you to mention something that seems weird to feed to a horse, maybe to many of us in the United States or wherever, but it's actually perfectly fine. And then also give something that you definitely should completely avoid.
Dr. Tania Cubitt (11:52):
Mmhmm, so I think something that we in America are not that familiar with would be a lot of different legumes, a lot of different beans, but they are more common in other parts of the world to use different beans. We're pretty familiar with soybean and canola meal. There are other beans that are kind of weird to us, certain byproducts, foraged byproducts that you might see in other parts of the world that are more normal there. But we just don't need to feed them. I mean in Europe they feed a lot of what I would call fermented forages, which we absolutely do not do here for horses because in Europe it rains a lot so they can't make good dry hay. But to our listeners here in America, we do not do that here. We don't need to. And then as far as the weird things that some people feed that you really should never feed, chocolate should never be fed to horses, especially to horses that are competing on, in sanctioned events and might have drug tests. There's a chemical in the chocolate that has, it's the reason why you should never feed chocolate to dogs. It's called theobromine and it has a caffeine like effect and in a dog it will actually cause them to have cardiac arrest and die. But in horses it's a banned substance, caffeine is a banned substance.
Katy Starr (13:14):
Excellent. And then obviously, I mean this is kind of the given but you know, whenever we're feeding anything to our horse or changing its diet, we should be first of all feeding something consistently and then, you know, making that change kind of in a transition. So don't abruptly change their diet or anything like that. But yeah. And so episode 33, this was, this one was really enjoyable for me because this was the one where it was “The Secret to Growing High Quality Forage,” and we got to speak with a Standlee VP of Ag Resources, Jason Stanger. I feel like that was super helpful for people to kind of get to know Standlee a little bit more behind the scenes about what it takes for us to do what we do. So what makes our forage, Standlee forage, our growing environment ideal for growing forage? Especially if you're comparing it to other areas of the country.
Dr. Tania Cubitt (14:08):
And I think it, you're absolutely right Jason hit on the quality control, the growing conditions that make that region of Idaho one of the best in the world really for growing premium forages. I live on the east coast in Virginia and we just get a lot more rain and humidity. So it's much more difficult to dry and and bale the hay at ideal times. But where you are, it is so dry and the air is so dry so as far and the temperatures are perfect for growing hay, but then you're irrigating exactly when the plant needs water and the exact amount of water. We talked about drying conditions with the air being so dry, how you can lock in a lot of nutrients that aren't gonna leach out cause it's gonna dry so quickly and doesn't need to lay out in the field.
Dr. Tania Cubitt (15:06):
We talked about quality control, we talked about soil sampling and fertilizing exactly based on what the soil was lacking so that we could grow the most ideal plant. And not just haphazardly saying, okay this year we're gonna do lime and next year we're gonna do nitrogen. We knew exactly what we needed to add to the soil in the right amounts. And I think that environmentally and conservation wise, that is excellent process as well. Really good land stewards to do that. To put back in what you're taking out. So, you know, I think that Jason really touched on what sets Standlee apart from other forage producers.
Katy Starr (15:46):
Right. And honestly we also talked about a couple of little hot topics on their herbicides, pesticides, GMOs or genetically engineered crops, why they may or may not be used and why. And so go back and listen to that episode if you haven't had a chance and you wanna hear more from Jason cause that was a, that was a great episode. So, and then next one is episode 34. This was the one about "Your Horse's Digestive System - How It Works and How It Can Fail.” And you broke down basically you walked us through the digestive system of a horse, like when food goes through their mouth, the whole process, which was really, really great. But what would you say is the most unique part about the horse's digestive system that makes them different from other animals and even humans?
Dr. Tania Cubitt (16:36):
Well I think what makes them different is that they are hindgut fermenters. So that makes them different from other livestock like cattle, which we're so much more familiar with. And then being that they have such a huge fiber requirement, that latter part of the digestive system that we call the hindgut made up of the cecum, large colon and the small colon, is so much more pronounced in the horse than it's in the human. Now humans have a fiber requirement, but we also have a larger stomach and small intestine to break down other foods that we, because we are not all herbivores, we're kinda omnivores and eat both. But the horse, when we always talk about the digestive system and go through every single part of it because in order to understand how it fails, you must know how it works. And once you know how it works, you also know what you're trying to achieve. I say to people, you can't fix a car if you don't know how the car was supposed to work in the first place.
Katy Starr (17:36):
Mm-hmm how it's put together. Right. Excellent. And so episode 31, this was “How Important Nutrition is for Horse Hoof Health and Why You Need to Pay Attention.” So what would you say are the most important nutrients that impact equine hoof health?
Dr. Tania Cubitt (17:57):
So, you know, we all know about biotin, which is a B vitamin that's actually created by the bugs in the horse's hindgut and copper and zinc and methionine being an amino acid, the thing is, there's the saying of no hoof, no horse, but ultimately I take it one step back and it's no gut, no horse because without a good healthy gut, then the horse is going to have poor quality hooves. So the first thing you wanna do when you're trying to address any kind of disorder in your horse, be it hoof quality, poor hair coat, muscle soreness, is address the gut health. Make sure that the gut and all the bugs that live in the gut are healthy and they're doing all of their job, then they're going to, when it comes to hoof health, break down that fiber, unlock the biotin, create biotin. So that's gonna move us right in the right direction. Then genetically, if our horse still has poor feet, we're gonna look at adding things like zinc, copper and methionine as well.
Katy Starr (18:56):
Excellent. And would you say that there are certain horses that are more susceptible to having hoof issues than others?
Dr. Tania Cubitt (19:03):
There are certainly some horses that genetically are more predisposed. The American thoroughbred for example, has been bred for speed and hoof quality has kind of fallen by the wayside and, and there are certainly other breeds. I think a horse that has poor nutrition and overall has not had a great kind of balanced diet in utero and while in its younger life is always gonna be suspect to having poor quality feet.
Katy Starr (19:33):
Standlee is hosting its first equine veterinary nutrition seminar with two hours of race approved CE credits available. This will be available on demand and virtually from December 5th, 2022 through January 31, 2023. Equine focused practitioners, veterinary technicians and veterinary students are invited to join us for exclusive equine nutrition content through recorded presentations, a unique look into Standlee's process of going from the field to the feeder and an interactive chat forum to ask equine nutrition questions. Dr. Steven Duren earned a Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy in equine nutrition and exercise physiology from the University of Kentucky and will be the key presenter on the seminar topics including dietary challenges for the obese horse or pony and nutritional management of the competitive equine athlete. Check the show notes to find the link to register today.
So the next episode is episode 30 and this again was another one that I recorded with Dr. Duren. It's “Donkeys, Mules and Hinnies, Oh My - How their Nutrition is Different.” And I wrote down a couple of comments that really stuck out to me when we had that discussion and I'll let you comment on them however you see fit. But the first one that he mentioned was the biggest single nutritional problem when feeding donkeys, mules or hinnies, he felt, is obesity.
Dr. Tania Cubitt (21:08):
Yes, 100% they are thrifty. Very thrifty.
Katy Starr (21:12):
Yes. And the other one that he had said, which kind of goes right along with this, but, and it did really well when we posted about it on our social media, people just really like, I think they really connected to this, but donkeys have been documented to have a rate of metabolism that's 20% lower than a horse. And so that essentially translates to, it takes fewer calories to maintain the body weight of a donkey compared to a horse.
Dr. Tania Cubitt (21:38):
Correct. Correct. And I think that's where we fall into the obesity is, people feed them like horses and we need to make sure that we're taking into account that they are so thrifty they really can survive on much lower, lower nutritional value hay, they don't need as many calories in their diet because you know, the donkey is just a lot more easy to maintain their body weight.
Katy Starr (22:05):
Okay, our next episode is episode 25 and this one is "How to Plan for Hay Needs and Useful Storage Tips to Avoid Hay Loss.” So Dr. Cubitt, what would you say are some of your best hay storage tips to prevent fire or loss? Cause that's a big investment if, you know, somebody preps and gets their hay ahead of time.
Dr. Tania Cubitt (22:28):
It is. And if you, if you have the luxury and the, the finances in order to buy a whole season's worth of hay in advance and you are storing it, then we want to make sure that we're not storing it directly on the ground because the moisture will wick up out of the ground. Even don't store it directly on concrete, you want to keep an air flow all around all sides of the hay. So don't put it up against a wall, don't put it directly on the ground. Don't have it touching the roof of your building. This is if you have a building, which is ideal. If you're storing it outside again, keep it up off the ground and make sure that you have a top that is going to cover the top of the hay so that moisture doesn't seep down into that hay.
Dr. Tania Cubitt (23:15):
As far as fire, the issue is that if hay is not fully dry when you put it up or stack it, that moisture is going to create an environment where bacteria want to thrive and ferment and they, the byproduct of those bacteria fermenting that fiber, is that they could create heat, as well as mold. So, really mold and loss of actual dry matter and nutritional value is going to come before fire. Fire is the worst case scenario. But a lot of times if our horses, if our hay is getting damp either by sucking moisture out of the ground or off the walls or getting rained on, then mold is something that we really, really worry about with horses.
Katy Starr (23:57):
Right. Those are some good tips and if you want to hear more about that, go listen to episode 25. We talked quite a bit about that episode. So another one of my favorite ones that we did was, it was a guest that we had join us and this was episode 37 “Navigating When to Soak, Steam, Wet, or Leave Hay Dry.” And that was with Dr. Krishona Martinson who is the Equine Extension Specialist at the University of Minnesota. And after having this discussion with Dr. Martinson about her research, in what situations would you recommend soaking, steaming, wetting, or leaving hay dry?
Dr. Tania Cubitt (24:38):
We have had some fantastic guests and Dr. Martinson who is a good friend of mine and she was again a fantastic guest and I do recommend everybody go listen to this one. But her research has really looked at the different kind of mechanical processes that you can do with hay when you buy it and which horses. So for soaking we know that you can leach out some of the sugars and starches if you're, if you've got a hay that you want to decrease the carbohydrate content for a horse with metabolic issues, steaming will cut down on dust and mold for some horses that might have kind of respiratory disorders. So I see that a lot more in more of a veterinarian setting. Some of the steamers can be quite expensive, but again, it's really, you might look at the cost of it and say okay, this is going cut down on the amount of drugs that I might need to keep my horse going through the spring or, or he's got severe allergies, wet the hay, some horses just really like it. But again that can keep the dust and allergies down but if there, if you don't have any of these issues, you don't need to get carbohydrates out of your hay. If your hay isn't super dirty and dusty, your horse doesn't have a bunch of allergies, then dry hay is absolutely perfect.
Katy Starr (25:53):
Right. Yeah, her research on that was really fascinating. So I encourage people to go back and listen to that one for sure.
Dr. Tania Cubitt (26:00):
Such practical research.
Katy Starr (26:01):
Yes, yes. And so the next episode is episode 23 and this is about "Horse Feeding Myths, What's Wrong and What's Right.” I mean we hear all of the chit chat about going back and forth between these things, all these different, you know, between horse owners and barns and things like that. So for this one I'd like you to share what myth just completely blows your mind that it even exists or that it still exists right now?
Dr. Tania Cubitt (26:32):
There are so many, Katy, I could not even tell you. I try to put them to the back of my mind because I don't ever want to think about them because they're so crazy. I think the protein one is probably the one that just keeps coming up and up and up and it just won't go away. You've either got the folks that think that feeding too much protein to a young growing baby is going to make their joints fall off or it is going to make a mature performance horse go crazy. Protein is a really poor source of energy. And now in, if you're starving and you're kind of breaking down your muscles, then yes protein will be used as an energy source. But if you were feeding something like alfalfa to your horse and it changed its behavior and it got a little hot, alfalfa has more calories in it than grass hay. So it's the calories not the protein. And when it comes to young growing horses, good quality protein, I.e. amino acids like glycine are absolutely critical to growth and I guarantee taking them away would do more harm than good. So I think the, the protein one, it's not the craziest I've heard, but it's probably the most common one that people just cannot let go.
Katy Starr (27:42):
Yeah, yeah, I'm glad, I'm glad you talked about that one.
Dr. Tania Cubitt (27:43):
You got other ones like feeding beet pulp is going to make my horse's stomach explode. You know, again, I put that one out of my mind cause it's so silly because yes, I see where it comes from when you wet beet pulp, it expands quite a lot but the horse's stomach actually doesn't have much liquid in it and it can be as quick as 15 minutes for the food to pass through the stomach so it just isn't sitting in there long enough for it to expand. And your horse's stomach is never going to explode. I mean that's just not going to happen. Rate of passage and there's not enough liquid. So they're probably two common ones.
Katy Starr (28:18):
And there's a lot more that we talked about. So that's another really good one to go check out if you haven't had a chance to listen to that one yet. Another episode, okay, we've got two more to hit on before we get into some fun questions, but episode 29, “How to Feed a Senior Horse and When They Need to be Fed Differently.” And I feel like this has been one of our most popular ones. So I feel like a lot of our listeners either have fed or currently feed a senior horse, but what is the most common nutritional problem in senior horses?
Dr. Tania Cubitt (28:50):
Well, I think that we as a society of horse owners are doing really, really well. And I say that because our horses are living longer and longer and longer. So, that's why more of us have had the responsibility or experience with feeding a senior horse. Now we also in our mind, think that over a certain age the horse is a senior and 20 really pops into my mind that most people think once the horse turns 20, automatically he is a senior horse and needs a senior feed. Ultimately for me it comes down to his ability to actually eat food that is going to dictate when he needs a different diet. So teeth, you might have a 15 year old horse that has terrible teeth and would do well on a senior feed. You might have a 36 year old pony that's got perfect teeth and doesn't need a senior feed.
Dr. Tania Cubitt (29:38):
So you'll find that senior feeds in general from all the different companies are very high in fiber. And this is because we still have that minimum fiber requirement between one and a half to two and a half percent of a horse's body weight in fiber. And if they can't chew long stem hay because their teeth are bad, they have to get it in a pelleted form that is easy for them to consume. So senior feeds, number one need to be fed in very high amounts because we're, we're really using it like replacing the hay and they're very high in fiber. So probably one of the most common things that people do is actually using a senior feed when it's not appropriate. If you are not going to feed the senior feed according to the back of the bag, which is usually about eight pounds and up, then you're going to short change them on a lot of the vitamins and minerals. Know that the time to transition your horse to a senior feed really comes when they can no longer eat enough long stem hay to fulfill their dry matter requirements. That one and a half to two and a half percent of body weight. So that's when you go to a senior feed.
Katy Starr (30:44):
Right, that's a good one. And so if we were looking at the different hay type, or hay formats I guess would be better, the different formats of hay and you're looking at a senior horse that has poor dentition, you know, you have your long stem hay, you have your chopped, you have your cubed and you have pellets. What would you, what would you be looking at for a senior horse that really struggles with their teeth?
Dr. Tania Cubitt (31:13):
So if I've had a horse, and I'll back, back, go back a little bit. If I've had a horse, it's whole life and I'm just, he's been eating hay fine, I notice now a little bit's falling out of his mouth. He's not maintaining his body weight as well as he has done in the past on the long stem hay. And the dentist says, yeah, we've got a little bit of wear in the teeth, I might start to bring in some chopped forage. As we go year after year, it just slowly progresses and gets worse, worse and worse. So the next year I might add in some cubed forage and then finally we're at pelleted forage and we really no longer can have any long stem forage. And that's kind of the progression that I go because once you get down to that pelleted forage, you can wet it and make a mash out of it and they can literally drink that. But we need to make sure that those senior horses are getting enough fiber. And I guess that's probably with a true senior horse, one of the most common problems is not feeding them enough fiber.
Katy Starr (32:11):
Excellent. Okay. And so the last episode that I want to talk with you about, it's been a little while, this is from last year, but it was a great episode, episode number 24, "Why Horses Need to Be Fed Differently During the Winter.” And so as we are preparing our hay supply for winter, we often think about how much our horse needs to eat each day to kind of help us estimate that number. Something that we don't always think about or account for are those extra extremely cold, windy or rainy days. And how does that type of weather impact how much we actually feed our horses on those days?
Dr. Tania Cubitt (32:52):
Absolutely. So I've done some calculations that probably scare me more than most of our listeners cause I really do not like the cold. And so I've kind of calculated, we have about five months of winter, which is, you know, mud season in the fall and then winter and then in the spring we don't want the horses out on pasture because they'll ruin them. So we've got about five months, which is about 150 days. And if you are feeding very, very conservatively and a minimum of 1.5% of a horse's body weight, we're looking at about a hair over a ton per horse for that five month period. But you're right, that doesn't take into account what we call this lower critical temperature. So once we get below this temperature it's, and it's maybe windy or it's raining or we have snow or ice on the horse, then their caloric requirements per day to maintain them, increase over and above what it takes for a normal maintenance horse like we talked about before.
Dr. Tania Cubitt (33:55):
Because now we're trying to keep them warm as well. And so you get to a point where they just physically cannot eat enough dry forage and you will have to supplement with some higher calorie sources. I always want to make sure that we're this kind of twofold to hay. Hay when it's being digested will also, the bugs will create internal body heat, but the horse when they're shivering also just needs calories to maintain their body heat. So feed plenty of hay in the wintertime, but also sometimes if you have really cold, windy conditions and the horses are out in a field, then you are going to have to feed more concentrated energy sources to maintain their calorie intake.
Katy Starr (34:40):
Right. And if you haven't had a chance to listen to that episode yet, I really encourage you to go back and listen to it. Especially this time of year. It hits right at the time of year if you're listening...
Dr. Tania Cubitt (34:50):
And we dug a lot deeper. Yeah, we dug a lot deeper into all of the different categories because it's not just one lower critical temperature for every horse. It's different if you're a baby or you're old or you've got long hair or short hair.
Katy Starr (35:03):
And so now I have just a few fun questions. The holidays I think sometimes can become a little bit stressful. They don't have to be, but they can kind of get that way. So, and we don't always get to talk like this, so I thought it would be fun for us to chat about a few different fun questions. So Dr. Cubitt, would you rather talk with all animals or speak all foreign languages?
Dr. Tania Cubitt (35:28):
I really want to do both, but I would talk with all animals 100%.
Katy Starr (35:33):
I agree. I think it would be neat to do both, but I think I would do animals because if you think about it, like we could have the ability to like learn foreign languages, maybe not all of them, but we don't actually have the ability, even if we try to talk with animals and so yeah, that would be a really interesting thing to just be able to understand what our dog is thinking when they're staring at us as we walk in the door. . You know, just things like that would be super fun. Okay. Would you rather ride horses on the beach or in the mountains?
Dr. Tania Cubitt (36:08):
I've done both. Both fun but I think the mountains, because sand, salt water, saddle all day sometimes can get a little irritating.
Katy Starr (36:21):
all mixed together. Not a good idea. .
Dr. Tania Cubitt (36:23):
Yeah. Yeah. But I've done both and they're both fun.
Katy Starr (36:26):
I have actually never ridden a horse on the beach.
Dr. Tania Cubitt (36:29):
Well that's cause you live in Idaho and I grew up in Australia.
Katy Starr (36:32):
When you live in Idaho, it's just not, it doesn't make sense. But I was thinking about this question and I think I would still say that I would rather ride in the mountains as long as it's not like, you know, up in extreme snowy weather or something like that. And my reason being is because you can go pretty much anywhere on beaches. I mean there might be some that you couldn't get horses down into. But the cool thing about horses is also like, especially in our area in Idaho, we have this place called Frank Church Wilderness. So there's like a lot of wilderness areas that you can't take any motorized vehicles in or anything like that. But you can take horses, so you can be in places that hardly anybody has ever stepped foot on. And I think that's an incredible thing. So that's why I would pick mountains . Okay. Would you rather read an awesome book or watch a great movie?
Dr. Tania Cubitt (37:24):
Oh, I'm supposed to say read an awesome book, but I'm going say watch a great movie because when I go to bed at night and I read a book, if it's really, really good I will not sleep and I'll just keep reading and reading, reading and that's terrible. or I have to read the same page over and over again for two weeks because I keep falling asleep. So I'm going watch a great movie.
Katy Starr (37:46):
So that'll be your choice. I think that I would pick, causeI would probably do the same thing. But I think I would still read an awesome book because I just like how there's still so many open-ended things that happen with a book that really just allow your mind to be creative.
Dr. Tania Cubitt (38:02):
I will say I listen to a lot of audio books. It's the only thing that keeps my kids quiet in the car. So we've listened to Harry Potter, all of them, and they don't fight in the car when we listen to Harry Potter. So we do books, but maybe audio books.
Katy Starr (38:15):
That's really cool. Would you rather have more time or more money?
Dr. Tania Cubitt (38:23):
Oh, it depends on the context. You know, if I was at the end of my life, then yeah I'd want more time. Right now my kids, they cost a lot of money. Everything's expensive. I would take a little bit more money like, and that sounds terrible. It sounds terrible cause you, I know the, the oh the intellectual like answer is I want more time, but right now I want some more money.
Katy Starr (38:43):
More money. kids are expensive.
Dr. Tania Cubitt (38:47):
Katy Starr (38:47):
They are. You know, I thought about this and I was actually thinking about it and I was like, oh, if you said more money then you could be like, more money can buy you time. Right, exactly. Because you can more stuff. But then I was like, okay, if I'm not thinking about it from that perspective, like literally if you could only have more time or money I, something I struggle with a lot is I just wish that I had more time in the day because there's just so many things that I want to do and I don't have time to do them. So I think I'd probably go with more time because of that. But that was a tough question. It really is. Ok, last question. Would you rather eat cow tongue or octopus?
Dr. Tania Cubitt (39:25):
I've eaten both.
Katy Starr (39:26):
Dr. Tania Cubitt (39:27):
I have. I have. When I visited Japan with Dr. Duren, we went to, so it's crazy. You go to Japan and you go to, it was my first experience with the Korean barbecue where you cook it yourself. And I ate chicken and intestines and Dr. Duren just kept saying, eat, just order a lot of rice. And I was like, okay, I don't even know what I've gotten myself in for these sips, eat a lot of rice. But then probably the least gross thing I ate that night was the cow tongue and it was kinda like salami. So it was fine. And then octopus, well I like calamari and that's octopus. So if I was going choose one thing that I want to eat octopus, I, I wouldn't choose to cow tongue on a regular basis. But I have eaten both.
Katy Starr (40:13):
So I've had calamari and I think, I feel like I had octopus at one point, but I don't remember. So I haven't had cow tongue. But my husband in college, they used to have their ag, like their ag shop guys would always, every Friday would make different foods and stuff like that. And his advisor was really good about just being very thrifty and like useful with animals and just things like that. And so cow tongue was something that they always had in there. In my mind I'm thinking I don't do well with like clams or calamari, the texture is really difficult for me no matter how hard I try. But I've heard that if you cook cow tongue really, really well that it's good. And so I'm in my mind I'm like, I think I might go for the cow tongue .
Dr. Tania Cubitt (40:58):
See I like watching Gordon Ramsey and all of his cooking shows and my husband and I watch it and we watch him cook crazy things and say, well if he cooked it, we'd eat it. And he does cook cow tongue and, and like shreds it and does different things with it. So you know, if the right person cooks it, I'll eat most anything.
Katy Starr (41:13):
Right. If like if it's me doing my best, probably not.
Dr. Tania Cubitt (41:16):
I’m not sure I'm ever going to want to eat chicken intestines ever again.
Katy Starr (41:19):
Oh my gosh. How was that though, by the way? Like, that sounds awful.
Dr. Tania Cubitt (41:24):
There's not enough bleep words on a podcast for me to actually describe how bad it was. , what it smelled like is exactly how it tasted.
Katy Starr (41:32):
I hope that somebody, when we post about this on social or send out the email about it, somebody reply back to us. If you've had chicken intestines, please let us know. CauseI would love to know .
Okay, this was a really fun episode. I feel like it was just, it was great to talk about all of our favorite episodes that we've done so far, the top ones and our favorite little tidbits about them. And then also to answer some fun questions. So hopefully, you know, you all can get to know us a little bit better, the people that come and speak to biweekly. But just to kind of give you guys a heads up, we are going to be taking a break on Tuesday, December 20th. So there will be no new episode that week. Beyond The Barn is going to be returning on Tuesday, January 3rd of 2023.
Katy Starr (42:19):
I can't even believe that we're talking about that. But be sure to catch up on past episodes until then. There are a lot of great ones to choose from. And as you heard us talk about today, Dr. Cubitt just hit just the very tip of the iceberg on a lot of those episodes. So please go back and catch up on any of them that sound interesting to you. Share them with your friends, who you think it would be helpful for. And other than that, Dr. Cubitt, enjoy the holidays and we'll see you in 2023.
Dr. Tania Cubitt (42:43):
You too, Katy.
Katy Starr (42:47):
Thanks for listening to the Beyond the Barn podcast by Standlee Forage. We'd love for you to share our podcast with your favorite people and subscribe on Apple, Spotify, or your favorite listening platform. Until next time, keep your cinch tight and don't forget to turn off the water.