Is My Miniature Horse Getting Enough Protein?
“I would like to know if you could tell me how much protein should a growing yearling miniature should be getting? I’m wondering if I am not giving him enough protein in his grain and that could potentially be a reason for the bloated belly look. He gets worked for about 30 mins a day (15 mins trot/canter both directions) and a nice walk after to cool down. yet he doesn’t have much muscle build up. So wondering if maybe he isn’t getting proper protein to use to build muscle up. I think that’s my main concern to make sure I’m feeding correct amount of grain and hay. Please let me know what you b would recommend feeding a yearling mini that is about 34 inches around 225lbs.”
Answer by Ph.D. Equine Nutritionist, Kelsey Johnson Nonella:
Although there are not requirements for miniatures, it is recommended to use horse requirements as guidelines. For yearlings, researchers recommend 14-16% protein diets. Your current grain is 14% protein. I wouldn’t increase the amount due to miniature tendency to founder. I would recommend selecting a hay high in protein and feeding him 1.5-2% of his bodyweight in hay. You consider adding an extruded soybean product, a high protein feed, that will also ensure he is receiving adequate amounts of lysine. Good luck.