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Is this enough Hay? Too much?

This is a discussion on Is this enough Hay? Too much? within the Horse Health forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Horses category
  • K-31 hay for horses foundering
  • K31 grass hay ok for horses

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    12-22-2011, 03:59 PM
  #41
Green Broke
I tend to have from 1 to 5.
I don't feed round bales as they are a pain to handle , and seem to get moldy before they get around to eating it all. Currently I have plenty of green grass left so they arnt eating much hay, honestly I have no idea how much I put out. I don't track it. I put hay in the feeder when it is gone I put in more. When the barn is about half empty I go buy some. I have much better things to do with my life than weigh hay. I figure the horses know what, an how much they want.
Sorry if me thinking a horse should have food to graze on all day is offensive to the "that's the way we've always done it crowd".
This year was really good. I had so much grass I was mowing the pasture. Last summer I started feeding hay in July because it was so dry. So I guess to answer you all I can say is I don't have any idea. The hay I feed is going to depend on the weather and how many horses I have here. I shop around for hay and get hay that they will generally eat all of and not leave alot on the ground. I have a couple local growers I am happy with.
I also never said anything about giving free choice Alfalfa, I said they get free choice simple grass hay, and feed and alfafa is used to adjust for weight and workloads. Giving free choice alfalfa and free choice to super manicured overly managed pastures is what leads to problems. Not lots of plain timothy or K 31 hay.
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    12-22-2011, 10:28 PM
  #42
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe4d    
Serious as can be. That is all it takes. Horses should have access to hay/grass all the time. That's what is best for them. People tend to feed horses food that is too rich. They also get a field, fertilize, weed kill, seed, manicure, and then keep the horses off because they get overweight or worry about founder.
Horses will only over eat on hay at the beginning, once they figure out it is there all the time they will slack off.
People also get caught up in buying super rich perfect hay, and again want to ration it due to weight issues.
Rationing high calorie rich food isnt right. Giving the horse 24/7 access to low quality food is. Grain/feeds are used to make up shortcomings in minerals and vitamins and add some calories to make up for unnatural work cycles.
Totally agree.
     
    12-22-2011, 10:32 PM
  #43
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by mls    
Experience isn't a direct link to knowledge? Nuff said. Thanks Joe
A fresh out of school vet might have more knowledge on equine anatomy and ailments than I might have, but less experience.

An experienced horse person who uses cruel methods to break a horse in is not knowledgeable.

It's all very subjective and true knowledge is built up from many different sources, not just experience.
     
    12-22-2011, 11:22 PM
  #44
Started
My feeding plan (unless there is a medical reason otherwise)- grass hay. Enough so that they either just clean up or have a little left between feedings. I add strategy and a little oil to that for my guy because he works 10 hours a week or so and is in need of some weight gain. Once he's up to weight, it'll just be hay and enough bagged feed or a ration balancer to hit the nutrients the hay might be missing while maintaining his weight. Feeding a horse doesn't have to be rocket science.

FWIW, over the past 6 weeks or so my boy really has eased up on the hay consumption. At first he inhaled it like it was going out of style. He would not leave the pile while a stem was left, let alone grind any into the shavings. Now he'll eat, go stand by the water, eat, play bitey-face with the gelding next door, eat, check out what I'm doing, and might even have a little hay left over at the next feeding, which is consistent with what others have said about an 'adjustment period' when you move them to a more constant access schedule.
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    12-23-2011, 01:39 AM
  #45
Trained
If you're only riding your horse 2 hours per week then it shouldn't be getting ANY grain. That means you are feeding ten quarts too much. Cut the grain and feed more hay.
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    12-23-2011, 08:16 AM
  #46
Weanling
Joe I was not saying you feed Alfalfa hay, I would never make an assumption like that, and I am not saying there is anything wrong with how you or anyone else feed. What I am saying and trying to impress upon the people here that are NEW to horses and don't know how or what to feed is that if you don't know how to feed
1. Weigh your feed to make sure you are meeting minimum feed requirements for you horse
2. Ask your vet to assess and help you figure out if your horse needs grain or supplements

If you are experienced and feed Grass Hay and no grain it may be just fine for your individual horse. Again it depends on the quality of the hay, the year it was cut and how much leaf and nutritional value it has. An experienced horse person should be able to look at a bale of hay and know if it has a good nutritional value. NOT so for someone new. Thus the advice above. It is good advice and I do hope any new horseperson will follow it.
I always weigh my grain because I like to know exactly how much they are getting. I also like to weigh one bale (off the baler) and divide that weight into flakes so I know roughly how much hay in weight is being fed. If the baler is set to 12 flakes and the bale weighs 60 pounds, well then I have my 5 pound flake. Its really not difficult to weigh your hay and I certainly am not suggesting you weigh it each time you feed. Weigh a bale when you get a load in and be done with it. Easy. The OP managed to figure out that the tub she is feeding allows for about 10 pounds of hay. Now they know if the vet asks. If you were their vet and asked how much hay they feed and they said " well we fork off about 16 full forks into that tub." just how helpful is that??? Now the answer is simple ....10 pounds 2 times a day.
Now best of luck to the OP. Enjoy your horse.
     

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