feeding from the ground - Page 2

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feeding from the ground

This is a discussion on feeding from the ground within the Horse Health forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Horses category

    View Poll Results: Is feeding horses hay directly off the ground harmful?
    yes 4 19.05%
    no 17 80.95%
    Voters: 21. You may not vote on this poll

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        05-20-2008, 10:13 AM
    Both mine prefer hay rack (we made one from wood ourself). QH spreads the hay around looking for better leaves (I guess? :) ), so they end up eating part of it from ground, but only after they are done with hay in rack.
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        05-20-2008, 10:29 AM
    After I re -read my post I made it sound like I feed from the ground, I meant I feed only in hay racks.. Sorry! I feel so passionate about this topic that I just wrote it too fast!!
        05-20-2008, 10:40 AM
    Super Moderator
    My horse is very prone to sand colic. I always fed him off the ground and NEVER had issues. It wasnt until I moved him from a grassy field into a paddock that had only dirt. His teeth are all loose and he's a really sloppy eater, after he eats his grain out of his bucket, he picks it off the ground and gets a lot of dirt in with it. I feed him in a corner bucket on the wall but geuss what! His teeth are yucky so he eats like an old man and drops grain EVERYWHERE. So he picks it off the ground...

    The thing with sandcolic is that it depends on what your ground is like and how much dirt they are eating. Mine wouldnt have an issue with the hay, I can't see them picking up a lot of dirt with the hay, it's the grain that really causes issues. (i think). The hay will help push anythign he takes in out, that's why forage is so important in their diets. If you are concerned you can take some of his poop and put it in a bucket, add water, let it sit for an hour or so and the drain the bucket, if there is dirt in the bottom of the bucket, then you've go a potential issue and you might want to consider being proactive and adding something like sandclear to his diet.

    Do you have alot of sand in your soil?
        05-20-2008, 10:45 AM
    Yeah I agree with Vida. ;)
        05-20-2008, 01:04 PM
    Eating hay from the ground is more natural to the horse and opens the airways, providing your stable is clean and free from debries, its the best way to feed hay. A hay rack or net is suspended and can cause the horse to have to stretch and this can build up muscles under the neck which are not good.
        05-20-2008, 01:10 PM
    Green Broke
    There are arguments for both, but I prefer bucket feeding to ground feeding:

    1. They can't tip it over
    2. Less chokes (i have a choker )
    3. Less mess

    I believe, though, that as long as sand colic is not an issue where you are, that ground feeding is perfectly ok, and is definitely more natural. :)
        05-20-2008, 02:19 PM
    Soo true, I agree. ;) I find it more 'natural' for them to eat hay off the ground.
        05-20-2008, 07:03 PM
    My horse is kept in a yard... the soil is very loose because they walk on it all the time but I wouldn't say its sandy. Our soil is very clay-ey. She has gotten colick a few times but we're unsure why - thinking its sand colic.

    I've tried feeding her psyllium but she hates it. She tries to eat it but it sticks to her toungue and roof of her mouth and she won't eat it now. Would psylium pellets be better? And could I just give them to her once a week or so?
        05-20-2008, 07:26 PM
    Green Broke
    Psyllium is one of those things that is best fed by the label. If the label says every day...well then, it's best to do it every day.

    Sticking to the roof of her mouth? Are you feeding it with grain, or just free choice?

    You could hollow out an apple and stick it in there :)

    Best of luck
        05-20-2008, 10:19 PM
    We feed in a cattle feeder/ trough. It is low and keeps the hay and grain off the ground. I guess it is a compromise.

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