Feeding hay before concentrates - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 9 Old 09-30-2009, 06:27 PM Thread Starter
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Smile Feeding hay before concentrates

I was wondering should you feed hay before concentrates and if so what are the benefits of this particularly in stabled horses?
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post #2 of 9 Old 10-01-2009, 01:17 PM
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I've never heard of anything bad from feeding concentrates before hay. And I've never known anyone to go out of their way to feed hay before concentrates.

My horses get their hay tossed out after they eat their grain, it lasts them until a couple of hours before their next meal. They've never had any problems from concentrates on an empty stomach... although they do have access to grass up until feeding time unless the weather's bad.

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post #3 of 9 Old 10-01-2009, 02:23 PM
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The barn where I was a Working Student at for 2 years did this. It was explained to me that the roughage will help fill their tummies up from being outdoors all day, to help aid in prevention of colic or any other issues.

When I was there, I would bring in the 30 horses, whom already had their hay piles in the corners of their stalls in their newly made beds. Then when all horses were in, I would then proceed to the grain room - and make up each indavidual buckets of feed for each indavidual 30 horses.

By the time they were ready for grain, they had already been eating their hay for about 1/2 hour.

My new barn, does this as well.

They are brought in twice a day, in the A.M. and in the P.M. They come into their stalls, where their hay piles already are, and after all the horses are brougt in, their feed buckets are made to their indavidual needs and instructions - then they are given their grain after about 1/2 hour.

When I was in Pony Club. This was taught to me as well. I cannot recall the exact reasons, but it is something I have done since I was in High School.

This is greatly important to do, especially if your horses are in dry lots, paddocks, pens for their turn outs. Or out in area's where there is very little grass.

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post #4 of 9 Old 10-01-2009, 03:41 PM
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Originally Posted by My Beau View Post
And I've never known anyone to go out of their way to feed hay before concentrates.
Well you do now..... I'm with MIE. Ours come in and their hay is waiting for them. After I've done water buckets then they get their grain.

This is a good explanation

When To Feed Horses - Avoid Equine Gastric Ulcers and Cecal Acidosis
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post #5 of 9 Old 10-01-2009, 04:16 PM
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I do go out of my way to feed roughage before concentrates, especially for "breakfast," when they do literally have "empty bellies." Not only are there the medical reasons and colic preventive aspects to it, but my guys seem less famished in general if they've been munching hay (while I clean stalls/groom/clean water buckets, etc.) before they get their grain. Enthusiastic, yes, but acting like they haven't eaten in a month, no. My chowhound geldings...

A stubborn horse walks behind you, an impatient one in front of you, but a noble companion walks beside you ~ Unknown
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post #6 of 9 Old 10-01-2009, 04:31 PM
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I don't stable my horses, so there is always either grass or hay available all the time. They never go hungry - but you'd think they were starved the way they behave when they see us head for the feed barrels!

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post #7 of 9 Old 10-03-2009, 05:58 PM
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I've heard that the reason why you should always give the hay before the concentrate is that if you give the concentrate first, it will "run through" too fast, not allowing the stomac to absorb the protein, vitamines ecc. If the stomac is full of hay, it will slow down the digestion of the concentrate and the stomac will have time to absorb all the good stuff.
My horses always have hay around, and they eat their small portions of concentate without gulping it down like wild dogs.
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post #8 of 9 Old 10-03-2009, 11:52 PM
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Originally Posted by dee View Post
I don't stable my horses, so there is always either grass or hay available all the time. They never go hungry - but you'd think they were starved the way they behave when they see us head for the feed barrels!
uh yeah. our one stud horse, Keigan, SHAKES and screams when he sees us getting ready to feed. he gets WAY too excited, like he never gets fed ever! and of course that gets the rest of the barn going!!! we have 3 studs who start it all, then the 2 geldings, and the rest are the mares and fillies then.... its just a noisy mess. i hate feeding time lol
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post #9 of 9 Old 10-04-2009, 12:06 AM
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I try to do like MIE does; Hay can prevent the hungry horse from scarfing grain and causing issues like choke or colic. When I had access to full grass turnout, it didn't bother me so much to feed grain right away, but now when I have horses on pretty dry areas, I try to make sure they are munching some hay before they get their feed.

"The ideal horseman has the courage of a lion, the patience of a saint, and the hands of a woman..."
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