Feeding schedules?

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Feeding schedules?

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    07-01-2012, 08:26 PM
Green Broke
Feeding schedules?

Okay well this got me thinking a bit. Every barn I've been to has a set time that they feed in the morning and at night. But I also know some people that just feed differet times every day whenever it is convenient to them.

I am moving my guys to a barn where I will now have to feed completely on my own. (where I am now I only have to feed at night) now, my horses are fed at 7/8 am and 6 pm. When I move I will have to be feeding before work and where I work each day changes so sometimes I have to leave the house earlier then other days. I was thinking of feeding them somewheres around 5am and 4 pm. In the mornings they may get fed earlier some days.

Now does that sound reasonable? I know most barns around here feed at 6am and 4 pm.

Share your schedules? Please :)
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    07-01-2012, 08:35 PM
My horses get fed when I get up, and when I remember on the evening. But they have hay / grass that they are munching on all day long, which is what makes the difference. If they're standing in a stall or dry lot all day I believe you need to be on a tighter schedule.
    07-01-2012, 08:48 PM
Green Broke
Mine will be outside on two acres with grass 24/7 365!

And hay in the colder months.
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    07-01-2012, 09:00 PM
Green Broke
The girls have 24/7 access to hay (and pasture when it's there). Yahzi doesn't need anything else. Aero is fed her "grain" twice a day. During the school year it's more scheduled, at six and again in the evening after she has finished her evening ride. In the summer the morning feeding tends to vary a bit more depending on when DD gets up or if I feed in the morning before I leave for work.
    07-01-2012, 09:08 PM
Green Broke
So it doesn't have to be an actual 'set' time? I mean mine will be on a pretty set schedule but some days they may be fed earlier then others.
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    07-01-2012, 09:23 PM
It doesn't have to be an actual set time. Barns do set times because well, they're on a work day afterall. For a lot of barns, AM feed is the first thing done at the start of the workday and PM feed is the last thing of the day before going home. The start time of the workday is usually around AM feed time. The start time of the PM feed time is often early enough to allow people to get all the feeding done and be out the door at a reasonable time. The routine is nice because the horses learn to come in at particular times of the day. The only times I think set feeding times are kind of required is when food is limited (like when people do not feed free choice hay or when a horse is stalled or what-have-you) - because then the horse may be out of food and the checks ensure the animal is fed. If the horse is out on pasture or has free choice hay, then the time you feed grain won't matter.

(At least, this is the reasoning at the barns I've been at.)
    07-02-2012, 12:07 AM
As long as they've got free choice/little & often hay &/or pasture, you may not have to feed them at all! Aside from a 'ration balancer' or such for nutrition. Horses are built to have tiny amounts of food going through their stomachs near constantly. If/when you're feeding concentrates - particularly if starchy, it's important to consider that model. Feed small, pref low starch meals as frequently as possible(eg if it's only once or twice daily, don't give big rations, attempting to 'make up') but there's no reason it has to be exactly the same times of day.
    07-02-2012, 10:39 AM
Invest in a couple of small mesh hay nets (Chick's). Even for horses on grass it's still a good idea to offer hay. The small mesh nets make the horse nibble at the hay rather than bolting it down. Either hang or find a clean grassy area to toss it. These nets will hold two big flakes of hay. I pack them tight, tie a knot then weave the excess cord down to the bottom and back up then tie another knot. It should look like a large ball.
    07-02-2012, 11:45 AM
Be careful with leaving hay nets on the ground around shod horses. There were many horses who lost shoes and one horse who injured a leg by their shoes getting caught in nets at my old place.
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