Pregnant mare not eating hay - The Horse Forum
 
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post #1 of 5 Old 07-13-2011, 10:05 PM Thread Starter
Weanling
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Bear Creek, Wa
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Pregnant mare not eating hay

Backstory:
We recently moved to our own farm where she now has some pasture where she can graze. At the boarding stable she had a medium sized sacrifice area of gravel and hogs fuel and no grazing access. She was fed 22 lbs of timothy a day (11 lbs twice a day). This is below the 1.5% body weight (1600 lbs) but according to FeedXL.com (Where I manage her diet) the right amount for a freshly bred Warmblood mare of her stature and activity level.

At the old barn she would eat all of her hay. I never once came an visited her and had left over hay that she didn't eat/didn't want to eat. She would eat every stem and blade.

Now that we've moved, and I have her on rotational grazing program that includes pasture recuperation time in her current sacrifice area. On the days she does graze I make sure to subtract the amount of hay in lbs per hour shes in the pasture from the daily forage total of 22 lbs.

How to figure out the amount of grass a horse eats per hour and converting that in to pounds of hay per hour:
http://extension.colostate.edu/bould...Strategies.pdf


Here's the thing; now that we've moved she doesn't eat her hay.

She loves to graze, she eats her grain & supplements and the paws and demands more. She has healthy gut sounds and I sent a fecal sample to the vet and she has ZERO worms or parasites.

She has always been one to toss her hay around and eat it, but now shes tossing it around and crapping on it. I would understand if it was a scheduled grazing day and I go the formula wrong and she was just full but even on the days where she doesn't graze she just throws it around and only eats a bit of it.

To complicate things further:
#1- Shes an easy keeper, so while normally I wouldn't care and just continue with the mindset of "Whatever, do whatever you want. You're just making your hay stock last longer" EXCEPT# 2 Shes pregnant and I'm concerned about the lack of nutrition and (slightly) lowered appetite.

How worried should I be? Should I just feed her less and enjoy that hay is going further or should I seriously be concerned? Should I invest in a slow feeder and just her have access to free hay and hope the slow feeder stops the waste?

Thank you in advance!
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post #2 of 5 Old 07-13-2011, 10:20 PM
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My guess on this one would be that when she was at the prior place she ate the hay because it was basically all she had. Now that she is available to ample quantity of grass she'd rather eat that and is simply getting picky about her hay.

My stallion was in a dry lot 24/7 before I bought him and would race to his hay and eat every bite. Once moved to my place he has been on acres of grass and unless I throw grain on his hay in a stall he will not touch it. He just waits until he gets to go back out.


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Poco1220 is offline  
post #3 of 5 Old 07-13-2011, 10:49 PM
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Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Kentucky
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I think like Poco said, horses know a good thing when they have it and they will choose grass over hay. The year before last, our pastures were so good that the horses stopped coming in for grain for a couple of months. They didn't loose weight and looked good so I let them. If she's cleaning up her grain and grazing I wouldn't worry to much about it.
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post #4 of 5 Old 07-14-2011, 09:18 AM
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Location: Lancing, TN
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Since you have moved, are you feeding the same hay, or just the same species of hay? Has the hay lot number changed?
A stalled animal will eat everything in sight just out of boredom - kind of like people on welfare that are overweight - they have nothing to do but sit at home and eat.
You may have to switch hay grades and buy a hay that is the next grade better to get the animal to eat it as you are wanting.
Production Acres is offline  
post #5 of 5 Old 07-23-2011, 05:01 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2011
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I agree with poco and crossover.. horses can become picky in those kinds of situations.

The horse is made ready for the day of battle,
but victory rests with the LORD. Proverbs 21:31
Be thankful for what God has given you
sapphirain is offline  
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