Putting Horses on Pasture - Page 2

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Putting Horses on Pasture

This is a discussion on Putting Horses on Pasture within the Horse Health forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Horses category

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    04-10-2010, 01:14 AM
Green Broke
Just a note, "short" pasture does not make it safer. Typically shorter pasture is more dangerous, the grass is more stressed and and higher in sugars, than a well grown in one.
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    04-10-2010, 02:39 AM
Yes the shorter the grass the sweeter it is but they can't eat as much. It is hard to say not having seen the pasture but I usually make the switch over about a week similar to switching feeds. In winter, we had a stall horse moved to pasture board and we just threw him out.

My feedxl account estimates a horse turned out 7-10 hours eats about 4lbs of grass and I make feed changes at .5 lb daily if that helps... So approximately .5 lb of grass an hour. :o)
    04-10-2010, 05:17 AM
Personally, we just put them out. We don't have anywhere else to put them so we don't have a choice.

We've never had an issue, but it is also rare for horses in Australia to never be on pasture - As far as I am aware no horse i've bought has ever even been stabled.
    04-10-2010, 09:03 AM
We put our guys out June 1st on pasture. About 2 or 3 weeks before we cut grass and feed the horse that way, called zero graze.
We first feed them hay and then come back about 1 hour later and fork a large forkfull to each horse.
We do this over the next 2 weeks increasing the amount of grass forked in over that time.
On the last day we feed them hay heavily and then after a few hours take them out to the pasture and turn them loose. They remain there for the next 4 months.
No catching involved and we don't have problems. By June 1st the grass is harder, the horses have been given grass so they are use to it.
If you have only 2 horses and gas fired hedge trimmer quickly cuts a large section, using the pronged manure fork rake it into a pile, put it in your wheel barrow and take it into the field. You can even scatter it if you are worried making the horses work for it.
A sykle??? Works also for cutting grass but it requires skill.
    04-10-2010, 10:12 AM
Originally Posted by RiosDad    
About 2 or 3 weeks before we cut grass and feed the horse that way, called zero graze.
You should never feed grass clippings to horses...
    04-10-2010, 12:01 PM
Im a vet student and its possibel to feed grass clippings to horses just once they are given straight away as fresh cuttings if they are allowed to sit they begin to ferment quickyl.
    04-10-2010, 12:11 PM
The "correct" way to acclimate horses to grass is to start with 15 minutes and increase by 15 min intervals everyday until you hit 4 hrs. Then you are supposed to be fine for letting them stay out all day.

For my horses I kept them on a lead and just brushed them when it was 15 minutes. 30 minutes I turned them out for a bit while I walked around the pasture, and got there breakfast/dinner ready. I'm lucky though and I don't have problems catching my horses. There was another thread about this last year...

I think it would help to feed them a bunch of hay before they went out too. That way they already have some gut fill and are less likely to gorge themselves.

Edit - I give grass clippings to my horses, but as MaggiStar said we feed them right away and I spread them out so they aren't stacked up enough to ferment as quickly. They never get enough to eat for more than a couple hours.
    04-10-2010, 01:12 PM
Originally Posted by My Beau    
You should never feed grass clippings to horses...
Who said anything about grass clippings?? I go into the hay field where the hay is about 6 inches tall and take a cut near the roots with the hedge clipper, in our case it is a mower behind the tractor.
That grass is racked up and fed to the horses.
It has nothing to do with grass clippings you get from a lawn mower.
This is called ZERO GRAZING and is praciticed by dairy farmers all over the country. It is more effecient then allowing free graze, no trampling , no fences required. Take the grass to the cow/horse.
You control the amount they get.
Again nothing to do with grass clippings.
    04-10-2010, 01:17 PM
Originally Posted by MN Tigerstripes    
The "correct" way to acclimate horses to grass is to start with 15 minutes and increase by 15 min intervals everyday until you hit 4 hrs. Then you are supposed to be fine for letting them stay out all day.

How do you condition say 25 horses or even 40 horse with that method???
Cutting hay, hand feeding with a fork is the only way to do a large number of horses quickly and efficiently.

I have great grass clippings off my lawn. I have a bagger and I fertilize once a month so I have lush growth. But all clippings contain dirt, look closely at the clippings and fine dust and dirt are mixed it. Gritt.
That is the reason I don't feed my lawn clippings. I fill a large pick up truck weekly with gorgous green clippings and just dump them.
It is a shame but I fear for the horses.
    04-10-2010, 01:55 PM
Originally Posted by RiosDad    
Who said anything about grass clippings??
You did. "we cut grass and feed the horse that way". That makes it sound like grass clippings. But I gotcha now, I know you can feed fresh chaff/haylage type grass, but I thought you meant lawn grass.

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