Should I try soaking hay?

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Should I try soaking hay?

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    04-04-2012, 10:57 AM
Should I try soaking hay?

Since moving my mare home I've learned quite a bit about her. And have had multiple questions come up.

Chessie is a picky mare. I had noticed at her boarding barn she would pull her hay out of the feeder, paw and pick through it, and nibble at what she wanted. So I wasn't surprised when she was doing the same thing at home.

I did notice that there were several bites of hay she apparently started to eat and then spit out. And she's not really eating her hay in the evening when she's stalled. She's on a grazing muzzle during the day until she acclimates to pasture. I'm worried about her forage intake.

She did just have her teeth checked and passed in January at her annual physical. She's 23. She has no problem with her feed or her cookies.

The hay seems fine, I went through it, checked the smell, it's not dusty or moldy, although I think it may be older b/c it came from apparently what was the back of the stack at the feed store.

So I'm wondering if I should start soaking her hay or if she's just being a picky-a** eater. Especially since she's been allowed a bit of grazing - maybe hay isn't good enough anymore.

And how exactly do you soak hay - for how long, etc...
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    04-04-2012, 11:02 AM
I'd say to just try it! It wouldn't hurt, and it's especially good because it keeps it less dusty. I'd stick it in a haynet, then leave it in a barrel of water for around 1/2hour to 1 hour, then let it drain a little bit so it isn't dripping everywhere! :) It is likely she's being picky though; Hip Hop can often be like that, he'll have a little munch and then pull a face and want carrots instead haha, but seeing as there's not much grass in the field lately, we don't really have much of a choice!
    04-04-2012, 11:08 AM
Ok, thanks. Makes me feel better your horse is the same way. I'm in Texas, hay is at a premium due to last year's drought, and I can't afford to have it wasted.
    04-04-2012, 11:11 AM
Agreed! We're not so bad with hay at the moment, but he's so cheeky haha, if he doesn't want it, then he won't eat it, even though he's a foodaholic! Just really want the grass to start growing properly again, it's been so dry lately! :)
    04-04-2012, 01:46 PM
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Definitely worth a try. My older guy chews his hay into a cud and then spits it out. He does ok w/ compressed alfalfa but that's expensive. I tried to give him hay pellets or additives but he couldn't chew them since he only has 4 teeth....

Good luck...

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