Strictly Hay Diet Healthy? - Page 2

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Strictly Hay Diet Healthy?

This is a discussion on Strictly Hay Diet Healthy? within the Horse Health forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Horses category

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    11-28-2011, 07:13 PM
Our hay is a Alfalfa/Timothy/Grass hay mix... I thought about getting a couple square bales to store in the garage of pure alfalfa and throw a flake or two out every day but didn't know if that would be nessasary. The only horse that I have to watch weight wise on round bales is the 12 year old mare... :/ Her head never lifts off the ground unless to get water. But she hasn't been to bad on weight since the weather has dropped, and I have been working her more then she normally gets.

The 8 month old is on mare and foal grain with the mixed round bales that we get, and also put her out on grass every couple days. She is dewormed every other month, but was dewormed quit often as a youngster as well as her mother. She wasn't even weaned until she was 6 1/2 months old, but also got grain and hay while suckling. Her mother was just sold almost a month ago, and that's when I started noticing a little tiny bit of "sunken in" on her top line. I am contemplating going to get grow colt from TSC, and cutting down on the amount of grain she gets, just enough to mix the supplements, giving her the normal round bale, then also throwing in alfalfa hay too.. Good or bad idea?

The three we have now, will be with us until the day that they die. I've already had to 12 year old for about 10 years now :)
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    11-28-2011, 09:12 PM
Ours are fed Bermuda hay. The quality has varied, however. They kept their weight up on pure hay, but we eventually started feeding some pellets because the pellets have guaranteed analysis, and none of the hay does. We feed 'em 3 times/day, twice with grass hay and once with pellets.

I've started supplementing biotin, and that seems to help with their hoof growth. They have no shoes, so supplementing for the hooves seems reasonable. They have salt blocks that they almost never use. The last vet visit scored them 4.5 & 5 for weight, with no problems noted. The farrier is happy with their feet.
    11-28-2011, 09:37 PM
I'd definitely have your hay tested for essential nutrients and consider putting them on a ration balancer. It won't add any noticeable calories, but it will make sure they're getting all the stuff they need.
    11-28-2011, 11:24 PM
All hay diet is actually healthier than a diet with grain in it. Just make sure they get all their nutrients, and I would second supplementing the foal something.

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