will your horse eat field/orchard grass hay? - Page 2

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will your horse eat field/orchard grass hay?

This is a discussion on will your horse eat field/orchard grass hay? within the Horse Health forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Horses category

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    12-28-2011, 08:36 PM
Green Broke
Never had a problem with a horse that wouldn't eat the hay put in front of it as long as it was good and clean.
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    12-28-2011, 08:48 PM
This was a few years ago, a friend of mine gave me 2 tons of meadow grass. Looked great, smelt great (I thought), horses I had at the time refused to touch it. I sprinkled apple cider vinegar on it (a tip I had read), they ate it. So that took care of that.
    12-28-2011, 11:47 PM
Originally Posted by Cat    
Never had a problem with a horse that wouldn't eat the hay put in front of it as long as it was good and clean.

Well, that just makes me feel so much better....I've got freaky horses!! Somehow I always knew that....

BTW, this is quality grass hay...smells wonderful, looks green...no mold, no dust.... Dunno what the problem is?!!!

Drop your reins, I do have a small amount of the pure timothy left...and I was pondering whether to mix it as you suggested, or should I just make them go "cold turkey"???
    12-29-2011, 12:09 AM
They must not really be hungry then.

It's okay if they don't eat their full ration for a couple of days while they figure out that what you're giving is what they get. A healthy horse will not starve to death in a couple days and a healthy horse will not starve with good clean hay in front of them. So long as they're still drinking, then they can have their little tantrum and you can ignore it.

All of my animals eat what they're given (cats, dogs, birds, horse). Not all of them came to me that way. None of them are skinny or were damaged (physically, emotionally, or mentally) in the process.

Who knows, maybe it will help Beau's possessiveness if it's food he doesn't really want to start with. ;)
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    12-29-2011, 12:10 AM
Green Broke
Mixing it to allow them to adjust would probably be best.
    12-29-2011, 12:18 AM
Yea, I'll mix it...don't want to shock their systems by making them switch all at once....

Sharpie, I liked your post. You are right, they will eat it if they are hungry enough. Beau used to eat grass hay when we first bought him, but with time and fatness, he's gotten the idea he's too good for grass hay....

Epona is a food snob....always has been. It's her only flaw, other than that she is a perfect little girl!!!
    12-29-2011, 12:25 AM
Lol, It's true with people too... I find myself standing in front of the fridge with the door open looking in several times a day. At least half of the time nothing 'looks good.' There is plenty of food in there, all of it perfectly good, but the reason I don't want to eat any of it is because I'm not actually really hungry, even though I think maybe I am. Let me tell you though, I find plenty in that same fridge to eat when I'm coming back from bucking hay or something and ACTUALLY do have an appetite.

Assuming an animal recognizes what you're offering as food and doesn't have anything medically wrong that would affect appetite or eating, the animal will eat when they're actually hungry.
Beauseant likes this.
    12-29-2011, 02:21 AM
I bought a bunch of Timothy once, when my horses were used to CA Alfalfa. I thought they were getting too much protein and wanted to cut back on the alfalfa. WELL!! My mare, Lady B, took a couple of mouthfuls, made sure she had my attention, turned around a pee'd in her timothy. My old QH Lucky, took his whole feeder and threw it out of his corral, hay and all. A couple days later, that Timothy was Filet Mignon because that was what they got and they didn't get no mo'! LOL! They won't starve themselves, they'll just hold out til they are actually hungry.
    12-29-2011, 04:39 AM
Horses like what they are used to and hate change, but I've never seen a horse starve itself with hay available. Our mares are used to their orchard/fescue mix, but in the bad drought year in NC when there was NO fall hay (luckily years past now), we had to feed the 'northern' hays that were trucked in. Did they pick through it for a couple days...yes, but they did eat every bit of it through that entire winter.
In my opinion, unless they started seriously foraging for food (e.g. Eating weeds, leaves, etc), I would just let them get hungry until they ate the new hay rather than encourage being fussy.
    12-29-2011, 05:51 AM
While I'm not a fan of suddenly changing a horse's food, sometimes it's inevitable. At work we had little control over what new boarders came in with, many didn't think to bring hay from the previous barn and the horse would just have to adjust to our hay cold turkey. It wasn't uncommon for them to pick at it for a couple of days but they always came around - I must say the worst was when the owner panicked, and started trying different kinds of hay - hard enough getting the horse to adjust to one new kind of hay, let alone three . Definitely need to keep an eye on them while they're adjusting, but no need to worry unless they stop eating entirely or it lasts for more than a few days.

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