Amount of hay - am I just being paranoid?

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Amount of hay - am I just being paranoid?

This is a discussion on Amount of hay - am I just being paranoid? within the Horse Nutrition forums, part of the Horse Health category
  • Equine barrel hay feeders
  • How to cut holes in barrel slow feeder

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    07-03-2012, 08:03 AM
Green Broke
Amount of hay - am I just being paranoid?

So let me start by saying I didn't start this thread to bash the barn where I fact, I absolutely LOVE the owner and everyone who works and boards there. It is a lovely place, and I know they truly care about the horses. I just have a question pertaining to my specific horse, who likes to INHALE her hay the moment she has it in front of her! (and yes I have tried slow feeders and the like, she just tears holes in them OR gets her HEAD stuck in them, and I'd rather she eat too fast than end up having a safety hazard in her stall!)

So the place I board feeds hay spread out throughout the day which is SO nice...they usually feed 2 flakes in the AM, then another flake at noon (unless the horses are outside which they are unless there is lightning in the area, for safety reasons), then 2 more flakes around dinnertime which is 4:00ish, and then 1 more flake for a late night snack, usually around 8 or 9pm. They grow the hay on their property and it is very good quality hay I must say, I have ZERO complaints!

Now, my mare can go through that last flake easily within the hour if not earlier, which means she has no hay from around 9 or 10pm until the next morning when they feed again (7?). My mare has had issues with ulcers before, and they DO have an option at this barn to pay extra for additional flakes. But before I take them up on that option I thought I'd ask the I being paranoid about the amount of time overnight my horse doesn't have hay? None of the other boarders are worried about it, and I've only owned a horse for 3 1/2 years, so maybe in my lack of experience I'm just being paranoid?

I just want to know what you guys think before I go paying extra and potentially making my horse fat
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    07-03-2012, 08:05 AM
Green Broke
OH and let me also add, my horse is NOT losing weight or fitness or anything at this barn, so I'm not really concerned that they aren't feeding her enough, because I think they are. My concern is more about the ulcers and her stomach eating itself for x amount of hours.
    07-03-2012, 08:06 AM
That actually seems very generous. Granted, I havent boarded a horse in about 6 years, but they got two flakes in the am and pm, no snacks.
    07-03-2012, 08:09 AM
Green Broke
Yeah, that's why I'm on the fence about this one...I mean, 6 flakes I would think would be PLENTY! They're not HUGE flakes or anything, but they're good sized, they're certainly not tiny.

I wish I could get into my horse's brain and tell her to STOP EATING SO FAST!!!

They actually also offered to put her hay manger back up in the corner, but in my experience with her those don't really slow her down too much anyway. But it was VERY nice of them to offer that...and that's why I like it so much here They are very helpful!!
    07-03-2012, 08:12 AM
Do you know what caused her previous ulcers? Was it stress or do you truly believe it was because she went too long with eating? Is turnout an option or is she stalled 24/7?
    07-03-2012, 08:29 AM
Green Broke
My boy Pilgrim is also an eating machine.

I bought some, not so good hay, cut late, stemmy etc. I give that to him as a snack, he eats it much slower because it does not taste as good and it does not have a lot of nutritional value. I also give him the leftover hay from other horses, the picky ones. He is a vacuum cleaner.
    07-03-2012, 08:39 AM
Taffy may have a good point. A fairly high quantity of lesser quality hay may be a good option for overnight. It would keep your guy busy without adding a lot of calories. You may have to buy it, but maybe they would be willing to feed that as a late night snack for him?
    07-03-2012, 08:51 AM
My boys have chewed a few holes in the small mesh hay nets but I just fix them. Having a few extras means I don't have to fix the damaged one immediately. They are cheap and really slow the horse down, thus extending how long the hay lasts. When the bugs are bad the horses will not come out of the barn. I hang each a net with two flakes of hay about noon and it lasts until about 5. Pre hay nets the two flakes were devoured before 3.
    07-03-2012, 09:23 AM
Green Broke
The feeding schedule she is on is much better than the 2-feedings most barns are on. I don't think I would be too concerned at this point unless I started to notice issues with her weight.
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    07-03-2012, 09:52 AM
Oh, I think its perfectly fine... That a VERY good feeding schedule. And if you are worried about it, have you tried a slow feeder made from a barrel? Like taking a big blue barrel, cutting holes in the sides, and for the top, cut off like one inch of the top off, then attach it again with hinges so you can open and close the top, and hang it, set it, or tie it somewhere... They eat out of the holes in the sides, and you fill it through the lid you made...

This isnt exactly what I was looking for, but you get the idea. (these are made for the horse to play with, aswell as eat.)

Or, something like this may work?

Ill admit to saying that when I made my own version of a barrel with holes and a lid in the top, my horse was not thrilled. He actually disliked it because it took so long to eat out of...

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