Can you overfeed hay? - The Horse Forum

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post #1 of 14 Old 11-11-2011, 10:33 AM Thread Starter
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Can you overfeed hay?

It was 28 degrees this morning when I took my boys out of the barn. I gave them double the amount of hay than usual since this is an unusually low temp for this time of year. Is there any way to overfeed hay? I assume not, since they eat grass all day long, but just wondering.

Let me add its orchard/alfalfa if that matters.
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post #2 of 14 Old 11-11-2011, 10:48 AM
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Over feed as in the horse getting sick? Only if they were not used to a rich hay.

Over feed as in wasting with out feeders - oh sure.
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post #3 of 14 Old 11-11-2011, 11:06 AM Thread Starter
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LOL, I meant as in them getting sick. They don't waste much, and it shows ;)
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post #4 of 14 Old 11-11-2011, 11:19 AM
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I've never seen a horse overeat hay in my five years of experience. Usually when they're full they just go find something to get in trouble with
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post #5 of 14 Old 11-11-2011, 11:33 AM
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Red colicked when given a round bale while Denise had him in Texas.
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post #6 of 14 Old 11-11-2011, 12:01 PM
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Generally speaking, the answer to the question is "no".

Horses normally don't stuff themselves full of hay as long as they have ample pasture to go-roaming and be horses.

Horses on a dry lot, with nothing else to do, might stand there and eat until their hooves are pointing skyward.

Horses with insulin issues oftentimes have absolutely voracious appetites and will gorge themselves because they think they are hungry, thanks to the insulin spikes.

I have two metabolic horses. The 12 yr old has to have his hay weighed and put in a slow feeder hay net at night because he is one of those voracious eaters.

The 24 yr old is not. I weigh his hay, throw it loose in his hay tub and I will still find him munching on morsels in the morning.

I only have four horses and have never fed roundbales because they waste too much and I need to control how much all of them eat.

Thankfully, I still have plenty of pasture so I'm not throwing hay out but, when the time comes, I feed small squares and I measure what they get.

When their pasture grass goes down to really not tasting good, they will stay on the hay for about an hour, go out wandering for a couple hours, come back to the barn for water and munch more hay, go back out wandering, finally coming to the pasture by the house about an hour before dark to wait for supper. Sometimes they will munch the left over hay, sometimes not.

Even the IR guy who always thinks he's hungry does pretty good but again, he's got 22 acres of hills to keep him occupied

If roundbales are the only option, the painful alternative would be to cut it up with a chainsaw so controlled amounts could be given. And that only works if the horse isn't in a boarding situation
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post #7 of 14 Old 11-11-2011, 12:05 PM
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Actually separating round bales into meals isn't that hard, that's in fact what I've been doing for a few years! It's cheaper to buy a big bale for $35 to last a month, rather than spending nearly that in a week on square bales.

I have a tote that I measured can hold 10lbs of hay, adequate to what my mare needs per feeding, and just take off the bale string in sections and pull it out. Pretty easy if you don't mind spending an extra five minutes.
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post #8 of 14 Old 11-11-2011, 01:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tianimalz View Post
Actually separating round bales into meals isn't that hard, that's in fact what I've been doing for a few years! It's cheaper to buy a big bale for $35 to last a month, rather than spending nearly that in a week on square bales.

I have a tote that I measured can hold 10lbs of hay, adequate to what my mare needs per feeding, and just take off the bale string in sections and pull it out. Pretty easy if you don't mind spending an extra five minutes.

HAH, I WISH I could get a round bale for $35! But even at $125 for a 1200 lb round bale, it's still cheaper than squares which are close to $400/ton now.

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post #9 of 14 Old 11-11-2011, 01:23 PM
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As long as:
A- They don't have any health problems limiting rich feed- such as Insulin Resistance
B- They are used to being fed that type of hay, and they aren't like a rescue who came from eating practically nothing to all this hay
C- They don't get overloaded with unbalanced nutrients, which would really only happen if it was plain Alfalfa

So no, they will not get sick!! Although, for money matters, if you feed them loads of hay, you may just want to get plain Orchard hay, and supplement with some Alfalfa/Orchard mix.
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post #10 of 14 Old 11-11-2011, 01:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dreamcatcher Arabians View Post
HAH, I WISH I could get a round bale for $35! But even at $125 for a 1200 lb round bale, it's still cheaper than squares which are close to $400/ton now.
Ouch O.O I guess it depends on where the certain person lives. Here people still try to charge me between 6 and 11 dollars for a square bale, so in my situation it's best to get it in the bigger round bales when possible. That's the summer prices too... I'll have to be scraping $80 a month out of my poor bank account But in comparison I suppose that still isn't bad.

Maybe you should move to NC
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