Do you feed Hay when there's grass??
 
 

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Do you feed Hay when there's grass??

This is a discussion on Do you feed Hay when there's grass?? within the Horse Nutrition forums, part of the Horse Health category
  • Do horses need hay if theres enough grass to eat
  • If horses have lots of green pasture should you still give them hay?

 
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    05-07-2011, 03:18 PM
  #1
Foal
Do you feed Hay when there's grass??

It's been a L O N G time since I've been on here ... but I've been thinking about how I need to get back on here and post some updates and pictures, etc. etc.

ANYWAY - I have a question ...
Do you all feed your horses HAY when they have grass to graze on??
We have approx 2 1/2 - 3 acres of field for our (now two) horses to graze. One field (approx 1 acre) isn't very grassy - it's weedy. The other 1 1/2 - 2 acres has a fair amount of grass though. I do supplement with Triple Crown Senior Feed, but I'm just curious if I need to continue feeding hay since they're grazing on grass all day long now... ??

P.S. George still needs to gain some weight.
     
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    05-07-2011, 04:45 PM
  #2
Foal
It really depends on the quality of grass in your pasture, for instance in most parts of Florida people feed hay year round because the grass is not very rich with nutrients. Here in TN the grass quality is better, but we still feed hay. Keep in mind how long your horse gets to graze every day. By the way you described your pasture, doesnt sound like a 'lush, full of nutrients' pasture. I would say keep feeing him hay. If you have the time, you can always fertilize to improve the quality of grass you have.

If your going to cut anythign out of a horses diet is should be grain. They need all the forage they can get. Hope that was some kinda helpful
     
    05-07-2011, 05:38 PM
  #3
Foal
Hi,i have lots of grass,but my eriskay and fjord look forward to there haynet at night ,befor I've always found that if the grass is lush they leave there hay,could be they are making up for the hard winter this year in the you.K.agree with cutting down on hard feed though,
     
    05-08-2011, 08:51 PM
  #4
Started
I'll throw out some hay for my horses(who are out 24/7) but they hardly eat it, in the winter I throw out 1-2 bales but lately they are barley eating a flake each and if I throw out more then that it gets wasted
     
    05-08-2011, 10:21 PM
  #5
Trained
We always have a round bale of good quality hay out for our mares even when there is lots of grass (they don't get grain).
     
    05-08-2011, 11:26 PM
  #6
Foal
It depends on how much land you have, and the quality of the grass on it.

I have enough land that I don't feed my mare band except for a short time in the winter. Even then, there are times when they come in to water, they will go right back out past the hay and never look at it.
     
    05-08-2011, 11:34 PM
  #7
Green Broke
Depends on the horse. The grass pastures were recently opened for the summer where I board, so the horses are on limited pasture turnout right now until so they won't become ill. They're up to 8 hrs of grass turnout right now, so in the morning everyone goes out for 8 hours, then goes in a dry lot for the rest of the day with armloads of hay tossed in and then goes in their stalls at night with more hay and whatever/grain supplements.

My horse dropped a ton of weight and isn't gaining, so right now he gets hay/grain in his stall while everyone else is being taken out, then he goes out to join them on the pasture for the 8 hrs, then goes into dry lot with his pony buddies and armloads of hay (they eat barely any, it's mostly all his) and then gets hay/grain in his stall again when he goes in for the night.

A horribly hard keeper of a TB where I board gets unlimited hay, all day turnout on grass pasture and grain/beet pulp/supplements 3x a day just so she won't lose any weight.
     
    05-09-2011, 01:50 PM
  #8
Foal
Thanks for the replies. We ran out of hay a few days ago, which is what posed this question in the first place. When I was younger and still living with my parents, we had 2 horses whom grazed on grass only all summer long and we only bought hay in the winter months for them. They always did just fine.
So that's what I was thinking about with my two current horses ... however I think I'm going to buy another load of hay and see what they do with it. What I mean by that is - They seem to be getting satisfied with just the grass ... they graze off and on all day ... they obviously get full because by evening they just head to the barn and hang out in there. So I guess I'll get more hay and see if they bother with it or not.

P.s. As I mentioned earlier - we have approx 2 1/2 - 3 acres of field where the horses are - it ALL has grass in, but approx 1 acre is more bare. The other 2 acres or so have lush grass growing.
We have two horses - so I would imagine that would be plenty of grass for 2 horses. Actually, we usually end up having to mow the grass down because the horses can't keep up with it.
     
    05-09-2011, 01:58 PM
  #9
Showing
2 1/2 acres of grass will be chewed down in a few weeks. What I do to extend the grass in my pastures is to keep my horses in a paddock during the day with some hay and let them out at night after their evening meal.

I've found that if there is enough grass, the horses will not bother with the hay but as the summer goes on and grass hasn't grown, then they will take more hay. I'm feeding my 2 and 2 others that I'm rehabing and 5 acres is getting pretty thin.
     
    05-09-2011, 02:07 PM
  #10
Green Broke
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tamibunny    
It really depends on the quality of grass in your pasture, for instance in most parts of Florida people feed hay year round because the grass is not very rich with nutrients. Here in TN the grass quality is better, but we still feed hay. Keep in mind how long your horse gets to graze every day. By the way you described your pasture, doesnt sound like a 'lush, full of nutrients' pasture. I would say keep feeing him hay. If you have the time, you can always fertilize to improve the quality of grass you have.

If your going to cut anythign out of a horses diet is should be grain. They need all the forage they can get. Hope that was some kinda helpful
I don't know where you get your information, but the grass here is beter than most because of the natural minerals that are in our soil.

I only feed hay in the winter. My mare wount touch hay in the summer. It just rots out in the pasture. She only gets hay in her stall.
     

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