Eating hay too fast - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 29 Old 07-23-2010, 10:09 AM Thread Starter
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Question Eating hay too fast

My mare gets about 20 lbs of hay daily and gets turned out most of the day as well. She weighs about 1,000 lbs by the way, for reference, and she's an easy keeper. She's only on a couple lbs of oats per day and a vitamin supplement as well.

Anyway, she eats her hay WAAAAY too fast! The other day I got to the barn and it was only 6:00pm...she was already OUT of hay in her stall completely!! I asked the barn manager where I board how much they had given her at the 4:00 feeding, and he said 4 flakes...which should have been enough to tide her over, but she had absolutely scarfed it!

I need to figure out ways to get her to slow down so that she has hay throughout the evening/night to graze on. We scatter it around her stall in an effort to slow her down, but it doesn't seem to stop her! I just bought her this, which is supposed to encourage slower eating. Any other ideas how to slow her down? I don't want her going all night without ANY forage!!!

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post #2 of 29 Old 07-23-2010, 10:57 AM
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You are doing all you can. I wouldn't worry about her not rationing her hay, it isn't going to hurt her to be without for a few hours. I would have a toy of some kind to occupy her so that she doesn't become bored, and, in fact, just having something else to do, may slow her feeding down.

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post #3 of 29 Old 07-23-2010, 10:59 AM
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Perhaps you could feed her other feed that his more full filling.
I would think that putting her feed in a hay bag (that isn't like the twine) so she'll have to pull it out to eat.
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post #4 of 29 Old 07-23-2010, 01:40 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iridehorses View Post
You are doing all you can. I wouldn't worry about her not rationing her hay, it isn't going to hurt her to be without for a few hours. I would have a toy of some kind to occupy her so that she doesn't become bored, and, in fact, just having something else to do, may slow her feeding down.
I know that a few hours are fine, but from 6 or 7pm until 7am the next morning is far too long I would think...but they won't increase her hay at the barn where I board any more than they have already and I'm not sure that would help unless she was getting another 3 flakes or so, which would then almost be too much hay for her, being an easy keeper and all.

Does anyone know approx. how long a horse can go with NO forage at all before you start to see issues with ulcers? From everything I personally have read, they're really never supposed to be without forage...

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post #5 of 29 Old 07-23-2010, 01:41 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EA Alayna View Post
Perhaps you could feed her other feed that his more full filling.
I would think that putting her feed in a hay bag (that isn't like the twine) so she'll have to pull it out to eat.
Thanks EA Alayna -- that was my thought, with that small hay bag link I posted...I ordered it for her, hopefully it will at least help to slow her down slightly!

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post #6 of 29 Old 07-23-2010, 11:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hoofprints in the Sand View Post
She weighs about 1,000 lbs by the way, for reference, and she's an easy keeper. She's only on a couple lbs of oats per day and a vitamin supplement as well.
"she is an easy keeper".

I have two insulin resistant horses. Metabolic horses are, for the most part, "easy keepers". My 12 yr old that was 200# overweight, could not stuff enough grass and hay into himself fast enough;he was always hungry. When the vet checked his insulin levels, it was in the outer stratosphere.

One of the classic early warning signs of metabolic issues is that the "easy keeper" horse thinks it's starving to death and can't quit eating because it's insulin levels are so high.

My first and only thought is to have your vet draw blood to check the insulin level of this horse.

I would also stop feeding her oats, which are an innocent enough feed for a healthy horse but if she does have metabolic issues, the high starch levels in oats are a huge no-no.

Her vit/min supplement should be fine UNLESS, again, she has metabolic issues and it is high in iron.

Being at a boarding barn, hay is probably not consistent, but if the hay were to be tested and found to be high in iron, that means it would be low in copper and zinc, two minerals that are important to the immune system and for stablization of glucose in a metabolic horse.

Even if the horse is young that does not mean it can't be headed for metabolic issues early on: I-R/EMS is essentially Type II diabetes if the horse were a person.

Hope this helps
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post #7 of 29 Old 07-23-2010, 11:43 PM Thread Starter
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Very helpful thanks for the info!! She actually was recently tested and is not resistant but I thought the same thing you did!
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post #8 of 29 Old 07-23-2010, 11:47 PM Thread Starter
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They tested her thyroid levels and all that and a full panel of allergy tests...found she is allergic to molasses and soy bean and several other things. That's actually why she is on a little oats and the vitamins...she can't have any of the commercial feeds because they all have either soy bean or molasses in them.
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post #9 of 29 Old 07-24-2010, 08:39 AM
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You are three dietary steps ahead of most of the horse world

Gobbling her food may have started out as a hunger thing but has since developed into a bad habit, but I might still watch her for other subtle signs of I-R as time goes on

Something I completely overlooked until this year is the protein source for 99.9% of the vit/min supplements on the market is soy Soy is not good for insulin resistant horses either.

It might be worth a phone call to the 800# on your supplement container and ask them what the protein source is.

To my knowledge, there are only two vit/min supplements on the market that are soy-free; EquiPride and LinPro, but that doesn't mean there aren't more out there.

I cannot believe the difference in all four of my horses. I have one that I discovered three years ago was oat and corn intolerant, was also soy intolerant; he is the one with all sorts of dust/pollen/mold allergies.

The EquiPride has helped that intolerance to a large degree.

It has helped my Arab with his severe allergic reactions to midge fly and tick bites. Also, he no longer gets the runny bums on spring and summer grass and he doesn't need his ulcer meds anymore (he was a starving horse rescue years ago).

It has helped the two that are insulin resistant tremendously.

Here's the link to EquiPride's guaranteed analysis.
EquiPride? and EquiLix? 1-800-327-9222

It is pricey, but, I have been able to either eliminate things (like the Arab's ulcer meds), or cut back on others. I have never in my life seen anything like this product and keep waiting for the other shoe to drop but so far, so good. I think EquiPride really is one of those "too good to be true" products that really works.

It also has a pre/probiotic in it, so it might help your mare with her digestive process, therefore help to slow down her eating.

When I spoke with one of the EquiPride owners, his comment was EquiPride "chews/digests the food for the horse, all the horse has to do is swallow it"
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post #10 of 29 Old 07-24-2010, 07:09 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks so much again for all of this helpful information!!! I really appreciate it :)

I did check with SmartPak to make sure the vitamin supplement was molasses and soy free since she is allergic and it is :) It's their EZKeeper Grass supplement.
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