First horse - hay and grain. - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 14 Old 10-15-2010, 04:24 PM Thread Starter
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Location: New England
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First horse - hay and grain.

I'm getting my mustang next weekend! I have to get hay and grain this week. I was talking to a guy that sells 600 pound round bales that are orchard grass/timothy mix. it's $60 for one bale. How long will that last for one horse? Is that a good price? And will that be to rich? And also what kind of grain should I get?
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post #2 of 14 Old 10-15-2010, 04:27 PM
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Do you have a way to keep that round bale out of the weather?

Was it baled specifically with horses in mind, and kept sheltered?

If not, it's not advisable to buy round bales because they'll mold and can cause health problems.

You're in New England; it's not like you live in a dry climate like Arizona or southern California. That bale will be disgusting once it's rained on, and won't be fit for anything but cows at that point.
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post #3 of 14 Old 10-15-2010, 04:32 PM Thread Starter
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Ok. I was going to tarp it. Yes it's for horses but I guess I should just buy regular bales? What do you suggest?
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post #4 of 14 Old 10-16-2010, 09:40 AM
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If you or someone responsible for you doesn't know the answers to the afore questions, you probably should not be getting the animal.............
$200/ton for a rd bale - you are kidding, right!!!! or is that delivered? delivered on one bale is a whole other story. Rd bales are designed to be fed by tractors to groups of animals and be consumed in 2-3 days maximun. They are not a self feeding system for single animals for weeks on end.

Posted this on another page.
One day people will begin to wake up about sourcing hay! Hay species has very little to do with palatability, nutrition, quality, value, etc. Johnsongrass makes good hay cut and put up approiatlely, Alfalfa can get so woody that you cannot get much of anything to eat it well. People come in the barn all the time and ask for timothy and go to the woodiest, long stem, rank, 6" long timothy heads and say this is timothy, right?" Yep! That is what I want." Probalbly has a crude protein of 4% right in line with the cardboard baled behind wallmart.
You don't buy feed based on its species, ie. oats, corn, vegtable products, etc. You now buy a feed with 12% protein and 4% fat conteint. You can buy your hay the same way.

ask for the rfv on any hay you purchase.
Less than 75 = lot of waste, no nutrition, may lead to impaction colic
75-86 = gelding chewing hay during the winter - can eat all they want and not founder - not for performance horses
87-102 = nicer hay, general medium quality hay - will keep an animal in decent condition by itself with no grain if not working.
103-124 = either a very nice grass hay or an alfalfa mix - the kind of hay you want to buy
125-151 = performance horse quality for a mostly hay diet - can put weight on a horse with this kind of hay - will have very little waste if any
151+ = barrel racers, race horses, feed for really putting weight on or broodmares - can founder idle horses with this hay easily

Read more: Timothy,Orchard Grass,Alfalfa, or mix?
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post #5 of 14 Old 10-16-2010, 09:46 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you that was helpful. What about grain?
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post #6 of 14 Old 10-16-2010, 10:40 AM
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Originally Posted by GuitarChump View Post
Thank you that was helpful. What about grain?
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It can be hard to answer these types of questions on an internet forum without having seen the horse and having a proper consultation regarding what is to be done with him.

Your grain will depend on a few different things:

1.) What was he being fed previously? It is a good idea to find out what his digestive system is used to and try to keep his diet relatively unchanged for the first period of time as he adjusts to the move. Changes to grain can be introduced slowly over a period of a couple of weeks.

2.) How old is he and what type of condition is he in? Age and weight will play a big factor in grain selection, i.e. if you want him to gain a few pounds/maintain/lose a few pounds. Age plays a factor as the teeth may need more attention and also different balances of grain can be beneficial as they get older.

3.) What do you plan to do with him? Whether he will be lightly worked once a week or heavily worked 3-5 times a week will radically change his dietary requirements, so this is another big factor.

So you can see it is hard to give good advice on this matter with little information! I would suggest that you talk to someone at your local feedstore if you can find someone who has good knowledge of horse feeds. Explain your situation and see what they have to say. Sure they are there to sell to you but its not like they work on commission so they don't have a vested interest in selling the product. On the other hand they sell horse feed to people all day and will no doubt have some suggestions for you.

All horses deserve, at least once in their lives, to be loved by a little girl.
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post #7 of 14 Old 10-17-2010, 06:37 PM
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im not sure where in new england you live, but i live in vermont and pay 30-35 for a horse quality dry round bale. is this a mustang who has been off range for a while? used to grain?
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post #8 of 14 Old 10-18-2010, 11:32 AM
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Horses don't NEED Grain at all... in fact thier digestive system is not really designed to digest it...

Good Quality free choice hay is the first step... then adding a good vitamin/miernal supplement is the next... ideallyyou would have hay tested but not all of us have that option. And very few hay suppliers in my area test.

You can feed rounds that have been outside just fine to horses BUT I would not feed it to a single horse... you will have so much waste it would be unreal. You are better off getting a good quality square bale and looks don't always tell the nutritional value :)

I have been called the NSC Nazi more then once ... I hate traditional feed methods of loading our horses up on grains and junk food :)
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post #9 of 14 Old 10-18-2010, 03:16 PM
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Not all horses require grain...just keep that in mind. Like sarahver said, whether or not your horse NEEDS anything else aside from good hay depends on many factors. However, you should always provide free choice minerals (aka salt and mineral block located somewhere in their paddock).

I suggest talking with people IRL, feed store people yes, your vet. We here on the forum can't really give you good advice without knowing more about the horse and what you plan to do with him.
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post #10 of 14 Old 10-18-2010, 03:23 PM
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I would get regular bales! Weather is different everywhere, but here, even if you keep it tarped up, when the fog rolls in theres no saving hay with all the moisture in the air. I made the mistake once of getting larger quantities of hay when only feeding one horse.

I don't grain. I feed low carb grain-free pellets but very little just so I can mix sand clear in it once a month. A lot of people will tell you graining isn't necessary unless they have a problem that has to be addressed with supplements (or,say, you have a recehorse that can 'benefit' from sweet feed).

Congrats on your new baby!!

"All I pay my psychiatrist is the cost of feed and hay, and she'll listen to me allll day."
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