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hay alternative

This is a discussion on hay alternative within the Horse Nutrition forums, part of the Horse Health category
  • Will a hay net for horse that can't chew
  • Protein in bagged oats

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    09-03-2012, 08:38 PM
  #31
Weanling
Stressing here too. Only have about 35 square bales of hay left and two hard keepers to keep fat as well as a foal that isn't even here yet! Round bales here are $115-$125 already and squares are $10-$12. Goes up a couple bucks every month. I think this winter is going to be tougher than the last too.
I need to stock up more it's just hard getting the extra funds together.
Should have bought more when the hay was cheap, but didn't have a storage area until now:/
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    09-03-2012, 08:47 PM
  #32
Showing
For those of you facing feed shortages, invest in small mesh hay nets. Your hay will last longer and the horse will better process it it because he can't chew wads of hay. If you can find oat straw in good clean condition you can feed each animal a flake of that per day to replace a flake of hay. Horses need roughage and the oat straw will provide that. This isn't the best diet for a hard working horse but it is sufficient for casual riding. If you've been feeding supplements from a bag, consider switching to oats for the protein. The oats will cost half of bagged feed. Oats aren't the devil everyone makes them out to be. They are the only thing that can help heal hind gut ulcers that medications don't even touch. Feeding round bales is very wasteful. It is no cheaper than going with square bales. At least you can control how much they eat and there's very little waste if any.
     
    09-03-2012, 09:04 PM
  #33
Green Broke
Quote:
Originally Posted by Saddlebag    
For those of you facing feed shortages, invest in small mesh hay nets. Your hay will last longer and the horse will better process it it because he can't chew wads of hay. If you can find oat straw in good clean condition you can feed each animal a flake of that per day to replace a flake of hay. Horses need roughage and the oat straw will provide that. This isn't the best diet for a hard working horse but it is sufficient for casual riding. If you've been feeding supplements from a bag, consider switching to oats for the protein. The oats will cost half of bagged feed. Oats aren't the devil everyone makes them out to be. They are the only thing that can help heal hind gut ulcers that medications don't even touch. Feeding round bales is very wasteful. It is no cheaper than going with square bales. At least you can control how much they eat and there's very little waste if any.
Oats here cost almost as much as bagged feed. If by "supplements from a bag" mean stuff like Purina Strategy. I think oats are around $17 a bag, and Strategy around $21.

I actually switched to rolled barley because it provides more phosphorous (if memory serves me correct) and is more digestible than oats (I have oats sprouting in the manure when I feed it) so I figure they will digest the barley better than oats and get more use out of it.

The reason I want a little phosphorous is because I am feeding straight alfalfa hay. I figure a little bit of barley is good to help balance the high calcium content. They only get maybe 1/4 lb of barley. On the mare I ride the most, I also give her 3-6 lbs of Strategy Healthy Edge a day depending on her exercise level.

Hay, well, it is $15.50 a bale here for alfalfa (100lb bales) and last winter it went over $20 a bale. I stocked up but what I can store still won't last an entire winter.

Living in Arizona I feed top dollar hay year round. Those of you with pasture consider yourselves blessed!
     
    10-16-2012, 10:10 PM
  #34
Foal
Hay cubes are reasonable...when you consider there is no waste and the quality is consistent. I like that they have no mold, are virtually dust free and are easier to store and handle. I found some that are softer for horses to chew and our horses love them. We are ordering a truck load of hay cubes pretty quick here. I have found another product in a tub that will provide 100% nutrition. The tub also has no sugar or starch and contains prebiotics, a natural wormer and omega3. Hay is $7 to $10 per bale in Michigan and I fear it's just going to keep getting more expensive.
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    10-17-2012, 11:55 AM
  #35
Green Broke
Hey prices are getting pretty crazy here in AZ. My last bales were $15 & the guy loading it said it would get much higher & soon. He did say they would probably have it available though.
     
    10-17-2012, 06:37 PM
  #36
Foal
hay

What are they going to do when no one can afford to have horses. They won't have hay to sell??? Lol
     
    10-20-2012, 01:52 PM
  #37
Trained
SO SORRY for the hay prices in your area!! **hugs**
Saddlebag said "oat straw", not "oats." To reiterate, a University of IL Vet told me about 12 years ago, that his father raised show Shires and wintered them on exclusively oat straw, so it can be done.
We broke our drought here in IL, so our local hay prices have leveled off at about $8/50-65 lb square bale. My hay guy is working on a 5th cutting, and he told me that he's baled/sold over 40,000 bales this year. I'm betting that, like my hay man, who shipped a semi-load to a friend in AR, people here will be shipping hay W and SW during the winter. The extreme shortage is, maybe, a little bit less extreme. Even so, a bunch of farmers who grew corn this year gave up on the meager harvest and have baled it for cattle, in those big round bales covered with plastic, the typical "cow hay" look. I'll have to get some pictures. I have NEVER SEEN them do it here before, but my family saw that mid-summer in KS.
May I suggest that you start buying alfalfa cubes in 50 lb bags and storing those in your basement or garage, if you have to. I supplemented my hay with those last winter bc I had bought lightweight bales--40 pounders--and I could tell it wasn't going to see me through. If your stores are like mine, expect the best sale of the Fall/Winter to be NEXT WEEK.
Also, if you have feed bags to use, your horses will waste a whole lot less bc they work on it until they eat all of their grain. You can feed alfalfa cubes in those, too.
Just remember this, when, in a few years, people new to horses are telling you how picky they are about the hay they feed. You cannot afford to be fussy about the hay mix, when it's scarce, which is what I've lived through before, and have been telling folks for years now. As long as it's not moldy, and not totally stemmy, you can feed it. Custer's horses were reduced to eating birch bark on one of his winter campaigns, but they didn't starve to death during the campaign.
Praying for you to get what you need for this winter. =D
     
    10-20-2012, 02:04 PM
  #38
Trained
Just paid $18/bale (100 lb). Same for 80 lb sacks of pellets, which are about a bale equivalent. I may stock up on bags of pellets, because they will last thru the winter, are easy to store, and the prices aren't going to go lower until at least April around here - if then.
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