hay alternatives-anyone know? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 22 Old 11-15-2012, 06:39 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: ontario
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hay alternatives-anyone know?

Hey guys!

I am sorry if this was already talked over. I am looking for suggestions on hay alternatives. I just found out my supplier will run out january. Hay crisis here in ontario.

I feed free choice rounds right now. In group setting. There is 11 horses. I am thinking about separating pastures in half and allowing so long on a bale than put in another pasture for a bit. However they are dry lots.

Does anybody know of a cost effective way to feed without hay. I have already put all my adds out for looking for hay. But prices are sky rocket at 100.00 a round. I go through 4 rounds a week. Right now paying 40.00 a round.

Individual feedings would be very difficult. I don't have a barn. Just run in sheds.

My hay supplier does have large bales of wheat straw. I read a bit, but still worried on how horse would do on it.

Thank you!
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post #2 of 22 Old 11-15-2012, 07:11 PM
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Alberta
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Put out the straw bales for roughage.... control feed your round hay for sure. you can also give beet pulp soaked... up to 10lbs dry per horse per day split into several feedings if you give that much... Its high in fiber and takes up to 3 days to digest and will keep them warm.
Also you can feed green feed, if that is around. Its oat straw cut early, so its still green.
Hope this helps.
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post #3 of 22 Old 11-15-2012, 07:34 PM
Green Broke
Join Date: Jun 2010
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Regulate your hay and maybe try alfalfa cubes as supplement. A couple people around my area have fed them all winter instead of hay when we've had bad years.

"If a horse fails to do something that is because he was not trained to do it. If a horse fails to do something properly that is because he was not trained properly."
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post #4 of 22 Old 11-15-2012, 07:40 PM
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Alberta
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cubes = hay
chances are if hay is high in price so will cubes..you will still need to feed the same weight in cubes as you would hay.
But you can give less hay if you use beet pulp.
If your worried about vitamins and minerals you can pick up a bag of Hoffmans minerals, it is also sold in ontario. If you have a UFA, it will be sold there.
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post #5 of 22 Old 11-15-2012, 07:46 PM
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Location: New Mexico
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You can cut down on waste and slow consumption by putting the bale in a slowfeeder net. Don't have the link right now but you can Google roundbale slowfeeder haynet.
I made small slowfeeder nets out of baling twine and hang se several of them on different places at the fence. Requires a bit more work, stuffing them all, but im saving at least 35% on hay that way and still have happy horses.
As for wheat straw, I used to have it as bedding and all my horses would even leave their alfalfa to eat some straw.
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post #6 of 22 Old 11-15-2012, 07:46 PM
Green Broke
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There are some complete feeds, Id also stock up on all the hay you can get right now. Maybe fill a couple run ins up. Beet pulp is good filler and cubes if you can get them. The ranch horses in Hawaii eat cubes exclusively, no hay. so it can be done. Might get expensive though. Good luck.
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post #7 of 22 Old 11-15-2012, 07:55 PM
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Can you get a small hole hay net so that it takes them longer to eat it? My mare eats 2 flakes in about an hour or 2 but with the small hole hay net she still has some hay left in the AM.
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post #8 of 22 Old 11-15-2012, 08:02 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: ontario
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Thanks guys.

I have tried many forms of netting but my guys are burtal and rip it apart.

Does it matter if it was wheat straw?

If it came down to wheat straw fed would they lose weight?

I will be building another fence and time my guys on access to rounds.

My supplier said he bring me a bale of straw next time. I was going put it out with a bale of hay. Give them the option.
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post #9 of 22 Old 11-15-2012, 08:05 PM
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Hay cubes and alfa cubes. I hate having to worry about hay supply.
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post #10 of 22 Old 11-15-2012, 08:10 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: ontario
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I would be all for hay cubes and alfafa cubes, however the costs are high. Its 15.00 roughly for 25 kg bag. 11 horses I can see feeding about 2 bags or more a day.

I wish money wasn't an issue. I hate to sell them. Horses are being given away here in ontario. The goverment closed the tracks and estimated 13000 horses be slaughtered by new year. I rescued each one of these guys and can't just let them go knowing their fate maybe next to nothing.

If it came down to straw being fed? Would I be able to manage their weight on that and health?

I am looking at costs here, wish I was rich. If I would go into complete feeds or cubes, I belive my total costs would be around price of hay costs if I found any.
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