hay alternatives-anyone know? - Page 2

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hay alternatives-anyone know?

This is a discussion on hay alternatives-anyone know? within the Horse Nutrition forums, part of the Horse Health category

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        11-15-2012, 08:19 PM
    Beet pulp would be better than straw, but some straw might stretch the hay a bit and some horses positively love the stuff. Straw is a tough fiber- they won't get as much out of it nutrition-wise as hay, so you may see weight loss even if you let them eat their fill, especially if you have tough keepers or older horses with iffy teeth. Those ones would require individual supplementation to get them through the winter. You wouldn't be able to substitute it for hay, but it might help you stretch out the hay or cubes you can get until spring. Pretty sure many of the bagged 'hay stretcher' feeds have chopped straw as one of their ingredients.
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        11-15-2012, 08:23 PM
    Originally Posted by moderncowgirl    
    Thanks guys.

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

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    My mare is pretty aggressive with hers, she gets really mad that she can't eat her hay all at once, it's kind of funny to watch her get mad at it . Hers is the freedom feeder, only problem I have with it(I have the small one). Is that the clips to hang it that came with it were terrible and I have to get real clips. Here is their website if you want more info on them Freedom Feeder
        11-15-2012, 08:53 PM
    If they're rough on the nets, make a few with 2 1/2" holes first to get them used to it. Once they accept them you can make smaller ones.
    That way you can ration the hay a bit and just put the straw bale in free choice.

    Important is always one more net than horses, so they don't argue.
    Do you have standies or TB's?
    Standies can make it with half hay, half straw. With TB's I have my doubts......
        11-15-2012, 09:00 PM
    Thank you guys, I am taking this all into consideration. Even if I don't respond back individually.

    My guys are all appalossas. Range from 2-9ish. Their work level right now is not very much at all.
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        11-15-2012, 09:03 PM
    Oh, I figured you had ex racers, since you talked about the tracks closing
        11-15-2012, 09:07 PM
    Lol, no due to the tracks closing its hurt our industry well, and top it off the hay crisis. Each day I go online and I am seeing more and more free horses. Staying away though :)
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        11-15-2012, 10:11 PM
    Originally Posted by moderncowgirl    
    Thank you guys, I am taking this all into consideration. Even if I don't respond back individually.

    My guys are all appalossas. Range from 2-9ish. Their work level right now is not very much at all.
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    I use the straw as roughage, if Im control feeding.. so they have something to chew on all the time. Fork off your round hay bales and give beetpulp, if you are giving a small amout of hay you can probly add alfalfa pellets..they are very rich , so you would only give one cup per horse if that for protien...Beet pulp will also help maintain the weight in the horses and it's cheap...Act like your hay is the only hay on the planet and save as much as you can, so you don't run out.
        11-15-2012, 10:17 PM
    What do your rounds weigh? You can stretch your hay by not letting them eat it free choice and doling it out meal by meal. You should be able to get 25% or more out of a bale. You can add some wheat straw ( little to no grain) just as chew and heat producing but nutritionally it's not going to offer much. I'd limit it to 10% of total intake.
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        11-15-2012, 10:21 PM
    Green Broke
    Do you have a wood chipper ? Maybe throw the wheat straw in the chipper ? If they will eat the wheat straw it should provide fiber, you can maintain weight with a commercial feed.
        11-15-2012, 10:26 PM
    Thank you everyone for your imput.

    This is what I am thinking. Allow access to rounds for the night. Than move them into another pasture with access to straw for the day.

    Also as spottie said protien. Would soya bean be okay instead of alfalfa pellets. I have used soya beans with older horses before.
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