Hay intake... - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 7 Old 09-02-2010, 10:52 PM Thread Starter
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Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Oregon
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Hay intake...

So I'm visualizing about bringing Lacey home for the winter and I'm trying to prepare thoughts/money-wise about how much hay she's going to need for approximately 8 months...

Right now the pasture she would be in is pretty grassy still, no bare spots or anything so she would probably only need a flake or two, if anything a day. However, once that gets eaten down, she's going to need hay.

I'm thinking I'm going to look into getting her on some timothy/alfalfa because brown grass hay (I don't know what it's called, all I know is that it's brown and yucky and doesn't fill horses up very much) makes her kind of bonkers, so how much should I anticipate feeding her for the winter? Last year, on that really crappy brown thin stemmed grass hay, she lost a significant amount of weight eating about 6 flakes a day, but that was really crappy.
In the spring and summer she's the world's easiest keeper. She gains weight on barely anything and keeps it without a problem. I plan to supplement with beet pulp if necessary, btw.
She's worked minimally hard; this winter, if she comes home, she'll be w/t/c on a tri-weekly basis for about an hour, mostly walk though and hardly any canter. I'll probably walk around on her back everyday but nothing really strenuous on a daily basis.

Help? I wanna do good by her! Thanks!

Fabio - 13 year old Arabian/Lipizzan gelding

Rest peacefully, Lacey.
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post #2 of 7 Old 09-02-2010, 11:26 PM
Green Broke
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Oregon
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We don't have very good grass hay on the west side and it drives me crazy! Figure an average bale weighs 40 or 50 lbs. (sometimes our hay bales are small and sometimes larger).

If I remember correctly it's 40 bales to a ton at 50 lbs. each and 50 bales to a ton at 40 lbs. each. Hopefully I remember that correctly!

Figure out how much at each feeding and you should be able to get a fair estimate of what you would need. How much can you store?

Unless it weighs a ton... it's just a horse. Draft horse motto.
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post #3 of 7 Old 09-03-2010, 09:01 AM
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There is lots of nice grass hay in western oregon! A good portion of the ag community ships hay to china and japan. Find a hay producer who knows what they are doing and buy some good hay. T/A is not intrinsicaly better hay than a grass hay - find someone who has a forage test! Buy something around 100 RFV or better! Animal needs at least 2% of their body weight per day in long stem forage.
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post #4 of 7 Old 09-03-2010, 01:44 PM
Green Broke
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Uh, no there isn't. If that was the case people wouldn't be complaining about the crappy state of the hay. Maybe they are shipping to much of the good stuff overseas and not selling it to the locals.

Everyone knows if you want good hay, you get eastern Oregon.

Unless it weighs a ton... it's just a horse. Draft horse motto.
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post #5 of 7 Old 09-03-2010, 02:03 PM
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A rule of thumb a friend of mine uses that seems to work well for her is 2/3s a bale of hay per horse per day during the winter. We don't have any grass during the winter so that is their only source of forage. I believe her bales are generally 40-60 lbs (her dad makes hay) so that ends up being 26-40 lbs of hay per day.

I get a general weight on mine and feed 2-3% of their body weight, closer to 2% if it's warmer or he's getting fat, closer to 3% if it's colder or he's getting skinny. Soda weighs about 1250 lbs so I feed him 25-38 pounds of hay per day.

You don't get as cold, but you are working her so you'll probably need to feed closer to the 3% mark.
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post #6 of 7 Old 09-04-2010, 08:58 AM
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Illinois
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figure 20lbs of hay per day per horse ... so if you have 50lbs bales round up to 1/2 bale per day :) so 15 bales per month

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 #7 of 7 Old 09-04-2010, 12:35 PM
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Higgins, TX. YeeHaw!!
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One of my bales of good alfalfa will last one horse not quite a month (my bales are 3x3x6 and weigh about 800 lbs).

Always remember that feeling of looking at a big, open country over the ears of a good horse, seeing a new trail unwind ahead of you, and that ever-spectacular view from the top of the ridge!!! Follow my training blog: http://robertsontraining.blogspot.com/
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