Is hay a necessity?
 
 

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Is hay a necessity?

This is a discussion on Is hay a necessity? within the Horse Nutrition forums, part of the Horse Health category
  • Forum feed hay drought
  • Does alfalfa help keep horse warm in winter

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    07-23-2012, 02:46 PM
  #1
Foal
Is hay a necessity?

I live in southern LA. Temps have been in the high 90's and low 100's. Except for the last few weeks, we have also been in a drought.

I have been told not to feed hay during the heat because it makes the horses hotter and can cause them to colic. Is this true?

Is grain enough for a foraging animal?
     
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    07-23-2012, 02:49 PM
  #2
Trained
NO! In fact, I'd be cutting back on 'grain' if it's true grain you're feeding. I just posted on another drought related thread about how last year during the worst of it, I fed Purina's Omolene 400 and rationed my hay. They need hay to chew on and keep their digestive tracts moving properly. Even with a complete feed like the 400, I still try to give them hay to satisfy their chewing needs.
     
    07-23-2012, 02:51 PM
  #3
Started
Never, ever sacrifice hay. Cut back on the grain if you're not riding, add electrolytes, and make sure there is plenty of water and shade.
     
    07-23-2012, 03:04 PM
  #4
Trained
Horses are meant to be eating something like 18 hours a day. Cutting off their food supply doesn't make them less likely to colic. If anything it makes them more likely to IMO. They're built to almost always be processing food.
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    07-23-2012, 03:45 PM
  #5
Green Broke
Somebodies is telling you stupid things.

While horses can get by without hay they need lots of fiber, generally the easiest cheapest method is hay. If for some reason you can't get hay there are substitutes. Like Beet pulp or cubes. But they still need fiber all the time. Cutting off fiber because of heat is wrong.
     
    07-24-2012, 06:04 PM
  #6
Green Broke
Wowzer, I would've had to hit the "like" button on every poster's post.

No kidding, who's the moron that's telling you not to feed hay? I hope it's not a relative

Do they think horses in the wild have been coming up to farmers and ranchers barns every night for several hundreds of years asking for dinner?

If you're not able to get baled hay, buy "hay-in-a-bag", hay cubes, hay pellets, anything that says "forage" on it.

Horses were born forage animals and they will die forage animals. It is human intervention that got the grain into their systems
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    07-24-2012, 06:23 PM
  #7
Foal
LOL, the moron is my son. No offense taken!

I've heard from others that feeding alfalfa hay keeps them warm during the winter. Don't know if that's true either but I'm thinking that he's come to that conclusion based on alfalfa keeping them warm in winter.

I have had 7' round bales available 24/7 for my horses but they are getting hard to find. I had to buy square bales last week.

Thanks for the information. I sent my son a link to this forum.
     
    07-24-2012, 06:45 PM
  #8
Started
It's true that feeding any type of hay (not just alfalfa) will help keep a horse's digestive system moving, which warms up their body. That's why upping a horse's hay ration during the winter is advisable. Otherwise the metabolic energy will not harm them during the summer as long as they are hydrated.
     
    07-24-2012, 06:47 PM
  #9
Started
Do you quit eating when it gets hot? Drought or no drought you still need to feed hay if they are not on a pasture (pasture as in they can eat enough grass each day to be ok) The fat on a horses body keeps them warm in the winter also
     
    07-24-2012, 07:45 PM
  #10
Green Broke
Quote:
Originally Posted by kntry    
LOL, the moron is my son. No offense taken!

I've heard from others that feeding alfalfa hay keeps them warm during the winter. Don't know if that's true either but I'm thinking that he's come to that conclusion based on alfalfa keeping them warm in winter.

I have had 7' round bales available 24/7 for my horses but they are getting hard to find. I had to buy square bales last week.

Thanks for the information. I sent my son a link to this forum.
Great Scott! Then I really do have to take "moron" back (can't be talking about someone's child like that:)

But, he's not exempt from me grabbing the hair on the nape of his neck and twisting it until he drops to his knees

I lived in Riverside County five years. I fed bermuda hay, much of which was imported down from the Imperial Valley. I'm sure it's gotten really pricey by now as I was paying $9/bale for 125 lb squares when I left in 2003.

Any chance you might be able to get together with some folks, locate a load and split the costs? Provided everyone has storage space.

Hay & water shortages and fires were my biggest nightmares when I lived out there. I think I was sick at my stomach from worry 90% of the time; especially the few times I saw the helicopters dropping fire ******ent just over the rock hills that were only fives minutes away
     

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