Hay vs. pellets - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 41 Old 01-09-2013, 02:35 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Saddlebag View Post
Unless you can really scatter the pellets, and I mean really scatter them, over something the size of a 4'x8' sheet of plywood with sides the horse will be continually without feed. If fed from a corner feeder or pail he can stuff his cheeks and send them down barely chewed. Unfortunately pellets don't hang around in the digestive tract very long and will soon exit. Then the horse has nothing to eat until the next feeding which could be hours away. He will chew the barn down, fence posts, boards looking for something to fill his need to eat. Without offering hay to tide him over he will develope ulcers. Omeprazole for horses isn't cheap so your dad can add in the cost of the vet, the scoping and the medication to his savings.
My gut feeling was that it couldn't be good for them. Thanks, that was really helpful. Makes a lot of sense.
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post #12 of 41 Old 01-09-2013, 02:35 AM
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Squares are usually 60lb small bales or large 1200lb bales. Rounds here are 900-1100lbs round bales.
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post #13 of 41 Old 01-09-2013, 02:41 AM
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We can dream, can we.....
I was lucky, found oathay and 3way for 10$ a 100lb bale straight from the producer. I feed half that and buy orchard/timothy for 21$ and alfalfa for 19.50$ from the feedstore.
I fed alfalfa pellets instead of the hay for a bit, soaked, mainly for entertainment, since they eat very little, if at all, grain. Now it's back to a handful to put RB and joint supplement in.
Only pellets or other "concentrated" roughage? No way. Choke, ulcers, boredom. It's not worth it.
If I couldn't find hay at all, I'd consider soaked pellets and straw. But nothing longstem? Not for my horses.
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post #14 of 41 Old 01-09-2013, 08:40 AM
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Hmmm...where I live, an 80 lb bale of bermuda hay & an 80 lb sack of (little) pellets costs the same amount. Right now, 2 of 3 feedings my horses get each day are pellets. The pellets are higher quality than the hay I can buy right now. From what I've seen, they seem at least as content with a feeding of pellets as they do of hay. I usually feed the hay in the evenings, when the wind dies down and it gives them something that takes a long time to eat. But breakfast & lunch are pellets...

The guy at the feed store told me his horses hadn't seen hay in so long that they didn't know what it looked like. Somehow that just doesn't seem right, but my horses seem fine with 2 of 3 feedings daily being pellets. It was 1 of 3 a month ago, but since upping the pellets their poop seems better and their coats look better. Still, I can't bring myself to try all pellets for their diet.

"Make the right thing easy and the wrong thing...well, ignore it mostly."
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post #15 of 41 Old 01-09-2013, 10:44 AM Thread Starter
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I'm going to do some more research on this ulcer business and talk to my vet too, and see what he thinks. I just 'feel' like horses should be closer to what's natural, which is grazing grass all day long. while I 'feel' this though, I don't 'know'. Of course, when we ride them, they have less time to eat and burn more energy, so we need to increase their caloric intake in general. I always love learning something new :) especially concerning horses. Thanks for the input everyone!
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post #16 of 41 Old 01-09-2013, 10:58 AM
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Originally Posted by bsms View Post
Hmmm...where I live, an 80 lb bale of bermuda hay & an 80 lb sack of (little) pellets costs the same amount. Right now, 2 of 3 feedings my horses get each day are pellets. The pellets are higher quality than the hay I can buy right now. From what I've seen, they seem at least as content with a feeding of pellets as they do of hay. I usually feed the hay in the evenings, when the wind dies down and it gives them something that takes a long time to eat. But breakfast & lunch are pellets...

The guy at the feed store told me his horses hadn't seen hay in so long that they didn't know what it looked like. Somehow that just doesn't seem right, but my horses seem fine with 2 of 3 feedings daily being pellets. It was 1 of 3 a month ago, but since upping the pellets their poop seems better and their coats look better. Still, I can't bring myself to try all pellets for their diet.
this is basically what I was doing when feeding the alfalfa pelleted. But I had slowfeeder nets hanging anyway. They ate less hay when having the pellet meals during the day. If alfalfa hay keeps going up in price, i might even go back to feeding the pellets, still soaked, tho. Summer will be different, all hay, just because the soaked pellets might go bad faster than they can eat, due to heat....
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post #17 of 41 Old 01-09-2013, 11:03 AM
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Originally Posted by Tessa7707 View Post
I'm going to do some more research on this ulcer business and talk to my vet too, and see what he thinks. I just 'feel' like horses should be closer to what's natural, which is grazing grass all day long. while I 'feel' this though, I don't 'know'. Of course, when we ride them, they have less time to eat and burn more energy, so we need to increase their caloric intake in general. I always love learning something new :) especially concerning horses. Thanks for the input everyone!
your feeling is right. Horses are meant to eat little at a time, more or less constantly. Their stomachs produce acid constantly for that reason. If the stomach is empty for long, the acids will start eating the stomach lining = ulcers.
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post #18 of 41 Old 01-09-2013, 12:41 PM Thread Starter
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Gastric Ulceration in Sport Horses : Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University
Here's an article explaining ulcers in detail. I can't believe I was never taught or told that horses are constantly producing stomach acid. I should have known!
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post #19 of 41 Old 01-09-2013, 12:53 PM
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I've seen vets who don't know. All they do is prescribe meds. No mentioning if change of lifestyle. Not to speak about a bunch of race horse people I met when overseas. They also wanted meds...looked at me funny when I suggested more hay and a flake if alfalfa before training them ( alfalfa buffers the acids)....
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post #20 of 41 Old 01-09-2013, 01:54 PM
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Horses digestive systems survive best on the little and often system and they need a high fibre diet
The problem with pellets is that to feed enough to provide the comparitive amount of bulk you get from hay would be really expensive
Hay requires more chewing and so takes longer to eat so the horse always has something going through its system
Your father would do better to invest in some small hole nets or some other form of containment to prevent waste
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