Hay wasted v Hay Needed
This is the first year I've had my horses at home. They've been boarded in the past.
They're currently on approx. 2 acres of pasture with free access to their stalls during the day. The pasture is pretty much all browned due to the season. We are finishing up a fence project and about to open up an additional 3 acres, also browned.
I've started supplementing with hay, about 10lbs each per day, divided into am/pm feedings. They get it in hay nets in their stalls. They waste quite a bit of what they're given. There's usually a few bites left in the net and a pile on the floor. I try to recycle the clean bits of the pile back into the next feeding. I do have small hole hay bags on the way to help eliminate waste.
Guidelines say they should receive 10-20lbs of hay - but if they're already wasting a lot should I up the offering? It seems like if they were hungry, they would eat it instead of leaving it on the stall floor. When I weighed what was left in one stall last night is came out to 2lbs. I don't want to waste but I want to make sure they get enough. When I refill the nets they tear into it like they're hungry but never actually clean it all up.
My mare typically loses weight in the winter, and she needs to gain right now. She's being brought up to 2 lbs pelleted feed 2x per day, per the usual winter plan while she was boarded. Also considering adding rice bran oil, but I'm wary of adding too much into her feed. She also gets Smart Pak Senior Flex and Source Hoof. She only got 1/2 lb plus free pasture in the summer and looked great. Now she looks pretty ribby and I'm really concerned. She's on a vet supervised worming plan and she goes in for her annual physical/dental in 3 weeks, and if she hasn't gained I will see what the vet advises.
They hay comes from a reputable supplier and is known to be good stuff - so I don't think that's an issue.