Hay and weight

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Hay and weight

This is a discussion on Hay and weight within the Horse Nutrition forums, part of the Horse Health category

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    10-06-2011, 07:51 AM
Green Broke
Hay and weight

My old girl had a tough winter. She went into winter not looking the best. Her weight fluctuated through it. She has come out looking a bit worse for wear, she has gained a little bit of weight over the last few weeks slowly. I have seen the slight gain in weight but it has been slow.

I wanted to know about what hay is the best when it comes to gaining weight? I now you need to give as much as possible. I currently have lucerne and barley hay, I have been feeding her a bisuit of lucerne morning and night. I'm not really sure how to describe how much but a large biscuit and if they are not the same weight or size I give her two. Should I use other hay instead/as well? I can't remember who from but someone mentioned the barley hay and we have it at the moment for the cow and my two boys get it at night.

Just some extra info. Pepper is 27 years old this year. I feed her, her hay about 4.30 in the morning before I have to leave for school during weekdays (before 6.30 on weekends cause of work). Then I'm not home all day most days. Then ranging from 3.30pm to 5pm I give her her hay and get on with making the rest of the feed. I soak about 500grams of speedibeet for her which swells to about 2kilos (If I remember correctly). Added to this is a couple of tablespoons of vitamin/mineral supplement, some garlic, 1 scoop (about 250grams) of copra meal, 1 scoop of economy meal, then half a cup of soy bean meal. This is all mixed in with a bucket of lucerne chalf.

I pull her hay apart so it is easier for her to eat though it falls apart pretty easy anyway. Her teeth aren't what they used to be but she still seems pretty capable of getting through the lucerne hay. So any tips for hay? Tips for feeding in general?

I have added a couple of pictures to show what she looked like this afternoon. I am really unhappy with the way she looks, she has never been this bad before. Also she looks a little more feral then usual because she is in the middle of losing her winter coat. She goes from one extreme to another really thick, long winter coat to really thin, short summer coat. Also that is the barley hay in the pictures I was just seeing if she would eat it. Sorry for the long read, thanks for any help.
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    10-06-2011, 09:30 AM
Sorry to hear winter was so tough. It's not always easy for the seniors we love.

My old man, Hondo, will be 30 this year. He is like Pepper as far as the teeth goes. He gets some soaked alfalfa cubes & beet pulp in a mash w/senior feed & corn oil. He also gets free choice Timothy/Orchard. I put the fresh hay in a metal drum and have a go at it with the weed whacker & chop it. If there are any heavy stems, I pull them out before I chop.
    10-06-2011, 03:32 PM
Green Broke
Thank you for you response I will look into some of that.
    10-06-2011, 03:43 PM
Is she competing with other horses or stock for the food? If so, she may not be getting her fair share.

Have you checked through her poop to see how much is going right through her?

Is she able to properly chew what you're giving her?

Do you supplement with salt and is she drinking enough?

Does she have pasture as well as the hay you're feeding? Maybe she needs a bit more to munch on throughout the day.
    10-07-2011, 04:38 AM
Green Broke
No she isn't competing with anyone. She is locked up by herself until she is done in her own time.

I have looked through her poop and she appears to be digesting everything properly. The one time she wasn't digesting properly I changed her diet slightly.

She appears to be able to chew everything. I have watched her and she eats at a slowish pace but doesn't spit anything back out half chewed or anything.

From what I can tell she is drinking enough but I just can not seem to find any salt to add to there food. I am still looking at places around me.

Yes, she has 24/7 access to grass.
    10-15-2011, 04:11 PM
You might want to invest in a better quality hay.....what you are feeding looks more like straw.......I would try a orchard or orchard/alfalfa hay and I put have it in front of her 24/7.......in other words when you get home to feed in the evening......she should still have hay in front of her.

Super Nova
natisha likes this.
    10-15-2011, 04:31 PM
That hay looks really coarse, could you get something that is finer??...It would be ideal if she could get free choice hay..She is on grass 24/7, but in my area grass this time of the year is useless, I don't know about where you are from, but here the grass has no nutritional value left this time of the year..You may think about added some BOSS and Flaxseed for weight gain...I don't know how cold it gets in your area over winter, but she needs some groceries on her before the cold weather gets here ( or there).. :)
    10-15-2011, 05:06 PM
Green Broke
Thanks to both of you she doesn't actually get fed that. I just gave her some that day to see if she would try it as she is quite a fussy eater. Also we have just come out of winter so the weather is warming up.
    10-16-2011, 04:29 AM
Why do you feed garlic? I was told it can cause anemia.

Feeding Garlic to Horses
    10-16-2011, 05:44 AM
Green Broke
Thanks for the article it was interesting and I did not know that.

I feed them garlic for the reason of it helping to repel certain insects which it does help. I do not feed it on a regular basis though and only in small amounts.

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