How Much?

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How Much?

This is a discussion on How Much? within the Horse Nutrition forums, part of the Horse Health category
  • Hay per pound
  • How much hay per pound of body weight of a horse

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    09-02-2010, 05:46 PM
How Much?

Okay so I was wondering how much hay a horse needs per pound of body weight. And on the back of our complete feed bag it say 1 pound her 100 pounds of body weight... sound good?
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    09-02-2010, 05:49 PM
Green Broke
Originally Posted by rosethorn    
Okay so I was wondering how much hay a horse needs per pound of body weight. And on the back of our complete feed bag it say 1 pound her 100 pounds of body weight... sound good?
If it is grass hay and minimal work it is 1.6 pds pr 100 pds. Alfalfa is a little less. If they are getting worked regularly it is as much as 3.2 pds pr 100 lbs
    09-02-2010, 06:35 PM
Thank you! Is it any different if the horse is skinny. I have a rescue that just won't gain.
    09-02-2010, 06:40 PM
Definitely different if the horse won't gain, think of the guidelines being for a healthy up-to-weight horse. Now double or triple this for a horse that needs to gain weight if you want to see quick, dramatic differences.
    09-02-2010, 07:25 PM
Green Broke
I give my horses two flakes in the morning one at lunch if they are inside none if they are on pasture, and two more at supper and usually one or two before bed.

If you want your horse to gain weight I'd say use grain or a supplement for weight gain.
    09-02-2010, 08:11 PM
Green Broke
I hate it when people say how many flakes. I have some flakes that are a few inches thick and do not weigh much and I have other that are 6" thick and weigh more than 3 little ones. So you really need to go by weight and not the qty of flakes. And yes I would feed a skinny horse more.
    09-02-2010, 08:22 PM
Our mares have always been on grass/hay only (no feed) and they eat about 2.5% of their weight a day of high quality fescue/orchard (about 25 lbs for them @1000 lbs).
For an under weight horse, you want to give them free choice hay and let them eat all they want.
    09-02-2010, 11:09 PM
For maintaining weight horses need 2-3% of their body weight of a quality hay (have it analyzed to be sure you have enough of trace minerals, especially selenium) and will eat up to 4% of their body weight a day in dry matter. They can't physically eat more than that so if she needs to gain weight you will need to add a concentrate to put on pounds.
    09-04-2010, 08:51 AM
On average a horse needs 1 to 2% of thier bodyweight per day in forage stuffs be it grass or hay ... so your average horse will need 10 to 20lbs of hay
    09-04-2010, 05:12 PM
I have to agree with PaintHorseMares. Your rescue needs free access to hay. After it's weight gets back up to normal weight, you can drop the intake back to a normal of 1% to 3% of body weight depending on his/her activity level and the quality of the hay.

I also agree with Churumbeque that hay needs to be fed my the pound and not by the flake. You can weigh hay using a hanging scale with a tub on it. Adjust the scale to zero while the tub is hung from it. Then when you add hay, you'll get the weight of the hay alone. Most fish scales will work since they can go up to 30 lbs or so, and it would take an enormous horse to get fed 30 lbs of hay twice a day.

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