How Much? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 12 Old 09-02-2010, 06:46 PM Thread Starter
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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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post #2 of 12 Old 09-02-2010, 06:49 PM
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Originally Posted by rosethorn View Post
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
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post #3 of 12 Old 09-02-2010, 07:35 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you! is it any different if the horse is skinny. I have a rescue that just won't gain.
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post #4 of 12 Old 09-02-2010, 07:40 PM
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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.
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post #5 of 12 Old 09-02-2010, 08:25 PM
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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.

Horses are scared of two things... Things that move and things that don't.
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post #6 of 12 Old 09-02-2010, 09:11 PM
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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.
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post #7 of 12 Old 09-02-2010, 09:22 PM
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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.

On the sixth day, God created the Quarter Horse.
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post #8 of 12 Old 09-03-2010, 12:09 AM
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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.
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post #9 of 12 Old 09-04-2010, 09:51 AM
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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

I have been called the NSC Nazi more then once ... I hate traditional feed methods of loading our horses up on grains and junk food :)
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post #10 of 12 Old 09-04-2010, 06:12 PM
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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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