How much hay do you feed horses - The Horse Forum
 7Likes
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of 16 Old 01-01-2013, 01:36 PM Thread Starter
Foal
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 2
• Horses: 1
Red face How much hay do you feed horses

Hi i am new at the caring for my own horses, they have been boarded before. I have bought large hay bales as there were no small squares available and that is what they fed at the stable they were at. The large bales flake off as a small square bale does but they are large flakes of hay and i am not sure how much to give them. If anyone out there knows and uses large bales could you tell me how much each horse should be eating so i am not over feeding and going to run out of hay before the season ends. Also how important is beet pulp in the winter months, I was told by my feed store that i should put a table spoon of salt on their feed and that promotes drinking as it is like eating pretzels for them and makes them thirsty and drink more??? Thanks for anyone who has some information for me.
diamondgurl is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 16 Old 01-01-2013, 01:49 PM
Started
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Mid Northern TN
Posts: 2,475
• Horses: 1
How much you need to feed and whether or not you need beet pulp depends on your horses. If the horses are in good shape, the general starting guideline is 2% of the horses weight in hay per day, preferably split into two or more feedings. So, for a 1000lb horse, that's 20lbs a day, with half in the morning and half in the evening. A ration balancer (which is really just a pelleted vitamin mineral supplement) is generally a good idea to make up anything nutrition-wise the hay may be lacking.

A skinny horse may need more hay, and generally if you're trying to get them fatter, giving them all the hay they can eat is the best first step. If that's not enough, then you can start adding in beet pulp, rice bran, grain, or whatever other calorie supplement you like. If they're too fat, you can cut back on hay, but never give them less than 1% of their body weight per day (10lbs for a 1000lb horse) or you put them at risk of colic and other issues.

Yes, this means you will have to weigh your hay to figure out how many 'flakes' equal what weight. This is important because depending on the kind of hay and bale size and how tight it was baled, a flake might only weigh half a pound, or it might be more than 15 lbs!

ETA: And welcome to the forum! I was a nervous wreck when I first had to take care of my boy- it can be quite a learning curve!
Ray MacDonald and diamondgurl like this.

Last edited by Sharpie; 01-01-2013 at 01:50 PM. Reason: forgot!
Sharpie is offline  
post #3 of 16 Old 01-01-2013, 01:54 PM
Trained
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Australia
Posts: 5,733
• Horses: 4
Frankly... I don't know. My horses have 24/7 access to a round bale. If for whatever reason I have to take them off the round bale [say the weather is icky and I have to keep it covered] I give them more than they can eat. Depending on the horse this can be a little, or a lot.

My filly, btw, breaks the 2% of body weight rule - she is about 450kg, not sure what that is in pounds, and eats a LOT more than 9kg/day. Her grain feed weighs 5kg and if I have to yard her overnight she gets a good 5-6kg of hay [or more - haven't weighed it] for just 12 hours - and STILL loses weight!
diamondgurl likes this.

A CLEAN SLATE FOR THE FUTURE
blue eyed pony is offline  
post #4 of 16 Old 01-01-2013, 02:04 PM
Started
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Mid Northern TN
Posts: 2,475
• Horses: 1
BEP- The percentage idea is for the hay only- it doesn't count the grain or other feeds, so if percentage-wise she's eating 5-6kg of hay in 12 hours, that comes out to 10-12kg of hay in a day, which really isn't too much more than the 9kg. The grain is 'on top' of it, so to speak. :)

My guy eats more than the 2% too, he's closer to 3% so it's not uncommon for a horse to need more (or less), which is why it's really only a starting point, not a hard and fast rule. I try to give my guy free choice, but he doesn't always even eat the same amount from day to day, so it can be tough to make sure he doesn't run out without wasting too much sometimes.
diamondgurl likes this.
Sharpie is offline  
post #5 of 16 Old 01-01-2013, 02:13 PM
Trained
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Australia
Posts: 5,733
• Horses: 4
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sharpie View Post
BEP- The percentage idea is for the hay only- it doesn't count the grain or other feeds, so if percentage-wise she's eating 5-6kg of hay in 12 hours, that comes out to 10-12kg of hay in a day, which really isn't too much more than the 9kg. The grain is 'on top' of it, so to speak. :)
Yes - but perhaps you missed the comment where she loses weight when she's yarded/on that amount of hay. It doesn't surprise me based on the size of her manure - each pile is absolutely enormous, 2 or 3 times the size of any of our other horses' manure piles - and the frequency. If I have to box her [which I did for stifle issues a couple of months ago] she needs her box mucked 3 times a day, she puts out that much poop! Guts are good and effective, she just pumps it through like it's going out of style. She IS a Thoroughbred.

Between the two of them my horses go through a 500kg round bale every 2 weeks, which breaks down to approximately 35kg/day between them, and the filly is the one that spends the most time eating hay. The gelding gets a mouthful here and there then goes back to grazing. It's VERY high quality hay, too, or I wouldn't be paying almost double the price of plain grass hay.
diamondgurl likes this.

A CLEAN SLATE FOR THE FUTURE
blue eyed pony is offline  
post #6 of 16 Old 01-01-2013, 02:27 PM Thread Starter
Foal
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 2
• Horses: 1
Thanks so much for all your help! Yes it is quiet the learning curve lol but worth it as we tried three different places to board and you pay alot and the care is not given or what they say doesnt happen so hence us getting a place and doing on our own. Thanks and Happy New Year and God Bless you and yours
diamondgurl is offline  
post #7 of 16 Old 01-01-2013, 02:37 PM
Green Broke
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Olds, AB Canada
Posts: 2,749
• Horses: 2
Personally, I don't go by weight. For right now I give my horses two flakes at breakfast, lunch, supper and night time. My horses eat until they are full and then will mess around with the rest so I always know if I am feeding too much or too little.

Horses are scared of two things... Things that move and things that don't.
Ray MacDonald is offline  
post #8 of 16 Old 01-01-2013, 02:44 PM
Started
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Mid Northern TN
Posts: 2,475
• Horses: 1
In fairness, I DON'T weigh my hay daily, nor do I weigh my other feed items. I weighed some at first to get a feel for it and so I knew what my horse was getting. As all my hay is from the same supplier and pretty consistent, I know I can just give him between a quarter and a third of a small bale at each feed and call it good now. But at first, when I'm not sure (or new hay/supplier), it's a good tool to double check things for me.

BEP- your TB sounds like a tough keeper. You're sure there are no ulcers or other issues? OUCH, you must have quite the feed bill! But you're right, some horses just don't fit the 'average' by any stretch.
Sharpie is offline  
post #9 of 16 Old 01-01-2013, 03:00 PM
Yearling
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: NY
Posts: 753
• Horses: 0
I personally like my horses to have hay in front of them at all times, so when they are out I give them more. I check them in the morning, afternoon, early/late night and make sure they have hay.

passion is when you put more energy into something than is required to do it. it is more than just enthusiasm or excitement, passion is ambition that is materialized into action to put as much heart, mind, body and soul into something as is possible. // <3 starlite - dream - lady - georgia
kmdstar is offline  
post #10 of 16 Old 01-01-2013, 03:12 PM
Yearling
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 1,182
• Horses: 1
Quote:
Originally Posted by kmdstar View Post
I personally like my horses to have hay in front of them at all times, so when they are out I give them more. I check them in the morning, afternoon, early/late night and make sure they have hay.
This is how my barn was.. they'd get about five good sized flakes for the night each and typically are outside all day but get more hay if they're kept in. I always snuck Indie extra though.. she usually still had some left by the morning when it was feeding time.

Forever loved, never forgotten; my beautiful Indie. <3 Hoofprints on my heart.
Jore is offline  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the The Horse Forum forums, you must first register.

Already have a Horse Forum account?
Members are allowed only one account per person at the Horse Forum, so if you've made an account here in the past you'll need to continue using that account. Please do not create a new account or you may lose access to the Horse Forum. If you need help recovering your existing account, please Contact Us. We'll be glad to help!

New to the Horse Forum?
Please choose a username you will be satisfied with using for the duration of your membership at the Horse Forum. We do not change members' usernames upon request because that would make it difficult for everyone to keep track of who is who on the forum. For that reason, please do not incorporate your horse's name into your username so that you are not stuck with a username related to a horse you may no longer have some day, or use any other username you may no longer identify with or care for in the future.



User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in









Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.


Old Thread Warning
This thread is more than 90 days old. When a thread is this old, it is often better to start a new thread rather than post to it. However, If you feel you have something of value to add to this particular thread, you can do so by checking the box below before submitting your post.

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page



Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
help on getting my horses' feed right Horsecrazy4ever Horse Health 2 12-10-2012 12:00 AM
What is better to feed horses pellets or textured feed? BarrelRaceing Horse Nutrition 17 09-10-2011 02:38 PM
As far as horse feed are Pellets and Sweet feed the main two types of feed? nyg052003 Horse Health 2 07-14-2011 09:25 AM
Help feed the horses who lost their feed in the PNW horsesandponies Horse Health 1 01-14-2009 12:04 AM
What does it cost you to feed your horses their HARD feed?? Peggysue Horse Health 10 08-08-2008 11:35 AM

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome