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How much hay should I feed each of my horses?

This is a discussion on How much hay should I feed each of my horses? within the Horse Nutrition forums, part of the Horse Health category
  • How much should i feed my horse each day
  • What hay should I feed my horse in the winter

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    12-20-2012, 09:38 PM
  #11
Foal
I was not aware that brown salt licks had added minerals in them! Good to know for the next time! And in reply to QuietHeartHorses, that's a very good idea. Just having never had horses in winter before my biggest fear was the wind and the freezing rain and her not being able to get into the shed because of my other horse. I really wish there was a way to give them more equal dominance but I know that is clearly not how things work. LOL
     
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    12-20-2012, 09:42 PM
  #12
Trained
As was said, hay outside, at least three piles with a good distance between, so the paint gets to eat, too. That way the Hafi will let the paint inside, nothing to defend anymore.
I second loose salt over blocks, too, they consume more. I had mineral licks, brown, red, and nobody ever touched them. Put a plain white salt lick next to it, the first one was gone in three days, with three horses. Since you're home, offer them tepid water at least morning and evening....prevents colic. I put a trashbag in a bucket, water in, twist tie to close, that prevents wet feet.
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    12-20-2012, 09:52 PM
  #13
Weanling
Quote:
Originally Posted by AndreaOllendick    
...my biggest fear was the wind and the freezing rain and her not being able to get into the shed because of my other horse.
I really wouldn't worry about the wind and rain, horses are tough. As long as they have a place to go to get out of it when they need to, they will be fine. Our horses will stand out in a blizzard with their faces stuffed in the round bales and snow piling up on their butts, it's ridiculous!

Yep, I'd throw 2 thick flakes for each horse at least twice a day, maybe three times. Set the piles quite a ways apart so they don't fight. They might still bicker a little over them still, but the loser will have another pile to run to.
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    12-20-2012, 10:06 PM
  #14
Foal
Also, someone told me that round bales waste a lot of hay. I was told that square bales are better? Is it true that round bales waste a lot of hay and would a round bale even be worth it for only two horses?
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    12-21-2012, 07:54 AM
  #15
Super Moderator
Quote:
Originally Posted by AndreaOllendick    
Also, someone told me that round bales waste a lot of hay. I was told that square bales are better? Is it true that round bales waste a lot of hay and would a round bale even be worth it for only two horses?
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Great advice from everyone and yes, I should've stated that not all horses will lick from a salt block and you may have to give them loose salt in a pan.

Varying opinions on the round bales. I have four horses and refuse to feed roundbales. Even with four they can't eat it down fast enough before a lot gets wasted from the weather/rot/mold.

Then there's the rodents that oftentimes move in (at the very bottom) and leave filth on the hay, thus wasting even more.

With only two horses, it is more economical for you to feed smalls squares and be able to control what they eat.

Again, be sure to put out 3 - 5 piles and place them far apart so nobody gets kicked. It's the horse version of musical chairs.

Sounds the Hafflinger is the dominant one, so you will have to keep feeling the barrel of the Paint to be sure it's not losing weight because the Hafflinger won't let it eat.

Here's video by a vet at the University of Kentucky that shows a horse owner how to do body conditioning scoring.

What's Your Horse's Body Condition Score? | Video | TheHorse.com

It's something that is very helpful in the winter, when all that hair may be covering a thinning horse.

I think I already commented that it's a fine line between having a horse that's too fat and suddenly finding it's too thin

If the link won't open for you, Google "horse body conditioning scoring" and look for veterinary or .gov or .edu articles so you get credible information.

Some horses are hard keepers in the winter, so it's important to know how to assess their body condition
     
    12-21-2012, 08:12 AM
  #16
Green Broke
Quote:
Originally Posted by stevenson    
I buy figure a flake of hay is 4 inches wide, so two flakes in morn and eve. Per horse.
8 inches of hay twice a day, is not enough hay in the winter.
     
    12-21-2012, 08:56 AM
  #17
Trained
Quote:
Originally Posted by Taffy Clayton    
8 inches of hay twice a day, is not enough hay in the winter.
Depends on what kind of hay, how tightly baled and what winter....we had one frost so far here....
I get three different hays and flakes vary between 2 and 7 lbs, even within the same hay type
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    12-21-2012, 09:07 AM
  #18
Green Broke
Stand by what I posted, 8 inches of hay twice a day is not enough hay with horses outside in windy, wet, snowy, cold weather.
     
    12-21-2012, 09:11 AM
  #19
Super Moderator
Quote:
8 inches of hay twice a day, is not enough hay in the winter.
Quote:

Depends on what kind of hay, how tightly baled and what winter....we had one frost so far here....
I get three different hays and flakes vary between 2 and 7 lbs, even within the same hay type

Which is why equine nutritionists say we should weigh the hay.

A bathroom scale works well, as long as you can clearly see the weight when you're standing on it with the hay. I have a hanging scale in the barn and it is amazing the big difference in the weight of flakes, that "look" to be the same size in the same bale

I weigh hay for my two metabolic horses but I made the suggestion to the OP because she is a new horse owner. It can be difficult enough for an experienced horseman to accurately guess the weight of a flake, so weighing would be the best approach for the OP, IMO
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    12-21-2012, 09:27 AM
  #20
Trained
8 inches can, as I stated, be 14lbs x 2 = 28lbs =2.8% of bodyweight for a 1000lb horse, which is the upper end of recommended amount to feed(between 1.5 and 3% of bodyweight).
So, only weighing the hay gives the accurate amount fed. Also how it's being offered makes a difference, like on the ground vs a no-waste feeder
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