How much hay for winter?

       The Horse Forum > Keeping and Caring for Horses > Horse Health > Horse Nutrition

How much hay for winter?

This is a discussion on How much hay for winter? within the Horse Nutrition forums, part of the Horse Health category
  • How much hay for 2 horses for winter
  • How much hay to feed a horse in winter per day

LinkBack Thread Tools
    08-26-2011, 02:44 PM
How much hay for winter?

How much hay do you plan for your horse to eat per day in the winter? A half a bale, or a whole one? Do you feed just hay, or grain/beet pulp/etc. as well? And from when to when (which month to which month) do you feed hay?

I haven't had to worry about hay since years ago when I first got my horse. The BO where I currently board takes care of the hay, so I am not sure what to tell a friend of mine who was asking me for hay advice. When I had to worry about hay I think we used to plan to feed a half a bale per horse from October through the end of April, and we also fed grain.
Sponsored Links
    08-26-2011, 02:51 PM
Like everything horse there is no cut and dried answer for this.

Here is an article on feeding and temperature changes.

You can not really tell her how many bales of hay because we have no idea how much her bales weigh.
    08-26-2011, 02:55 PM
Well I my horse gets hay 24/7 off a round role and it will last her about a mounth and she gets 2 qurts of safechoice am and pm and she has molasses tube Protein, Minerals and Vitamins
    08-26-2011, 03:03 PM
Originally Posted by Alwaysbehind    
Here is an article on feeding and temperature changes.
Thanks for the article, Always. I'll print it out and give it to her as I'm not sure whether her family has internet.
    08-26-2011, 03:05 PM
The long and short of it is that when it does get really cold they do need more hay to keep warm.

Needing more grain or not depends on the horse. If you are working them as much as you were working them in the summer and they are living outside then maybe a grain increase would be required.

For many of them the less work some what balances out the more calories needed because of the winter.

I do add beet pulp to the diet of one of mine during the winter. I do not feel she drinks enough in the winter (even with the heated water buckets) and soaked beet pulp is an easy way for me to get more water into her.
    08-26-2011, 03:14 PM
I think it depends on area (weather). But being in MD I feed ~bale/day in winter (2 average size mares, ~50-55 lbs bale). They also get about 2 lbs/pellets a day.
    08-26-2011, 04:17 PM
Originally Posted by kitten_Val    
I think it depends on area (weather). But being in MD I feed ~bale/day in winter (2 average size mares, ~50-55 lbs bale). They also get about 2 lbs/pellets a day.
We're on the west side of Michigan. I think our winters are more snowy and a bit colder, because a friend in DE is always jealous anytime I tell her it's snowing here.
    08-26-2011, 07:36 PM
In the winter, almost more important than the temperature is whether your horse gets wet (and cold). Being cold and wet is very chilling and a horse will eat a lot more to keep warm. Our mares have free choice hay all year. In the dead of winter when it's cold and wet, they'll go through a round bale in 7 days which comes out to about 35 lbs/horse/day (about 3.5% of their weight). The drier you keep them (e.g. Using a rain sheet or blanket), the less hay you'll need.
    08-26-2011, 10:12 PM
Originally Posted by RebeccaMI    
We're on the west side of Michigan. I think our winters are more snowy and a bit colder, because a friend in DE is always jealous anytime I tell her it's snowing here.
MI is quite cold (especially comparable to MD ). IMHO the best route would be free access to the hay. If you have several horses getting a big round bale will save you $$ and keep them warm/occupied all day long. With just 2 horses I have round bale is too much of waste (plus I don't have a place to keep them), so I go with square bales.
    08-27-2011, 01:08 PM
My horse has a heavyweight waterproof winter blanket (it's a Northwind from Dover) that he wears when it's cold and snowy. I let him grow his winter coat first, though, so that he's got that underneath. The BO also brings in all the horses if it's really nasty out.

My friend just has the one horse, so I think round bales would be too much of a waste. I'll advise her to get her horse a good winter blanket even though she has access to shelter.

I'm thinking maybe 150 bales for the winter would be safe? If she started offering hay on October 1, and fed through April 30, that would be 213 days (cuz February has 29 days next year). Having 150 bales would mean that she could feed about 3/4 of a bale per day, but of course it won't work out evenly like that. Her mare will eat less hay in the beginning of October and the end of April and more in the colder winter months.

Quick Reply
Please help keep the Horse Forum enjoyable by reporting rude posts.

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:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:


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

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
What Happens in The Winter? Trinquete Horse Talk 10 11-17-2010 11:52 AM
Winter hay Poco1220 Horse Health 16 11-01-2010 06:35 PM
Winter Fun! wren Horse Riding 9 12-30-2009 05:29 PM
Winter kko Horse Talk 10 08-05-2009 01:50 PM

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 09:58 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.5
Copyright ©2000 - 2015, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Search Engine Friendly URLs by vBSEO 3.6.0