strange hay eating behavior.... - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 19 Old 05-12-2011, 10:30 AM Thread Starter
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strange hay eating behavior....

This might be a silly question, BUT, I am going to ask it anyway...

When I put hay out for my horse, she noses down into the feeder and will only eat the hay at the bottom, she tosses out the hay at the top, and the end result is 50% of the hay is all over the ground...and she will not eat it.... any thoughts on this????
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post #2 of 19 Old 05-12-2011, 11:21 AM
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All the tasty little pieces end up at the bottom.

All my horses do that, even with hay put on the ground. They flip and push the pile, always looking for the better pieces.

In their mind their must be a better piece in there some where.

The fact that your mare will not eat the pieces she tosses out means your hay is not very good, your mare is just fussy, or you are feeding enough hay that your mare gets enough picking out the pieces she likes best.


I found feeding my hay in a small hole hay net has helped with this problem. My really fussy mare now eats quite a bit more hay with almost none lost.
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post #3 of 19 Old 05-12-2011, 12:28 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alwaysbehind View Post
All the tasty little pieces end up at the bottom.

All my horses do that, even with hay put on the ground. They flip and push the pile, always looking for the better pieces.

In their mind their must be a better piece in there some where.

The fact that your mare will not eat the pieces she tosses out means your hay is not very good, your mare is just fussy, or you are feeding enough hay that your mare gets enough picking out the pieces she likes best.


I found feeding my hay in a small hole hay net has helped with this problem. My really fussy mare now eats quite a bit more hay with almost none lost.
I have been feeding her bahai hay, perhaps bermuda is tastier?? I definitely think being fussy is a factor! I need to change her name to Sassy, because she truly is
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post #4 of 19 Old 05-12-2011, 12:30 PM
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I do not know about those two hay types. Hopefully someone that does can answer (my hay is timothy).

I do strongly recommend the small hole hay nets. I was shocked that making eating the hay more work made my horse eat more hay. But it has worked wonders. Almost no hay wasted onto the ground.
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post #5 of 19 Old 05-12-2011, 01:01 PM
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I might also suggest that you have her teeth checked. My old guy Flash got to where he was doing this really badly and it ended up being because the hay we were feeding him had thicker, tougher stems than he was able to comfortably eat. He would dig down to find the finer stems and the leaves that settled to the bottom and leave the rest. Now that we've got some finer stemmed hay, he is able to eat more of it and waste less.

Always remember that feeling of looking at a big, open country over the ears of a good horse, seeing a new trail unwind ahead of you, and that ever-spectacular view from the top of the ridge!!! Follow my training blog: http://robertsontraining.blogspot.com/
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post #6 of 19 Old 05-12-2011, 01:13 PM
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*smacks self in head.

Very good point, Smrobs. Yes, for sure make sure you horse's teeth are not bothering her.
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post #7 of 19 Old 05-12-2011, 02:50 PM
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AB, I never would have thought of it either if not for all the trouble with Flash LOL.

Always remember that feeling of looking at a big, open country over the ears of a good horse, seeing a new trail unwind ahead of you, and that ever-spectacular view from the top of the ridge!!! Follow my training blog: http://robertsontraining.blogspot.com/
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post #8 of 19 Old 05-12-2011, 03:03 PM
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I tend to think that everyone checks those things first. I am glad you suggested it because not everyone does check those things first.
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post #9 of 19 Old 05-12-2011, 03:05 PM
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If there is any alfalfa mixed with the hay, the alfalfa tends to settle at the bottom, so the horses will fling hay all over to get to the alfalfa first.

I bought several portable feeders with metal bars at the top to put the flakes of hay in and a tray at the bottom for grain for the turnouts. Keeps my horse from flinging hay everywhere (he gets an alfalfa/brome mix) and then it blowing away so he doesn't get to eat it. Also keeps the hay for the ultra-picky, really sloooooooow eater of a horse from blowing away since she'll take 5 hours to eat 2 flakes of hay.
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post #10 of 19 Old 05-12-2011, 04:33 PM
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Be sure to add a supplement since you can't control the nutrients intake

This is a good article about them. What Kind of Supplement Should I Feed My Horse? | Royal Champion Blog
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