Stretching hay with easy keeper

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Stretching hay with easy keeper

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    01-03-2014, 07:29 PM
Stretching hay with easy keeper

I have a 13 year old, Haflinger mare, who before winter hit was on a weight loss program (with exercise and slow feeder) and had lost enough weight that she was just over 1000lbs going into winter. Still a beast...
So December was cold, and January looks like its going to be a doozy as well.
I have my mare home for the first time (we had always boarded her).

I have been giving 2 armloads of hay a day, a good grassy mix.
With weather in the -'s for the high, I have been giving extra.

Now, we have 2400lbs of this years hay, and a 900lb bale of last years hay left for the remainder of winter. Being paranoid, I will be buying another round bale but would like to see what I can do to stretch out the hay I have.
She gets Sho-Glo as a supplement just to make sure she is getting all the nutrients and such.

Any suggestions?

Picture is from today. One of her favorite activies is digging for hay in our failed hay crops... under all that snow, oh so yummy.
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    01-03-2014, 07:43 PM
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By 'stretch' what do you mean? Giving her something else so she isn't eating as much hay? If so, I'd say don't try it. She needs what she needs, and trying to take away hay and add in grains isn't something I suggest because hay is so much better for their digestive systems. If you mean less waste, I'd say slow feeder nets, put in different areas, with tubs underneath them so that nothing falls out and gets trampled. You could also feed her hay pellets but if you have ready access (and storage) for hay, I can't imagine why you'd do it. Hay pellets can be quite costly as compared to bales in many place. Where I live, I can get a 50-60 lb bale of costal hay for $7.50 or a 40 lb bag of hay pellets for $13.
    01-04-2014, 07:16 AM
You can add beet pulp, hay pellets or hay stretcher to her diet but she is still going to need the long fibers hay provides.

Alternative Fiber Sources for Horses |

Start searching craigslist or put an ad on there for hay wanted.

Internet Hay Exchange - Hay For Sale

It's out there. Sometimes you just have to hunt it down.
    01-14-2014, 09:55 PM
I would consider feeding a good ration balancer, weighing everything I did feed her to get a baseline, and feed her 3 times a day. I have an extremely easy keeper...easier than my haffie. So I have to take both of their "girlish figures" into account when diet planning. During the winter at lunch I feed them pellets (laken light alfalfa pellets or Estrella) in an attempt to "stretch" the old hay stack out. There is no waste with pellets and they are fortified.
Either way, in order to know how much and what feed she needs to maintain her current weight and health, or reduce/gain weight, you need to plan, weigh and record everything.
    01-14-2014, 10:37 PM
Thank you Missy May, I have since bought 2 more round bales (1200lbs for 45$) of the same stuff I am feeding now. I have been looking into alfalfa cubes, but I am going to consult a nutritionist to see what more I can do.

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