Whats the Best Hay?? - The Horse Forum

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post #1 of 12 Old 11-28-2011, 04:15 PM Thread Starter
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Question Whats the Best Hay??

I need to know what the best hay to feed this winter and how much I am a first time horse owner my horse is around 14.3-15.3hh and about 1000lbs thanks

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post #2 of 12 Old 11-28-2011, 06:25 PM
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1) I would start out with Timothy Hay, or some other grass hay. You can always add something like Alfalfa if he starts loosing weight.

2) The rule is about 2% of your horses body weight, so about 20 pounds. You can take some hay or add some if he/she starts loosing/adding weight.

Also, here is a great article also,
http://www.humanesociety.org/animals...e_feeding.html

Make sure your horse is fed often, at least about every eight hours, however, I would definitively get a small mesh hay net, it stretches out the time that they take to eat the hay, and you can feed probably 10-12 hours. Make sure your horse gets a couple hours of turnout each day, if he/she stays in a stall with no run, 8 hours of turnout is the minimum you want to go, but if you ride 1-2 hours each day you can bring it down to 6 hours. If you have any questions, feel free to message me, and welcome to the forum!

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Last edited by caseymyhorserocks; 11-28-2011 at 06:31 PM.
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post #3 of 12 Old 11-29-2011, 03:19 AM
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welcome!

caseymyhorse rocks gives you some excellent pointers. I too would go with a grass hay for most horses.

Get the best quality hay you can find.

Quality is determined by the looks of the hay (is it green does it LOOK and smell fresh?)
The amount of "dust" in the hay (hopefully your hay does not have any dust since most dust is mold spores)
The amount and size and texture of leaves vs stems.
The level of plant maturity at harvest
Amount of weeds and foreign objects in the hay...

Depending on where you live you may be able to get a grassy alfalfa mix that's good too.

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post #4 of 12 Old 11-29-2011, 09:42 AM Thread Starter
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I've got about 32 bales of prarie hay that are around 65lbs a piece and I am planing on buying about 10 bales of alfalfa or alfalfa orchard mix
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post #5 of 12 Old 11-29-2011, 03:49 PM
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well I have 4 BIG horses and I've got 100 bales for lower grade alfalfa and 3 big field round bales of good grass hay (fertilized as such) need more BIG bales, but they've all been sold to the dairy farmers upstate and out in TX...
Finally about 65 bales so of of good grass hay. I think I need another 40 bales of grass hay and another 10 to 15 round bales and I'm set for winter :)

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post #6 of 12 Old 11-29-2011, 03:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Horse Feather View Post
I've got about 32 bales of prarie hay that are around 65lbs a piece and I am planing on buying about 10 bales of alfalfa or alfalfa orchard mix
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Horse feather are you feeding hay now?
I am and have been for months just wondering if you are into your winter hay yet? If my pastures were where they should be I wouldn't be feeding hay yet.
With theses droughts tho every time it's time to seed it wont rain for months around here and so there is no point for me to seed without rain.....

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post #7 of 12 Old 11-29-2011, 03:56 PM
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What hay is available is very area dependent. How much you need to feed also depends on climate.

Casey gives you good information to start with.

I admit I am confused by your horses size.... there is a full hand range there.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Horse Feather View Post
I've got about 32 bales of prarie hay that are around 65lbs a piece and I am planing on buying about 10 bales of alfalfa or alfalfa orchard mix
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20lbs per day means a 65 pound bale would last you about three days. So 32 bales would be around 104 days.

Last edited by Alwaysbehind; 11-29-2011 at 03:59 PM.
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post #8 of 12 Old 11-29-2011, 04:06 PM Thread Starter
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I actualy have 85 sorry bout that type-o

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post #9 of 12 Old 11-29-2011, 06:04 PM
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When we can get it, we feed our miniature horses and full sized horses a 2/3 timothy 1/3 alfalfa mixture. All of them get free-fed hay, with a mesh covering over it to limit dust and to keep them from pigging out ;) a horse is naturally a grazer, so the less they can eat at a time, the more often- the better. Each horse of ours probably eats an average of two flakes per day, with the horses ranging from 850-1,200 pounds, give or take a bit. About half of the horses are also grained, according to their needs.

What with the drought though, we can no longer afford timothy/alfalfa mixed hay, and are buying a 100% timothy hay, or another grass hay. We've found that with the lesser quality hay though, we have to feed more grain.

Start with what Casey said, and take away or add what your horse needs. Keep track of your horse's weight every week and perhaps take some pictures to compare. If he's looking thin, add more nutriton, and more bulk. If he's looking especially pudgy ( really, its better to have a slightly pudgy horse than a thin one in the winter. They can work it off in the spring) then decrease the bulk, but NOT the quality or nutrition.

There are so many factors to look at. How much energy he has to burn to stay warm (is he stalled or pastured? Clipped? Blanketed?) whether or not he's ridden, his age, condition at the moment, breed, size...the list is endless.

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post #10 of 12 Old 11-29-2011, 06:12 PM
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I feed mine round bales our hay fields are mostly timothy with red clover,alfalfa brome and a small amount of fescue not much of the fescue the timothy has it about wiped out but when the temps drop I will set out 2 round bale's a week that's for 5 horses and 3 cows so they can free choice eat it helps keep them warm but right now I have a round bale sitting up and I peel hay off and feed it out.

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