Is this true? Amount of grass a horse eats per day and few other questions
 
 

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Is this true? Amount of grass a horse eats per day and few other questions

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  • Amount of grass a horse need to eat daily
  • Horse how much grass 4 acre

 
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    11-12-2010, 10:47 PM
  #1
Weanling
Is this true? Amount of grass a horse eats per day and few other questions

Is it true that one horse eats up to an acre of grass per day? I am going to get a horse by next spring at the latest, maybe sooner and I am planning on the paster being about 130 ft x 100 and on the other side about 130 by about 70. I am cleaning it up now as there were pine trees there and I am going to rake up the straw and burn the trees once they dry. I do plan to plant a little grass and I'm wondering if put the horse out to graze during the day only, if in due time he will have aten all of the grass?

I guess in that case it might not be no use to replant grass after that. The stable will be to keep him in at night with an area about 15 ft X 30 fenced in area for him to walk around in and the stable itself will be about 10 x 10 or 12 x 12.
     
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    11-13-2010, 12:27 AM
  #2
Green Broke
Erm, that's kind of an unusual question. No acre of grass is the same, and as horses generally eat the "tops" of grass, no a horse cannot eat an "entire" acre of grass a day. I'm lousy at math so I don't know how that converts into feet, but for decent grazing, the rule is usually 2 acres for the first horse, and then 1/2 to 1 acre for every horse after that. Of course, you need a proper pasture with well planted and nutritious grass.

My best friend's farm has a roughly 6-7 acre pasture containing a lot of inedible weeds, and it easily sustains around 4 horses all summer long with no hay/grain included - and they get FAT. The bigger the area though, the easier it is to do because they naturally rotate grazing areas, allowing places to grow back before they return to it. They don't come in at night either, they're out 24/7.

Hope that helps a bit!
     
    11-13-2010, 07:03 AM
  #3
Trained
100x130x70x130 is roughly 1/4 acre. That's a good size for a paddock, but even with just grazing during only the day, whatever edible stuff is there will be gone in a couple weeks. It really takes about 2 acres to be able to rotate the grazing and keep the grass alive. It's not just how much they eat, but the constant foot traffic in a small area is very hard on the grass, too. Bottom line...don't bother planting grass, you'll have a dry lot and need to always feed hay anyway (and that's fine).
Other advice...unless you really enjoy the work of cleaning up the trees/pine straw/etc preparing for a horse, save yourself the effort and don't bother. If you just fence the area and put a horse in there, it will 1) eat everything edible 2) trample the rest as it moves around, and the area will be cleaned up for you.
Good luck.
     
    11-13-2010, 07:52 AM
  #4
Green Broke
Here's the one problem. Correct me if I'm wrong. When clearing out a bunch of trees and clearing the odds and ends, there is typically no grass. I know you plan on planting some grass in there but if you do that and throw a horse in there the grass has no time to really take hold. It will get trampled and eaten and you will waste your time, effort, and money planting. With the pasture only being 1/4 acre it will be a dirt paddock. What would be ideal is if you go ahead with your plans but save yourself the work and money for planting grass and maybe next spring after you get your horse, if you have more land, clear a decent area. Plant that with grass and let it sit for one year. The following spring you could have that as a nice area for your horse to eat grass. Just a thought. Good luck and don't worry too much about your plans not being what you want. For one, YOUR GETTING A HORSE! How exciting! Two, just think of the time you can spend hand walking and letting your horse eat grass. Three, the following year you will have the pasture ready for him/her and accomplished a great deal! Good luck and congratulations.
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    11-13-2010, 11:29 AM
  #5
Weanling
Quote:
Originally Posted by mbender    
Here's the one problem. Correct me if I'm wrong. When clearing out a bunch of trees and clearing the odds and ends, there is typically no grass. I know you plan on planting some grass in there but if you do that and throw a horse in there the grass has no time to really take hold. It will get trampled and eaten and you will waste your time, effort, and money planting. With the pasture only being 1/4 acre it will be a dirt paddock. What would be ideal is if you go ahead with your plans but save yourself the work and money for planting grass and maybe next spring after you get your horse, if you have more land, clear a decent area. Plant that with grass and let it sit for one year. The following spring you could have that as a nice area for your horse to eat grass. Just a thought. Good luck and don't worry too much about your plans not being what you want. For one, YOUR GETTING A HORSE! How exciting! Two, just think of the time you can spend hand walking and letting your horse eat grass. Three, the following year you will have the pasture ready for him/her and accomplished a great deal! Good luck and congratulations.
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Thanks to all that replied and yes it does make since everything you guys said. I have went to alot of peoples houses who have horses but the area in which they have them in is pretty much dirt. I will work on clearing off another area and planting some grass and letting it sit like you guys said. The area in which I have to clear though is alot of pines on it and even if I clear a section out of it, I'm sure some straws will fall into the area and probably prevent the grass from growing all that good. I will look over at all the posibilities and I guess over time have a few different options. If I did hand walk and let him eat grass, how long will I have to do that? Will it be about 30 mins to an hr or so? I can also probably tie him out different areas of the yard or my neighbors field and let him eat some of the grass as well.

I am using part of my neighbors field now to put my pasture but I don't want to get greedy and ask them to fence in there entire field to keep my horse lol; though they do live out of state in VA. I don't really know them all that well and just them letting me use some of the area as they are now im happy for. What I can do is tie the horse out of the pasture, outside of the fencing and let him graze sometimes too. I have some long rope, probably about 100 yards or better and it would probably be great to let him graze outside of the fence sometimes too. Maybe then after some time I can ask them if they want to let me use the rest of the field to keep it ate down so they don't have to plow or even if they want to sell the feild section of their land.
     
    11-13-2010, 11:34 AM
  #6
Weanling
Also guys, if the horse isn't really grazing during the day because of the paddock being dirt mostly, how much hay will I need to give him? I know I will also give sweet feed per day also.
     
    11-13-2010, 11:41 AM
  #7
Green Broke
Sounds good but becareful tying the horse up as it could get tangled and get hurt. If you hand grazed it, 30 min is enough. Make sure the horse is used to grass first so you don't end up with founder/laminitis problems. And if the owners to the land don't use the pature it wouldn't hurt to ask them if you could use it. Hopefully though it doesn't get wrecked by overgrazing so make sure they are really ok with that. Good luck
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    11-13-2010, 11:50 AM
  #8
Trained
Quote:
Originally Posted by mbender    
Sounds good but becareful tying the horse up as it could get tangled and get hurt.
Agreed. Considering getting the horse used to hobbles instead. They can still move around, but can't run off.

I would skip the sweet feed and just feed good hay. If you figure on 25 lbs a day for a 1000 lb horse, you'll be in the ballpark.
     
    11-13-2010, 02:19 PM
  #9
Weanling
Quote:
Originally Posted by PaintHorseMares    
Agreed. Considering getting the horse used to hobbles instead. They can still move around, but can't run off.

I would skip the sweet feed and just feed good hay. If you figure on 25 lbs a day for a 1000 lb horse, you'll be in the ballpark.
hobbles? What is that lol? And as to the other poster, whats founder/laminitis? And overgrazing? I'm new to alot of horse stuff but messed with them when I was younger and always liked to be around them, but i'm just getting into actually owning one. My dad knows a good bit though. I'm just trying to learn alot here on the forums as well.
     
    11-13-2010, 06:30 PM
  #10
Trained
Here is a thread that talked about hobbles.
Training Horse To Accept Hobbles
     

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