General Feeding Questions..

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General Feeding Questions..

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    05-28-2013, 05:09 PM
General Feeding Questions..

Getting back into horses soon. I rode for 10 years! Need to build my confidence back up and have a refresher before I start horse shopping.

SO, I have a few questions

1. How long does 1 ton of hay typically last 1 average sized horse during the cold, winter months?

2. How long would 1 acre of hip-high grass last? It's very wooded and on a slight slope, if that matters.

Thank you!
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    05-28-2013, 07:35 PM
I figure an average of 20 lbs of hay per day for my horse (~1000 lbs, easy keeper), comes out to about 4 tons per year. My horse has pretty limited access to pasture, so gets hay year round. At that rate, 1 ton would last 3 months.

Of course, it doesn't get very cold where I am and he's stalled, too (but not blanketed). If it gets really cold where you are and your horse is outside 24/7, you'd likely be using more than 20 lbs of hay per day.

I have any guess on the acre of grass, but if it's heavily wooded then I'd guess you'll need to be supplementing with hay.
    05-28-2013, 08:49 PM
Well cold winter months is a very vague term, lol. Ask anyone in North Dakota.

I'd tend to think, if its cold enough to be dormant, you'll be lucky to get a few weeks.

That's just based on our native grasses and weather here. Hard to say if that's the case for you. But I wouldn't expect much more then that even if its mild and you blanket.
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    05-29-2013, 12:15 PM
I'm in Northern Idaho, which is pretty plush with grass from March-September.
    05-29-2013, 12:22 PM
Our horses each eat about a small bale per day. In winter, they eat almost constantly to keep warm as the temps here go down well below-20C. So then, it may be a bit more. They are in a herd so outside they eat off several large feeders. They are stalled at night and eat about 3 flakes overnight.
    05-29-2013, 01:20 PM
Well, my fiance is wanting to know how much it will cost "monthly". Around here, 1 ton of hay is about $180-250. So 1 or 2 horses would probably need like.. 5 tons for the winter? I'm just having a hard time calculating it out for him.

We probably wouldn't need hay at all for the summer because we have several places to board a horse if our pasture ran out of grass.

We have snow from October-April but we never get more than a few inches at a time.

I wish there was a hay calculator somewhere, haha! Thank you all for the replies!
    05-29-2013, 05:07 PM
In the cold winter, figure about 3% of the body weight per day in hay.
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    05-31-2013, 03:59 PM
We fork hay from round bale during the winter for our horses. I easily go through 2 large round bales a month for 3 horses. So 1 would last not quite 3 weeks for a single horse. If you can rotate your grazing during the summer so each patch gets time to grow between grazing you might be able to get by with out feeding so much during summer growing months too. But you probably have to plan on feeding. 1 acre goes fast! Hope that helps.

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