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COWCHICK77 11-28-2012 11:42 AM

Quick Question For Folks Who Dry Lot Their Horses On Small Acreage.
 
Has anyone fed straw as a filler in between regular feedings of quality hay just to keep them busy and give them something to munch on?

kassierae 11-28-2012 11:49 AM

Currently, no. Nobody is home between 730-530 most days. They get grain and hay twice daily, sometimes if someone is home and its super cold(in which case they'll be in the barn) they'll get some for lunch. I am working on changing this, but my grandmother is extremely set in her ways and stubborn. She is adamant that this is how it needs to be done. However, she's done it this way for 20(?) Or so years, with no ill effects. I know better ways are available, but this is what works for us for the time being.
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COWCHICK77 11-28-2012 12:13 PM

I am home all day for the most part but the place we just moved into is small and is on a sand hill. No grass. My horses are not used to being dry lot-ed for any length of time. I am feeding three small meals a day but was looking for something fairly inexpensive to give them to keep them busy. Right now they think I am starving them since they are use to being on pasture and grazing all day.

kassierae 11-28-2012 12:16 PM

I would think that transitioned well they'll do fine. Our guys have periodically been moved to other properties(due to divorce and other situations) with 247 grass and moved back and transitioned fine. We live on a small mountain, mainly made up of shale and woods. No grass grows, really. I'm trying to convince my grandmother that more hay less grain is better, but she's stubborn and says 'if it ain't broke, don't fix it' *sigh*
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LadyDreamer 11-28-2012 12:18 PM

Around here, it would be about the same price to get straw or some lesser grass hay.
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SlideStop 11-28-2012 12:30 PM

No, never. The barn I work at is only 8 acres with 20 horses. Needless to say we have all dry lots. Each paddock is average 100x100 with 2-3 horses in each. They get 3 flakes for breakfast and 3/4 for dinner, plus their grain rations. That's it, depending on the weather of course. My friend also has her horses dry lot-ed in smaller paddocks and she feeds two flakes breakfast, lunch and dinner in slow feed hay nets.

Slow feed hay nets are a dry lot-ed horse's best friend. You can even double bag it if they are eating to fast through it. Also, toys come handy! Look up the amazing graze (cheerios work well in here) and uncle jimmy's hangin' balls. Both are excellent at keeping bored horses busy.
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montcowboy 11-28-2012 12:36 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by COWCHICK77 (Post 1775822)
Has anyone fed straw as a filler in between regular feedings of quality hay just to keep them busy and give them something to munch on?

yes i have cowchick77. the main thing you need is to give some vitamins too. straw doesnt really have any. the other problem i had with it was i got a bean straw i think. and it grew like a weed. the next spring i had it growing out of the corners of my trailer.my truck. and it was thick where i stacked it. but one feeding a day for filler or to keep them from being to bored. small acreage i found that horses tend to get bored.so they like to eat. its a great filler . just plan on it growing the next spring..lol..

SlideStop 11-28-2012 12:50 PM

Also, unless they are starving, they aren't going to eat it. They might push it around to pick out some slightly edible parts but otherwise its just going to be messy and a waste of money. One horse I work with will barely eat first cut, she will hold out until she gets her second cut hay. She has gone that way for weeks on end!

If you want a filler I would pick up a ton of cheap 1st cut.
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deserthorsewoman 11-28-2012 12:59 PM

I second the slowfeeder nets. It does keep them busy much longer, you have less waste and happy horses. I made some out of baling twine, with slightly bigger holes to get them used to picking it out if the net. Then I made new ones with 2" holes. Now they even get the oat hay out of it just fine. And they seem to prefer the nets over hay on the ground.
I used to bed the run-in with straw and, when freshly done, they all left the hay and looked for the goodies in the straw.

COWCHICK77 11-28-2012 01:02 PM

Thanks for the responses!



Quote:

Originally Posted by montcowboy (Post 1775937)
yes i have cowchick77. the main thing you need is to give some vitamins too. straw doesnt really have any. the other problem i had with it was i got a bean straw i think. and it grew like a weed. the next spring i had it growing out of the corners of my trailer.my truck. and it was thick where i stacked it. but one feeding a day for filler or to keep them from being to bored. small acreage i found that horses tend to get bored.so they like to eat. its a great filler . just plan on it growing the next spring..lol..

montcowboy, I have fed straw and either a liquid supplement or protein blocks to cows so I was wondering if it would work with horses. With of course feeding with a good hay a couple times a day and maybe a ration balancer.

I know what you mean about it shooting up in the spring, one winter I fed wheat/pea hay and it came up everywhere! LOL


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