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heathermstalnaker 12-05-2012 08:39 AM

Round Hay Bales
I have had horses for a couple years but have always boarded. This is my first winter having my guys home. I have 3 horses and have purchased 200 square bales or hay but I am worried that this will not last me through the winter with 3 horses.

I have been considering getting a couple round bales but not sure if that is a good idea since I really do not want my guys getting fat.

Right now my guys are a good weight and healthy. But they are kept at my farm that is about 20 minutes from my house. I have some people tell me that I need to give hay in the morning and in the evening but they are maintaining a good weight with the feed I am giving them and with the 5 flakes of hay per horse per day so is feeding hay twice a day necessary?

I am willing to put a round bale out for my guys but my concern is them just eating and blowing up.

Can anyone give me suggestions or is what I am doing now fine and am I just worrying to much?


poppy1356 12-05-2012 08:43 AM

Short answer yes they must be thrown hay at least twice a day if you are feeding squares. And no 200 most likely will not get you through winter. How much do the bales weigh? Each horse must be fed 1.5-2% of their body weight per day in hay. So that is about 1% per horse per feeding. If you have standard squares that are around 50lbs, the 5 flakes per day should be fed at least twice so they don't stand around for 20 hours with no food.

If they are 50lbs you should be going through at least 1 bale per day but more would be better. We have 70lb squares and for 3 horses they get the whole bale per day split into 2 feedings.

heathermstalnaker 12-05-2012 08:50 AM

Round Hay Bales
Poppy1356...Thank you so much! I appreciate it!

I will go ahead and see about getting a couple round bales delivered. That way they will have access to it Morning and evening.

I will put one in one paddock and put one in another. That way they can walk from 1 to the other.

Would that be ok?

Thank you!

Tianimalz 12-05-2012 08:51 AM

I'd buy the round bales if you can store them, most of the time they're far cheaper in the long run and last longer if you just section it out and throw it to them. I use the same hay from the same farmer as I have been for the past 4 years so I know the hay and how heavy it generally is, with that information I got a rubbermaid tote and figured that I can cram 10lbs of hay in it (I weighed it), so I just fill up that tote twice a day per horse and I'm good to go as if I had bought square bales.

Saves me hundreds of $$ a year.

And yes, horses need fed AT LEAST twice a day, once every 12 hours, or else it is horrible on their stomachs and digestion tracks. 3-4 times a day is healthier, but twice a day has never caused me problems and is pretty common practice.

heathermstalnaker 12-05-2012 08:59 AM

Round Hay Bales
Tianimalz...Thank you for the info....The only problem I have is where my horses are is 20 minutes from my house. So I am thinking in the mornings it would be more conv. to put our the round bales.

I don't have a place to store round bales or a way to move them. So I would have to get them as needed.

I just want to do what is best for them. I am learning :)

Inga 12-05-2012 09:00 AM

The other thing is that as the temperatures drop, they need more calories to keep them warm. Eating, is what keeps them warm so nibbling on hay the better part of the day helps. You could get a slow feeding hay net if weight is a concern. That way they have to work at it a little harder to take in as much hay. They stay warm, busy and out of trouble while not gorging themselves.

poppy1356 12-05-2012 09:03 AM

You can buy nets or make nets to put over the round bales to help with waste and to slow down the consumption. I was told hockey nets tied together works great. Otherwise they cost an arm and leg to buy and the ones we bought aren't holding up. So making them would be cheaper.

And then if they have nets over them and you have one in each paddock that would work great as they can walk between the two to keep them occupied and the nets help slow them down to eat throughout the day. Or you can get a round bale feeder but horses can get caught in those.

heathermstalnaker 12-05-2012 09:03 AM

The hay net idea is a good one also. Thanks!

heathermstalnaker 12-05-2012 09:07 AM

Yeah I have heard horror stories with the round bale feeders. I am such a worry wort with my guys.

poppy1356 12-05-2012 09:14 AM

Two horses could probably go thru two round bales a month, maybe a little longer depending on how big they are. If you have the nets on them.

Our 1400lb rounds equal 20 of our 70lb squares and when our rounds only cost $60 delivered it is much cheaper that way.

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