amount of hay per day
I read the previous post, I already suspected our boarded horses are not getting the amount of hay they need. It is decent quality grass hay and we feed TC 30 to make sure they get the vitamins and minerals they need. They have been kept in at night lately from about 4:00 in the afternoon until they are fed and let out in the morning at about 7:30-8:30, not sure because we are not there at that time. Our horses had 2 flakes in each stall (They put it in in the morning after they are turned out that would be their dinner), we weighed one of the piles at 6.8 lbs. They get fed their morning hay out side with all the other horses so I would estimate they get about double that a day.
I have requested that ours stay outdoors at night unless it is extreme weather; snow, cold rain or wind mostly because I don;t want them in that long without hay to munch on. Both horses are probably not over 1000 lbs and were a little overweight when the haying started.
Am I wrong to be concerned? Hubby and I plan on taking more random weights on the hay and 2 nights ago I gave them each an extra flake from our personnel "extra" hay and they never have anything left...not even one strand of hay left.
I can't find the video I posted of a vet that tells how to gauge your horse's body condition.
However, here's a link that tells how. Body Condition Score - CVM - Equine Genetics and Genomics Laboratory, University of Minnesota
Before you shoot the barn owner:D, please read these instructions. You can tell if your horses are losing weight and if they're losing too much weight.
A horse's weight is often deceiving under all those winter woolies, so learning to feel their body condition is important.
If you can't feel any ribs at the top of the barrel, your horses are still too fat and I wouldn't worry about them not getting enough hay; to the contrary under those circumstances, it sounds as if they're getting enough.
However, if you can easily feel ribs on the lower portion of their barrels, then there is some cause for concern.
It is always an easy thing to get upset with someone, if you feel your children are not being properly cared for. Learning how to perform the Henneke body scoring test, will be a huge help in discerning whether there is basis for concern:D
I hope this helps in making a logical and fair decision.
That does sound a bit light, but every horse is different. Some horses would be fat on that much. Others need 20lbs per day to keep weight on. I would also feel for ribs and I would also do a BCS.
First thing, did you only observe this once? And were you there when they were put in? I work at the barn where I board and if I have left over hay after morning feeding I will toss it in the stalls if I know horses are coming in at night. So sometimes I don't toss all their dinner in the stall just part depending on what is left over. I will then feed the rest at the night feeding. Also is there a chance that they feed twice at night? If they go in at 4, is there a possibility they are fed again at say 8? Too much missing info here to say whether they are getting enough or not. How much is fed during the day?
Grass hay is the food item which should only be given rationed if the horse is REALLY overweight, first of all.
If they're in for 16 hours, that's 2/3 of the day, so they should have 2/3 of their hay when inside. If they cleaned up completely even when an extra flake was given, the normal ration is not enough.
I would ask the BO how much they give during the day. Then check if the other horses have grain, which the OP's horses don't have. I'd suggest slowfeeder nets for nightfeeding, if the BO is willing to fill the nets instead of tossing it on the ground. I'd offer to get maybe three nets per horse and fill them for the BO to just hang in(if I was a busy BO I'd be more inclined to allow the nets if the owner would keep them filled).
Or if you have your own extra hay, I'd ask to throw some of that on top of the ration.
Two flakes are gone in about three hours...means 13 hours without anything means ulcers!
At our barn horses get an average of 4 flakes per day fed twice a day. Since there are nearing 30 horses we don't weigh each flake, but we do an informal weigh. A heavy flake is balanced with a light flake, and if the bale has light flakes, we'll give 3 flakes per feeding. During the winter we switch one flake of local grass for a flake of alfalfa, and when it's cold, they all get a mid-day flake for a snack. It averages about 20-25 lbs a day. We are right at the base of the mountains, with a nice, frigid breeze that comes right through, and most of the horses are blanketed.
If a horse is turned out (did I mention it's wet, so not many are turned out right now to preserve pastures for nice days), they all get at least a flake in their field since there isn't much grass right now either. Even the full time grazers are getting a flake of alfalfa at night. None are over weight either, but no one goes hungry at our barn.
The way i figure it if theres nothing left over after the AM feeding then their not getting enough to eat. My horses always have some hay left over from the Am or Pm feeding. When i fed this AM there was some hay left from last nights feeding,even with hay too eat all the time. I can feel ribs easly on all 3 horses cant see them but their all pretty hairy for winter. They need to hay have at least 18 to 20 hours a day not good for them too be with out hay for hours and hours.
Due to the knowledgeable people here, we bought Zoot two slow feeder hay bags. I'd never used them before. They are FANTASTIC. Zoot's had them for two days now and our waste is SO much less. We stuff them as full as we can and hang them head high for him. One hangs out in his normal pasture part and one is in his "natural barn". That way if for whatever reason we can't be here at feeding time, he always has that second hay bag to go to. If the weather gets nasty and raining, he can go into his "natural barn" and hang out under the tree canopy and eat there.
I feed 5 lbs 2 times a day and 6 to 8 lbs at late night.......there is never even the tiniest bit of hay left one hour after feeding......and none of my horses are skinny in fact some could afford to lose some weight.
If I fed based on whether there was hay left in the morning my horses would be obese in no time and if that feeding continued they would likely founder and die. Its not a good gauge for determining if a horse is getting enough.
I agree with SuperNova. My horses are all at a great weigt, even a few would be considered "tubby" and they eat all their hay and any itty bitty pieces. If i fed more, id have obese horses.
Then again, my hay is very good quality alfalfa.
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