hay and winter feeding in Central Mississippi
i am new --- first winter with horses -- i am looking for advice about hay, types of hay, how much hay, ect... to supplement them during the winter
here are some details so there are no misunderstandings:
I live a little bit south of Jackson, Mississippi
horses in my pasture are:
1 eighteen month old quarter horse at 13.1 hh
1 six year old quarter horse at 15.3 hh
1 pregnant nineteen year old standardbred (roughly 14.2 hh) (not my horse)
24.5 acres of pasture + woods fenced in --- estimating 5 acres is pasture and the rest is wooded and they have free access to all of it except the 2 acres my house sits on (also fenced in)
100 pounds of feed per week ... they get fed twice a day -- we use a 3 quart scoop each per feeding --- not exactly sure how much -- but i know that it adds up to 100 pounds a week
they were on nutrena mare and foal until TSC ran out --- now they are on Dumors pleasure horse ---
and occassional alfalfa cubes for treats
---- so if you have made it this far ---
I am confused about how much hay to feed them and what kind of hay to get for them
common bale sizes in my area are 4x5, 4x6, and 5x5 round bales made up of various combinations of Bahai, Bermuda, Alfalfa, fertilized, and non-fertilized
i do not have a hay barn or any method of hay storage -- and i am not against buying it weekly if necessary
should i just drop a big round bale in the pasture and leave it for free choice? --- should i put it on the front porch and throw some out every day for them? --- should i put 3-4 bales out there at a time and wait for them to finish it before buying more?
sorry -- lots of questions --- if you have taken the time to read everything -- i really appreciate it
You could put out round bales in the pasture think one would be enough for 3 horses. Thats what we do just put the rounds out and let them have at it. Of course were i live it gets cold and snowy ,so theres no pasture for horses to eat only hay.
As far as grain i dont know what you have available we dont have TSC in our area. Id stear clear of grains like oats, corn and molasses loaded feeds.
The hay we feed is alfalfa, timothy and grass mix and my horses get fat as pigs on it...so must be good hay.
How cold does it get on an average day?
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the average lows in january are 36 degrees F
I currently have 5 horses (16 month old colt, 8 & 23 year old geldings. 12 & 18 year old mares) and a donkey (old blm freeze branded). I "free feed" a round bale of coastal bermuda grass a week, so yours would last a bit longer. They usually have dregs left over on the ground.
For the old man, since he gets ridden, he gets equine senior and omolene 200, plus a joint supplement. The old mare was getting mare and foal (til I found out she was not pregnant, lol). Now she gets the equine senior. The colt was also getting the mare and foal since he needed the boost. The 8 and 12 year old pretty much get hay and whatever feed they can scrounge after the others are done (or if they can push their way in).
My boys tend to drop a little weight in the winter, so I may put them on soaked beet pulp. Since I mix everything, the ones that get feed will get about half a bucket each (give or take). I like the combo hay since it gives them a little bit of variety in nutrients.
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it looks like the average in my area is $35 per bale ... but the bale sizes vary -- 4x5, 4x6, and 5x5
everything i see says 1,200 - 1,600 pounds each
(i think i will have to figure out how to man handle that kind of weight)
-- edit --
i think i found a guide to size and weight
Most round bales aren't that heavy at least around here. The ones I get are between 800 - 900 lbs. I have an old dirt pile in my pasture I can usually drive my truck up onto, tipping the bed. I can generally rock the first one out. Depending on how it lands, I may or may not be able to move it. Second bale I have to tie a rope around the bale and around a tree trunk and pull it out that way.
If I can get them rocking I can usually move them a few feet. If land in such a way that I can't get them rocking I'm out of luck. In the wrong position I can throw myself at them all day and they won't budge.
that is great advice -- thank you
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