So I'm looking into getting hay cubes for my (possible COPD) horse. I have heard that they are also about twice as expensive as baled hay.
Does anyone know where a good place is to get good quality, but low(ish) cost cubed hay?
I was also told that when you feed hay cubes as opposed to baled hay, you don't feed them as much so it doesn't cost that much more. Is this true?
(I've been totally flipping out about my horse and his coughing/breathing issues, praying it isn't COPD. He does still have plenty energy and wants to run, as well as my trainer telling me how he plays hard in the field all the time, but lmao, I still want to be able to ride him as much as I did before..)
I have financial issues, so that's why I'm asking. I need to know if I'll be able to afford feeding cubed hay.
You feed them by weight. If you're feeding 2% of a 1,000 lb horse per day, then you'd give him 20 lbs of cubes a day, split into 2-3 feedings. A 50 lb bag would last 2.5 days.
I like to wet cubes down or soak before feeding, enough so they start to break up. Some I have gotten were so tightly compressed that the horses couldn't chew them very well, and my fast eater had a mild choak incident.
With it soaked or wet down, you can add your supplements or what-not to it, so you can avoid feeding as much grain, which IMO is healthier ;-).
Oh, and you buy cubes at your local feed store or tractor supply. Just call around and get prices until you find the best price. Make sure they are NOT preserved with animal fat. Last I checked, horses were herbivores... ;-) If you're replacing part or all of your hay, then I would suggest a blended cube of Alfalfa + Timothy or Alfalfa + Bermuda. I am not a big fan of feeding more than 50% of a horse's forage in Alfalfa or alfalfa products.
As far as cost, most cubed hay will run about $450/ton!
Currently, the most expensive hay in our barn is $350/ton and cheaper hay can be had for $175/ton.
They are more expensive. Have you tried wetting the hay? Have you looking into dengi HiFi Its really soft finely chopped hay in bags. Might be expensive though.
I prefer pellets over cubes, because you dont have to soak pellets. But horses eat them faster. So in your case cubes would probably take longer to eat. (A good thing) Soak the pellets and break them up as much as you can into a few buckets. Have you thought about beet pulp as well?
You could check out this website and call the owner (Harlan, he's a vet who developed the product). It's designed to fulfill all of a horse's requirements. My horse's loved it and they're both fairly picky eaters. You don't have to soak the biscuits either which is nicer in the extreme temps (no freezing or spoiling). If I still had my COPD horse this is probably what I'd feed him.
My horse has pasture related COPD. In the summer I soak her hay (literally dunk the entire flake into a water trough and leave it for about 10 minutes, pull it out and feed it to her wet). I do use Alfalfa cubes as well, I give both my girls soaked alfalfa at noon, primarily because our coastal hay has a lot to be desired, and I also like to know that my girls are getting the extra water from the soaked cubes, especially in the winter.
A 50 pound bag of the alfalfa cubes will last me about a week (feeding two horses once a day). They cost me appx. $11.00.
Just wanted to ask... is your horse on any medication? IMO Dexamethasone is the preferred way to treat COPD. It works wonders for my Dixie. Cuts down the inflammation and really helps her breathing during the summer.
Argh I forgot the website.
I believe that it's still being edited and under construction, but it should give you the general idea.
Like 7ponies friend of mine also has a COPD horse. She just soaks the regular hay for 30 minutes before feeding it. Works great.
We had a mare out at our farm who couldnt have dusty hay because of her breathing and we would soak it for twelve hours in a net hay bag in a trash can and it worked very good for her. Also the water won't freeze if the hay is in it. Dont know why but it never freezes.
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