How much hay? How much feed?
There are so many different opinions about how to take care of a horse, so I'm always welcome to different perspectives. I have a 9 year old mare that has open access to her pasture but her pasture has absolutely no grass. I feed her peanut hay in the evening, at least a flake and a half and I asked my barn owners to give her a flake in the morning. She gets one full scoop of Strategy feed (14% protein) twice a day. Sometimes I get a roundbale of hay and that makes me feel like at least she has something to do out in the pasture during the day. And the poor thing, it's so miserably hot here in florida. I guess my question is how much hay is a good idea if there isn't much natural grass? Also, I feel like I'm giving her too much feed. She looks like she's getting a bit plump. Any thoughts are welcome. Shouldl I trust my instincts? or follow the advice of people with more experience than me?
To me, good quality hay is key, much more than hard feeds. Mine get a few hours of good grazing a day, via turnout as their pasture isn't great this year, then each gets 2 flakes of grass hay am and pm as well as the feed mix I use.
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Your horse should get between 1% and 2% of their body weight in long stem roughage per day. So, the average 1000lb horse should be getting 10 - 20 lbs of hay per day.
She is going to need a little more hay because she is in an environment without grass. However, she's probably getting plump because there is no grass to forage on and therefore she is not getting any exercise.
Keeping a horse at a healthy weight (not too fat, not too thin) is a real balancing act and the older the horse gets, the more of a balancing act it becomes.
This article should be of some help to you:-)
How to Know How Much Hay to Feed to Your Horse | eHow.com
I always feed 1% to 2% of my horses body weight so they have hay to eat all the time. Right now they have pasture so there out there 2 to 4 hours a day. Plus i feed grain twice a day two horses work hard six days a week so they get empower boost added to the grain i feed. Roughage should be the main part of their diet.
Thanks so much everyone!! Owning my first horse has been and continues to be such a learning experience!
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