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RebeccaMI 08-26-2011 03:44 PM

How much hay for winter?
 
How much hay do you plan for your horse to eat per day in the winter? A half a bale, or a whole one? Do you feed just hay, or grain/beet pulp/etc. as well? And from when to when (which month to which month) do you feed hay?

I haven't had to worry about hay since years ago when I first got my horse. The BO where I currently board takes care of the hay, so I am not sure what to tell a friend of mine who was asking me for hay advice. When I had to worry about hay I think we used to plan to feed a half a bale per horse from October through the end of April, and we also fed grain.

Alwaysbehind 08-26-2011 03:51 PM

Like everything horse there is no cut and dried answer for this.

Here is an article on feeding and temperature changes.


You can not really tell her how many bales of hay because we have no idea how much her bales weigh.

lacey met 08-26-2011 03:55 PM

well i my horse gets hay 24/7 off a round role and it will last her about a mounth and she gets 2 qurts of safechoice am and pm and she has molasses tube Protein, Minerals and Vitamins

RebeccaMI 08-26-2011 04:03 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Alwaysbehind (Post 1151161)
Here is an article on feeding and temperature changes.

Thanks for the article, Always. I'll print it out and give it to her as I'm not sure whether her family has internet.

Alwaysbehind 08-26-2011 04:05 PM

The long and short of it is that when it does get really cold they do need more hay to keep warm.

Needing more grain or not depends on the horse. If you are working them as much as you were working them in the summer and they are living outside then maybe a grain increase would be required.

For many of them the less work some what balances out the more calories needed because of the winter.



I do add beet pulp to the diet of one of mine during the winter. I do not feel she drinks enough in the winter (even with the heated water buckets) and soaked beet pulp is an easy way for me to get more water into her.

kitten_Val 08-26-2011 04:14 PM

I think it depends on area (weather). But being in MD I feed ~bale/day in winter (2 average size mares, ~50-55 lbs bale). They also get about 2 lbs/pellets a day.

RebeccaMI 08-26-2011 05:17 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by kitten_Val (Post 1151197)
I think it depends on area (weather). But being in MD I feed ~bale/day in winter (2 average size mares, ~50-55 lbs bale). They also get about 2 lbs/pellets a day.

We're on the west side of Michigan. I think our winters are more snowy and a bit colder, because a friend in DE is always jealous anytime I tell her it's snowing here.

PaintHorseMares 08-26-2011 08:36 PM

In the winter, almost more important than the temperature is whether your horse gets wet (and cold). Being cold and wet is very chilling and a horse will eat a lot more to keep warm. Our mares have free choice hay all year. In the dead of winter when it's cold and wet, they'll go through a round bale in 7 days which comes out to about 35 lbs/horse/day (about 3.5% of their weight). The drier you keep them (e.g. using a rain sheet or blanket), the less hay you'll need.

kitten_Val 08-26-2011 11:12 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by RebeccaMI (Post 1151294)
We're on the west side of Michigan. I think our winters are more snowy and a bit colder, because a friend in DE is always jealous anytime I tell her it's snowing here.

MI is quite cold (especially comparable to MD :wink: ). IMHO the best route would be free access to the hay. If you have several horses getting a big round bale will save you $$ and keep them warm/occupied all day long. With just 2 horses I have round bale is too much of waste (plus I don't have a place to keep them), so I go with square bales.

RebeccaMI 08-27-2011 02:08 PM

My horse has a heavyweight waterproof winter blanket (it's a Northwind from Dover) that he wears when it's cold and snowy. I let him grow his winter coat first, though, so that he's got that underneath. The BO also brings in all the horses if it's really nasty out.

My friend just has the one horse, so I think round bales would be too much of a waste. I'll advise her to get her horse a good winter blanket even though she has access to shelter.

I'm thinking maybe 150 bales for the winter would be safe? If she started offering hay on October 1, and fed through April 30, that would be 213 days (cuz February has 29 days next year). Having 150 bales would mean that she could feed about 3/4 of a bale per day, but of course it won't work out evenly like that. Her mare will eat less hay in the beginning of October and the end of April and more in the colder winter months.


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