Basic feeding questions - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 12 Old 11-28-2017, 07:58 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Apr 2017
Location: KS
Posts: 436
• Horses: 0
Originally Posted by egrogan View Post
Unfortunately I don't have my horses in a place where there's enough wide open space to sustain them without hay, even during the summer months, though they are turned out 24/7 and move around nibbling. Fortunately, the hay is high quality and the need for concentrates is pretty minimal, just a ration balancer for both. I'm definitely not a feed expert, but when I was trying to learn more about diet, I signed up for a month of access to an online program called FeedXL. I can't remember the price, maybe around $20? It's an online site where you enter info about the horses, their lifestyle/workload, whatever you know or find out from the extension office about your soil and pasture, and then any supplements, grains, or concentrates you're considering can be plugged into the program for an analysis of deficiencies or overkill. Pretty neat to fool around with it.

This is the website, they are on FB as well.
Thank you so much for that link. I will definitely check it out. Will get in contact with my extension agent first.

Originally Posted by beau159 View Post
How many acres do you have overall?

In general, it is a good idea to have some sort of pasture rotation schedule. It allows the "good grass" to have time to grow back; because let's face it, horses have their favorite spots to graze!

And yes, dragging and mowing will help with weed/grass control.

Plus, pasture rotation also helps keep worms under control.

I agree with sarahfromnc that I want to essentially have my hay "fresh" from my supplier, so in July! In my area, that's when hay gets put up so that's when I go pick it up / get it delivered.

The earlier you shop, the better quality you can find. Although every year will be different. We had a horrible drought this year, so hay is not very good overall and more expensive.

I agree with contacting your local extention office. They should have lots of resources about testing your current pasture and what types of grasses are best for your horses and your area.
I'm not sure the exact acreage that is pasture. I'm thinking maybe 5 of it is open pasture and then 2 acres with trees and there's lush grash back there under the trees in places too.

Last year I just got round bales from my supplier and he kept them covered and delivered them as needed. I only went through 3 the whole winter. I was considering doing that again this year. I do have a place to store square bales now - probably enough room for all I need. I asked him when I needed to order the hay and he just said "whenever you're ready for it." He's my farrier and he pretty much only sells hay to his hoof clients I think. I never considered that I might get better quality hay by buying early.....

Originally Posted by jbs0010 View Post
Here in North Alabama, our rule of thumb is start feeding hay August 15th and feed through April 15th. Typically by August, the grass is so dry and dead, they get little benefit from it. And hopefully by April, new grass is strong enough to support grazing. This is of course assuming your pasture is strong and not overgrazed or under water.

Your Extension office is the best place to start! They are a HUGE wealth of knowledge that they will readily share, typically free of cost.
My horses let almost all their hay go to waste last year and didn't lose any weight. It's not nearly as warm here in KS as it is in Alabama. I assumed your grass would grow year round?

Yeah.....I think maybe I have a lot more to learn than I realized.

This horse learning is never ending!
newtrailriders is offline  
post #12 of 12 Old 11-29-2017, 10:22 AM
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Texas
Posts: 2,194
• Horses: 2
I've got 4.5 acres of dedicated North Texas pasture that I rotated in half for the 1st year, but opened all together for my 2nd year on this property and it's doing well as I head into year 3. I use my sacrifice paddock anytime the pasture is even remotely wet - don't let hooves tear up your grass! I mow more often than most (before plants go to seed, as soon as tall patches start forming, sometimes as often as 7-10 days if we're having good rain in spring) but the resulting lush pasture with fat, shiny horses is worth it. Drag when rain is in the forecast, as rain helps dissolve the scattered manure.

Started offering grass hay in September, but my two didn't start eating it until October, and now they are chowing down since the grass finally turned brown. Should have green grass again by March and can generally stop feeding hay by end of April. Easy keeper currently gets 1/2 lb 10% protein pellet, old mare 2 lbs Triple Crown Senior twice a day, plus a flake of alfalfa every 3rd meal or so.

~Reserved Cash, 2011 AQHA gelding~
~Lark, 20-something Arabian mare~
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