Hay Questions: To let Eat as they please or monitor it? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 7 Old 07-28-2014, 01:01 PM Thread Starter
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Hay Questions: To let Eat as they please or monitor it?

What I mean is I have always gived my horse hay daily, picked some off of the round bail. I recently made it to where he can go get some as he pleases from the bail. The hay went from lasting about 2 months to lasting one month. I just picked up another horse the other day and I notice them having the hay scattered more. Though there is plenty on the ground, they still keep getting it from inside the hay shed as well. I was going to put a chain link fence, piece of fence over the area they can stick their heads in. I will be able to close it when I want and let them eat all that's on the ground first at least.

I guess what i mainly wanted to know because it seems even thogh they have a large pasture, they will eat the hay more frequently?
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post #2 of 7 Old 07-28-2014, 01:19 PM
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I think it depends on the horses and the grass that they have available. I can't give my mare free choice hay even if she's on good pasture because she will turn herself into a blimp. The only time she chooses pasture over hay is in spring when the grass is extra rich/sugary.

If they were my horses and had a large pasture with decent grass, I would probably limit their hay to just what they needed in addition to the grass to keep weight on. Horses need food running through their systems all the times, they don't necessarily need hay all the time. My mare has very poor pasture right now because she has eaten it down so much, but there is still enough that she can nibble on something throughout the day, so I'm not worried.

Another option you can try is to get a net for the round bail so they have to work harder to pull hay off.
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post #3 of 7 Old 07-28-2014, 01:41 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by TessaMay View Post
I think it depends on the horses and the grass that they have available. I can't give my mare free choice hay even if she's on good pasture because she will turn herself into a blimp. The only time she chooses pasture over hay is in spring when the grass is extra rich/sugary.

If they were my horses and had a large pasture with decent grass, I would probably limit their hay to just what they needed in addition to the grass to keep weight on. Horses need food running through their systems all the times, they don't necessarily need hay all the time. My mare has very poor pasture right now because she has eaten it down so much, but there is still enough that she can nibble on something throughout the day, so I'm not worried.

Another option you can try is to get a net for the round bail so they have to work harder to pull hay off.
gotcha gotcha thanks for the insight
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post #4 of 7 Old 07-28-2014, 10:31 PM
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Depends on horses, on the type of hay, on how much pasture there is... You can net a roundbale, so they can't gorge on it, or wreck it & lie on it.

Some info I've found helpful; [COLOR=Lime][B]www.horseforum.com/horse-health/hoof-lameness-info-horse-owners-89836/
For taking critique pics; [COLOR=Lime][B]https://www.horseforum.com/members/41...res-128437.jpg
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post #5 of 7 Old 07-29-2014, 06:39 AM
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Actually it is safer to get a metal hay ring made for horses. Very minimal waste.

I've always averaged one roll per horse per month during the winter seasons. During summer they only get one roll per month since I keep them in the acre 'sacrificial lot' every fourth week as part of my rotation schedule between pastures. Its important to give the grass a 2-3 week break after they graze it down.
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post #6 of 7 Old 07-29-2014, 08:45 AM Thread Starter
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Actually it is safer to get a metal hay ring made for horses. Very minimal waste.

I've always averaged one roll per horse per month during the winter seasons. During summer they only get one roll per month since I keep them in the acre 'sacrificial lot' every fourth week as part of my rotation schedule between pastures. Its important to give the grass a 2-3 week break after they graze it down.
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yeah when I get another part of the land cleared I'm going to put up another pasture area that i can put them on to give the other area a break.

Below is an image of what I did so I can control the hay for now without having to give them some daily. I might just cut out 2 holes, 1 for each horse and large enough for them to get their face in to get the hay and safely be able to do so. I will ensure to tightly crimp the ends of the wire so they sharp edges won't pertrude. Then again I might be able to cut it out to where there wont be any sharp edges.

Will have to upload later when get home my pc at work isn't uploading
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post #7 of 7 Old 07-31-2014, 07:50 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by TessaMay View Post
I think it depends on the horses and the grass that they have available. I can't give my mare free choice hay even if she's on good pasture because she will turn herself into a blimp. The only time she chooses pasture over hay is in spring when the grass is extra rich/sugary.

If they were my horses and had a large pasture with decent grass, I would probably limit their hay to just what they needed in addition to the grass to keep weight on. Horses need food running through their systems all the times, they don't necessarily need hay all the time. My mare has very poor pasture right now because she has eaten it down so much, but there is still enough that she can nibble on something throughout the day, so I'm not worried.

Another option you can try is to get a net for the round bail so they have to work harder to pull hay off.
i'm thinking about cutting out 2 holes large enough for them to get their face in and pull hay out and I will be careful to not leave any sharp parts at all. I can control the hay they get out or actually the waste better that way.
I will remove the plywood to the right in the pic and there will be more space so the horses won't be so close to each other while eating.
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