Horse suddenly picky about hay - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 5 Old 03-21-2014, 12:01 PM Thread Starter
Weanling
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Missouri
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Horse suddenly picky about hay

I have an IR pony kept up on a dry lot, and for more than the past year, she has been getting two types of hay, one is an alfalfa/orchard grass blend I had brought from Kentucky during the drought, and the other is grass hay bought locally. I have been using the same local supplier for 4 years, and I bought this batch out of the field last June (I think, anyway I bought it all at once). For a little over a week, the pony has decided that she is not going to eat the grass hay. If I put it in her hay net, she picks out the alfalfa flake and leaves the grass hay, and if I put it out loose, she drags it all over her pen.

I have noticed that she is in better weight and health while having less neck crest this year, but this change in eating patterns worries me. This is not a pony who turns down food. There is no heat in her hooves, and she is at this point much more sound than she has been since she was moved to MO in 2006. I see her canter around the pen on practically a daily basis. I am hoping this is not a precursor to another laminitic episode. :( We have not had one since last March, and prior to that she'd have them every few months. Also, she is still eating the alfalfa/orchard grass hay just fine, and still gobbles up her ADM ration balancer and supplements. Any ideas on what is going on?

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post #2 of 5 Old 03-21-2014, 12:55 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2011
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My horses kind of went through the same thing- getting picky. The hay was the same & I too thought there could be a problem until I realized that I was feeding the same amount as when it was horribly cold. I feed approximately 10% more for every 10 degrees below freezing so now that it is warmer it seems the horses knew they didn't need so much.
Once I cut them back they were no longer picky. Hopefully this will be the same story for your horse.
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post #3 of 5 Old 03-21-2014, 01:21 PM Thread Starter
Weanling
 
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Well if that's all it is, then it's super news. She used to be ravenous due to her metabolic disorder, no matter how much she was fed or how heavy she was. Maybe since it's better controlled, she has some appetite control? She is still on winter rations because I'm an idiot...

Tug on anything at all and you'll find it connected to everything else in the universe.~John Muir
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post #4 of 5 Old 03-21-2014, 01:27 PM
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As Natasha said. My herd is like that too. I actually think of it in terms of children eating - they eat the favourites first and then if they're still hungry they go after the rest.

It wouldn't hurt to do a sniff test of the hay. It may have gotten a bit musty or moldy while in storage over the winter.
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post #5 of 5 Old 03-21-2014, 03:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Viranh View Post
Well if that's all it is, then it's super news. She used to be ravenous due to her metabolic disorder, no matter how much she was fed or how heavy she was. Maybe since it's better controlled, she has some appetite control? She is still on winter rations because I'm an idiot...
You're not an idiot. Who can trust this weather?
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