Feeding questions - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 10 Old 02-24-2016, 08:45 PM Thread Starter
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Feeding questions

First, this may sound dumb but I don't want to do anything to hurt my horses so here goes. I have a fairly large front yard and an even larger back yard (probably about .75 acre total) that are, well yards. It's where the dogs run, we hang out etc. Point is the horses have no access to these areas. Is it acceptable to bag the grass when I mow and feed it to the horses?

Second question: we're putting in a sacrifice area off the barn and giving them limited access to the pastures. They'll probably be on hay only at least this summer since we didn't know any better and let them over graze so it's probably going to take at least one year to get the pastures reseeded and ready for grazing. What type of feeders do you guys use for hay? And how much hay do you give them. I'm told 2 flakes twice a day per horse. Does that sound about right to you? Thanks!
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post #2 of 10 Old 02-24-2016, 09:02 PM
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I would not use the grass clippings because of dog feces and just stuff that we do to our yards that we would not do to pastures. 2 flakes per horse twice a day is probably not going to be adequate, they need to graze. How many horses do you have? I'd probably buy a horse round bale feeder and buy some good grass round bales. They can graze 24/7 and not miss out on anything. Depending on size, your average horse will eat between 10-20 lbs of hay per day. Mine aren't all that big and I feed 3 bales/day to 8 adult horses when they have to be in the barn. My bales run about 60 lbs each. So, if you have 2 horses, 1 small square bale per day would probably be a pretty good guess.

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post #3 of 10 Old 02-24-2016, 09:09 PM
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Found on google, which is what I was taught:
Grass clippings ferment, and can cause a belly ache or worse in horses.

"Feeding horses on lawn mower clippings can be very dangerous for several reasons. When lawn mower clippings are fresh they are fermenting (this is why they are warm or even hot when you put your hand inside a fresh pile of clippings). If a horse is given a pile of fresh clippings to eat he/she can gorge on them.Nov 25, 2014"
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post #4 of 10 Old 02-24-2016, 09:30 PM Thread Starter
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I've been trying to Google less and ask for experienced advice more. It seems like if I look at 6 pages on google, I get 6 different answers and end up more confused than when I started :P
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post #5 of 10 Old 02-24-2016, 09:31 PM
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If you give grass clippings to a horse they will almost certainly colic. Yes, hay is cut grass but its grown in a certain way, cut in a certain way, and dried in a certain way. Most grass clippings will sit there and ferment so no, no, no.
Horses eat about 2% of their body weight in roughage a day give or take a little. So if you have a 1000 lb horse they will eat approximately 20 lbs of hay a day. You can't really go by flakes because they are all different. Two flakes might be 10 lbs or it might not be. And then you have to factor in hard feed if you are giving that as well, but, most of their diet should be roughage.
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post #6 of 10 Old 02-24-2016, 09:54 PM Thread Starter
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Sounds like adding the lawn clippings to my compost bin might not be a bad idea?
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post #7 of 10 Old 02-24-2016, 10:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrssnikk View Post
Sounds like adding the lawn clippings to my compost bin might not be a bad idea?
That would actually be a very good idea.
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post #8 of 10 Old 02-27-2016, 07:11 AM
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I really wouldn't feed your horse grass clippings! You're running a very high risk (probably 98% chance) of him/her getting colic.

And haynets tied to post or just on the floor

Hope this helped :) x
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post #9 of 10 Old 02-27-2016, 08:09 AM
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Definitely no to the grass clippings. A motor mower creates too much heat and that increases the risk of colic.

If you need the grass you could cut it by hand with a scythe.
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post #10 of 10 Old 02-27-2016, 10:28 AM
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As said before, no to clippings. Actually while fermenting might cause problems people do feed fermented feed (silage) to horses. The actual difference and problem between grass cut for hay and grass clippings is blade length. Horses can gorge on clippings, due to the short blade length they will pack tightly into their stomach causing a stoppage. In other words, colic. Give them the same weight in full length stems/blades and you wont get the same result.

Another slow feeding option is a feed box that you toss a section of no climb fencing on top of the hay. Your horses have to pick the hay out between the squares which seriously slows them down. As the hay level goes down so does the fencing piece you put on top of it.
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