No hay in paddock? - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 39 Old 10-13-2015, 12:24 PM
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In some cases, having hay out all the time just isn't feasible. For example, where I live.

We don't have much pasture. What we do have is tough, native grass that the antelope and cattle like, but isn't great for horses. Most horses here are kept on dry lots because of the lack of grazing and cost prohibitiveness of irrigating good pasture. So, everyone feeds hay.

The main staple is alfalfa, as that is what we have easiest access to. Even then, you won't find it for under $13/bale (110+lbs bale). Alfalfa is not really a hay you want to feed free choice. Anything that is okay to feed free choice (Bermuda or orchard) is $16+/bale. We don't have round bales (heck, I didn't even know what a round bale was until I joined the forum).

So, the majority of the horses here are fed on a schedule. My gelding is fed three times per day, Bermuda and alfalfa (more Bermuda than alfalfa). He has never colicked or been sick in any other way. Most horses around here that I know to have colicked have been sand colics from eating off the ground.

The only time I've had a horse that had hay in front of him all the time was my old gelding and that was in a hay net. He was in a stall the majority of the time and got bored easily, so the hay net kept him busy. He got one or two flakes of Bermuda in the hay net and then got alfalfa for breakfast and dinner.
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post #12 of 39 Old 10-13-2015, 03:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Acadianartist View Post
lol, I hear you. I guess my question to all of you was whether or not your horses had hay available at all times (or all day at least). I assumed that if hay was pretty much the only food they have available, they need to be munching it on a regular basis to get enough calories. I also read somewhere that it's better to use a hay net or muzzle to reduce the amount of hay or grass a horse takes in than actually give them less hay as this can lead to boredom and long periods of not eating.

The BO told me feeding times are 8:30 and 3:30. Odd that there was no hay at 10 am, but maybe they just ate it all. BO is very patient in answering all my questions (even though I'm sure it's annoying!) so that's very reassuring. Horses there are in good health too.
It could be that whoever was feeding fed earlier than normal due to other obligations.

17 hours seems like a long time between feedings unless they get a lot of hay at the last feeding. I boarded at places where they fed only two times a day. While not ideal no one seemed harmed. I didn't like it so at my own place & do the more frequent feedings. Sometimes when my alarm goes off at 1AM during a snow storm those 2 day feedings sound good.

Calories & nutrients depend on the quality & kind of hay.

Be sure your BO is OK with you feeding extra as sometimes they buy only enough hay to make it through to the next season.
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post #13 of 39 Old 10-13-2015, 03:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Saddlebag View Post
A empty stomach can lead to ulcers. A small mesh hay net slows down consumption so less time is spent with nothing to eat.
While I agree that a horse's body is meant to graze 24/7 (b/c it produces acid 24/7), even if a slow feed net is used, the horse could still be out of hay at some point.

Currently, Red is confined in a small area while his injury heals. I go out before work to give him some hay. I give him some on the ground so he can eat in a "natural" position, and then I fill his slow-feed hay net. By the time I come back out after work to feed him again, everything is empty and probably has been for most of the afternoon.

He's a very easy keeper and really doesn't need much. The slow feed net helps him to eat slower, but that won't last the whole day either.

OP: I am guessing you were simply there in-between feeding times. But it never hurts to ask the BO and check.
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post #14 of 39 Old 10-13-2015, 04:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Acadianartist View Post
Exactly. Problem is, there are two horses in this paddock, not just mine, so whatever I put out there has to be for both. And the other horse is dominant and keeps biting my horse so I usually put out two piles of hay to keep them separate.
That can be a problem. I have to watch my two girls. One is an older girl and she has a hard time keeping weight on plus she eats slow. The other is an easy keeper and a hoover vacuum cleaner. She'll finish up hers and then mosey on over to the old girl and help her finish hers. There buds so the older one will share. I just feed them separately now, which is a pain in the butt.
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post #15 of 39 Old 10-13-2015, 04:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Acadianartist View Post
lol, I hear you. I guess my question to all of you was whether or not your horses had hay available at all times (or all day at least). I assumed that if hay was pretty much the only food they have available, they need to be munching it on a regular basis to get enough calories. I also read somewhere that it's better to use a hay net or muzzle to reduce the amount of hay or grass a horse takes in than actually give them less hay as this can lead to boredom and long periods of not eating.

The BO told me feeding times are 8:30 and 3:30. Odd that there was no hay at 10 am, but maybe they just ate it all. BO is very patient in answering all my questions (even though I'm sure it's annoying!) so that's very reassuring. Horses there are in good health too.

Nope...if there was no hay at 10am..they didn't feed at 8:30. A couple of horses might have cleaned up every wisp, but doubtful even 2 would have.

IF they did, then that means to me that they are being skimped on feedings. And if hay is being "used" then would wonder if bales weren't toted out of there.

I'd be popping in at 8ish...bet you won't be happy either.
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post #16 of 39 Old 10-13-2015, 07:33 PM Thread Starter
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I do think that when the BO is there, all the horses get fed adequately. But I sure will be keeping my eyes open next time the BO is away. My gut feeling is that the person who was supposed to do the feedings didn't - or didn't feed enough. But maybe she did go in extra early that day. Will be monitoring this closely and I took a baseline girth measurement so I'll know if his weight changes.

Thanks for all your input!
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post #17 of 39 Old 10-13-2015, 07:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Palomine View Post
Nope...if there was no hay at 10am..they didn't feed at 8:30. A couple of horses might have cleaned up every wisp, but doubtful even 2 would have.
??

My boys can each snarf down a full LARGE hay bag (not slow feeders) in about 15 minutes.

I think it is perfectly logical that if horses get fed at 8:30, that it would be gone by 10 AM.
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post #18 of 39 Old 10-13-2015, 08:06 PM
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Ideally when feeding hay put out at least one extra pile (ie 2 horses, 3 piles hay) well apart so they can't kick at each other. One horse can defend two piles but not usually 3
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post #19 of 39 Old 10-13-2015, 08:15 PM
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The barn I am moving my horse to feeds hay three or four times a day. Right now they are on day turnout so they get grain and hay by 7:00 AM, hay at noon (except for the pastures that still have enough grass), grain and hay at 6:00 PM and hay at 10:00 -11:00 PM when the barn gets checked for the night. It still would be possible to see these horses with no hay if you arrived half way between two feedings but the horses sure wouldn't act hungry. I would think that they all were fed less or much earlier. For your peace of mind try arriving at the same time when the BO is there to see what things look like and at feeding time the next time he is away.
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post #20 of 39 Old 10-14-2015, 08:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beau159 View Post
??

My boys can each snarf down a full LARGE hay bag (not slow feeders) in about 15 minutes.

I think it is perfectly logical that if horses get fed at 8:30, that it would be gone by 10 AM.
One of my mares is the same, she's a moose of a horse and gets 3-4 hay feedings per day, and depending on the time of year and whether or not she's on pasture she gets ~5 flakes for her AM as well as dinner feed, that'll be gone in 1.5hrs.

I don't know what OPs horse gets or what the other horse's get in terms of average amount of flakes for an AM feed, but it could be that the horse's only get 1-2 flakes for AM feed, that'll of course be gone in 1.5hrs.
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