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Discussion Starter #61
I really feel, and see with my own horses, that small, small piles, but lots of them, makes the least mess/waste. And mine are not on grass at the moment, nor do they get grain. Like you I give grass pellets and the supplements twice a day.

Right now, they are happily dozing under the trees. They will finish the little bit of hay left after their afternoon beauty sleep.....lolol.....then I throw more tonight.

Like most thing with horses, it is trail and error when it comes to laying out hay. But between the boarding barns I have used, and having horses on my own property, currently and fought 25 years ago, I really find the many small piles versus four big piles works wonders and keeping an area clean (mine have their two poop spots away from the piles of hay) and horses not pigging out.
Does the hay not get dirty? In the winter, half the piles would get snowed on and disappear under the snow before the horses got to them. And some of it would get blown away (we are on a hill).

I've also NEVER seen my horses sleep when there's hay available! LOL I'm telling you, mine are pigs and never seem to think they've had enough. I intentionally don't give them any hay for a few hours in the afternoon so they'll sleep.
 

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I don't think half a bale a day per horse is excessive. I'd have to weigh my hay, but I'm guessing that's about 20 lbs. Consider that they have no grass, no grain and just a handful of hay cubes as a vehicle for supplements. I'm not sure why you think they will slow down? Any hay I throw out that is not in a haynet is gobbled down very quickly.

I have set up a third feeding station and just have to purchase another haynet for it. I'm not keen on making 7 or 8 piles on the ground because the paddock is a muddy mess right now (we just had torrential downpours for the last two days) and inevitably, this will lead to either wasted hay, or a lot of ingested sand/dirt. I'm just not a fan of putting hay over mud/snow/slush, etc.
Because they aren't starving...there is no reason to act like they are starving... 2% of hay and nothing else is a pretty common diet..

I was referring to the time you tried the whole bale FYI :).

And no, hay on mud = bad. Hay on snow isn't a problem, but when the ground is "messy" you obv don't want to throw hay in the middle of it!
 

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Discussion Starter #64
Ok, gotcha Yogiwick :) I know there's no reason for Harley to act like he's starving, but he still does, LOL! That horse never thinks he's full.

We are having our first flurries today. They're only forecasting 2 cm, so nothing to speak of, just some pretty little snowflakes falling. Still, it's a reminder that winter is coming fast.

Have set up the third feeding station. I used one of my nibble nets with the big webbed squares. The openings on that are about 2". At first they ignored it and went to their usual feeding stations (Harley in the box, Kodak at the tree), but I pulled a bit of hay out of it so Kodak came over to investigate and decided it was much easier to pull hay out of it than the net with the 1" holes. Harley came over to investigate briefly, but returned to his hay box. I predict that will change. I set it up way at the other end of the paddock so hopefully, this will increase movement significantly.

Also, last night, I only gave Harley one flake of hay for the night as opposed to 2. I feel bad doing this, but he's just not losing the weight. The only time I can really control their feedings separately is at night so that's how it's going to be for now. Will let you know how things go... thanks to everyone for such great advice!
 
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