The Horse Forum banner

1 - 5 of 5 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,539 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am looking for some opinions on this. I have a few bales of coastal bermuda hay that seems fine to me, but the horses won't eat them (they WILL eat the nicer coastal bermuda I just bought). Two of the horses are fatties so I felt like they would eat it eventually. But then I started thinking about last winter, when four of the approx 25 horses at my barn collicked in the winter, I believe because of the poor quality hay they were given. I also know that there can be things in hay that we can't see or smell that tell horses they shouldn't eat it.

At what point would you just give up on the hay they won't eat?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,755 Posts
I wouldn't let it go much more then a day. Not good for them to have nothing going through the digestive system.

Remember there stomachs are producing acid all the time,whether eating or not.
I've had my ulcer prone horse show symptoms. After going for over 12 hours with nothing to eat.

Cheaper to buy different hay then treat ulcers. But yeah something is wrong with hay if they won't eat it. Might taste bitter or somthing. Not worth risking it.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
12,678 Posts
If they know there is better in the offering stored away because they have been given it when they first refused the other then it may well be they refuse for preference and nothing is wrong with the hay. If you have not given them the new and they don't have a comparison then they would eat it when hungry enough or go find something else. If you have gone through it and found nothing, smelled nothing then how long you give them is up to you withing reason. Especially if you are putting out fresh servings at feeding time. I personally would give it 2 or 3 days if you are in an area where there is still pasture available so they have a way to keep forage in their system even if not the best quality. If all of them are that set against it (considering they have different backgrounds) I may take a sample into the Ag Ext office and see if they have ideas or talk to others that you know purchase from the same supplier.


Sorry for the interruption. When we (horses and I) first moved here it was definitely a preferential thing. All of my Tx girls were raised on bermuda and here bahaia was what my H had set up for them. They have learned over the years to eat what is put out.



That said I have also raised many new foals and bought other horses so a varied background. I have had colic in one mare on a round bale (bermuda) from a student's family. Serious enough for the vet to come out several times then we hauled her there where she stayed for a week. That was the finest (texture) hay I had ever seen and the others were not so enthusiastic about it and would only nibble at it then go back to pasture. We removed the rest of the bale and used it for erosion control on other parts of the property where there were no horses.



I have bought from TSC and the local feed store in a pinch. They prefer the local but then again it is not trucked in and being grown on similar soils and of the same variety not much different than what they are used to.



Last experience was with my long time supplier. Over the course of a year we had a couple of rounds that they would refuse to touch. All of them (horses). Other bales we were finding trash and wood in. The supplier figured we had just been lucky over the years because he said that happens. Our back up supplier that we would use at least a couple times a year just to keep our name on his list is now our supplier. Further drive and while we can get older hay at times it is all good quality. Fingers crossed no problems. He as extensive property that he hays and it belongs to them. They have chicken houses and he has to have a way to manage the manure. The old dealer raises horses and though he owns a bit of property he also leases fields and they can change. They are also spread out over this part of the county and I think not all get the same inputs. Plus with roads going in and properties being sold for neighborhoods the increased traffic means trash.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,598 Posts
We still have plenty of dormant grass out in the pasture so mine are only nibbling at their hay and then heading back out to eat grass. Same hay from the same fields by the same supplier they've been getting for years so I'm sure they like that hay.

The minis are a whole different story. They are the pickiest of picky hay eaters and if their hay isn't suitable to their taste buds they will waste more than they eat. They'll still pick through it and eat what they want so I keep giving it to them until they get through the bale. It has more to do with texture instead of type of grasses, they hate the stemmier first cutting.
 
1 - 5 of 5 Posts
Top