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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I admit I like my horses plump. Not fat, but with a little something, something. But my new horse is eating like mad, it seems to me. Just wanted to get opinions on what others are feeding.
I feed a alfafa grass mix hay. My horse is a 10 year old 17.3hh, Oldendburg gelding (1600 lbs). He's eating a whole bale a day, approx 75 lbs. This seems a lot compared to my other horses (around the 17hh mark) who eat half that. I've only had him a month and just wormed him but don't notice any worms in his poop or notice him rubbing at all. He's not gaining weight, but just maintaining. He's just being re-started after 2-3 years in pasture. But if I fed him more he'd eat more.
How much is everyone feeding out there?
 

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Wow, that is a lot of hay. I notice horses that were not fed enough forage tend to gorge themselves once they finally have 24/7 access to it. He'll probably slow down after a few weeks. Just make sure he's got plenty of water to wash it down. My horse will eat non-stop and he's still showing a little rib. Typical TB I suppose.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
That could definitely make sense. I didn't even think of it that way! Thank you.
I hope he settles down his munchies, each bale is $8, so it's a lot of moolah this big guy ploughs through. But he's definitely worth it.
 

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Wow that is a lot of hay I agree with the above, make sure he has plenty of water and yeah he should settle down after a while. ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
LOL. Yeah, I honestly was flabergasted that he consumes that much! He was plenty of water (automated), but geez I hope he settles down. He eats more than our other two horses combined and they aren't small by any means. What worries me is the up-coming drought here in BC and securing enough hay to feed my big boy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Sorry, forgot to say thanks for the link Pro.
It gave me roughly about what I had calculated. Something just seemed odd that he ate two-to-three times what he needed without gaining weight, just maintaining it.
 

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On good grain, you can get by with 1% of the horse's body weight in hay per day - 16#
Without the grain, you need more like 2% and a max would be around 3% or 48#.
You haven't given any indication as to the quality of the hay you are feeding, but a very good a/o or t/a mix at 75# per day will founder a horse very quickly!!!!!!!!!!!!
 

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You pay 8$ a bale for hay? OH my goddess. I thought paying 3$ a bale for alfalfa was highway robbery.
 

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He'll probably settle down in the amount he's eating. Especially if he was previously kept in a "meal feeding" setting. A lot of horses that are meal fed will kind of gorge themselves on hay when they're moved over to a free fed setting. It's like they can't quite believe the can eat as often as they'd like (and were made to). :lol: If he gains all the weight he needs and doesn't slow down in a bit I would be a little concerned, but for now I'd just give him some time.

I even notice this with my horses and pasture. If I leave them out over night they actually eat with less urgency all the following day, but if I dry lot them at night they act like they're starving to death the next day and barely stop grazing.

What percentage mix are you feeding?
 

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Wow, that's a lot of hay!! I feed an alfalfa/timothy mix, and my horses are free choice, right now with the pasture coming in they are getting one bale a day in the feeder, between all of them, and still wasting quite a bit. Even in the height of winter, I was offering about 2 and a half bales a day and they wouldn't get through all of it in a 24 hour period. And that's with 4 horses, 3 of which are draft crosses!
 

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My 17.3 Standardbred eats probably close to that much. She is 7 now. Between her and the 15 h girl, I put out 5 small squares every two days. (2 one day, three the next...)

If the hay is too rich, you might consider buying some lighter stuff or even straw.
 

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That is a lot of hay, but if you can afford it and he's looking good, then I'd just stick with it! I'd rather a horse eat lots of hay than too much grain.

We go through a 1,000 lb round bale a month per horse. That's about 34 lbs of hay a day, and our horses are in the 900-1,100 lb range (14-16h). That's what they eat on their own, free choice, in the field.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
EEk $25 a bale! Ouch. I'd love to be paying $3 though. I suppose I'll settle with the $8 bale.

I have to agree with luvstoride, I'd rather a horse eat hay than grain. We feed a 30-70% alfalfa to grass mix.

I'll just keep an eye on him. He's not near floudering, but he's only been with me a month (boarding at a local stable with a trainer). He's maintaining his weight, which is the most important thing for me. And I have a tendency to agree with the comments that he'll eventually slow down his eating habits. My vet is coming out soon, and I quiz her on the feeding amount.

Cheers everyone! It's good to get some opinions on how much you're all feeding, especially draft (even though my guy isn't a draft cross - he's built like one).
 

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Just wanted to mention, as an aside, I'm sure you know, but it's also dependent on how much/if any pasture your boy has access to. Like I said my horses aren't finishing 1 bale a day between all of them, right now, but they also have 6 acres of pasture to graze that they are on 24/7 - right now they are preferring the grass. Less grazing makes your hay intake go up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Yes, Indyhorse, I agree. Unfortunately there's no nutrient value in our pastures at the moment, so he's paddocked and fed three times a day. I'd love to be able to pasture in the summer, but I'll have to pray for rain.
 

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The only thing I can say is the prices that wild spot stated. $18-$25 a bale!!! Now thats ludacris lol. We pay $3 a bale. We don't have any drought problems here (we get enough rain as it is), so the prices rarely fluctuate. They may raise a little higher in the winter, but they guy that we get our hay from, his hay can get moldy too fast, so we get free bales for each bale thats ruined.
 

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We feed a 30-70% alfalfa to grass mix.

I'll just keep an eye on him. He's not near floudering QUOTE]

You NEED to know the quality of the hay you are feeding! Feeding a horse 75# of a hay that is 70% alfalfa will founder him if the hay is say a 170 rfv. But, it probably won't hurt him at all if it is 95 rfv. And yes you can founder a horse easily that is 300# underweight - or a normal weight!
 
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