According to Carrie Hammer from North Dakota State University, Horses waste hay. which offers comprehensive charts on exactly what your horse needs. Productive, well-managed pastures can provide most of the feed requirements of horses for the least cost. Hammer also explains, “A 10- to 15-mph wind will require horses to consume an additional 4 to 8 pounds of hay to meet their increased energy requirements.”. (Using example calculations at end of this page). The best way to know the exact nutritional makeup of your hay, however, is to, Cost of Owning a Horse: August 2019 Expense Report, 3 Fear-Free Secrets to Gain Your Horse’s Trust & Respect. of dry hay per day, the horse would be expected to consume approximately 7.5 gallons of water per day. Especially in winter, I recommend using a hay bag or slow-feeder grazing type system. Always remember to take into consideration the quality of your hay. If you are feeding 100% hay and your hay contains 90% DM (or 10% moisture), your 1000 lb horse should be fed 20 lb of hay (18 lb DM/0.9) straight from the bale each day. For gastrointestinal health, horses need to eat about 1% of their body weight in hay or pasture grasses and legumes daily (10 pounds, or 4.5 kg, of DM intake for a 1,000-pound, or 454-kg, horse). Should you choose to grain feed, there can be an added expense. There are no magic supplements, high performance feed secrets, or short cuts that will transform any horse into a champion. According to the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, a full-grown horse should eat about 12 to 15 pounds ( 5.4 to 6.8 kg) of hay a day. Protect the seeded area until new plants are well established. If you are anything like me, few things cause me as much stress and uncertainty as trying to keep my horse happy and healthy year-round. To minimize feed costs, it is important to keep horses healthy and feed them a balanced ration that meets their nutritional needs. Liming and top-dressing Kentucky bluegrass pastures with phosphate, potash, and nitrogen costs much less and is less work than completely renovating the pasture. Disk or plow to mix lime evenly with the soil. *, Feel free to share on Pinterest, as well by hovering over it and clicking the Pinterest icon. If you are attempting to figure the carrying capacity of land for a horse, then a good rule of thumb is 1-1/2 to 2 acres of open intensely managed land per horse. It’s a frustrating fact, but they, It’s done by feeling 6 key areas along the body. When you’re mapping out your horse’s winter diet, hay must always come first. A well-kept pasture also is the most natural and healthy environment for exercise and rest. ), “I’m not fat…I’m fluffy!” Have you ever heard this saying? Nutrient Requirements of Horses, 6th ed. Once the nutrient content of the feeds is known, the proper amounts of each can be calculated to meet the horse's nutrient requirements. Select a seed mixture that complements the pasture drainage characteristics (Table 3). Establishing a rotational grazing system is the best way to maximize forage production and consumption on limited pasture acreage. She, like many of us, caught the “horse-crazy” bug early in life and never looked back. He's about 1,250 pounds and turned out 12 hours a day with another horse on three acres. Typically around 80% of a horse’s feed should be forage, whether it’s grass, hay or some other forage it doesn’t matter. Both are overweight (with a body condition score of about an eight). You must have JavaScript enabled in your browser to utilize the functionality of this website. Q: How many bales of hay does a horse eat per month? Your go-to resource should be the National Research Council – Nutrient Requirements of Horses, which offers comprehensive charts on exactly what your horse needs. 2. Pro Tip: Quality is everything, so I always hunt for the best quality hay. Alfalfa hay, while normally high in protein, may contain an excessive amount of calcium in relationship to phosphorus (wide Ca: P ratio) when fed as the sole source of forage to young, growing horses. Well, horses (especially ponies) can grow an amazing fluffy winter coat. P.S. After many winters with horses, I’ve come to understand the negative impact of letting a horse go too long between meals. If using good quality alfalfa hay, reduce the amount of Purina feed recommended by 1/2 to 1 lb/day. But what’s, Is it “healthy” fat and muscle, or is it all “fluff?”. In the cold winter months, I ALWAYS feed hay at least 3 times a day. Can horses eat round bales of hay? For two horses, how many bales of hay would you need every ten days? Horses waste hay. Check out our 5 best winter riding coats. The type of hay greatly determines the amount you should feed the horse. It’s a frustrating fact, but they all do it. I feed 1% of their body weight in grass hay, offered daily with pasture as well and they always eat the hay. But research has dispelled this notion. If your horse weighs 500kg he needs around 10kg of food every day made up of at least 70% forage. Soil test to determine exactly how much lime and fertilizer are needed. forage and fiber sources). Q: Do horses need more hay when it’s cold? Productive, well-managed pastures can provide most of the feed requirements of horses for the least cost. Two acres, if managed properly, should provide adequate forage in the form of pasture and/or hay ground. If large amounts of fertilizer are to be applied, it should be disked into the soil prior to planting. If you have an area where you can turn your horse out then as long as it’s not sandy you could scatter it around the ground for him, this will be far more natural for him too. The grass is chewed pretty short, especially with the hot, dry weather we've had. “Body Condition Scoring in Horses” Michigan State University Extention. Ensuring horses have enough hay to eat through the night is essential. Yes, take into consideration availability and budget, but better quality hay will serve you and your horse far better. It’s recommended that you add *an additional* 2 pounds of hay for every 10 degrees F drop in temperature below 32 degrees. For more information on testing forages, contact your county extension office. How do I make changes to the amount of hay for winter months? An average sized hay bale (95 pounds) makes for an average of about 21 bales to a ton of hay. Hay availablility is dependent on the locale. Body fat, along with muscle mass, indicates, giving you a clearer picture of how healthy your horse is. $525 / year N/A N/A _____/month x 12= _____/year Feed Entering your postal code will help us provide news or event updates for your area. Most hay is dispensed in flakes; however, the amount of hay in a flake can vary greatly, depending on the size of the flake and the kind of hay. OK, great. Respiratory or digestive disturbances associated with feeding hay are more likely caused by dust and mold than by mixtures. In this article, I’ll break down the steps you need to take to insure your horse’s winter hay diet is fed correctly. That’s 30 lbs of hay per day for a 1000 lb horse. High-quality, properly fenced pastures are one of the best and least expensive sources of summer feed for a horse. Monthly expenses can run to $130 to $275. Horses are used in a wide variety of activities throughout Pennsylvania and adjoining states. The first factor which will require you to feed *extra* hay (i.e. Orchardgrass has been cultivated for pasture and hay since colonial times and has been an important forage in horse husbandry since then. If this hay was used to feed a horse in light work, 22 pounds of hay each day would be needed to meet the horse’s energy requirement (20 Mcal/0.92 Mcal per lb/= 22 pounds). Growing, breeding, or working horses require supplemental grain or concentrate to meet their additional nutrient requirements. See All Pest, Disease and Weed Identification, See All Beer, Hard Cider, and Distilled Spirits, See All Community Planning and Engagement. In the above example, the hay has 0.92 Mcal/lb of DE. How Much Hay? … Ponies will require considerably less, while large draft breeds can eat 30 pounds (13.6 kg) a day or more. Answer: 60 ÷ 12 = 5. A 500 kg horse eats about 5 kg (12 lbs) of hay each day. As winter approaches, we shift gears a little in our daily routines to make the cooler days a bit more tolerable. This occurs at no extra cost to you. High-quality hay can provide most of the nutrients needed for a mature horse. My horses are now out on pasture all day and come in at night—I turn them out around 7 … SOURCE: National Research Council, Nutrient Requirements of Horses, 1989. It’s done by feeling 6 key areas along the body. But depending on the horse and the hay, the amount may vary. Well, horses (especially ponies) can grow an amazing fluffy winter coat. In general, a high-quality Timothy, Orchard or Grass hay is calorie-dense and provides adequate nutrients to keep your horse healthy. Table 1 shows estimated daily feed consumption rates recommended for various classes of horses. 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