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Kev

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what kind of hay is best for a horse? also is there a type of feed you should give them with the hay?
 

TXBobcat

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Kev":1as0xxj2 said:
what kind of hay is best for a horse? also is there a type of feed you should give them with the hay?

I don't know if it's the best, but around here, most people feed coastal bermuda or alfalfa hay. Since I'm only feeding a few horses, I feed coastal square bales; however, some people feed round bales. I usually feed hay to the horses during the same period as I feed hay to the cows (Mid-Nov thru Mid March). During the rest of the year, they are on pasture grass only, no hay. As far as supplemental feed, I feed about 3-4 lbs of horse and mule sweet feed (10% protein), all year around (maybe a little more in Winter).

In general, as far as feed goes, you will need to evaluate your horse's size and activity to determine how much and what type of feed. In other words, if you're really working them hard, a horse will require more feed than an idle horse. I would suggest you talk to some people in your area and see what type of hay they are feeding.
 

Kelly

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It really depends what condition the horse is in and how hard it is used. (trails, working horse...) I am from Minn. and we feed a 2nd crop mixed grass with minerals , & grain if needed. I decide on the grain based on what I can find in my town. I research it and pick the best one available for each particular horse. Senior , weanling etc..
 
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Kev

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I have another question, I live in West Central Minnesota lots of praire grass. Is this good for horses? Sorry if i seem dense but it's my first horse
 

Texan

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Kev":9qy8fewq said:
I have another question, I live in West Central Minnesota lots of praire grass. Is this good for horses? Sorry if i seem dense but it's my first horse

Kev, that prairie grass hay would be the first choice for many horse people.
 

BoJones

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Here in south carolina i feed them some coastal bermuda hay in the winter or if the pasture getting wore down. I don't feed any grain or nothing and they look good.
 
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Kev

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Hey Bo, thanks for the reply, but here in Minnesota i worry about the cold winters and if hay alone has enough protein in it to keep her warm on those cold days and nights.
 

la4angus

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Kev":2rlqaaoq said:
Hey Bo, thanks for the reply, but here in Minnesota i worry about the cold winters and if hay alone has enough protein in it to keep her warm on those cold days and nights.
In Minnesota you will probaly need to feed some grain along with the hay.
 
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Kev

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Would a 12% or 14% sweet feed be to much for her with the hay.? I've read where that it could be to hot for her. (what ever that means) could someone please explain that. Thanks
 

Cindy

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I live in extreme cold, snow and wind in winter.The horses have some shelter.But not pampered.We feed grass hay all year and a little alfalfa in the bitterest part of the winter. Free choice grass it has the heat producing part of the diet,alfalfa for the added protein and a hot mix of grain (steamed) for the grain and we have very healthy horses. Its a little work but it is worth it.I also know there guts are working as it increases intake of water.They love there feed and so do I as it makes me feel good they have something hot in there bellies.I stop the grain in arround April as the weather is warming up then sometimes not until may. It will still freeze in june at times. Happy Trails Cindy
 

CattleAnnie

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A different point of view. Up here it's gotten so cold that I've actually been unable to get a reading on my thermometer (the mercury was balled up and the lowest temperature reading is minus sixty celcius - no idea where that puts the farenheit, but it's darn cold irregardless). Our horses get fed strictly hay. It's mostly alfalfa with the odd bit of grass in it, and all the horses come through the winter fat and sassy. The only horses that get grain in the winter are the draft team, as they need the extra energy due to the work load they have. This includes weanlings, bred mares, saddle horses and the kids' old timers. There's nothing wrong with supplementing them if they are doing poorly or if you like to treat them, but it's really not necessary if they have high quality hay.
 
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Kev

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Thanks Annie and Cindy,
I appreciate both your ideas, it will be very helpful to us.
Thanks again
Kev
 
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Anonymous

Grass is Mother Nature at her best. It has everything that a horse needs. If they are being worked hard, a little grain will help with the energy but its like icing on a cake. It's the hay that provides the warmth. It's not the protein in it, it's the fiber in it. The horse's gut has to work harder and longer to digest hay and that is what produces the heat, plus it takes them longer to eat it than oats, and the effects of it will still be producing heat thru the wee hours of the winter mornings. I don't feed sweet feeds. If your hay is tested out of whack, then the sweet feeds don't improve it, just magnify the punch of being out of whack, it doesn't help to improve the balance at all. I always chuckle when I read the numbers on a feed tag and how its balanced to 1/5to1. Great. I guess I won't be making my out of balanced hay any worse with it. Now they are adding food grade medications into the feed bags, so I stopped laughing. I certainly wouldn't be buying feed with medications in it that my horse doesn't need...like biotin for example. A horse needs 5000mg of biotin a day and it does help build a hoof, but not remarkably so, and just go off it and see what happens.....stuck for life kind of thing....no thanks. I got off the sweet feed when my horse colicked badly and wrapped herself around a fence post and I had to haul her off of it. Went back to the bag and it smelled like beer....never again. My horse could have had lifelong disabilities from this episode and all I got from the feed store after I hauled the bad bag back was..oh, we're sorry, would you like a replacement?....nooooo thanks. At this time, I also got off the corn and switched to a 1/4 cup of oil a day and lost that silly explosive energy like a sugar high and got a more steady, sane and longer lasting ability to work instead....oh and the shine! Even my horse's old eye injury improved the lining around her eye and its not dry and crusty and needing so much attention anymore. Hope this information helps!
 

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