Archive for the ‘Nutrition’ Category
I wanted to share this article from www.horsetalk.co.nz with you today. Its a great article that teaches us how to tell good hay from bad… Enjoy!
Horses are very fussy about their hay, and are likely to take it as a personal insult if their owners don’t deliver the good stuff.
Knowing how to identify good hay is an essential skill for any horse owner, for two reasons. Firstly, who wants to fork out good cash for bad hay? Secondly, horses will struggle to get any real nutritional value from rumpty hay. They may not even eat it. Dusty and mouldy hay may even do your horse harm, and its overall poor quality might bring on a case of hay-induced colic.
Inspect it closely. You’re after hay with plenty of leaf matter. Hay with an abundance of stalk and mature seedheads will have been baled past its best. Look for evidence of dried weeds and thistles Read the rest of this entry »
I am horrified how many horse owners have said to me “But isn’t Hay just Hay?” or “Isn’t all Hay the same?”
The answer is a loud, resounding “NO!” Not all hay is created equal, especially when it comes to horses. The main issue with hay is that the quality can vary from very good to very bad, with poor quality hay risking making your horse sick, including potentially fatal illnesses such as colic or laminitis.
So today let’s start at the beginning…
HOW MUCH HAY DO HORSES EAT?
Horses consume 2-2.5% of their body weight in dry matter daily. Forage in the form of hay and hay cubes will comprise 50-100% of the dry matter requirements.
Therefore, a 1000 lb. mature horse can be expected to consume 22-24 lb. of hay daily on an as fed basis. (1000 lb. x 2% or 1000 lb. x .02 = 20 lb. of dry matter.
Hay is 90% dry matter; therefore, 20 lb. of dry matter is equal to 20 x 100/90 = 22 lb. of hay on an as fed basis).
Assuming that a small square bale of hay weighs 50 lb., this represents about ½ a bale of hay per day per mature 1000 pound horse. Read the rest of this entry »