Jump to content


How much hay to feed

9 replies to this topic

#1 kdhminis


    Habit Forming

  • Member
  • PipPip
  • 120 posts

Posted 22 November 2008 - 09:54 PM

Hi everyone! My husband and I had a disagreement re how much hay I should feed each of our mini's. He says I feed them and our big horses too much. We have 1 filly that is 5 1/2 months old; and 3 pregnant mares that are 29.5", 32.0", 36.0". They are kept in a pasture that doesn't have much grass in it - not quite a dry lot - but at this time of year not much grass - lots of trees. However, for about 4 hours each day Mon-Fri they are all turned out into a larger pasture that does still have alot of grass; and on Sat & Sun they are turned out in that pasture almost all day until evening. I give each girl 2 fistfuls of Strategy each evening; plus I usually put out 6-8 flakes of good quality brome type hay each night for them (divided between 2 bunk type feeders).
How much hay, etc. do you feed? I know that each bale of hay can weight differently - these are just normal sized square bale flakes. I do know that since we purchased our girls - they have gained weight. I don't want to make their pregnancies/deliveries hard on them (2 of them have had several foals previously; the other this will be her first foal). So, how much hay do you feed, etc.? Learning!!!! smile.gif

Karl & Debbie Harris, KDH Miniature Horses, Ballard, MO


Little Kings Shakespeare, AMHR, 35 inches,, 2009 stallion (Buckeroo line) Buckskin

Kiss, AMHR/AMHA, 28 inches, 1999 stallion, sorrell/white pinto

KDH Rosie's Kiss of Blue, AMHR, 2011 colt, sorrell pinto (will remain a stallion)


We also have 1 mini gelding, and 7 mares, 1 filly


Breeding to outside mares, mini's for sale, and we show in AMHR


♥ ♥Check out the latest Lil Beginnings Featured Sale Board Ads HERE!

#2 Alex


    Someone just shoot me!

  • Youth Member
  • 2,165 posts
  • Gender:Not Telling

Posted 22 November 2008 - 10:09 PM

Personally I wouldnt be feeding that much hay. Rule of thumb is 1-2% of the horses body weight. Once you figure that out weigh your hay each time to get an accurate measurment. Number of flaker will vary greatly from bale to bale.
I would also start weighing your grain, of atleast measure it in cups.
If I am thinking right, I would decrease hay and increase grain but cant stay that for sure without pound measurments.

#3 Katiean


    Someone just shoot me!

  • Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,560 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:Northern Nevada
  • Interests:Driving and training Miniature Horses, Show Rabbits and the out doors in general

Posted 22 November 2008 - 10:11 PM

My hay is from regular size bales. They weigh 100-120lbs. I feed 4 horses together and they each get about 1/2 of a flake a feeding. I devide it into 4 places. At night they get in addition to the hay 2 cups dry (soaked in 4 cups of water) beet pulp. They also get 1 cup Safe Choice and 1/2 cup of cob at night. My kids ar still a bit heavy.
Raising AMHA/AMHR Registered horses. Kathy and Jessica (aunt and niece team)

#4 mydaddysjag


    Someone just shoot me!

  • Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,299 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:Western Pennsylvania

Posted 22 November 2008 - 10:21 PM

When are your pregnant mares due? Further along in their pregnancy they may have additional nutritional requirements and you may need to switch, or up their grain.
2 handfuls of grain doesn't seem like much for a growing youngster. I'm no expert by any means, but that doesn't seem like enough grain for a growing foal.
Valley Acres Miniatures
LTD'S DOMINGO - 2000 AMHR Gelding

#5 rabbitsfizz


    I just can't help myself :-)

  • Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 16,913 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:England
  • Interests:I have had horses most of my life, and I have been breeding Miniature Horses for just over thirty five years. I have a specific interest in colour and pattern genetics.

Posted 23 November 2008 - 09:37 AM

This is how I feed my pregnant mares:
When there is grass available that is what they get...they graze all day and all night, why feed hay when there is grass around??
I never can understand that.
Well, it snowed today.
Hallo...WEATHER, are you listening??
This is ENGLAND...you DO NOT snow on the South of England in November (this is the second fall of snow, BTW, first was in October for crying out loud!! laugh.gif )
Anyway, over I went with hay for the poor deprived darlings.
I put half a bale in a small holed net.
I take two nets over.
There are 13 mares out there, six are (hopefully) in foal.
I put out one, half bale net for three boys and two more for two mares with foals still at foot and three weanlings.
When the nets are nearly empty I shall refill them if I need to, if the snow is gone I shall move the fence and they will graze the next section of the field.
There is no reason I can see why my horses should not get a little fat at this time of year.
I would never, ever dream of inflicting the "1-2% of body weight" rule on any of my horses, as far as I am concerned that merely indicates the absolute minimum amount you can feed, not what you ought to feed, and, since I do not really ration grass, I do not ration hay, either.
So, basically, not only are you not feeding too much, as far as I can see you are not really feeding enough.
Is there any left in the morning??
If not, give a bit more, and so on til you get a wee bit left over, then you are about right.


All good things come in small packages.......including horses!
Proudly breeding British Miniature Horses since 1978.

#6 Minimor


    LB Forum Elite Member!

  • Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 10,488 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:Brandon Manitoba

Posted 23 November 2008 - 09:46 AM

Our horses are mostly 33" to 38". They get, roughly, 2 flakes each twice a day. For instance, one group of 10 mares gets a 50-60 lb bale 2 times a day. It is a mostly grass/bit of alfalfa hay. They pretty much clean that all up by the next feed. They are in what I consider nice shape for winter; they are well rounded but not FAT; to get them ready for show they would just need to go into work & muscle/tone up some.

The weanlings get free choice hay, plus they are on grain--a fair bit of grain (rolled oats and pellets).

Specializing in Miniature 'over' division driving horses/prospects with conformation, MOVEMENT and refinement!

American Shetlands...just FOR THE FUN OF IT!

#7 kdhminis


    Habit Forming

  • Member
  • PipPip
  • 120 posts

Posted 23 November 2008 - 10:41 AM

Thanks to those who replied. Sounds like we are doing okay. It is amazing how many different ways of feeding everyone does re miniatures or larger horses. Of course it does all depend on how much the horses are being worked, shown, exercised; how much stress they are under, and also just every horse has different needs.

Karl & Debbie Harris, KDH Miniature Horses, Ballard, MO


Little Kings Shakespeare, AMHR, 35 inches,, 2009 stallion (Buckeroo line) Buckskin

Kiss, AMHR/AMHA, 28 inches, 1999 stallion, sorrell/white pinto

KDH Rosie's Kiss of Blue, AMHR, 2011 colt, sorrell pinto (will remain a stallion)


We also have 1 mini gelding, and 7 mares, 1 filly


Breeding to outside mares, mini's for sale, and we show in AMHR


#8 chandab


    LB Forum Elite Member!

  • Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 10,981 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:NE Montana
  • Interests:Horses and Quilting

Posted 23 November 2008 - 12:41 PM

I have 8 miniatures and 3 saddle horses. 7 of the minis are 34-38" tall, and I have one 31" stallion. Six of the minis are fed in one area, and until I opened a round bale yesterday, they were going through 1 small square per day (roughly 55-60#, I can easily lift them, so they aren't too heavy). The other two minis, one 35" mare and the 31" stallion go through a small square roughly every 5-6 days. [All straight grass hay.] Two of my saddle horses plus my husband's are on a round bale of grass hay 24/7 and go through one roughly every 10-14 days depending on the weather (they are a bit chubby, but that's ok were going into winter). My third saddle horse is 25 years old and gets special treatment; but as far as hay goes, I just stuff his feeder full anytime its low (his feeder will hold at least one small square bales, but currently I'm feeding off a round bale and just pack it full twice daily and he always has a little left).

In the summer, I do have pasture for most of the minis (not the girl plagued by founder), so at that time I do ration their hay (can't leave them on pasture at night due to the coyotes); they graze most of the day and then get some hay at night. [Our pastures are suited to fattening up our cattle, not keeping the horses, especially minis, fit and trim; but they do get their pasture time.]
HC Minis

Stallions: Little Kings Cat on Top, Paper Mache`
Mares: Misty, Tana, Showy, Caddy, Bonny, Dolly and Baybe
Geldings: Dakota, Jasper, Monte and Manny
Donkey: Tilly

#9 whitney


    Someone just shoot me!

  • Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,257 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:Michigan
  • Interests:PALOMINOS, Q.H. and MINIS, YORKIES,Gardening,Crafting,Photography,Practical inventing,Working/Playing HARD

Posted 24 November 2008 - 10:26 AM

Let the horses tell you. Are they FAT? If so they're getting to much food.

#10 MiLo Minis

MiLo Minis

    Someone just shoot me!

  • Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,684 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:ON Canada
  • Interests:My daughter and driving....driving and driving! I am also a graphic designer - visit my website at www.designbylori.com

Posted 24 November 2008 - 11:21 AM

In a herd situation I feed enough so that every horse in the field has a flat back, filled in hips and ribs that must be pressed to be felt. If there is a horse that doesn't fill that criteria then I put out more piles of hay. I like to see hay being picked over for the best bits and some left on the ground afterwards, then I know they are getting enough. If there is a horse that more than fills that criteria I will separate that one and put him on a bit of a diet. If more piles of hay doesn't solve the problem with the underacheiver then I will pull that one out, increase his hay to the point where he is not cleaning it up and if he still doesn't meet my criteria I will add pelleted feed until he does. Horses are grazers and not meant to eat anything other than grass. It is because we have taken them out of their natural environment that we sometimes need to add grain or concentrates to keep them fit.
Lori Rafter

MiLo Acres Training Centre
Home of Maple Mountain Miniatures
A breeding and showing partnership with
my sister, Dale Zimon

Home of:
MiLo Acres Buckeye Captain Mack Splash
National Top Ten All Star
Canadian Top Ten Grand Champion B Stallion

and Echos Golden Arrogance!

Maple Mountain Miniatures

"Let a horse whisper in your ear and breathe on your heart. You will never regret it!" ~ Author unknown

0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users