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Can you leave yearlings with food all day?

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maranatha minis

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Can yearlings be left with feed out all day for them to eat as they want it? they need extra feed and with work they get fed 2 times a day but it can be 12 hours apart. They are getting a good quality feed and hay.

Shelley<><
 

Laura

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[SIZE=12pt]Shelley,[/SIZE]

It really depends on the horses. If you have them together and have some that will stand and eat all day and eat EVERYONE'S feed, then it's not a good idea. Until recently my yearlings (group of 7) had food out most of the day and night. They would come in (they are on 35 acres of grass!) and eat as they chose. Now though, with 3 new boys from the other farm to argue with, they are getting more competitive and it's gone after mealtime.

If you're just gradually increasing the amount they get and they eat individually (stalls or paddocks), that's one thing and it won't hurt them to leave some and finish it later. That's actually better for them. Free choice feed large amounts could be pretty harmful if they decided to eat all day though.
 

maranatha minis

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Thanks. What about more hay, free choice maybe, will they get hay guts, and if so will it come off easy? these are my show horses for this year. I Have tipton 44 hay . is that ok?
 

Laura

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Thanks. What about more hay, free choice maybe, will they get hay guts, and if so will it come off easy? these are my show horses for this year. I Have tipton 44 hay . is that ok?
[SIZE=12pt]I'm a big believer in horses being able to EAT and be horses, so again, going gradually, I'd try increasing their hay and see what happens. I've noticed a correlation between more coarse hay and more of a big hay tummy too. Usually that big tummy is more of a sign of lack of protein in the diet
[/SIZE]
 

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