Doesn't want to eat hay

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Dreamer

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I brought home a new horse 3 weeks ago. I was warned he is a slow eater. I started him on ulcergard about 2 1/2 weeks ago. It has done wonders for his grain consumption. Went from taking all day to eat and leaving some in his bucket to finishing everything in a couple of hours. I plan to continue giving him some until he's had a months worth. Problem is he doesn't eat much hay. He is from another state and I can't get the hay he was used to here. I gave him the coastal we had. Not the best ever but pretty nice. Wasn't eating it at all and peeing on it so on the advice from my vet hunted around until I found him some very nice orchard grass hay. Smells wonderful and is quite beautiful. The first couple of days he ate it but now doesn't want to eat much of it. I am giving him half a flake twice day because that is what I was told he ate. He eats maybe half. He is getting a bit thin. I want him to have hay in his diet as it would be much better for him than upping the grain. Now is the time I usually start putting a little weight on for winter. I also had a show in about a month I was wanting to take him to but I won't take him looking thin. Our pastures are burned out from the summer and not much there a except a few scarce weeds. Until we plant grass in a week or two and it grows I can't put him out in pasture for grass eating purposes. Suggestions on what to do? I don't want to be feeding him grain only as I know how important hay/forage is in a diet.
 

Dreamer

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Yes his teeth have been checked. Vet thought they looked fine and suggested having them floated in 2-3 months as they aren't quite needing to be done yet.
 

bevann

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I would try him on some alfalfa cubes soaked and shredded.To avoid buying a 50 lb bag and having him not like them try a pet store or the pet dept in tractor supply or similar store and look in the rabbit dept.They often sell alfalfa cubes for rabbits and other rodents in small amounts.good luck an d hope he starts eating forage soon.
 

hylights

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When you say ulcerguard is it the pellets, or the omeprazole paste?

Sounds like you are on the right track with treating for ulcers. Sounds like a horse I got that had ulcers, My vet had me do a sand test and power pack for worms before my we decided it was ulcers. Can you get the chopped hay products ? Lucerne hi fiber gold, or around me Tractor Supply has something similar? Just wondering if he will eat that, it is a Timothy alfalfa oat hay mix.
 

Guest
Since he is now eating his grain, you can also supplement him with alfalfa pellets, and just add it to his grain. He'll be getting the protein, the forage, and it's a tummy soother to boot!

Best of luck.
 

HGFarm

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I have always fed alfalfa. I dont care where it comes from, my horses will eat ANYthing before they eat bermuda. Even other grass hays- none of them can stand bermuda.
 

jandjmc

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Don't increase his grain. First thing I'd try is a dental, maybe he needs it now rather than in 2-3 months. In the meantime, I'd use hay pellets or cubes with alfalfa or alfalfa hay, if you can get it. DON'T FREE FEED ALFALFA. Most minis will happily eat an alfalfa/grass mix, mine get 1/2 alfalfa and 1/2 timothy/orchard/brome. I've had problems getting some horses to eat bermuda at times.

Good luck!
 

Guest
I more than totally disagree with your comment about not "free feeding alfalfa". I've done it here for many years with my miniatures and Falabellas, and have been more than happy with the results, and have never had a problem. So, I certainly don't understand your comment, and many know that I strongly promote the use of Alfalfa with all horses, big and small. Too many "wives tales" out there about Alfalfa.

 

rabbitsfizz

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Unless the Vet is a qualified dentist I would be getting his teeth checked out properly. It sounds like teeth to me......
 

Kim P

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So I have heard not to over feed the alfalfa also so I only bought two bales(they are pretty) and I was just going to mix a little in with their coastal when it got colder. I was told that it would make them run hot. I assume that means lots of energy. They told me that since I did not have working horses not to worry about it. I thought feeding it in the winter would help keep them warmer. That is my plan, what do you think?
 

lkblazin

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I love alfalfa. My girls always get a mix of grass/alfala. Mostly alfalfa. Only one of my girls is a bit sensitive so I use caution when getting in a new load. But I do strongly believe that it's a safe forage if used properly.
 

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