Grazing

Discussion in 'Miniature Horse Forum' started by Junkman, May 1, 2019.

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  1. May 1, 2019 #1

    Junkman

    Junkman

    Junkman

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    Hello everyone
    This has probably been asked a lot
    This is my first spring with my two mini's,
    So far I have let them out to graze the green pasture for a couple hours a day, some days I kept them on a dry lot,
    Some days they were out for a half day and just a couple th hey were out all day.
    I stall them at night. At what point can I leave them out all day?
    They get a good quality second cut hay along with minerails and grazing.

    Thank you
    Jack 20180712_142629.jpg
     
  2. May 1, 2019 #2

    Marsha Cassada

    Marsha Cassada

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    Some will say you can never leave them out all day. Some will say they leave theirs out 24/7. I think it depends on your pasture and your horse. My horses have had minor hoof issues from fall grass. But the main reason I try to keep them off the pasture all the time is weight.
    It is very difficult for me to dry lot mine now with all the rain we are getting. Both of my dry areas are swamps now and I prefer to have them get too fat than slog around in mud. Generally, mine do best if I keep them on dry lot during the day and let them out to graze in the night. The grass has less sugar at night.
     
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  3. May 1, 2019 #3

    Junkman

    Junkman

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    Do you leave them out all night ?

    I had mine out in the p as store today from around 7:00 am till around 12:30 PM now I have them in the dry lot
     
  4. May 1, 2019 #4

    Ryan Johnson

    Ryan Johnson

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    Marsha is right, it depends on your pasture and the health of your horse. Some will do great on it , others are a recipe for a lamanitic disaster.

    Out of the 4 little ones I have , 2 of them are restricted during spring ( especially when the first sunshine arrives) and in Autumn, when the first rains arrive after summer. The sugar in the grass here is high as it is, but skyrockets at those times of the year.

    One of my little ones wears a grazing muzzle when needed. Id much rather see her out running about than confined to a small yard.
     
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  5. May 1, 2019 #5

    Junkman

    Junkman

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    My two dont seem to be having any problems , as far as I know, but this is all new to me. I have two 1 acre pastures for two mini's and six goats, they will graze all day if I let them.
     
  6. May 1, 2019 #6

    Ryan Johnson

    Ryan Johnson

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    They sure will graze all day. For me , this kind of management is more "preventative" now. Having one mare that foundered a few years back, I am extra careful in how much pasture time they have.

    Theres plenty of info online about Laminitis and what to look out for.
     
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  7. May 2, 2019 #7

    Junkman

    Junkman

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    I will do some reading about Laminitis,
    How much pasture time do you give them.
    Thank you
     
  8. May 2, 2019 #8

    Bluebell2

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    Our University of MN on pasture management here in Minnesota suggests starting at 15 min a day and increasing that by 15 minutes more each day until you reach 5 hours, then they are ready to pasture without worry. Now that is difficult to do if you have a large pasture. They will not want to come in after 15 minutes in my experience. My pastures are small so I can rotate them every 3/4 days or so.

    I do work my horses gradually up to a point where they can be out all day long. I do bring them in at night to a dry lot, and if pasture is short I do shake out a little hay for them as all night is a long time to be without feed. As stated prevention is a lot easy to do then the alternative of laminitis.

    Also have 1 horse that is out at night and in during the day, that is because of the high sugar content and it is better for him. He is also in a small run that does not have what I would call lush or abundant grass. Too much grass he will get fat pockets over his withers and tender on front feet. That is for sure something to be alert to!

    Each area is different and not all horses are the same. It sure would be nice if they were though wouldn't it.
     
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  9. May 2, 2019 #9

    bettyc

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    I have the same situation. I have three mini's. One can eat grass all day and all night with no problems. I've had him for 26 years. The other two I bought five years ago and they were fine for four years, eating 24/7. But last year they both got laminitis, after lymes. I'm scared to death of grass now for them! I got lots of carpeting, and they have a walled area that's carpeted, outside, for winter and early spring winds, besides the barn. That works great for mud and to cover the grass. Now I made an additional area outside that with carpeting and a few small areas with grass showing so they can pick. The grass area would be maximum, about 5X10 feet if you'd put it all together, including reaching under the fence, for two horses. I figure that should get them slowly used to the grass without overeating. None of my horses have ever had a weight problem, just the laminitis. They all get beet pulp to counteract the grass, and all the grass hay they can eat 24/7. My question is, am I doing OK, and how slowly should I put them on grass, and what should be their maximum for summer? Thanks!
     
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  10. May 2, 2019 #10

    Junkman

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    At what point of spring can I let the mini's out in the pasture all day and not worry if they are going to get laminitis?
    I keep them stalled at night
     
  11. May 2, 2019 #11

    Bluebell2

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    I would guess probably now. Looks like you have got them used to grass. Mine are out now all day and then off pasture at night. If they get too fat then that will change.
     
  12. May 2, 2019 #12

    Junkman

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    Thank you
    I will probably start leaving them out all day tomorrow,
    The goats cant figure out why they cant graze all day lol !!!
     
  13. May 2, 2019 #13

    Ryan Johnson

    Ryan Johnson

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    Mine are on Pasture 24/7, though I do have a dry lot ( which we call Jenny Craig paddocks here). I have small paddocks that I rotate on a regular basis. My laminitic mares are limited in turn out at the start of spring and same with autumn. As above they are turned out late arvo and they come in first thing in the morning .

    As Bluebell mentioned above , It really depends on the pasture and the horse itself. As long as you know what to look out for in an overweight mini, this will help you to prevent anything serious happening with laminitis.
     
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  14. May 2, 2019 #14

    Junkman

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    When our Vet was here at the farm to give shots and checkups to the horses and goats , she told me the mini's were a little on the heavy side, she couldn't feel their ribs when rubbing her hand down their side. She told me to stop feeding grain to them, I was giving them cup in the morning along with their minerials (dac orange) and acti flex, and I gave them a cup at night, now they only get a half cup in the morning along with their minerials,, they are looking better to me
     
  15. May 2, 2019 #15

    Ryan Johnson

    Ryan Johnson

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    Thats great news your vet was able to pick up on it early and great they have slimmed down a little . Running your hands along the body is so important, especially when they have a thick winter coat.
     
  16. Jul 6, 2019 #16

    plaid mare

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    My mini is prone to colic. I have to be so careful about graze time. I have a fenced area with little to no grass, and a very green lawn. In the spring I graze him on a lead, timing him. I can't give him more than 15 minutes. From July onward I let him have one to two hours on the lawn, alone. He then goes back to his play yard for fenced fun. I have spent many a night holding a heating pad to his stomach, and not allowing him to roll. So not fun. I can't really walk off the colic when he gets like that, because he will just drop unexpectedly. It'snot safe for either one of us so I stall walk him. I don't leave him unattended for fear of a twist. I won't allow anyone else to take a shift due to lack of experience. Needless to say I am hyper vigilant about graze. This is my first mini. I didn't know the dangers of sugars before him, having only worked with the big guys.
     

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