How much hay?

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bobbiehuff

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Have had QH's my whole life so we are new to miniature horses. Asked my Purina Rep how much hay. It seems like such a minimal amount but I do realize the body size is quite different. How much hay is recommended? Right now we are weighing out their hay on a scale so we don't over or under feed per the Prina Reps advice on weight of hay. They are on dry lot so they are soley dependent on hay and grain. We are feeding excellent Brome and Orchard Grass mix. All advice is WELCOME!!!!
 

Becky

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Hi and welcome to the Forum!

As far as feeding hay you will get lots of different opinions and I think it depends on what kind of condition your horses are in now and what your plans for them are. Weighing hay is an excellent idea! I weigh the hay for my show horses so I can adjust it up or down as needed. I start with an average of 1 lb twice per day per horse and feed more or less depending on the size of the horse, it's weight and condition.

My breeding herd who are mostly dry lotted get about 1.3 lbs of alfalfa pellets twice a day in addition to some pasture/grass hay or grassy alfalfa hay.

All of my horses are fed a diet balancer and no grain. I also add dry beet pulp to everyone's diet.

So the amount of hay is going to depend greatly on what else they are getting to eat, their age, activity level and body condition.
 

bobbiehuff

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Becky said:
Hi and welcome to the Forum!
As far as feeding hay you will get lots of different opinions and I think it depends on what kind of condition your horses are in now and what your plans for them are.  Weighing hay is an excellent idea!  I weigh the hay for my show horses so I can adjust it up or down as needed.  I start with an average of 1 lb twice per day per horse and feed more or less depending on the size of the horse, it's weight and condition. 

My breeding herd who are mostly dry lotted get about 1.3 lbs of alfalfa pellets twice a day in addition to some pasture/grass hay or grassy alfalfa hay. 

All of my horses are fed a diet balancer and no grain.  I also add dry beet pulp to everyone's diet.

So the amount of hay is going to depend greatly on what else they are getting to eat, their age, activity level and body condition.

467868[/snapback]

 

bobbiehuff

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Becky said:
Hi and welcome to the Forum!
As far as feeding hay you will get lots of different opinions and I think it depends on what kind of condition your horses are in now and what your plans for them are.  Weighing hay is an excellent idea!  I weigh the hay for my show horses so I can adjust it up or down as needed.  I start with an average of 1 lb twice per day per horse and feed more or less depending on the size of the horse, it's weight and condition. 

My breeding herd who are mostly dry lotted get about 1.3 lbs of alfalfa pellets twice a day in addition to some pasture/grass hay or grassy alfalfa hay. 

All of my horses are fed a diet balancer and no grain.  I also add dry beet pulp to everyone's diet.

So the amount of hay is going to depend greatly on what else they are getting to eat, their age, activity level and body condition.

467868[/snapback]

Thanks Becky for the Welcome!

Your comments were most helpful and made me feel that I am "doin the right thing" by weighing their hay and gauging, age, weight & activity level. I am so use to feeding armfuls vs. handfuls. We have them on the Equine Adult & Equine Jr., depending on age, with the 12/12 mineral. They seem to be doing just fine but I want to be careful about weight gain or loss so I appreciate any and all input.
 

Becky

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Sounds like you are doing all the right things!
Interestingly enough, I find that people tend to underfeed minis as opposed to over feeding them. Though they are smaller than their full size counterparts and do require less, they still have a basic calorie need and that just needs be adjusted up or down depending on age and activity level. Sounds like you've got a good feeding plan going!


We would love to see pictures of your minis! Where are you located?
 

Jill

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Hi, Bobbie --

Looks like you're getting some good advice! Just wanted to say it's great to see you here


Jill
 

Margo_C-T

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Another welcome! Sounds as if you are on the right track on your feeding program...I have been feeding horses for over 55 years. I feed(this horrifies some people, you will find)a mix of VERY good alfalfa, and VERY good grass hay(timothy, orchard grass, brome), in a proportion of roughly 1/3 alfalfa to 2/3 grass hay(I mix it myself, do NOT like a 'mixed' grass/alfalfa hay, as there can be SO much variation in how much of each is in any given portion of a bale---AND, it's next to impossible to cut such hay at an optimum nutritional stage of both the grass(es)and the alfalfa.) That said...the proportion will vary somewhat depending on the individual horse, AND the time of year, but ALL get some combo of each.I bought a scale so I could weigh the hay and know what to write down for the people who take care of my horses when I am gone--the amounts vary, but go from @ .2/lb. of grass plus @ 1 lb. alfalfa, to an individual mini, to @ 2.2 lb. alfalfa plus @ 5.5 lb.grass to my 15 hand Paint mare; most of the minis get @.5 lb. alfalfa plus @ 1-1.2 lb. grass, per feeding.

I do not care for the pelleted hays, though I have used SMALL amount of them when I was running a bit short on hay(I have at least one mini who WILL choke on that kind of stuff). I also have some horses on Eq. Senior. I use a ration balancer on the others, along with Black Oil Sunflower Seeds-some get a little corn oil and /or rice bran, too-and all have both a white and a mineral salt block. I feed fairly minimal amounts to most(as in, a total of @ 1/2-1 1/3 cup, total, per feeding); only the ones who actually are doing some WORK get a bit more of the concentrates.

Am curious--what amounts of hay did your Purina rep recommend?

Good luck-sounds like you are doing just fine!

Margo C-T
 

wpsellwood

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Welcome!

I agree with Becky, people tend to under feed minis. I dont weight mine, I just go according to how heavy it feels in my hands and how big or small the mini is. Some get more some less, but I would rather see a heavier mini then a thin one.
 

chandab

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I don't weigh my hay, but do weigh the pellets and sweet mix they are receiving. After feeding full-size horses for 20+ years, the amounts to feed the minis does seem incredibly small.

I give both my minis straight grass hay, I haven't weighed it yet, but I think I'm feeding them each about 5# per day (divided into 2 feedings - one 32" stallion and one 35" mare). I do plan to weigh their hay at least once, so I have an idea as to how much hay they are getting. My mini mare seems to think that she isn't getting near enough hay, she always feigns starvation when the next feeding time rolls around.
 

justaboutgeese

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The smart thing was to speak with the nutritionist. they usually know what is available in the area as far as type and quality. I give mine pretty much free choice on hay. They get fed three times a day and the feeder is filled each feeding. There is a difference in them though. Except for the very worst of the winter weather I continue working them. I think the horses enjoy the work as opposed standing in the paddock or snow covered fields.
 

foalfan

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We have 4 that are dry lotted, 28-30' tall, weighing 160-205 lbs.

They each get 2 lbs of grass hay, 1/4 lb alfalfa, and 8-12 ozs of Triple Crown Complete per day split into 2 feedings.

We also feed flax and BOSS.

On really cold nights they get extra hay to munch on thru the night.

What did the feed rep suggest to feed?
 

susanne

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My three are on a dry lot, and they are B sized, ranging from 34-38 inches. I've found that what is best for these particular horses is free choice local grass hay combined with beet pulp and, of course, their rations of feed supplemented with Black Oil Sunflower Seeds. When I was trying to put weight on our gawky yearling, I gave him a mix of orchard grass and alfalfa -- sinfully delicious stuff that smelled like it should be smoked rather than eaten!

Before I fed beet pulp, I could never get quite the right balance. They the classic pear shape, with hay belly plus prominent backbone. Once I began with the beet pulp, they filled out nicely and began eating their hay at a more leisurely pace...grazing rather than pigging. This has worked very well for all of them, and even while showing I only limited Mingus' hay the last couple of days before a show (he was being round-penned daily).

Good luck, and remember that every horse, every location, and the hay you get within your area has to be taken into account. This is merely what works well for us (and I give great credit to Robin C., who gave us great advice!)
 

Miniv

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A good rule of thumb that I was told of years ago was to feed 1.5% of the horse's weight to start with and then adjust according to the individual animal's motabolism.

This would also include the weight of the grain.....

Basing it on that, a 200 lb mini would get 3 lbs of hay and grain combined (twice a day). Most of our horses are larger than that, so we tend to feed 2 lbs of hay per feeding. Grain or a tablespoon of vitamin supplement is added according to the need of the horse.

I should add....this is for horses that are on dry lot. Ones that are grazing on pasture are another story. Although, once cold weather hits, the pastured horses might as well be on dry lot as well........

Does this all sound confusing???
Believe it or not we try to feed by the "KISS" method (Keep It Simple Silly). But it really IS simple compared to some other's.

The reason behind the "KISS" method for us is that a horse's disgestive system IS simple and can be easily messed up with too much STUFF. They are naturally simple grazers.

MA
 

bobbiehuff

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Becky said:
Sounds like you are doing all the right things! 
  Interestingly enough, I find that people tend to underfeed minis as opposed to over feeding them.  Though they are smaller than their full size counterparts and do require less, they still have a basic calorie need and that just needs be adjusted up or down depending on age and activity level.  Sounds like you've got a good feeding plan going! 

We would love to see pictures of your minis!  Where are you located?

467911[/snapback]

Thanks! We are in Valles Mines, Mo. Don't blink your eyes!!! about 65 miles south East of St. Louis. Once I become more familiar with the format I will teach myself how to post pictures.
 

bobbiehuff

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Jill said:
Hi, Bobbie --
Looks like you're getting some good advice!  Just wanted to say it's great to see you here


Jill

 

467914[/snapback]

Hi Jill,

It's GREAT to be here even though I feel like a fish out of water. LOL I'll learn.....

We had a great horse buying trip and ended up with a stud, Boones Toy Hot Shot from Donna Gaugh in Virginia, a BEAUTIFUL yearling mare from Janet Hays in Kansas and a weanling mare from the Eberths in Kentucky. We have to go back and pick her up next month. We had an appointment scheduled to look at a mare with a lady in the Nashville area and after 2600 miles the truck decided to give us some trouble so we had to stop for repairs and once that was done we headed home!!!! We really enjoyed our visit at Little King Farm. : ) I appreciate all your intervention when we started looking Jill. I had the pleasure of communicating with some really nice people and was PLEASANTLY surprised at how nice and HELPFUl the miniature horse folks are. It made getting into this a great experience.
 

chandab

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susanne said:
My three are on a dry lot, and they are B sized, ranging from 34-38 inches. I've found that what is best for these particular horses is free choice local grass hay combined with beet pulp and, of course, their rations of feed supplemented with Black Oil Sunflower Seeds. When I was trying to put weight on our gawky yearling, I gave him a mix of orchard grass and alfalfa -- sinfully delicious stuff that smelled like it should be smoked rather than eaten!
Before I fed beet pulp, I could never get quite the right balance. They the classic pear shape, with hay belly plus prominent backbone. Once I began with the beet pulp, they filled out nicely and began eating their hay at a more leisurely pace...grazing rather than pigging. This has worked very well for all of them, and even while showing I only limited Mingus' hay the last couple of days before a show (he was being round-penned daily).

Good luck, and remember that every horse, every location, and the hay you get within your area has to be taken into account. This is merely what works well for us (and I give great credit to Robin C., who gave us great advice!)

468122[/snapback]

Suzanne,

On average, How much beet pulp do you feed? The complete pellets I feed contain beet pulp, so maybe upping the quantity of the pellets would help the minis not act like they are starving.
 

bobbiehuff

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Margo_C-T said:
Another  welcome! Sounds as if you are on the right track on your feeding program...I have been feeding horses for over 55 years. I feed(this horrifies some people, you will find)a mix of VERY good alfalfa, and VERY good grass hay(timothy, orchard grass, brome), in a proportion of roughly 1/3 alfalfa to 2/3 grass hay(I mix it myself, do NOT like a 'mixed' grass/alfalfa hay, as there can be SO much variation in how much of each is in any given portion of a bale---AND, it's next to impossible to cut such hay at an optimum nutritional stage of both the grass(es)and the alfalfa.) That said...the proportion will vary somewhat depending on the individual horse, AND the time of year, but ALL get some combo of each.I bought a scale so I could weigh the hay and know what to write down for the people who take care of my horses when I am gone--the amounts vary, but go from @ .2/lb. of grass plus @ 1 lb. alfalfa, to an individual mini, to @ 2.2 lb. alfalfa plus @ 5.5 lb.grass to my 15 hand Paint mare; most of the minis get @.5 lb. alfalfa plus @ 1-1.2 lb. grass, per feeding.   I do not care for the pelleted hays, though I have used SMALL amount of them when I was running a bit short on hay(I have at least one mini who WILL choke on that kind of stuff). I also have some horses on Eq. Senior. I use a ration balancer on the others, along with Black Oil Sunflower Seeds-some get a little corn oil and /or rice bran, too-and all have both a white and a mineral salt block. I feed fairly minimal amounts to most(as in, a total of @ 1/2-1 1/3 cup, total, per feeding); only the ones who actually are doing some WORK get a bit more of the concentrates.

  Am curious--what amounts of hay did your Purina rep recommend?

  Good luck-sounds like you are doing just fine!

  Margo C-T

467916[/snapback]

The Purina Rep said 1.3 to 1.5 of thier body weight so it sounds like with all the feedback we are doing the right thing. I do have the mineral block in a over the rail feeder next to their feed bucket that I put the feed and 12/12 in so they have that block free choice. I know in time I will know by sight, as I did with my QH's what "feels" right in weight I just know it such a small amount in comparison. What mental adjustments to make. LOL
 

bobbiehuff

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chandab said:
I don't weigh my hay, but do weigh the pellets and sweet mix they are receiving.  After feeding full-size horses for 20+ years, the amounts to feed the minis does seem incredibly small.  I give both my minis straight grass hay, I haven't weighed it yet, but I think I'm feeding them each about 5# per day (divided into 2 feedings - one 32" stallion and one 35" mare).  I do plan to weigh their hay at least once, so I have an idea as to how much hay they are getting.  My mini mare seems to think that she isn't getting near enough hay, she always feigns starvation when the next feeding time rolls around. 


467934[/snapback]

My mini mare seems to think that she isn't getting near enough hay, she always feigns starvation when the next feeding time rolls around.....

EXACTLY!!!! You hit the nail on the head and I know they have stood there for most of the night and then I get this guilty feeling.. LOL They have my number don't they. LOL

We did put balls, cones and even plastic barrels turned on their sides to keep them entertained and when I go out to the barn in the morning I sure can tell they have made use of them at least.
 

bobbiehuff

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Miniv said:
A good rule of thumb that I was told of years ago was to feed 1.5% of the horse's weight to start with and then adjust according to the individual animal's motabolism.This would also include the weight of the grain.....

Basing it on that, a 200 lb mini would get 3 lbs of hay and grain combined (twice a day). Most of our horses are larger than that, so we tend to feed 2 lbs of hay per feeding.  Grain or a tablespoon of vitamin supplement is added according to the need of the horse.

I should add....this is for horses that are on dry lot.  Ones that are grazing on pasture are another story.  Although, once cold weather hits, the pastured horses might as well be on dry lot as well........

Does this all sound confusing???
  Believe it or not we try to feed by the "KISS" method (Keep It Simple Silly).  But it really IS simple compared to some other's.

The reason behind the "KISS" method for us is that a horse's disgestive system IS simple and can be easily messed up with too much STUFF.  They are naturally simple grazers.

MA

468137[/snapback]

KISS sounds great to me! Thanks. : )
 

bobbiehuff

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foalfan said:
We have 4 that are dry lotted, 28-30' tall, weighing 160-205 lbs.They each get 2 lbs of grass hay, 1/4 lb alfalfa, and 8-12 ozs of Triple Crown Complete per day split into 2 feedings.

We also feed flax and BOSS.

On really cold nights they get extra hay to munch on thru the night.

What did the feed rep suggest to feed?

467996[/snapback]

We fed our QH's Purina Strategy for years now and they have done well but he told me to get Equine Adult for the stud and older mare and Equine Jr. for the weanlings and yearling. They gobble it up and are are still looking as good as they day we bought them so I guess it is working.

We will just be very careful and keep a good eye out as not to let them gain too much or loose any.

On really cold nights they get extra hay to munch on thru the night............

This is what we do for the big ones and I was curious if you would do the same for the miniatures as I know munching hay helps generate their heat. I was concerned and I appreicate that you threw that in there. Thanks!
 
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