Pasture intake per hour

Miniature Horse Talk Forums

Help Support Miniature Horse Talk Forums:

trails4jd

Member
Joined
Feb 16, 2022
Messages
21
Reaction score
42
Location
Oregon
I weigh both my mini's and riding horses' hay and am now starting to let them out on a pasture. We are up to an hour a day now. I read on Kentucky Equine Research that a horse willl eat about 1-2 pounds of dry matter per hour. I haven't found anything breaking the amount down per hour for a mini. Does anyone know how the mini compares to the full size horse? I've only had him for about 5 months now but I'm guessing with that much smaller mouth he will consume less per hour? I need to be able to subtract the amount they eat on pasture from what they get fed when back on the dry lot. And I do have grazing muzzles on order. Thank you!
 

LostandFound

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 25, 2019
Messages
315
Reaction score
645
Location
Pennsylvania
I believe that a mini eats at the same rate as a full sized horse. I can't prove it but if you feed minis and horses each a flake of hay they are all going to be done around the same time.
 

trails4jd

Member
Joined
Feb 16, 2022
Messages
21
Reaction score
42
Location
Oregon
@trails4jd~Weigh out a pound of hay and give it to your horse and time how long it takes him to consume it. Then you have a rough idea of how much time to let him out for that equals around a pound. Not an exact science, but it will be close.
Never thought of that idea!
 
Joined
Dec 25, 2017
Messages
60
Reaction score
192
Location
Colorado
@trails4jd~Weigh out a pound of hay and give it to your horse and time how long it takes him to consume it. Then you have a rough idea of how much time to let him out for that equals around a pound. Not an exact science, but it will be close.

This is exactly what I did a few years ago to figure out how much turnout time they get.
My boys are net fed when not turned out.

Early spring and right now with the grass starting to brown up, they can only get about 1 - 1.5 hours turnout or they start getting chubby.

In winter after the pasture has gone fully dormant, I can let them out for 2 - 2.5 hours.

(We are in Colorado)
 

chandab

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 9, 2005
Messages
12,441
Reaction score
2,977
Location
NE Montana
I'm not exact in what I feed or how I calculate; but, my minis are turned out during the day and in the dry lot at night, so they get just pasture during the day, and when on drylot they get half their daily ration ration of hay. so, if their total daily ration is 10#, when they are on pasture during the day, they get 5# hay at night.
 

chandab

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 9, 2005
Messages
12,441
Reaction score
2,977
Location
NE Montana
I'm not exact in what I feed or how I calculate; but, my minis are turned out during the day and in the dry lot at night, so they get just pasture during the day, and when on drylot they get half their daily ration ration of hay. so, if their total daily ration is 10#, when they are on pasture during the day, they get 5# hay at night.
I may not have been clear, and can't edit, so quoting my own post. I'm strictly talking forage, so hay/pasture; I do not measure exact amounts for their forage. [Their hard feed is very well managed and based on individual needs.]
 

trails4jd

Member
Joined
Feb 16, 2022
Messages
21
Reaction score
42
Location
Oregon
Just an update. Please let me know if I've gone off the deep end.

I weighed out a 1/2 pound of orchard grass hay for both my mini and approx 750 riding horse. The horse ate it in 10 minutes and the mini took 20 minutes. If my math is right that means the mini would consume 1-1/ pounds of pasture in an hour?!! Since he has been maintaining a nice weight on 4 pounds of hay a day (plus one large handful of alfalfa at night), that means he could only be on pasture for just a little over 2-1/2 hours with no more food that day?!!!

His grazing muzzle must be on back order and won't ship until Friday---and who knows if it will work. But I did read that they reduce grazing by about 80%.
 

Willow Flats

MHT Supporter
MHT Supporter
Joined
Oct 30, 2017
Messages
1,708
Reaction score
3,400
Location
Northern California
I usually feed twice day and do an hour of turn out in between the morning and evening feeds this time of year when the grass is dry. They are easy to catch and happy to come back in after an hour so it works for us. On days I don't do turn out I just throw them some more hay before I go out and a little more when I get back home and they do fine.
 

trails4jd

Member
Joined
Feb 16, 2022
Messages
21
Reaction score
42
Location
Oregon
Thank you. That's what I'm doing right now. Hopefully the grazing muzzle will work so he can stay out longer.
 

Minimor

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 3, 2004
Messages
8,688
Reaction score
1,113
Location
Brandon Manitoba
This year mine have been going out for 1 hour or a bit more (belly deep grass) once a day ( twice a day on weekend) and then otherwise they are in a sparse pasture with unlimited access to round hay bales (mostly grass hay).

While they may be relatively full after an hour of grazing, I do note that it doesn't last them long. They will stand around for an hour or so and then be ready to eat again. It is my experience that an hour on hay will fill them up better than an hour on pasture--probably due to the water content in green grass.
 

Latest posts

Top