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Soaking hay for founder

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minimule

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My big mare seems to be fighting founder. She was wounded in April and has healed from that but because she wasn't putting weight on her front end, it seems she is trying to founder. The vet recommended soaking her hay prior to feeding it. No big deal but what is the easiest/best way to do this?

I have been soaking it in a big rubber tub and then putting it in her bin. It's messy.......but I guess effective.

Any suggestions?
 

targetsmom

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I just went through the hay soaking routine with a mini and was very glad that it wasn't the big horse who needed his hay soaked. I think I read somewhere that you could put the hay in a hay bag and soak in that, which might make it easier to drain. The key thing is to drain the water off, and make sure you use fresh water each time you soak. The water should look pretty brown or maybe greenish brown. I just drained her hay by hand and moved it to a second container, and was able to pour off more water from that one.

I also read not to use the poured- off water on your garden, but it dodn't seem to hurt the grass in our backyard any.

Good luck with her!
 

donnalee

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I have heard of soaking hay for horses with heaves, but haven't heard of this for founder before. Tell me more about the whys?

I also used to soak coastal burmuda hay when I had to use it, because it is so dry some horses get compacted and colic. I put the hay in a wheel barrow and ran water over it with the water hose, let it sit a few minutes then fed them the hay. That was to add some moisture to the hay.
 

targetsmom

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Soaking the hay is different from wetting the hay to reduce dust. Soaking it for at least a half hour removes up to 30% of the sugar in the hay, which will make it safer for horses that are insulin resistent, prone to founder, and/or have cresty necks. But soaking hay may also remove vitamins and minerals, so you do need to be careful or add them back. There is a lot more information on this on the Yahoo/ Equine Cushings forum - under "files" and "start here" at http://pets.groups.yahoo.com/group/EquineCushings/
 

donnalee

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Thank you for explaining that. It makes perfect sense now I see the purpose.

Donna
 

backwoodsnanny

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We have a mare who has thyroid problems and if the hay seems extra rich I soak hers I use a big tote and put the hay in it enough for a whole day then transfer it to another tote that has holes in it Still quite messy but the water will drain off and by the next day the hay is ready to feed. If I cant do that for whatever reason I put it in the first tote and wash it much like washing something by hand Then transfer change the water and soak it a second time leaving it there while I feed the others then go back and get hers.
 

Hosscrazy

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You not only want to soak, but make sure you are also rinsing the hay before you feed it. Please go to the Yahoo Cushings Group (which I also moderate) and there are instructions on how to make your own device for soaking your hay.

Best wishes,

Liz R.

http://pets.groups.yahoo.com/group/EquineCushings/
 

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