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uwharrie

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Since I have only had minis a few months now I still do not have a grasp on long term feed requirements.

My two yearlings are on a bit more than an acre of grass. The two fatties are on a dry lot.

we have a chance to get good quality fescue and Coastal hay.

my question is how many bales ( Average square bales most likely 50-70lbs) should I figure on to get me through till next May?

( I was always good with the big horses on estimating useage but no clue with the minis)
 

muffntuf

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I guess I did it this way - figured out how many pounds ( by weighing the hay I was feeding out) I was feeding out a day. Figured I am a dry lot farm, so I have to feed 365 days a year. Times the daily amount by 365 and estimated up 20% (total of hay add in 20%) because of waste. Took that total and divided by an average per pound of bale, and you need a better estimate than 50-70 lb bales because it will break you or make you. So say 55lb.

So if you fed out, for two minis in growth period 4 lbs. a day then 365 X 4= 1460 + 292 = 1752 / 55 = 32 bales of hay.

Get the idea? Now I am not sure how much you feed out, but I was right on the money for what I bought last year to get me to this haying season. I have 22 bales left and I get hay July 4th, so I will just make it!

Also, remember to factor in that you might be feeding beet pulp and grain. And weather. You increase your daily hay feeding by a percentage during the winter to keep up with the cold.
 

MBennettp

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For mine I estimate a bale a day for 7 of them then add some extra for the days that the weather is crappy and they eat more. I think I used about 500 bales for the year last year.

My horses are on dry lot and get free choice grass hay 24/7.

Different people feed differently, some don't feed free choice. I usually try to have at least 500 bales by the time the last cutting is in the barn, sometimes I can and sometimes I can't. Last year I had about 300 bales in the barn and have been buying hay since January. We already lost our first cutting this year so I am buying hay again today. Hopefully the rain will stop long enough for the hay field to dry out so we can cut and bale some.

Mary
 

muffntuf

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Sorry to hear that MBenneettp! We had drought last year. Looks like the first cutting is going to be okay,but second cutting - don't know if we will get one.
 

Nathan Luszcz

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I called each mini half of a horse. I figured 40lb bales, 15 bales/mo, 180/year. I then rounded to 200/yr. This is all for two ponies.... so I figure 100 bales/yr per pony.
 

Minimor

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I have figured it all up but don't remember offhand what I figured per horse. For 29 Minis and 1 Morgan I have ordered 1000 bales of grass and 1600 bales of grass/alfalfa. That should do us for the full year. We have a bit of pasture but mostly feed hay year around.
 

Marty

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First be sure of what you are buying. Be sure this is a great hay before you buy any,. Try some out to be sure it is palatable,

no long strands, not coarse, weed and sticker free before you buy in large amounts.

Don't forget if you have a pregnant mare not to feed fescue hay. Plain fescue grass hay is

usually the pits, has no nutritional value, blows up their stomachs and is considered

cow hay; in other words, it's junk. I'd steer clear of it.

A lot of people will tell you it's fescue free and they are lying through their teeth.
 

Nathan Luszcz

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Fescue is a very high quality, high protien hay. Its the highest average protien hay you can make from GRASS (not legume, aka alfalfa). The problem with fescue is that many fescue fields have a symbionic fungus which causes havoc with pregnant mares. For non-pregnant stock fescue can be a very good choice. It is even an okay choice as long as you can swith pregnant mares over to non-fescue hay for the last 30-60 days of pregnancy.
 

Irish Hills Farm

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When I calculate how much hay I need to put up for the year, I estimate 30 bales per miniature. So far, that works for me.

And like Nathan said, fescue hay is absolutely fine for non breeding stock horses.
 
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uwharrie

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Thanks everyone for the input!

Our hay guy is a long term aquaintance and knows hay, he sends his stuff out each year to be tested and only grows for horses. We brought in 25 bales of fescue last night. Nice hay, bales not as heavy as I would like but the quality is top rate.

We also put in an order for 100 bales of Coastal.

In our area Fescue is the most common hay due to its drought tolerance ( BTW that is due to the endophyts)

and if grown properly it is one of the highest nutrient hays.

Coastal is usually found a bit father east of us, so we are lucky he is growing it. Coastal is just slightly below Fescue in nutrients.

that will give me 125 bales. Only two of the horses are on the dry lot, the other two are on an acre and1/2 of fescue now.
 

Suzie

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Uwharrie- I think I live in your general area and we do try and avoid fescue hay here too. We try and get orchard grass or something else rather than fescue. The fescue we have used over the years in this area is just not that nutrient rich. I agree with Marty- we consider fescue "cow hay" here. I personally know of one guy who moved here from California, stocked up on fescue for his big and mini horses. He called me 2 months later. His horses were getting so thin and poor on the hay and he could not figure out why. We just avoid fescue if at all possible.

We have noticed this year that probably because of the drought we have been under for a while, the "good" hay this year is low in nutrient value. It looks good in the field, but lots of people cutting and baling it say that it is still very thin and stalky when baled. You can tell this but going by the fields and lots of hay still laying there after baling- just to "thin" for the balers to pick up. Just be careful of what you end up getting. It is not the hayman's fault- just how the weather has affected us in this region.

Last winter we did lots of beet pulp and grain with added vitamins along with our hay and "stretched" it out. The down side was this took quite a bit more effort on us preparing the feeding regimen each day. The up side was the horses look great this spring. No hay bellies, and really sleeked off nicely. Normally we figure 2 big bales of hay here for 25 horses. Last year we were able to stretch hay and feed 1-1/2 bales with beet pulp addition. This was high quality orchard grass/blue grass/alfalfa mix hay. We feed 365 days also.

For our farm this year we are putting in 1000 bales of the above mix hay- already have 700 bales in the barn. Hope this helps.
 

Leeana

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Do it the simple way, watch for one day how much hay you go through. If its a half a bale a day then for a year you will only need about 180 bales a year.

For instance, in my show barn i have 4 horses, 5 if you count the filly coming home soon and i go threw only half a bale a day, but i know during the winter i will go through a bale a day. We will buy enough hay to get us through the summer / fall (figuring on half a bale a day), and then buy some pre winter (figuring on a bale a day). Now, that is just my barn.

Down at dads barn , he goes through 1 full bale a day. So to be on the safe side , we figure together between he and i , we go through 2 bales a day ...year around.
 

Jill

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Our bales range from around 50-75 pounds. A bale lasts us about a day, and we are feeding 16 horses (not counting 3 sucklings). We also are feeding complete senior pellets, though. I know it sounds like only a little to eat, but right now one one here is actually thin (except one nursing mare who just arrived) and several are currently too fat.
 
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