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View Full Version : So, she won't eat hay...what options do I have now? Update: what about cubes??



TheJenners
Dec. 5, 2007, 02:52 AM
I've had this mare for nearly 19 years; in that time she has never been a real big hay eater. She grazes, she eats her concentrated rations (whatever they may be throughout the years...), she eats her hay but she only eats a little. If she got more than about three pounds, she'd pick and fuss.

Now, she hardly eats any. It's a very good quality alfalfa/orchard grass mix. She won't touch straight orchard. She won't eat much on the ground, she just spreads it around. She barely touches it in her manger.

Right now she gets 1.5 pounds beetpulp, three pounds Nutrena SafeChoice, two cups BOSS, a multi-vitamins and 1.5 cups oil. All at once, because I can only get out once a day, but hopefully this will change sooner rather than later. She munches it slowly and sedately, so I'm thinking maybe I can get alfalfa or timothy pellets and put them out in a big flat tub? What do you guys think?

ChocoMare
Dec. 5, 2007, 07:47 AM
Maybe try a chopped forage feed like Spillers/Seminole's Happy Hoof (yes, they'll drop ship it for you out of Florida) or Triple Crown's Safe Starch.

The Happy Hoof is nice because it's a mix of chopped hays, with alfalfa pellets, spearmint, garlic and all the vitamins/minerals found in a complete feed. It easily takes up oil for extra fat and makes a nice green, soft, YUMMY smelling "mash" when hot water is added in the winter.

It can be fed virtually free choice. Here's the info: http://www.spillersseminole.com/ProcuctSheetsforWeb/HappyHoofPS.htm

Jumper221
Dec. 5, 2007, 10:09 AM
Have you tried soaking her hay? Maybe as she's getting older its getting harder to chew.

ponyjumper4
Dec. 5, 2007, 10:18 AM
You'll need to try a chopped forage or cubes. Pellets don't have the fiber length they need.

drifter05
Dec. 5, 2007, 10:20 AM
If you decide on the cubes, please soak them to a mush. You could up the beet pulp too.

Bluey
Dec. 5, 2007, 11:11 AM
I am sure that you had her teeth tended to, but mention it just in case.
One of our old horses, almost 30, is like that with his hay.
We have to feed the alfalfa wet and he eats the finer, shorther stems and leaves, but not the longer, coarser stems.
He also needs his feed at shoulder level, from the ground he won't eat as well.

He is on a complete senior feed, wetted, so the hay is not really necessary for him.
He looks great.

sublimequine
Dec. 5, 2007, 12:38 PM
Does she like 100% alfalfa hay? I know it's not ideal, but maybe you could do a combo of that and timothy hay cubes, so she's still getting plenty of roughage. :)

merrygoround
Dec. 5, 2007, 12:41 PM
I would put her on a high quality senior fee such as Purina's Equine Senior. I have known horses to thrive on it for years, despite having few or no teeth.

Appassionato
Dec. 5, 2007, 12:53 PM
My old guy does this. He also "grazes" his concentrate ration. Complete PITA, that horse. :lol:

If my horse hasn't had hay for a while (he has his own paddock with grass), I can take out a flake and he gobbles it up like he needed it. The very next day I'll throw out some hay, and it will sit there until it rots. He didn't "need" the hay, he just wanted it. If we've been in a drought, then a few days after a rain when the grass grows the horse grazes like a pig...only to not eat all the grass when the fad dies out for him. It's just who he is, and there's no changing his mind about it.

I like everyone's suggestions about trying different chopped hays and cubes or even the pellets (specifically with alfalfa pellets, I found a source that says it is fermented the same as long stem hay). Is this older gal alone in a paddock? To ensure she gets what she needs if you leave out a tub of it?

Also, are you just trying to maintaingut/horse health? Or put weight on? I answered in regards to just maintaining rather than the latter...the latter may involve other measures.

Hoofprince in Mud
Dec. 5, 2007, 12:56 PM
Have you tried her on Timothy?

My horses prefer it to alfalfa.

Tikigator
Dec. 5, 2007, 01:10 PM
As everyone has said check her teeth first...if her teeth are fine, try cubes. I feed T/A cubes which are large and are hard...however 2 of my horses are on straight timothy cubes, they are small (1" X 1") and you can almost crumble them in your hand so they are not hard to chew. Maybe try that.

If not, Happy Hoof is like a chaff that most horses love to eat. It's got pellets mixed into it, so it's not straight hay.

If all else fails, maybe just put her on a complete feed. Most are beet pulp based, you don't have to deal with soaking beet pulp separately, etc. There are a few out there, all different brands. Purina has Complete Advantage, MannaPro has ReNew, Signature has Rely. It's like a sweet pellet (pellets and some oats) with beet pulp in it so you don't have to feed hay at all.

Good luck!

TheJenners
Dec. 5, 2007, 01:41 PM
Thanks for the responses, first of all! Trust COTH to come to the rescue with ideas for my dear old girl.

But, first, I need to apologize. She gets regular dental care and at her last appointment the vet said (and I got to look as well) that her teeth are in excellent shape.

So chewing isn't an issue; she has truly NEVER been a horse who likes to stand and eat a lot of hay. She has always been picky about her hay, she has often been the barn "tester" for hay when new loads come in. Even with hay she eats, she always leaves some; whether she's inside or out. And if her flake is larger than about three pounds, she looks at it and barely touches it; under three and she'll eat about 80 percent of it. I know I know, it's very strange.

More on the horse: she could stand to gain about 20 pounds, but otherwise is fine. So we aren't really on a gaining plane, just maintaining. She's also 100 percent retired, and in a paddock alone so feeding special food isn't a problem.

I forgot totally about chop, can someone tell more about it? We sell something at my LFS that is called chop, and I've fed it out before while barnsitting. It seems really, really, heavy on molasses. I want to avoid that as much as possible, even if it is more palatable. She doesn't have any or much metabolic issues, but it's a personal preference. Just as feeding Nutrena is a personal preference (and she's get SafeChoice, which is a complete feed...I know someone mentioned it earlier). So, is there anything without molasses, or with less? I can't think of the brand, but need to swing by today anyways...this stuff was super gooey, leaves a residue on buckets, scoops, hands, etc. I can get more info and post after lunch.

Also, I meant to say cubes, not pellets, when referring to the timothy or alfalfa hay "pellets" earlier. And yes, I'd get them slightly damp but not too much because nature has a way of helping out here in the PNW ;).

Thanks again everyone, I've been wrestling with her about this for most of the summer now, when the decline really started (depression, I took away her pasture buddy). She just won't eat her veggies!! :lol:

ponyjumper4
Dec. 5, 2007, 02:03 PM
I have a mare in my barn that can be like that. She prefers alfalfa, but she'll eat a rich timothy hay. Some loads I've gotten in she wouldn't touch so I'd just give her a flake to play with and fed her mostly cubes and chopped forage. I have not had an issue with the molasses added to most chopped forages--they usually only use it as a binder to keep dust down. I have fat ponies that do well with it. The company that makes Totally Timothy is one that uses less molasses.

I'm pretty sure that SafeChoice is not a complete feed.

CanTango1
Dec. 5, 2007, 02:45 PM
Dungee.... Pretty much Molassas covered hay. It is pretty expensive well for hay anyway.

Im not sure if it may be an equivelent to what has been listed but it seems to be the closest thing to horsey crack available to the general public. :lol:

JCS
Dec. 5, 2007, 03:25 PM
CanTango1, you mean Dengie:

http://www.dengie.com/

There is also this, which has NO molasses:

http://www.lucernefarms.com/feeds_GOLD.shtml

CanTango1
Dec. 5, 2007, 03:26 PM
haha ehhh I was close !!!


Yes thats what I ment !

Thanks :)

Fairview Horse Center
Dec. 5, 2007, 03:49 PM
If you can got good straight alfalfa, that is the way I would go. If not, soaked alfalfa hay cubes.

TheJenners
Dec. 5, 2007, 03:53 PM
I'll have to ask if we get that up here...somehow, I doubt it. But does it replace long roughage?

TheJenners
Dec. 5, 2007, 03:55 PM
Whoops, sorry FHC, we posted at the same time. Yeah, I can get it...but no guarantee she'll eat that either. If she did however, and I went that route, do I need to worry about the Ca ratio?

Fairview Horse Center
Dec. 5, 2007, 03:56 PM
Alfalfa is long stemmed roughage. It is just rich - better for older horses that need a bit of weight.

Fairview Horse Center
Dec. 5, 2007, 04:00 PM
You should be feeding 1-2 parts calcium to 1 part phos. Alfalfa is higher calcium, grain is higher phosphorus. I have never seen a horse pick at good alfalfa.

ChocoMare
Dec. 5, 2007, 04:03 PM
I forgot totally about chop, can someone tell more about it? We sell something at my LFS that is called chop, and I've fed it out before while barnsitting. It seems really, really, heavy on molasses. I want to avoid that as much as possible, even if it is more palatable. She doesn't have any or much metabolic issues, but it's a personal preference. Just as feeding Nutrena is a personal preference (and she's get SafeChoice, which is a complete feed...I know someone mentioned it earlier). So, is there anything without molasses,


The Happy Hoof is totally molasses free. :)

TheJenners
Dec. 5, 2007, 04:08 PM
Sorry again FHC, I meant to ask was the Lucerne Farms stuff a long-roughage replacement.

ChocoMare, thanks! I'll look into it today.

Carol Ames
Dec. 5, 2007, 04:16 PM
I had excellent results with Purina equines Sr.., when My Merry was taken off of it, they did not ask me, sh dropped weight very quickly, and, she was "skin and bones " very quickly when I visited her the first time :cry:after my strokes ; with hr on Sr., and the young horses on Jr., I figured it made up for the variable pasture we have here , in a drought year , for instance; with the whole barn./farm on them, when March came round,they were all are a good weight, with a nice coat, and healthy hooves:yes:

Carol Ames
Dec. 5, 2007, 04:38 PM
Do you shake it out, :yes:or just throw a "pad" in?:eek:

ponyjumper4
Dec. 5, 2007, 04:40 PM
Sorry again FHC, I meant to ask was the Lucerne Farms stuff a long-roughage replacement.

.

yes it is

MSP
Dec. 5, 2007, 04:55 PM
I had to stop feeding hay to my old guy a few years ago because of choke so I use the bagged alfalfa finely chopped. He loves it but to get him to eat safe choice I mix it all together with oil, daily wormer and pro bios. I put a generous amount of water over his feed just before giving it to him.

At 34 I think it is impossible to get a lot of weight on him but it keeps his ribs covered.

TheJenners
Dec. 5, 2007, 07:05 PM
OK, here's the "feedscoop" from the LFS:

No way are they ordering Lucern stuff. Ditto Seminole products, drop ship or no and I can't afford to do it myself.

The only chop they have is indeed the stuff that is gooey wth molasses.

Here are the options: hay pellets and hay cubes. The cubes are what I want, so I don't have to water as heavily and it provides long-roughage (or am I wrong?). What we carry is a brand called Standlee, which has a Web site but it appears abandoned or down, and the choices are a timothy cube that is $10.99 for 40 pounds, an alfalfa cube that is $8.99 for 50 pounds and a mix for $8.99 for 50 pounds. Pretty danged close to the price of the hay she is currently wasting...

I think I might try a bag of the mix or the alfalfa, she hasn't had timothy in so long I would worry about her stomach. Thoughts? I need to move quickly on this because I'm heading out of town in three weeks and want a. her to be completely on what ever I decide on and b. have it down to an easy system for my barn sitter.

goeslikestink
Dec. 5, 2007, 07:18 PM
do you get haylage over there as thats really good

hundredacres
Dec. 5, 2007, 07:58 PM
If you decide on the cubes, please soak them to a mush. You could up the beet pulp too.


I've never had a horse turn away soaked alfalfa cubes!

onetempies
Dec. 5, 2007, 09:55 PM
My TB mare is quite picky about her hay as well. How "soft" is the texture of your hay? My mare will not touch or just slightly pick at any hay that is a bit too coarse for her liking. If it's weedy, coarse, or the timothy was cut too late.... she will eat very little then proceed to use the rest to help create a splash free urine zone or a nice soft bed then scatter it deep in the mud. :rolleyes: What I find best is a mostly grass hay that is extremely soft or a 2nd cutting alfalfa/grass/LIGHT timothy. Any 1st cutting has to be straight grass/brome. The 2nd & even 3rd cutting has helped immensely with putting weight on as well. :yes:

TheJenners
Dec. 6, 2007, 02:11 PM
OK, I'm bumping this up and updating the title: I'd love some feedback on cubes as I've never fed it before.

My hay is a good hay; the orchard is soft, the alfalfa is yummy, green and leafy. But I'm getting really worried about her gut health, there is no way she is getting anywhere close to nine-18 pounds of long roughage a day.

Fairview Horse Center
Dec. 6, 2007, 02:18 PM
I have had horses maintained on grain + soaked alfalfa hay cubes for years. Two horses couldn't have ANY hay, as they weere alergic, and would develop a cough. For those, I soaked a 5 gallon bucket of beet pulp so they could nibble for hours. They never got a drop of hay and were very healthy. Many older horses just seem to end up on soaked alfalfa cubes as they are easy to consume, and tempt the appetite.

Jennwarr84
Dec. 6, 2007, 02:22 PM
Is safe choice a complete feed? I didn't think it was.

JSwan
Dec. 6, 2007, 02:25 PM
I recently started feeding my horses cubes - as a supplement to their hay.

This is probably overkill but I'll describe what I do anyway. (this just works for my schedule; I normally go hunting in the am, so don't finish up barn chores until I get home in the afternoon; then do chores till dinner or later. I say "normally" because I've haven't been hunting the past few weeks).

enough disclaimers? :cool:


I turn the livestock out in the am, collect buckets from stalls, go into the feed room, put two scoops of cubes in each bucket, fill with about 2.5 gallons of warm water.

(3 quart scoop - been too lazy to weigh the cubes)

Afternoon/evening, cubes have tripled in size and swollen to about 2/3 of bucket. Fill with more warm water to a total of about 3.5 gallons.

Bring them in at night and the buckets are licked clean by the am. They are also drinking most of the water in their 5 gallon water buckets.


Oddly enough - the one horse that is the pickiest eater, by nature, should be a pig. He's a Perch/TB and turns his nose up at pretty much everything - including treats. However, after one night of making faces - he now cleans his bucket up.

Hope that info helps with your situation.

Fairview Horse Center
Dec. 6, 2007, 02:34 PM
Most cubes will actually soak nicely in about 15 minutes, but sometimes the really hard ones take a bit longer to soften and fall apart.

JSwan
Dec. 6, 2007, 02:48 PM
That's a good point - the Triple Crown bags I've bought seem to have a lot of long cubes that take longer to break apart. Maybe it's just that Lot or something. Most of it does seem to break down and hydrate quickly.

The mix I end up with in the evening is a pulpy mass of warm chopped hay. Not drippy - if it was soil it would be just perfect for cultivating.

Perhaps a bit more wet than a lot of people might care for.

TheJenners
Dec. 6, 2007, 02:57 PM
Thanks everyone!

As an aside, I love this board and really don't want it to go away or change much :sigh:

OK, so it looks like I'll be getting alfalfa cubes. I think I can soak however much seems to work for her in a big bucket, then put a small flake of hay in a big flat tub and put the soaked cubes on top. Might work...and she'll make less mess of the hay I think. Reminds me though; do the cubes expand significantly the way beetpulp does? Or just soften and fall apart? I want to soak lightly, in case it rains so they don't turn into soup outside, but I'm assuming less water is needed than beet pulp? Also, is hay cubes a 1:1 ratio for regular hay? I think I read somewhere, maybe thomas posted it, that it was?

ETA: SafeChoice is NOT a complete feed. I may have said it was earlier, and I am in the wrong.

JSwan
Dec. 6, 2007, 03:11 PM
The Jenners--

I'm sitting by the fire and don't want to do barn chores. However, I can't put them off anymore and will take a look at the feed tag on those cubes when I'm in the barn. Perhaps the info you need will be on the tag.

Ok. I'm getting up now. Really. Here we go. Sigh.....

hundredacres
Dec. 6, 2007, 06:37 PM
I am currently feeding my crew alfalfa cubes (70% of their ration) and beet pulp (30%). I have no hay - well, I have one round bale stashed for an absolute emergency - but we are out of hay. They're doing fine so far.

And as an aside - as a kid I boarded my horse in the L.A. suburbs and all they fed were hay cubes. I never had a problem - ever. I don't recall any other horses having problems either.

TheJenners
Dec. 6, 2007, 06:55 PM
Thanks J Swan, you're a doll. Don't go get cold just on my behalf though!

hundredacres, how do you prepare yours?

Well, I decided, I'm going after work to get some. Should be interesting tonight, I'm gonna soak and watch, see how long it takes and how much it expands. Hopefully the darling nag will eat it. I loff her dearly, she is truly my special old girl (1st horse, insert dreamy sigh), hence why I am going through all this. Thankfully the others wolf down their hay, heck the young mare will leave her dinner for the hay!

JSwan
Dec. 6, 2007, 07:10 PM
Nah - I was just being lazy. I got my chores done, everyone got their dinner, and I have a heated feed/tack room. And this time I remembered to bring the hoses in.

One correction though - I do 2 scoops of cubes, not one. Doesn't help you much since I haven't weighed them - and I forgot to look at the feed tag. I'm feeding a timothy/alfalfa cube - not straight alfalfa. Just FYI.

But it's Triple Crown - here is the info on their website:
http://www.triplecrownfeed.com/forage.php

It has the feeding instructions by weight.

For your viewing pleasure, I also took a picture of the goop I've been making for my horses so you can see how it turns out. It's been a BIG hit.

ETA: I attached a picture of one of my horses - he is not my first horse - but for some reason we're just two peas in a pod. This is what he does when I'm hanging those buckets of soaked cubes.

I think you can feed them dry with no trouble; however, I prefer to get as much water in them as possible in the winter. Everyone is pooping up a storm.


hundredacres - you're out of hay????? Do folks in your area still have any to sell? Geez - I'd be having kittens if I ran out of hay where I live. It was just a horrible growing season and prices have skyrocketed. Good luck to you.

Fairview Horse Center
Dec. 6, 2007, 07:17 PM
Soaking the cubes is not like soaking beet pulp before feeding to "expand", although it will "expand". The expanding is more because they soften and break apart. You can break them apart by hand without any water, and they are safe, but it is just so much easier to add water, and let it break apart by itself.

The risk of feeding them unsoaked is not from choke due to expanding, but because of the size piece, like if they choke on an apple, or a large chunk of carrot. Many people feed cubes dry if their horses are used to it, and bite them into pieces as they eat. I just always worry about them grabbing a whole one, same as an apple.

onetempies
Dec. 6, 2007, 09:06 PM
Those who feed the soaked cubes in the colder climates (such as Michigan).... how long does it take for them to freeze up if a horse just likes to pick at it after being soaked?

hundredacres
Dec. 6, 2007, 09:11 PM
Yep I just soak them awhile in warm water. Some fall apart right away and some need some time. It ends up looking like a pan of fluffy chopped, damp hay.

We aren't actually out of hay in my area....well, sort of. Everyone is hoarding it, and what they do have they are charging ridiculous prices for. All of my local suppliers are seriously gouging people and it pissed me off. So, I said, screw them and started stocking up on cubes (I also bought a pallet of chopped/bagged hay).

I suspect that in a couple months there will be a surplus from all the people hoping they'll get $10 per square bale 9unheard of around here)...maybe not.

Coincidentally, this happened to be the very first year we didn't grow our own hay *d'oh!*

hundredacres
Dec. 6, 2007, 09:15 PM
Those who feed the soaked cubes in the colder climates (such as Michigan).... how long does it take for them to freeze up if a horse just likes to pick at it after being soaked?

I use really hot water and I've never had a problem with them leaving any. If I had a horse that left feed and didn't eat it - I'd feed them dry. I do feed mine dry BTW when it's a bag that is softer and easily broken. Some brands are "light" and can be broken easily with your hand. Others are like bricks and you could knock someone out with one cube!

AKB
Dec. 7, 2007, 08:57 AM
We feed Lucerne Farms Dengie. If you call Lucerne Farms, they will help you find a dealer. Our usual feed store did not carry it and would not try to get it. I had no idea that we had 2 feed stores that carry it near us. Our coming 20 year old likes the Totally Timothy. The neighbor's 32 year old pony eats the Alfa A. Get a bag of each type to see what your mare likes. Then, you can order a big shipment of it if she likes it.

JSwan
Dec. 7, 2007, 10:16 AM
Those who feed the soaked cubes in the colder climates (such as Michigan).... how long does it take for them to freeze up if a horse just likes to pick at it after being soaked?

It was in the low 20's here last night and they didn't freeze. I didn't watch them eat the stuff - but I suspect it didn't last long enough for the stuff to freeze. You'd probably want to use really hot water and serve it warm.

onetempies
Dec. 7, 2007, 01:36 PM
Thanks guys! I'm thinking that I'll dive in and try them this weekend. My thought is that the extra alfalfa will also be good for my ulcer prone boy who DOES get the all he can eat hay buffet and turned out 24/7 when weather permits. But every winter he gets mad at the world because the ground is too frozen for him to play and run outside. So every winter I end up doing more frequent dosing of UlcerGard. :( Then the TB mare.... she is the one I originally had started to contemplate hay cubes and/or beet pulp for when all I have is 1st cutting hay left. Keep your fingers crossed that she'll eat them. My gelding is an equine garbage disposal, so I'm not worried about him leaving any food behind. :winkgrin:

katie16
Dec. 7, 2007, 02:44 PM
Dungee.... Pretty much Molassas covered hay. It is pretty expensive well for hay anyway.

Im not sure if it may be an equivelent to what has been listed but it seems to be the closest thing to horsey crack available to the general public. :lol:

It is DENGIE!

And I love it! They have several different varieties, inlcuding one WITOUT molassas, for those that need to watch the sugar intake! I have regularly fed it to those who have trouble eating hay, those who are finicky about hay, and those who are hard keepers. It is great stuff - and you can customize which variety you want to feed to each horse.

http://www.dengie.com/

gabz
Dec. 7, 2007, 05:37 PM
Say OneTempies ... I began feeding the alfalfa cubes for the ulcer thing too.

At night, I put 1 - 1.5 pounds of cubes in a bucket, per horse and add 3/4 teaspoon of loose salt per 1.5 pounds of cubes. I take the bucket in my house and leave in the mud room. In the morning, while I make coffee I run the water to get it super hot and cover the cubes. They soak while I feed cat, get dressed, fix a cup of coffee and head to the barn. less than 10 minutes. It breaks them down enough for the horses to chew them. I also have a stiff plastic scraper that I use to mush everything around.

I can even squirt the Ulcergard into the concoction along with powdered supps and 3/4 pound of pellets. Slurp, slurp.

The only time it gets left is if I screw up and add too much salt.

onetempies
Dec. 7, 2007, 08:13 PM
Thanks Gabz! Do you get your cubes from TSC? I'm contemplating where I want to go tomorrow morning to get everything. I may call Livingston Feed & Seed to make sure they have everything in stock. But they have their own alfalfal cubes AND mini cubes for cheaper than TSC. The Beet Pulp is also cheaper by a few bucks. Chevy will LOFF the mix, no doubt. He's just been a cranky-butt lately with this cold weather. He would prefer to winter out in Florida. :winkgrin: But he's doing fabulous in training! :yes: But Sunshine is who I'm worried about once I'm out of 2nd cutting hay.... she's not thrilled with 1st but will tolerate and pick at the softer 1st cutting grass only hay. Her weight is GREAT right now but still would like her to add a bit THEN maintain without bumping up the Sport Horse & Rice Bran Meal.

Now I'm off to go find the ulcer thread with the Mt Vet number. Need to order more UG for Chevy. :(

TheJenners
Dec. 7, 2007, 08:42 PM
((( J Swan ))) :)

Thanks for the info and pics. I got some yesterday at lunch, but didn't get a chance to play with them last night. Will tonight though, and I'll post back if she likes it.

vanheimrhorses
Dec. 7, 2007, 10:59 PM
dengie or straight alfalfa hay or alfalfa hay cubes in separate bucket

vanheimrhorses
Dec. 7, 2007, 11:00 PM
oh and put her in paddock with another horse who will take her hay, ha she will eat it then

TheJenners
Dec. 8, 2007, 03:47 AM
oh and put her in paddock with another horse who will take her hay, ha she will eat it then

Ummm..??? She's 21, and crippled; I don't really see her fighting over hay at this point. This post sounds counter-productive and quite ridiculous.:confused:

Marsha
Dec. 8, 2007, 08:30 AM
Try peanut hay, if you have access to it. I have seen horses eat it over Alfalfa ad other feeds. I have even seen horses leave thier grain to eat the peanut hay.

TheJenners
Dec. 11, 2007, 06:48 PM
Well, here's a disappointing update: she won't eat the alfalfa cubes much either. What a pain in the butt! She's eating some of it, but not finishing, same as she did with hay pretty much her entire life.

Yes, ulcers have occured to me. But she is not a horse anyone would consider an ulcer risk. She's 100 percent retired, 24/7 turnout. Granted, in her glory days she was a super-serious competition horse; but that was (ohmygawd) more than seven years ago! Actually, glory days were more like ten <gulp>. This was a stressful year for her; I went from living at the farm to moving into town due to divorce and I also removed her pasture mate, my three-year-old filly, because the spratlet was playing too rough with her and I was worried she'd get hurt. Also, because I can only get out to the old farmette once a day, I'm no longer bringing them in to feed and Aisha doesn't mind "sharing" her much larger meal with said spratlet. Who is an airfern. Of course, that was when I noticed she had reduced-to-eliminated her hay consumption, because the Beastfilly was no longer there Hoovering everything up.

Sorry, got off-topic. I started her with three pounds alfalfa cubes, soaked and poured over a small flake of her hay. First day, looked like she ate the maority of the cubes and tossed the hay out of the tub. But now there is definitely a good bit left over. Last night I poured the three soaked pounds on top of the now dry chaff looking stuff, along with an apple chopped up. We'll see what she ate. Her feed is the same (two pounds beetpulp, three pounds Safechoice, approx. one pound BOSS, 1.5 cups oil, supps and apple). I have been tossing four or five cubes in with the beetpulp to soak, and she eats it. She happily stands there and munches her feed, which comes to a big mess of food, for a long time and the cubes are soft enough that I KNOW chewing isn't an issue.

ARGH!

Tamara in TN
Dec. 11, 2007, 06:54 PM
Ummm..??? She's 21, and crippled; I don't really see her fighting over hay at this point. This post sounds counter-productive and quite ridiculous.:confused:

there is a little bit of productiveness that can come from food competition...horses learn from imitation in many cases and putting an elderly pony or donkey together to "encourage" one another to eat is not a bad idea...but perhaps not in your mare's case...

Tamara in TN

gabz
Dec. 11, 2007, 07:15 PM
3 pounds of alfalfa cubes, before soaking, is quite a lot to start with.
I usually start a new horse off with 1/2 - 3/4 pound of dry cubes, soaked.

It does take a horse 3 - 5 days to acquire a taste. That's when I use the chopped up apples, molasses, etc in the soaked mess to entice them. I think once they get the hang of it, they tend to eat more of it.

I put the soaked cubes in the feed pan, then sprinkle supps, then dump the pellets in on top of the supps.

Trying a week's worth of Ulcergard might not hurt. You can see in a week if there's any improvement in her appetite.

Oh... does she get probiotics regularly? If you want to give them a try - Ration Plus is a liquid... It's also very enticing. I give my 1000 pound QH about 6 "shakes" (I measured it one time).

TheJenners
Dec. 11, 2007, 07:20 PM
Nope, not in her case. She obliges the spratlet and lets her do whatever, really dotes on the big filly, so if the filly wants to share food they do. And the filly eats faster, and even though she doesn't run my old mare off I've seen her toddle away while the young mare is still chowing down.

Fairview Horse Center
Dec. 11, 2007, 07:33 PM
I have started off with 3 lbs with no problem. Sometimes you have to play with how wet or dry they are. Also, some brands are better than others.

TheJenners
Dec. 17, 2007, 04:06 PM
Well, after a little over a week on the cubes, I went and picked up a new load of two string hay Saturday (previously was three string, LARGE seven/eight pound flakes). She's been better about cleaning up the cubes, but I gave her one of the small three pound flakes under the cubes, and all is gone! Yay. If she'll keep this up, I'll be super happy.

Two pounds of beet pulp, three or so pounds (I still make sure it's a smaller flake so she won't be turned off) of hay and three pounds of alfalfa cubes is much better. :yes:

Thanks again to everyone who offered ides and help!

JSwan
Dec. 17, 2007, 04:08 PM
Glad you got that worked out. You just tell her to eat all her veggies or they'll be nothing for dessert!

Nuguum
Jan. 20, 2008, 08:05 PM
They may be hard for her to chew unless you wet them.
What about getting her CHOP. They have it at the feed store it is called hay blend at the feed store. We feed it to the the rescue horses that have problems eating whenthey first come until they get their teeth floated. We also feed it to our senior horses that have problems eating hay.
Come pick a bucket of it up from me and try it with Asia if you want.


I've had this mare for nearly 19 years; in that time she has never been a real big hay eater. She grazes, she eats her concentrated rations (whatever they may be throughout the years...), she eats her hay but she only eats a little. If she got more than about three pounds, she'd pick and fuss.

Now, she hardly eats any. It's a very good quality alfalfa/orchard grass mix. She won't touch straight orchard. She won't eat much on the ground, she just spreads it around. She barely touches it in her manger.

Right now she gets 1.5 pounds beetpulp, three pounds Nutrena SafeChoice, two cups BOSS, a multi-vitamins and 1.5 cups oil. All at once, because I can only get out once a day, but hopefully this will change sooner rather than later. She munches it slowly and sedately, so I'm thinking maybe I can get alfalfa or timothy pellets and put them out in a big flat tub? What do you guys think?

TheJenners
Jan. 20, 2008, 09:56 PM
Hey Nuguum :). I won't feed the chop, too much sugar. It's a good idea though, thanks.

Since this got dragged up, I guess I can update: dunno what happened, but she's up to eating two flakes of hay (five or so pounds) now and not wasting. I started putting the hay in a giant feed tub so she couldn't spread it about. Seems to be working...:)

Equibrit
Jan. 20, 2008, 09:57 PM
Triple Crown have some nice forage type products; http://www.triplecrownfeed.com/grass.php


You could also try old fashioned "chop' which is all vegetables chopped up;
apples, carrots, swedes, turnips, etc.