View Full Version : picky eater
Oct. 30, 2011, 10:26 PM
I have a mare that is a very picky hay eater. Winter is coming and she always looses her weight in the winter because she does not eat enough hay. She has very good quality hay and get's fresh hay daily. Any suggestions on how to get her to eat more hay???
Oct. 30, 2011, 11:13 PM
What kind of hay is she getting? Are there other kinds available that you could try? You could use a feed such as Equine Senior (Purina) that has forage in it to boost her intake. I use soaked alfalfa cubes for my very senior horses and others that need a little help with their hay intake with very good results. I use about 2 lbs a feeding, soaked to the point the water is absorbed and the cubes are soft. That will help quite a bit if she likes it and won't break the bank. Check her for ulcers, too -- that can be a factor - and check her teeth with a good equine dentist. If you use a feed such as Senior to boost her forage, try some Ultium with it as well to help with the fat intake and her weight, especially if she is in work. Very good results as well. Most of the large feed companies, such as Purina, have nutrition specialists that will be happy to help -- check the website for contact information.
Oct. 31, 2011, 11:17 PM
How old is she? Are her teeth up to date?
Are you absolutely sure of the hay? The same hay that keeps horses in good shape during summer will sometimes fall short of what horses need to keep warm and fat in the winter.
If she has gastro issues, alfalfa will provide natural buffering agents AND extra calories.
Nov. 1, 2011, 04:37 AM
Is she a hay dunker? My picky mare doesn't like to dip her hay in a cold water bucket. After giving her a heated bucket, her hay intake increased to the way it did in the summer. If that isn't the case, you can also try Blue Seal hay stretcher. Picky mare of mine will trash a lot of hay, but laps this stuff up. It has been a great supplement and just a little bit keeps her weight up.