My horse is currently on pasture 24/7, with no hay to supplement his diet. I am switching barns on Friday, and he will be kept in a stall. What is the best way to transition him from pasture to hay? The new barn has no access to a pasture, except for maybe a lawn I could hand graze him on. Any suggestions?
Remember, hay is grass. So unless you are planning on feeding him alfalfa hay, which has a high sugar content, you should not need to do any real "transition." The only "problem" I could forsee with the pasture to hay move is finding what kind of hay your horse likes.
However, having NO turnout, if the situation is as HealingHeart suggested and your horse is not on stall rest, IS a BIG problem. If it is just that your horse will be a dry-lot situation, but will still get turned out, then OK.
Hay might be grass, but it's a LOT drier than grass, and can cause some problems if not acclimated to. I don't know that it *often* causes problems, probably doesn't, but the potential is there.
*I* would have started giving him a little bit of hay every day a week or so ago.
If you're forced to suddenly start feeding hay, then I would probably start by giving as little as you can while still not making him nuts with suddenly being stallbound AND having no food. You can work up to a full serving pretty quickly.
But, that's probably me being overly-conservative. I'm sure thousands of horses have suddenly been forced to an all-hay diet and done perfectly fine.
But yeah, if you have ANY other options, find another place to move him.
______________________________ The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET