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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct. 18, 2011
    Posts
    441

    Default Pony and straw bedding

    i have a very fat pony - she is on thyroid meds, goes out with a muzzle,etc. i am thinking of bedding with straw instead of shavings/saw dust. My question is - if she has straw in her stall and she eats it, will it cause her to gain weight? Just like me, gaining weight is the last thing she needs!



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul. 19, 2003
    Location
    Middleburg, VA
    Posts
    13,344

    Default

    I have not had that problem in the past, and in fact found it kinda be a God send for the fatties on diets. It's like eating rice cakes! Something crunchy to chew on, but not much to it.

    The safest bet would keep her on something she won't eat, but if you do switch her, it shouldn't matter.



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug. 21, 2004
    Location
    Guanajuato, GTO, Mexico
    Posts
    2,544

    Default

    I've seen ponies eat a LOT of straw. Studies show that ponies are more efficient in obtaining nutrients -they have to be where they evolved. Fiber is fermented to VFA, which are a useful source of calories. I've also seen a huge variability in the nutrient content of straw- some batches can be quit high in sugar in the stems, especially when anything happens to prevent full grain filling like drought or hail.

    You might get lucky, but I went to a lot of trouble and expense to keep my ponies on shavings. Even when straw was free.



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug. 21, 2004
    Location
    Guanajuato, GTO, Mexico
    Posts
    2,544

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by yellowbritches View Post
    Something crunchy to chew on, but not much to it.
    Go here and click on 'straw'.
    http://www.dairyone.com/Forage/FeedC...GetResults.asp

    % Non Structural Carbo. (NSC) average 8.737 range 2.616 to 14.857 St Dev 6.120

    Yes, protein is low. Huge range of NSC content. Hope you stay lucky.



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct. 18, 2011
    Posts
    441

    Default

    so in short - i could get lucky OR she could stuff herself with straw and founder!

    my problem is that my hay man makes beautiful hay and the hay i have is toooooo rich for her. i have been trying to find
    first cut from this year but cant cause second cut was so late in coming due to drought - everyone used up their first cut.
    as a result she gets very little hay and i am trying to find something that she could "nibble" on without causing damage.
    my other horses bed on straw so i was thinking of changing her.

    any suggestions? thanks!



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov. 15, 2007
    Posts
    551

    Default

    My fat IR pony is bedded on straw and doesn't eat it. I'd try a little over shavings to start, see if he eats it, and go from there. He'll probably sample some, mine did, but must not have liked the taste. My fat boy would eat just about anything, so I'm lucky he doesn't like straw.



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec. 25, 2011
    Posts
    10

    Default

    I have a question about straw and its edibility.

    When my mini was gelded I was told by the vet's office when I made the appointment that it was imperative that he be bedded on straw. Shavings were not okay to bed the stall with because they could get into the incision and cause an infection. After the procedure the vet helped me walk him to his stall where my mini immediately began to chow down on the straw.

    When it was apparent that he was going to keep eating the vet told me to take him off the straw and bed him on local hay instead because the straw could cause an impaction. If the hay was not available then shavings would be better than the straw because as he told me, "I would rather treat an infection than have to euthanize because of an impaction."

    So I'm wondering if the chance of impaction is really that high? Is it because my mini is so small that the chances of impaction are higher? Is my vet just very cautious?

    Also, if it matters, I'm located in the PNW. Maybe our straw is not as soft as in other parts of the country? (Never dealt with straw before, so not familiar with it.)



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