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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul. 24, 2008
    Posts
    3,436

    Default When do you start supplementing pasture w/ hay?

    I have my two fatties on 2 acres of pasture and the grass is starting to get eaten down. How do I know when I need to start adding hay? I have no worries about preserving the grass in this area (If I could make it more like a dry lot that would actually be better for me). I would like them to lose a few pounds but I don't want to starve them, either.
    Jigga:
    Why must you chastise my brilliant idea with facts and logic? **picks up toys (and wine) and goes home**



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec. 19, 2009
    Location
    Pennsylvania
    Posts
    1,287

    Default

    For me, when the grass starts getting shorter and shorter I will start putting out a flake or two. If they clean that up quickly then I know it's time to start putting out more.
    Of course, I put it out in a rack inside a run-in where it can sit for a week and still be OK if they don't touch it, so that helps. But if the grass is disappearing it's probably time to start adding hay for them.
    Can you put it out in a feeder so they don't inhale it? I have a fatty too, but the rack we made makes it really slow eating for them. It helps a lot even though he really did get too heavy this summer.



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb. 1, 2012
    Location
    Vermont
    Posts
    5,535

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by oldpony66 View Post
    For me, when the grass starts getting shorter and shorter I will start putting out a flake or two. If they clean that up quickly then I know it's time to start putting out more.
    Of course, I put it out in a rack inside a run-in where it can sit for a week and still be OK if they don't touch it, so that helps. But if the grass is disappearing it's probably time to start adding hay for them.
    Can you put it out in a feeder so they don't inhale it? I have a fatty too, but the rack we made makes it really slow eating for them. It helps a lot even though he really did get too heavy this summer.
    This. If there is green grass available, that is what they will eat, and they will leave behind hay. Once they start to clean up all the hay, I know they are needing more.
    "If you think nobody cares about you, try missing a couple payments..."



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov. 10, 2005
    Location
    Va
    Posts
    3,753

    Default

    It kind of depends on the pasture and area of the country. Here in Va, they play it by ear seeing how the pasture is holding up. They usually start giving some hay around the middle to end of November. They usually start giving hay once per day and as they see the horses are eating it all, they increase to 2x per day.



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul. 24, 2008
    Posts
    3,436

    Default

    I gave them a little last night and they ate most of it before going back out to graze. I threw them a little more this morning and it looks like they just picked out the best parts and then left. I'll see what they have when I get home from work today.
    Jigga:
    Why must you chastise my brilliant idea with facts and logic? **picks up toys (and wine) and goes home**



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec. 28, 2009
    Location
    VA
    Posts
    1,902

    Default

    We still have plenty of grass, but it has lost some of it's luster.

    If I throw out the tasty hay (2nd cutting orchard/clover), they will choose to eat that instead of the grass.

    If I throw out the less tasty hay (1st cutting straight orchard), they will pick, but not really eat it.

    For my old guy that is hard to keep weight on, I'll throw a flake of tasty stuff to keep him fat. Same for my pony that I fox hunt. The other 2 fatties in the barn that are in light work, they don't get anything until they will clean up the less tasty hay. That doesn't usually start until Nov.



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