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  1. #21
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    Wow, I guess I should feel lucky...my two Morgans eat less than a bale a day in the winter between the two of them! Bales are regular 50-ish lbs.

    And overnight they get 1 flake each right now! Piggy airferns



  2. #22
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    Dec. 15, 2005
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    Our hay bales are only about 40lbs. My 1680lb horse and his 1550lb friend can easily eat a bale of hay twice a day during the middle of winter. At $6.50 per bale, they are not eating me out of house and home in the winter. Their grain costs are minimal. Shoes, and Prascend/pergolide for the old guy, are my big expenses.



  3. #23
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    Jul. 19, 2007
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    ohio
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    Quote Originally Posted by vtdobes View Post
    Wow, I guess I should feel lucky...my two Morgans eat less than a bale a day in the winter between the two of them! Bales are regular 50-ish lbs.

    And overnight they get 1 flake each right now! Piggy airferns
    LOL! I was thinking the same thing. That's about how big our bales are and they only get 2 - 3 flakes morning and night. Nothing overnight. And 5 out of the 6 are Fatty McFattersons!!



  4. #24
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    Aug. 11, 2003
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    Something that made me think on this thread was how many of us feed what a horse needs vs what a horse will eat.

    I eat way more than I "need" because it's there. If I stopped eating this much I would lose weight and then would settle out at what my equilibrium weight should be. My ribs wouldn't be showing and I would have a healthy body covering.

    How many people vary their horses feed adequately through the year I wonder. I'm far from perfect, but I do change quantities depending on the quality of the grass that they are on and what their bellies look like.

    This was something I noticed way back when, when I boarded, that some barns will feed exactly the same to all the horses, regardless of what they need. (Not all barns, obviously there are many conscientious BOs that also don't want to spend more than they need to to keep the horses healthy).

    This was why this thread, to me, was interesting, but should not really be useful to the OP. No-one can tell you OP how much your horse needs to get, you need to work that out for yourself, based on how your horse responds. You can use the general rule of thumb that a horse consumes between 1.5%-2.0% of their body weight daily, so if you look at AKB with a total horse body weight of 3,230lbs, her horses, on average, would consume 65lbs per day. Her bales are 40lbs each, so by feeding 2 bales/day, allowing for wastage, she is feeding almost bang on the 2%. However, the weather will also impact how much they need - colder, feed a bit more - warmer, feed a bit less.

    How about your horses metabolism? When I was 20 I could have eaten endlessly and not put on a pound, now in my mid 40s, not so much.

    Your horses also don't have to have hay in front of them at all times. They like to relax and sleep too.



  5. #25
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    Jun. 23, 2004
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    horse country, usa
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    I feed between 4-6 flakes a night to my horse...if he wastes it during the night I cut back...it averages to about 5 flakes per night. Now that they are home with me, I will probably do a night check and split hay up so not sure how I'll handle all that yet. But previously when I left the barn at 6 or 7 he'd have on average 5 flakes and then a couple outside if he had not much grass in the winter.
    For things to do in Loudoun County, visit: www.365thingstodoloudoun.com



  6. #26
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    Aug. 4, 2009
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    MD
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    HMMM>>my guys come in AM to 3 hefty flakes plus breakfast grain...they then get 1 flake added along w/ lunch grain and for dinner 2 flakes plus grain unless they go back out in which case they get pasture or their 2 flakes get tossed in field.

    Those who live out get pasture and when grass starts to wain Round Bales start showing up ever other week.
    Those fatty retiress will eat as much round bale as is put in front of them.

    Broodies and yearling/2yr olds get grain plus round bale plus flakes of Alfalfa tossed in w/ grain meals.

    I do prefer to feed Alfalfa so weight of flakes is less but quality and nutrician way up = less poop



  7. #27
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    Aug. 3, 2004
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kate66 View Post
    Something that made me think on this thread was how many of us feed what a horse needs vs what a horse will eat.
    I feed what they need....if I fed what they would eat they would be dead. They are Morgans and so think they are starving ALL of the time when actually they could practically live off of dirt.

    I do feel bad when she looks at me with those big brown eyes wanting more food...she gets 2 flakes per day (1 am and 1 pm). Trust me she could and would eat more but absolutely does not need it! This is what she ate all summer while being ridden 5 days a week and showing!



  8. #28
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    May. 20, 2005
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    Thousand Oaks, CA
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    Just for comparison, we generally feed two flakes at night although the air ferns get one or one and a half. Some will have a bit leftover in the morning. None get more than one flake of alfalfa per day, but know several barns where one flake of alfalfa am and pm is all they get... Many bored horses that develop vices...

    Has been awhile since I've weighed what our average flake is, but with barely any "grain" none of our horses can be defined as thin.



  9. #29
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    Jul. 24, 2008
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    Quote Originally Posted by vtdobes View Post
    I feed what they need....if I fed what they would eat they would be dead. They are Morgans and so think they are starving ALL of the time when actually they could practically live off of dirt.

    I do feel bad when she looks at me with those big brown eyes wanting more food...she gets 2 flakes per day (1 am and 1 pm). Trust me she could and would eat more but absolutely does not need it! This is what she ate all summer while being ridden 5 days a week and showing!
    How long does it take her to eat one flake?
    Jigga:
    Why must you chastise my brilliant idea with facts and logic? **picks up toys (and wine) and goes home**



  10. #30
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    Mar. 31, 2012
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    Coastal NC
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    I fill up a large nibble net (usually two flakes of hay) at least 3 times per day. During the winter when it is cold I will fill each horses nibble net plus the hay feeder/bin with an additonal two or three flakes. As long as my horses are not wasting I try to make sure they constantly have hay. Honestly, I prefer feeding good quality hay to grain.



  11. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by saultgirl View Post
    How long does it take her to eat one flake?
    Not very long!

    I tried to use the small hole hay net with my gelding...left it hanging in his stall for 3 days and he never touched it so I gave up on that. I guess he didn't like how much work it was!



  12. #32
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    May. 5, 2009
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    Quote Originally Posted by vtdobes View Post
    Not very long!

    I tried to use the small hole hay net with my gelding...left it hanging in his stall for 3 days and he never touched it so I gave up on that. I guess he didn't like how much work it was!
    I just received my small hole hay nets. I LOVE them. It slows my hoovers down. I am so relieved. Suprised none of mine had issue w/ it, even the old one eyed gentleman. I guess some take to them and some don't.
    Come to the dark side, we have cookies



  13. #33
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    Jul. 24, 2008
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    Quote Originally Posted by vtdobes View Post
    Not very long!

    I tried to use the small hole hay net with my gelding...left it hanging in his stall for 3 days and he never touched it so I gave up on that. I guess he didn't like how much work it was!
    How do you avoid ulcers, vices, and the horses eating/chewing things they shouldn't? Even if one flake of hay lasted 30minutes (that would be a stretch) then your horses are without food for 23 hours a day? I think my horses would eat each other if I cut them back that much!
    Jigga:
    Why must you chastise my brilliant idea with facts and logic? **picks up toys (and wine) and goes home**



  14. #34
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    Apr. 21, 2010
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    I feed an air fern haffle cross 2 flakes am and pm. He would eat himself to death if it was left to him. I do have small hole nets I use to help slow him down. The little ones get a flake each.



  15. #35
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    Jan. 7, 2005
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    My best recommendation is just to experiment and find out what works for your hay and your horses. I've talked to barns before where every horse gets 1 scoop of feed and 1 flake of hay because they've "done research and that's what horses need."

    Well I've got 4 Thoroughbreds, 1 pony and 1 Irish Draught here and they are all very different. The pony is dry-lotted because of Cushing's and gets 4-5 flakes twice a day and free choice dengie hay. Two of the TB's are harder keepers and get 4-5 flakes of hay (about 20-30lb) and usually eat all of it, any more and they won't finish it, although I'll gladly give them all they'll eat. The Irish and two other TB's are air ferns and get 1-2 flakes of hay (or 2-3 if it's cold.)

    But they have their routines. If you walk through my barn at 3pm during the summer most of the horses are out of hay, if you give them more hay they make a nice bed out of it and take their afternoon naps. Trust me, I've given them more, thinking they'd eat it, they don't. So they don't get more hay in the afternoon. Learn your horses and they'll tell you. Then of course once you have it figured out, they'll change!
    All I pay my psychiatrist is the cost of feed and hay, and he'll listen to me any day.



  16. #36
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    May. 5, 2009
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    Quote Originally Posted by OverOxers View Post
    Learn your horses and they'll tell you. Then of course once you have it figured out, they'll change!
    <Like>
    Come to the dark side, we have cookies



  17. #37
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    Feb. 25, 2012
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    Montana
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    In the summer when they are on grass 3-4 hours a day, they get 2-3 good sized flakes am and pm. In the winter, when dry lotted, they get 4-5 big flakes, and maybe an extra or two if its really cold/wet/windy. I feed straight grass, what they call "ladies bales" that weigh about 65-70 lbs (would love to meet the "ladies" who can easily throw those around!). One also gets several pounds of Omolene and rice bran, the other gets senior equine and the other porky boy gets a lot of love and treats occasionally.

    The donkey taught me to feed her hay IN A BUCKET, small amounts, or she will dive her nose in it and FLING FLING FLING it around the stall (where she won't touch it) She gets a few apple slices and an occasional treat!



  18. #38
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    Feb. 9, 2012
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    I've got a young growing horse WB and my friend has an easy keeper QH and they both eat 20-25lbs of timothy, (120 lb bale-so I guess a 'man bale' last 2ish days). In addition to that, my WB gets a 4-5lb flake of alfalfa. Plus grain 2Xdaily.

    'Overnight' they get half of their timothy, and that's when mine get his alfalfa. We use small hole feed nets and have been very happy with them, however if the hay is any less than desirable as far as being clean goes, we feed it normally (on the floor).

    I think everybody has given sound advice so far. See what works for your horse. Start with the recommended amount and vary from there if necessary.



  19. #39
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    Dec. 21, 2008
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    Longing to be where I once was.....
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    I am currently using the last of my big square bales. Feeding 3 who all eat together it makes no sense for me to try and weigh it. I just go by how they look day by day, how the flakes come off the bale and weather. I must be pretty accurate because one bale usually last me 12-14 days, I have zero waste and all 3 are in good weight. I do keep track of how long a bale lasts, it keeps me from over feeding. I will be feeding round bales when these are gone and am going to have to re learn my whole system!



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