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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug. 14, 2000
    Location
    Clarksdale, MS--the golden buckle on the cotton belt
    Posts
    18,259

    Default Soaking and feeding hay/cubes

    My 28 year old won't eat grass hay, and is now having a bit of trouble with alfalfa cubes and pellets. I'm thinking soaking may be the way to help her.

    In order to get enough soaked and available for free choice feeding, I'm thinking that I might use a muck bucket for soaking and feeding. Would need two--one to soak and one to feed.

    Has anyone used muck buckets for this? If not, what do you use?
    "I'm a lumberjack, and I'm okay."
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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct. 14, 2005
    Posts
    2,596

    Default

    Some of the horses at my barn get soaked cubes, but only a scoop or two so that get soaked in two gallon buckets. I don't see why muck buckets wouldn't work. There used to be a horse who got his hay soaked in a muck bucket.



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun. 9, 2001
    Location
    Calgary, Alberta, Canada, North America, Earth
    Posts
    1,078

    Default

    I have 2 horses to feed cubes to. After a few weeks of lugging heavy buckets around I decided to get a second large plastic heavy duty wheelbarrow and I just use that as a trough. I fill it with cubes, add water, let soak, then drain and just roll into the paddock and leave it there for them to eat out of. The other wheelbarrow comes out for the next feeding


    2 members found this post helpful.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr. 14, 2001
    Location
    Fort Collins, CO
    Posts
    16,180

    Default

    I think the wheelbarrow is an excellent idea. Or maybe something like this?

    When I used to work at the barn, we had a horse who could only eat soaked cubes. He got 2 5 gallon buckets twice a day, and that was enough to hold his weight--he was an easy keeper. We were able to set up the buckets in front of his stall, so we didn't have to haul any sort of distance, but it was still a bit of a weight to lug.



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep. 24, 2012
    Posts
    282

    Default

    I have! Back when I was confused about what to do with my gelding, I went everyday at lunch and after work and would soak pellets in big tubs and used those tub carts to pull it around.



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar. 29, 2006
    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
    1,215

    Default

    I suggest using this hay product:
    http://horse.purinamills.com/product...2-0029367.aspx

    This is perfect for the chewing impaired horse. Very short fibers, shorter than alfalfa cubes and designed to swell and expand easily with water. It is a timothy, orchard grass, alfalfa blend and soaks up water really well.

    I found that cubes and pellets are best soaked with hot water.

    chicamuxen


    1 members found this post helpful.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar. 23, 2006
    Posts
    672

    Default

    Not to be dense but why drain the cubes?

    Mine are easy keepers but I feed them an alfalfa "soup" at night to get more water into them over the winter months. I make it by putting about 1 lb of dry cubes (barely cover the bottom of the 5 gallon bucket) and then filling it to the top with hot water. I ride and when done they get the still warm concoction as an evening snack.

    If they were harder keepers and I was feeding this for calories as opposed to water intake, I would simply fill the bucket with as many pounds of alfalfa cubes as required and then top off with water. Let it stand for a 30 min or so and then feed it. No draining required.


    3 members found this post helpful.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov. 28, 2000
    Location
    Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    10,370

    Default

    I agree, definitely soak with hot water, and don't drain. They are much more palatable, easier to eat, and add much needed water to the system this way.
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    2 members found this post helpful.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep. 24, 2009
    Posts
    1,163

    Default

    The BM where my old gelding lived hung 2 buckets in my boy's stall - one for water, one with dry hay cubes. She would water the cubes down at the same time she was filling buckets with the hose prior to bringing everyone in.

    By the time she brought everyone in (my gelding was usually the last one in) and my gelding ate his pelleted feed mash (which took him a little while), the cubes were soaked and he was able to eat them. And no lugging heavy buckets.



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep. 7, 2009
    Location
    Lexington, KY
    Posts
    16,631

    Default

    I soak with hot water in the winter. In the summer, I soak overnight with cold water.
    "We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals." ~Immanuel Kant


    1 members found this post helpful.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Nov. 20, 2008
    Location
    NJ
    Posts
    2,181

    Default

    I use an old water trough so there's plenty of room for the horse to eat and keep the sloppy mess contained. It seems to me the worse the teeth are, the sloppier the whole process! I feed it outside because otherwise it makes the stall cleanup a mess and a fly problem in the summer.

    I use alfalfa cubes and add hot water and let it soak at least 20 minutes. I've found filling the water to slightly above the cube line adds the correct moisture consistency so they will eat the soaked cubes. If too wet, sometimes they won't eat them. You can also add hay pellets to the mix after the cubes have soaked. In the summer, I add cold water and in the winter I add warm water. The horses seem to like a warm mash in the cold weather.

    ETA: Since I feed the mash outside, I drilled small holes in the bottom of the trough to allow excess water to drain and also to allow to trough not to fill with water when it rains. It also makes it easier to rinse out to keep clean.

    I have photographic directions on the pitchfork chronicles website below in the step by step section. You have to scroll down a bit to find it. I apologize but I wasn't able to cut and paste it to make finding it a bit easier.
    Last edited by mkevent; Feb. 2, 2013 at 05:09 PM.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan. 17, 2006
    Location
    in the garden
    Posts
    68

    Default

    I fill a 5 gallon bucket a little over halfway with cubes/pellets and add water (have been adding hot in winter and tap in summer). I usually fill water to an inch or so above. When ready, I dump into a 40 gallon 'trough'. That amount lasts her around 10-12 hrs. Yes, it is kinda heavy....I figure I'm getting my weight lifting exercise in at the same time.

    I did try a muck bucket with her initially but it was so upright she turned it over a lot. This 40 gallon trough (from Tractor Supply) is wider and shorter. She can move it around but hasn't flipped it over. (yet)


    1 members found this post helpful.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Nov. 28, 2004
    Location
    Massachusetts, USA
    Posts
    865

    Default how to keep from freezing?

    I have been trying to find ways to feed soaked cubes/pelets..

    Not to hijack but for people in colder areas. how do you keep the soaked pellets/cubes/whatever from freezing?

    I'd love to free-choice soaked stuff to my old guy (pride and joy) but I haven't figured out a way to keep it from freezing.

    Thanks in advance..



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Sep. 11, 2011
    Location
    Charlottesville, VA
    Posts
    269

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Loves to ride View Post
    I have been trying to find ways to feed soaked cubes/pelets..

    Not to hijack but for people in colder areas. how do you keep the soaked pellets/cubes/whatever from freezing?

    I'd love to free-choice soaked stuff to my old guy (pride and joy) but I haven't figured out a way to keep it from freezing.

    Thanks in advance..
    This
    "No hour of life is wasted that is spent in the saddle" - Winston Churchill

    Check out Central Virginia Horse Rescue



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Nov. 28, 2004
    Location
    Massachusetts, USA
    Posts
    865

    Default

    OTTBcooper

    Thanks. I was afraid that may be the only solution. Unless I run an electric cord through the pasture, I'm out of outlets.



  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jun. 9, 2001
    Location
    Calgary, Alberta, Canada, North America, Earth
    Posts
    1,078

    Default

    Loves to ride - I also have to deal with freezing cube issues which is why I drain my cubes. I find that even in extremely cold temps (we were below -30 last week) the horses can eat the cubes most of the day if they are drained (I feed out two 5 gallon buckets in the wheelbarrow in the mornings). Otherwise they would he licking away at a hay soup ice cube all day while I'm at work....

    The other reasons I drain (for those wondering) is that I find they "cook" faster with extra hot water and I also have a gelding very sensitive to fructans in hay so I figure this helps a bit, plus im sure some hay that is used is dusty and less than stellar quality, plus there is lime used as a binder (1% max) and I like to try for rinse it away.



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