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My thoroughbred wastes his hay

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  • My thoroughbred wastes his hay

    I'm buying expensive alfalfa hay that I cant afford for my thoroughbred who needs weight and he wastes so much of it, he gets 3 flakes a day of it. He eats the leafs and throws the rest of the flake around in the stall and poops and pees on it. How can I keep him from doing that. I tried putting it in a hay bag but he still pulls it all out and wastes it.

  • #2
    Hay net with 1" holes should "fix his wagon". Many really good ones available now--or you could try switching his alfalfa ration to pellets instead. I have only one animal that needs alfalfa, and he gets pellets mixed into his soaked beet pulp. Mmmmm!

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    • Original Poster

      #3
      Originally posted by DinkyDonk View Post
      Hay net with 1" holes should "fix his wagon". Many really good ones available now--or you could try switching his alfalfa ration to pellets instead. I have only one animal that needs alfalfa, and he gets pellets mixed into his soaked beet pulp. Mmmmm!
      I tried alfalfa pellets and cubes for a couple years but he didnt gain much weight with them, he has gained alot more weight with the alfalfa hay.

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      • #4
        Slow feed hay net. I installed the kind that hang off a square hoop - as long as they're installed correctly (pin lined up correctly) they're easier to fill than hay nets.

        Comment


        • #5
          Alfalfa isn't the only thing to use to put weight on a horse. If he's a hay waster/destroyer then make up for that in his meals by adding one or more of the following:
          • Feed a lot more of a grass hay (orchard, timothy, bermuda, mixed grass)
          • Use a higher fat complete feed (like TC or ProElite senior)
          • Rice Bran
          • Oil
          • Fat supplement
          ~~ How do you catch a loose horse? Make a noise like a carrot! - British Cavalry joke ~~

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          • #6
            Perhaps a prebiotic to feed the digestive bugs in his hindgut would help him digest what he's eating better? I keep my 2 on Diamond V Yeast XP year round.

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            • Original Poster

              #7
              I thought about trying the slow feed hay nets but have heard that there not good for there teeth.

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              • #8
                A net. The shires slow feed net is inexpensive, available, and they hold up pretty well. I feed all my hay to all my horses netted with these...if they were feed loose hay, they'd bed in it after picking out the choicest bits

                Dentist has no complaints with years of feeding this way. Says slow feeders with metal are more problematic.

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                • #9
                  I love my Free Up feeder -- https://haychix.com/products/hay-chix-free-up-feeder

                  Make sure you follow the installation instructions (the brackets must be angled) and it will stop halfway open so you can just dump more hay in, then it easily closes up against the wall.

                  Put a flat tub under it on the floor to catch the leaves that will shatter if you're feeding alfalfa, in the hopes that the horse will eat those too. (Mine, for some reason, thinks that anything that touches the floor is no longer edible, but he'll eat what falls in the tub!)

                  --
                  Wendy
                  ... and Patrick

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    High Country Plastics slow feeder saver jr. Love that thing. No waste, even in a situation like yours!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Callie1993 View Post
                      I thought about trying the slow feed hay nets but have heard that there not good for there teeth.
                      They are fine for their teeth. There are feeders with a metal grate on the top that the horse has to pull hay through to eat - these can cause problems with their teeth.

                      Slow feed hay nets are worth it - they come in different hole sizes - obviously bigger holes will allow them to eat faster and possibly pull out more and drop it/waste it. Don't hang it too high as that can cause neck issues.

                      Not sure how your stall is set up or if this is an option but with my old TB I would hang his net outside the stall (like they do at racetracks) - he liked to pull out hay and waste it - this saved a ton of money as the hay wasn't getting trashed by being in the stall. I also put a new/clean muck bucket or smaller water tub under it to catch any hay that fell and would just put it back in the net.
                      "When a horse greets you with a nicker & regards you with a large & liquid eye, the question of where you want to be & what you want to do has been answered." CANTER New England

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Callie1993 View Post
                        I'm buying expensive alfalfa hay that I cant afford for my thoroughbred who needs weight and he wastes so much of it, he gets 3 flakes a day of it. He eats the leafs and throws the rest of the flake around in the stall and poops and pees on it. How can I keep him from doing that. I tried putting it in a hay bag but he still pulls it all out and wastes it.
                        Lots of terrific advice on here already. The only thing I would add is consider whether it is possible to try a different source of alfalfa hay. If your current hay is very stalky your horse might not find that to be palatable.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I've been using small hole hay nets daily since 2008--no tooth issues with any of my 5. I second the Shire's brand--wear like iron!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I have been using small hole hay nets for .... a long time. I would say 15 years. My horses have their teeth looked at every year and nothing has ever been said about any problems with tooth wear because of the hay nets.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I bought a horse this year that is a horrible hay waster. He drags the hay all around his stall and then pees in it. A hay net saved me from loosing my mind! One quick question. We are on our second net because he keeps biting holes in it. How do I stop him from doing this?

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by spotnnotfarm View Post
                                We are on our second net because he keeps biting holes in it. How do I stop him from doing this?
                                I own a ton of hay nets because I like to make hay bags ahead of time.

                                My experience is that some hay nets hold up better than others. Same brand, same color, some fall apart with minimal abuse, others last forever and ever.

                                That is my way of saying you don't. Some horses make holes. You might try a different brand or different style, or you might just have to buy a new net a little more often than someone else.


                                All the above aside - My friend has a horse that shreds small hole hay nets, she went to the webbing style and those last better for her.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  You may want to feed less of the alfalfa hay. 3 flakes is a lot.
                                  Alfalfa/Tmothy grass pellets are a good way to keep weight on a horse.
                                  you didn't put your location or if you keep your horse at home or board
                                  One of my fellow boarders feeds a Timothy alfalfa mix which her ponies scarf down to the wisp.
                                  you may want to talk to the BM if you board and see about a different feeding program if that is feasible.
                                  Some are flexible, some aren't.

                                  I'm hoping JB will see this and post some recommendations.

                                  Good luck. Hope this helps.
                                  Certified Guacophobe

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by spotnnotfarm View Post
                                    I bought a horse this year that is a horrible hay waster. He drags the hay all around his stall and then pees in it. A hay net saved me from loosing my mind! One quick question. We are on our second net because he keeps biting holes in it. How do I stop him from doing this?
                                    You can't just stick them with a small hole hay net without letting them "learn" how to eat from it; feed half a meal's hay loose, and half in the net--when they go to get the hay out of the net they won't be starving, and will take the time to figure out how to pull the hay through. Do this for at least a couple of days to a week--your horse will soon have his PhD in small hole hay nets...

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      If your horse is eating the leaves and not the stems then it’s too difficult for him to chew the stems. No hay net is going to suddenly make the stems easier to masticate.

                                      Get softer hay or try to get him in some form of softer alfalfa product. There are many dentist/ vets who will say a horse’s teeth are fine when in fact they aren’t.

                                      How old is this horse? Are you finding any fist sized balled up bunches of hay that might resemble fecal balls, but more stemmy? That means your horse is quidding. He’s telling you he cannot eat the hay you’re giving him.

                                      otherwise, smaller portions at more frequent intervals. If you give 3 flakes at once, of course he’ll be inclined to waste it. If you give, say, a half flake at a time, then another half flake after he’s been without for an hour or so, you’ll get a better idea of what exactly is going on.

                                      of course not everyone has the luxury of being able to toss hay just because Hoss has run out...
                                      Last edited by Sansena; Oct. 3, 2019, 12:54 PM. Reason: Typo

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