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Which is better?

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  • Which is better?

    My horse cannot digest coastal/bermuda hay and it is all that is fed where I board (there is a roundbale in every single pasture), so I am having to figure out what to do with him. What is your vote:
    1. a small run probably 25x200 by himself. He is fed my special hay, but there is virtually no grass left. It's nearly all dirt at this point. It is located near the barn and he is within sight of staff and he can socialize over the fence on both sides. With this option, I am worried about winter nights (we get into the 30's and sometimes 20's) without having grass to graze for warmth. His hay is gone before it gets to the peak cold temps.
    2. A larger pasture to himself with sufficient grass, and he can also have his special hay out here. It is far from the barn, and I'll have to lead him through another pasture of horses to get him out. Also, I will no longer have easy access to the barn due to the distance. He will have some friends over the fence, but not really. The pasture is surrounded by trees on 3 sides, so he has limited view of other horses. With this option, he would have grass to graze overnight once his hay was gone.

    I think I'm being selfish. I am worried with option 2, which is probably best for him, he will get stressy because he wont see as many horses near him. He's a stressy horse to begin with. And I'm going to have to move my trailer to park it up by this pasture for tack storage, etc. because the barn is just too far away to make walking reasonable. And walking him through a herd of others to get him out worries me.

    What would you pick? Why? Thoughts? He's holding his weight just fine in the "run" now, but winter nights without anything to chew makes me worried.

    Edited to add: he always gets his hay in the Hay Chix super slow mesh bags due to his digestive issues. He still eats it will not last through the night. The hay he is allowed to eat is extremely pricey and he cannot have large quantities because he is an easy keeper.
    Last edited by cnd8; Nov. 5, 2019, 12:18 PM.
    20% off code for Hay Chix hay nets--

  • #2
    For Option 1, invest in a few Hay Chix small-hole nets. Stuff 'em full and hang them safely. This way, he'll have his hay all to himself and won't run out overnight. Plus no waste from him laying/peeing/pooping on it
    <>< Sorrow Looks Back. Worry Looks Around. Faith Looks Up! -- Being negative only makes a difficult journey more difficult. You may be given a cactus, but you don't have to sit on it.


    • Original Poster

      I put his hay in my Hay Chix bags. He is a hoover. He has them finished in a couple of hours...even the smallest mesh they make. He is an easy keeper also, so if I give him a ton of hay, it will not only cost me a fortune (I have to pay $30+ per bale of the hay he's able to eat), but he will get obese.
      20% off code for Hay Chix hay nets--


      • #4
        Have you tried finding some clean but lower nutrition hay? First cutting that has more stems? He will eat it, but with less enthusiasm, and it will last longer, and can still go in the Hay Chix bags.


        • Original Poster

          He can only have Timothy, Orchard, Alfalfa, and Perennial Peanut. A and PP being the highest calorie of the options. I am giving him PP and the bulk in Timothy. Even still, he will burn through it before the night is through. Since these are all (except PP) grown elsewhere and shipped in to this part of the country, I am limited to purchasing from a hay distributor--Standlee. It's expensive! His hay is always in a slow feed bag because of his digestive issues.
          20% off code for Hay Chix hay nets--


          • #6
            If his weight is good he doesn't need to eat non stop when the weather is at 20-30 degrees. Hang an extra net to make it last a bit longer and get in a little more forage if it makes you feel better.

            We get below that at times in the Winter and I just add a bit more hay on the colder nights, but if your horse has shelter and a good winter coat / blanket he will be just fine.

            Option 1 is better.


            • Original Poster

              Thank you for your insight. I will consider these options. To other areas, 20-30 is mild, but to us accustomed to warm weather, we aren't used to it. There are no shelters in either pasture. He does have a fuzzy coat though.
              20% off code for Hay Chix hay nets--


              • #8
                Can you quit with the PP and alfalfa and just feed more timothy hay? Quantity over quality, basically. You may even need to double up your slow feed nets.

                Also, have you thought about feeding some beet pulp and/or hay pellets or cubes?

                I fill Porta Grazers with timothy and my horses are in a dry lot overnight. That pretty much gets them through the night. I don't like them to have long periods with no forage. I feel your pain, though, I pay between $15.00 to $20.00 per bale. Timothy is very hard to find around here and one of my horses can't tolerate Orchard. I don't like to feed Coastal Bermuda, it scares me.


                • Original Poster

                  I can, I'm just not sure I can feed him large quantities of Timothy because of the price I have to pay. I've looked at porta grazers, or DIY versions.
                  20% off code for Hay Chix hay nets--


                  • #10
                    Is it possible for him to go out in the big field at night and come into a stall or be put in his run during the day? Then you’d be closer to the barn to ride and he won’t be stuck out all there all alone 24/7


                    • Original Poster

                      The two areas are too far apart to accomodate moving him for day/night. I have taken your advice from this thread and I am keeping him in his run by the barn. I made a DIY holder for my Hay Chix nets to slow him down even more and I have ordered a light blanket also.
                      20% off code for Hay Chix hay nets--