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Hay cubes & the toothless horse

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  • Hay cubes & the toothless horse

    I have a 30 yr old mare with no back teeth. I've been feeding her soaked hay cubes & soaked sernior feed all winter, but have no idea how to calculate/measure the cubes to be giving her enough. The bag says give 1% of the horse's weight & I know how to do this with hay flakes, but not with cubes.

    How many cubes fit into a flake of hay? (They said math would come in handy but I never believed them, alas.)

    thanks!

  • #2
    Weigh them. LOL
    Founder & President, Dapplebay, Inc.
    Creative Director, Equestrian Culture Magazine
    Take us to print!

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    • #3
      I think you're joking? You weigh them. It's by weight. If your mare weighs 1,000 lbs, she should get an equivalent of 10 lbs of hay cubes. Of course you have to balance with the senior. Our old boarder pony gets 6 lbs of soaked senior (Triple Crown) and 3 to 5 lbs of soaked alfalfa cubes (depending on the temperature) in the winter. That's enough to keep his weight right where it should be. He does manage to eat the leaves from very soft alfalfa hay and does OK with grass.

      Comment


      • #4
        or if you do not have a scale handy-- if you have a 50lb bag you can figure out 5 equal servings=10lbs each
        Last edited by omare; Mar. 7, 2012, 10:36 AM. Reason: can do math

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        • #5
          Originally posted by SNIPPER11200US View Post
          I have a 30 yr old mare with no back teeth. I've been feeding her soaked hay cubes & soaked sernior feed all winter, but have no idea how to calculate/measure the cubes to be giving her enough. The bag says give 1% of the horse's weight & I know how to do this with hay flakes, but not with cubes.

          How many cubes fit into a flake of hay? (They said math would come in handy but I never believed them, alas.)

          thanks!
          Are you blonde?! No offense! I am a blonde myself! BUT this question just made me laugh out loud!

          I use a fish scale to weight my feed. You hang it up, then put bucket on hook, set the scale to "0", and then add cubes until you get to the weight you want.

          If your horse requires 1% of their body weight in forage per day, and your horse is 1000 lbs, that is 10 lbs of hay cubes, probably dividied into 2 or more feedings. HOwever, if this is her only forage source, I would go up to 2% of her body weight per day (or more if she will eat them and you can afford it). So 20 lbs per day. it may get costly.
          "If you think nobody cares about you, try missing a couple payments..."

          Comment

          • Original Poster

            #6
            I'm sorry but I wasn't joking at all. I guess it just seemed unlikely to give 10 lbs of dry cubes as a feeding, but I appreciate your help.
            And, yes, I was a blonde for several years.

            Comment


            • #7
              Well, it would be per day, not per feeding. So if you needed 10 lb per day, you'd split that into two 5 lb feedings or three three-and-a-half-ish lb feedings, etc.
              Caitlin
              *OMGiH I Loff my Mare* and *My Saddlebred Can Do Anything Your Horse Can Do*
              http://community.webshots.com/user/redmare01

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              • #8
                Years ago my mare lived on hay cubes and grain (back in the day when it was mixed at the local feed mill and had actual pieces of locally grown corn and oats and soybeans in it!). Nobody ever measured anything by weight, but she got a scoop of grain and a pail of hay cubes, twice a day. The scoop was the medium sized scoop (probably about 2 lb) and the bucket was larger than an ice cream pail - you know the smaller (5 quart?) colored Fortiflex buckets you can buy lots of places? one of those am and pm. I'm pretty sure we went through 5 bags/month, or at least that's what the barn manager used to bill me for. This was a 1,000 lb QH mare, basically idle on 24/7 drylot with no supplemental hay to speak of. Her weight was consistent and "just right" for years. Maybe that helps give you an idea of volume.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Please weigh out the cubes, & then thoroughly soak them. After they are soaked, run your hand thru it & squish around to make sure there are no chunks left in the cubes that could possibly cause choke. You say the horse has no rear teeth, so making sure there are no hard chunks left is very important.

                  This would be a very good thread for you to read. http://www.chronofhorse.com/forum/sh...d.php?t=339200

                  Do you know how much your horse actually weighs? If you tell us, with accuracy, we would be happt to help you.
                  "Police officers are public servants. Not James Bond with a license to kill."

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    OP-don't feel bad, I'm math challenged,too!!

                    I've found that adding boiling water (I keep a hotpot in my barn) will help break down the hay cubes a lot faster and does a much better job. I add two hot pots full of water to 2 lbs of hay cubes/pellets.
                    http://thepitchforkchronicles.com

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by SNIPPER11200US View Post
                      I'm sorry but I wasn't joking at all. I guess it just seemed unlikely to give 10 lbs of dry cubes as a feeding, but I appreciate your help.
                      And, yes, I was a blonde for several years.
                      I didn't mean to offend, trust me, I have come up with some doozies myself! Once, my boyfriend asked me to take a portable air tank (one to fill tires) to the store to fill it because it was empty, and I asked him "but will I be able to lift it into the truck once it's full?" Yes, I have NEVER, EVER lived that one down!

                      Yes, make sure to thoroughly soak the cubes...my mare who has teeth that work perfectly fine has a hard time chewing them up if they aren't complete mush.

                      What I do is break them up as small as possible while they are dry, then add hot water, and let them soak for about 30 minutes (since they are already small, it takes less soaking time than if I leave them big). Then, whatever is left when I feed I double check to make sure they have all broken down. If not, I crush them up prior to feeding.
                      "If you think nobody cares about you, try missing a couple payments..."

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        OP, good on you for doing the right thing by trying to provide suitable feed for your oldie.

                        I feed an ancient mare with no teeth. I found that hay pellets are easier and seem to soak/break up much faster. They are also easier to weigh and scoop. Mostly I just feed her enough to maintain adequate weight, but a good method is to weigh a scoop full of feed minus the scoop weight and that gives you a ballpark of what you are giving her.

                        Best of luck to you!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Watermark Farm View Post
                          OP, good on you for doing the right thing by trying to provide suitable feed for your oldie.

                          I feed an ancient mare with no teeth. I found that hay pellets are easier and seem to soak/break up much faster. They are also easier to weigh and scoop.
                          My old guy (who has some dental issues as well) is currently on a variety of feedstuffs to help him keep weight on.

                          He should be getting at least 9# of roughage every day (he weighs around 900# according to the weight tape) - so he gets 5# of senior feed (soaked, split over two meals), 2.5# of soaked alfalfa pellets (the Standlee brand breaks down very quickly, and seems to have a slightly coarser texture, which is a good thing) as much chopped alfalfa forage as I can get him to eat (which is probably 2-3# per day), plus all the grass he can manage, and a flake or two of very nice alfalfa to play with - he shoves it around and eats the leafy bits that fall off... then leaves me the stems to clean up. I figure that he doesn't get much nutrition/volume out of the hay, but he seems to really enjoy the activity of it, so I let him have his fun. He's held his weight very well so far with this regimen (our very mild winter certainly hasn't hurt in that regard).

                          Oh, and I have this scale http://www.oxo.com/p-501-food-scale-...t-display.aspx - so I know how much a "scoop" or "cup" of anything I feed weighs - it's been very handy!

                          Comment

                          • Original Poster

                            #14
                            Thanks, again, everyone. I have had this small arab for about 10 years and up til now she's been fat as a pig. I found out this spring that she was toothless except for her front teeth & didn't think I could keep her alive, so planned to put her down in the fall. Fall came and she was doing fine on the soaked feed & soaked cubes, so I didn't put her down. She's still doing well on this regime, so I guess she will be around for a while.
                            I soak her AM cubes over night and her PM cubes from breakfast to dinner time & that works well. If it goes below 32 degrees, I take the cubes inside to soak.
                            From what you all have said, I should be feeding a bit more in cubes because I'm guessing she gets about 3lbs per feeding, so I'll up that amount a bit more. She's about 13 hands and probably ;750-800 lbs.
                            I always get good advice here from a well-rounded assortment of opinions, and being very thick-skinned, no one can really slam me much which sometimes helps around here. Thanks, once again.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Sorry, I wasn't trying to be mean! Just laughed out loud when I read the post.
                              You should be feeding the same weight as regular flakes of hay. For my horses that is about 15# each per day.
                              Founder & President, Dapplebay, Inc.
                              Creative Director, Equestrian Culture Magazine
                              Take us to print!

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                The more feedings you break it up into the better. Feeding 4-5 times a day is better than three, or the horrible only twice a day.

                                Thanks for being a good mom to your horse & soaking her feed.
                                "Police officers are public servants. Not James Bond with a license to kill."

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by SNIPPER11200US View Post
                                  I soak her AM cubes over night and her PM cubes from breakfast to dinner time & that works well.

                                  Just an FYI- in the summer it will go rancid over night and she won't eat them.

                                  I always used hot water and they were edible in about 20 mins.

                                  Good luck.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    I have a heavy duty styrofoam container (the kind that vaccines are shipped in) that I use in the winter.

                                    I have a small bucket that fits inside the cooler. I add boiling water to the grain or cubes, and let it sit in between feedings (3-4 hrs apart, usually). It actually keeps it toasty warm in the winter so when I feed, it is still warm and the horse isn't eating cold mush. The horses love it!
                                    http://thepitchforkchronicles.com

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Hay pellets are are a 1:2 ratio to hay...one lb of pellets = 2 lbs of hay. But, the hay cubes have long stem fiber for roughage, which the pellets do not.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        My hay stretcher pellet bag says its an exact 1:1 ratio...1 lb of pellets = 1 lb of hay. What brand do you feed?
                                        "If you think nobody cares about you, try missing a couple payments..."

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