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Hay Cubes-- not soaked

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  • #21
    I've never fed them soaked, including the 5 years that I worked at my vet's farm and fed her 30+ horses unsoaked cubes everyday. Actually I never knew anyone was that gung-ho about soaking until I threads about it on COTH.
    I'm good at being uncomfortable so I can't stop changing all the time -Fiona Apple, Extraordinary Machine
    If I were your appendages, I'd hold open your eyes so you would see- Incubus

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    • #22
      I would be very nervous to feed them dry. Even if the horse chewed them well, the cubes will attract moisture, and I would fear the moisture would come from my horse's gut. By soaking them, you add water to your horse's diet. Feeding them dry would just make me flinch a little (chocking hazard aside) Just my 2 cents, I'm sure there are plenty of valid opinions on this topic
      Certified Spiritual Medium/ Animal Communicator
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      • #23
        For what it's worth, I do both. When it's cold and my girls have been working hard I feed them soaked in warm water, just to get the extra fluids into them. Otherwise, in their paddock (mud lot) I give them dry ones in their amazing graze dispenser. I do break up the huge ones by hand when I fill it, but they seem to have no issues with the dry chunks. Both are former starvation cases, and both bolt down grain and hay. The dispenser, along with their smal hole hay nets in their stalls both seem to slow them down well.
        ~Former Pet Store Manager (10yrs)
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        Mom to : 1 Horse, 4 Dogs, 3 Cats

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        • #24
          SOAK ~ Please

          Soak ``` please ~
          Zu Zu Bailey " IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE ! "

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          • #25
            I've been known to crumble one up in my hand and feed pieces as a treat... but a bunch in a bucket? No, that needs to soak.
            ~Veronica
            "The Son Dee Times" "Sustained" "Somerset" "Franklin Square"
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            • #26
              Just a few months ago, a friend's barn fed her horse unsoaked cubes. The horse was out in a paddock and the cube got stuck in his throat..he went berserk and collapsed to ground which dislodged the cube.

              Soak

              I feed them to my OTTB, because he really put weight on quickly with them. I soak about a coffee can and a half with water to the top of those small feed buckets overnight add Cool Calories, and then refill and all day, etc. I break up any that haven't completely softened. I would never risk just that one time of one getting stuck...makes me too nervous. JMO

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              • #27
                I wouldn't feed my horse unsoaked cubes, but my BO's horse gets only unsoaked cubes (no regular hay) and is fine with it.
                Against My Better Judgement: A blog about my new FLF OTTB
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                • #28
                  Originally posted by davistina67 View Post
                  Rolling the dice and not worth it! Soak them or don't feed them at all. Just not worth the chance of a dead horse.
                  I agree completely! It's not worth the risk, especially if they're just feeding them as "treats". Having had a choke-prone horse in the past, I wouldn't even take a chance. Choke is really bad to deal with long-term.

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                  • Original Poster

                    #29
                    Thanks so much for the replies....I just called the vet (whom will hopefully get back to me) but someone else at barn called him and he wasn't worried about it according to caller.

                    I live in BFE and don't feel very comfortable with the vets.


                    I'll let you all know what vet says....but I'm guessing he'll say don't worry about it..... EEK

                    Noodles

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                    • #30
                      As the result of a few chokes as a youngster, a horse I used to own was extremely prone to choking and in fact once even choked on a senior pelleted feed that had been soaked, but not for long enough!

                      After dealing with his choking episode and the resulting vet visit and bill, I know soak any kind of pelleted/cubed feed even if the horse I'm feeding has no history of choke at all.

                      Better safe than sorry is my opinion.

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                      • #31
                        It's never any problem feeding unsoaked hay cubes....until SOMETHING happens. I would never feed them unsoaked for that reason. I've heard of horses having problems and just don't want to take the chance. If you are only feeding hay cubes and no beet pulp it only takes a few minutes to soak them until they fall apart but since I feed beet pulp with the hay cubes I soak for a minimum of 4 hours.
                        "My biggest fear is that when I die my husband is going to try to sell all my horses and tack for what I told him they cost."

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                        • #32
                          If you use hot water, the alfalfa cubes will soak to a mush or easily breakable state within 10 - 15 minutes.
                          "If you think nobody cares about you, try missing a couple payments..."

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                          • #33
                            I boarded at a barn that fed cubes unsoaked. It was a big facility, hunter jumper barn, a dressage barn, a quarter horse barn - probably 50+ horses - you get the idea.

                            I didn't ever hear of any chokes or colics.

                            That said, they were as hard as rocks, and I would never feed them unsoaked again!
                            APPSOLUTE CHOCKLATE - Photo by Kathy Colman

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                            • #34
                              FWIW: I agree with the majority that soaking is definitely preferable. In a perfect world...well, in a perfect world all horses would be on large rangy pastures with good forage, but not too much!, and no mud Anyway, yes there is a risk of choke with cubes. The choke cases I've seen (4) were with enthusiastic eaters in tall grass. I've worked at a barn that fed only dry cubes 2x/day at ~5:30am and ~1:30pm for decades and no choke. Although several of the horses "soak" themselves by rolling a cube around in their waterer first.

                              I don't think the OPs barn manager is way outside the norm here or being negligent. But I would ask that my horse get watered down cubes and I would leave the filled buckets outside his stall to facilitate that. I think this would mitigate the risks enough w/o complicating things too much. Depends on the cubes, but that should begin to soften them right away w/o a need to sit n' soak.
                              An auto-save saved my post.

                              I might be a cylon

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                              • #35
                                We recently moved to a barn that feeds them unsealed. I talked to my vet who said it wasn't ideal but that some types were harder and not as safe to feed. She suggested getting a sample, seeing how easy it was to break them apart with our hands, how long it took them to separate when soaked, to talk to other people who had been at the barn awhile and to ask about the manufacturer. We did all that and had the vet take a look at them. One trainer at barn said no problems in the 20 years she'd been there. BO said her supplier wasn't the same as at a barn that has had problems.

                                New barn is such an improvement over the old in so many ways that I am willing to feed these cubes. So my horses are eating a mix of cubes and hay.

                                In addition to the possible choking issues I am old enough to remember the salmonella in the cubes in SoCal that killed a few horses.
                                The Evil Chem Prof

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                                • #36
                                  Hay cubes aren't all the same. Some are larger, some are smaller, so have binding agents, and some don't.

                                  Around here, they don't seem to sell the ones with binding agents, so they aren't that hard to break, and I am not sure they would be much of a choking hazard for the average horse. The onese with binding agents would seem to be more of a risk. I used to board a horse that could only get cubes, and I fed them "dry".

                                  If you just want your horse's hay cubes soaked, tell the BO your horse has choked before, and needs them soaked or somesuch, but this is something that you should have brought up before you moved, as it is a special need that you have outside of what the barn offers.

                                  As a new boarder moving into an established routine, it would be wise to be careful as to how you discuss this. Implying that their practices are unsafe, and trying to get them to change their routine on a larger scale may not go well.
                                  Freeing worms from cans everywhere!

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                                  • #37
                                    I agree with "better safe than sorry." Soak those bad boys.

                                    I fed my horse cubes without soaking them for over a year, nearly every day. And then one day like any of the others, I fed my mare her cubes and she choked. If you ever see a horse choke, it's something you never want to have to see again.

                                    I soaked the cubes every day since for about a month and then I switched to pellets.

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