How To Calculate How Much Hay To Feed Your Horse
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How do I know how much hay to feed my horse?
We know that horses need to eat grass or hay. When horses eat grass, you will need to monitor their condition and make sure they are not eating too much or too little.
Horses can overeat on grass, especially if the grass is lush, but it's also easy to let a horse get too fat while eating hay. And sometimes too little hay can mean a horse will lose weight.
So what is the right amount of hay for your horse?
Your horse's needs will depend on its weight. According to the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, an adult horse should eat about 12 to 15 pounds (5.4 to 6.8 kg) of hay per day, or 1.5 to 3% of its body weight, if it weighs about 1000 pounds (450 kg).
This is a very rough average and horses will need more or less depending on their metabolism, workload, what else they eat, and the time of year.
Ponies will need much less, while larger draft breeds can eat 30 pounds (13.6 kg) per day or more.
How to feed the hay
Having small amounts of hay on hand frequently mimics natural herding instincts and is healthier for your horse's mind and body. So try not to feed your horse a single meal for a whole day.
He will probably gorge himself on the best parts of the food, leaving the less tasty ones, and then trample whatever is left on the ground.
For the healthiest digestive system and the happiest horse, it is best to have hay available all the time. Most horses are self-regulating, but there are many that are not.
These horses will need their restricted diet of hay to avoid obesity. Feeding these horses means more frequent small portions. For many horses, all they need is hay, and they won't need concentrates like oats or sugary foods, or particularly rich hay that contains legumes like clover and alfalfa.
Small square bales
The next question, however, is: what square ball does it represent? What you will need to do is weigh a medium bale of hay. It should weigh around 60 pounds or 23 kg. The exact weight will depend on how dry the hay is, the length of the bales, and the degree of compaction of the bales.
Then count the number of flakes in the ball. Flakes are the easily divided sections that form when the baler picks up a square bale.
There are usually about 12. Now divide the weight of the ball by the number of flakes it contains. Now you can calculate the approximate number of flakes you need to feed your horse on a daily basis.
So if a flake weighs around four pounds, you will need to feed your 1000 pound horse five flakes a day. Remember to give as many small servings as possible.
Ponies and draft breeds
Since ponies have a slower metabolism than horses, they will need a lower percentage of their body weight in hay, unless they are working very hard, which few ponies do more.
Small ponies only need a few flakes a day to keep them in good condition. But conversely, some workhorses, especially hard-working ones, will need a little more than the normal hay ration.
This is why it is so important to periodically monitor your horse's condition and make adjustments based on heat or cold, your job, your age, the richness of the hay, and the horse's general health.
Enjoy The Video Tutorial about HOW MUCH HAY SHOULD I FEED MY HORSE
Source: Fernvalley Farm Beekeeping
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