Items

Forums
 
How To Extend And Preserve Your Hay Storage
 By Winniefield Park   •   19th Feb 2015   •   1,449 views   •   0 comments
How To Extend And Preserve Your Hay Storage

Groundhog Day has just passed and the groundhog didnít see his shadow in this corner of the woods. That is supposed to mean an early spring. Big deal. Around here, weíre lucky to get only six more weeks of winter. February 2 was also Candlemas Day and thereís a few little bits of lore attached to that date. Itís the date Victorians took down their Christmas greens. I wish my neighbors would take that hint. February 2nd is supposed to be half way between the Winter Solstice and Spring Equinox. I haven't done the math, but it sounds reasonable. Pagans celebrated it as the Feast of Lights when winter starts to yield to a more spring-like sun. Itís a Christian celebration. But of course, most important to horse owners is ďA farmer should, on Candlemas Day, have half his corn and half his hayĒ.

Itís a long way to haying season, when the next crop will be ready. So what if you donít have enough hay to see you through to early summer? Here are a few things you can do to extend and preserve your hay store.

There are two things that hay fulfills for a horse. It provides necessary nutrition and it is a substitute for grazing, which should take up most of your horseís time and staves off behaviors born of boredom. For good health, Horses need 1.5 to 2.0 percent of their body weight in high quality hay per day. When this isnít possible, we need to replace the hay with something that will provide the same good nutrition and fibre. During the winter I used to feed my horses soaked beet pulp to provide them with a bit more fluid, fibre and nutrition. When I fed beet pulp, I noticed that the horses did not eat as much hay.

There are a few other things you can feed to extend your hay supply. Hay cubes are an alternative to bales. I like to feed them soaked as I find some are densely compacted and that could lead to choke. Hay cubes take up much less space than baled hay and are usually made of top quality grasses or legume mixes. Haylage, silage or ensilage is sometimes fed to horses. Because itís stored at a higher moisture content than hay, there is a chance of botulism growing. The bags should also be air-tight, so itís wise to prevent punctures while handling them. If you feed this type of forage, your horse should receive a botulism vaccine.

Related: Signs and Symptoms of Choke
Related: Avoiding Feed Mill Horse Feed Poisoning
Related: Dangers of Monensin Antibiotics in Horse Feed
Related: Common Horse Feeding Myths

If youíve read the Little House on the Prairie books, you might have learned that Pa Ingalls fed his horses straw. This was once common practice. Some horses canít be bedded on straw, because theyíll pig out on their bedding. Itís possible, but not ideal, to feed horses straw. Thereís little nutrition in straw, so it needs to fed with concentrates to make up the lack. Itís also harder to digest for youngsters and seniors. A lot of horses will turn their noses up at wheat or barley and rye straw can carry a harmful fungus. Oat straw is probably the best bet for giving your horse something to munch on between feedings. Use caution when introducing it.

Related: Sand Colic

Concentrated feeds such as blends of grains, meals and supplements are great for adding extra energy and nutrition into your horseís diet, but they arenít good for your horseís need to graze. Nor is a big stomach full good for its digestive system. Concentrates lack fibre, and are eaten in a short time. A lack of fibre can lead to colic and EGUS. Your horse needs to have itís diet comprised of more than 20% fibre. Use concentrates to make up for nutritional shortfalls, and not as the mainstay of your horseís diet.

And of course thereís real pasture. But, for many of us, that is still a long way off.
 More News by Winniefield Park
Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act Signed into Law
2nd Mar 2021   |   General   |   Winniefield Park
In a move that many hope will help prevent accidental horse deaths on the racetracks of America, The Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act was signed into law in late December 2020. The law aims to standardize drug testing, enforce ...
Thoroughbred and Canadian Warmblood Top Jumpers on PonyBox
28th Feb 2021   |   General   |   Winniefield Park
Two breeds are currently holding the highest jump records on PonyBox. The Thoroughbred and Canadian Warmblood's are taking the top spots with vengeance and appear unstoppable. ...
Teen Rescues Girls from Pond After Horse Alerts of Danger
27th Feb 2021   |   General   |   Winniefield Park
Oliver normally enjoys being groomed by his young owner, but when she noticed Oliver getting restless she wondered at his was unusual behavior. It wasnít until that she noticed some neighbor kids playing on a frozen pond that she ...
PonyBox Highest Earners
21st Feb 2021   |   General   |   Winniefield Park
Itís no surprise that the top-winning mare and stallion are also Ponyboxís highest earners. Or, that the highest-winning stable also produces many of the most successful jumpers. Here is a look at the outstanding earners on Ponybo ...
Hard to Watch as Man Jumps into Horse Race Final Stretch
20th Feb 2021   |   General   |   Winniefield Park
Lots of sports fans pay top dollar to buy seats that put them almost in the middle of the action. But this race fan took getting into the action a little too seriously. It was a lot of risk for an experience that lasted a moment. ...
The Horses of the Shetland Islands
15th Feb 2021   |   General   |   Winniefield Park
Take a quick armchair trip to see pastoral landscapes, otter crossings and adorable, furry Shetland ponies! This travel video highlights some of the sights on the archipelago that makes up the Shetland Islands. This is the native ...
PonyBox February Top Spots
14th Feb 2021   |   General   |   Winniefield Park
As we reach the middle of February 2021 these horses are holding the top spots. A rare breed is making an appearance in the ranks of Best Jump while Friesians are holding many of the top spots in the ranks. ...
Cat Jumps on Horses back Video
11th Feb 2021   |   General   |   Winniefield Park
Where do you go when your feet get cold. This foolish kitty decided to sink its toes into the plush coat of an equine pal. Or perhaps pal isnít the right word. Itís quite possible kitty has a future in rodeo. Now, all we need is k ...
  View All News by Winniefield Park
 
©2002 - 2021   PonyBox LLC Create Account Advertise Terms Privacy Contact Us
177 Members Online 270,191 Registered Members 2,851 News Articles 12,170,739 Unique News Article Views 291,921,251 Website Views