Items

Forums
 
How To Extend And Preserve Your Hay Storage
 By Winniefield Park   •   19th Feb 2015   •   1,474 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
PonyBox Top 12 Horses That Reached Top Rank
16th May 2021   |   General   |   Winniefield Park
Of the top 12 horses, 5 have occupied the #1 rank as we headed into the first work week of May. GS Lady Famine is a Moyle mare is out of the BMC General Store stable. At the age of 16, this 16.3 hand mare by the stallion GS Cursed ...
Equestrian Karen Video
15th May 2021   |   General   |   Winniefield Park
Ugh, you donít have to look too far to find an equestrian Karen. They do their very best to find something to criticize and they dispense their advice like a fairy godmother dispensing sparkle dust. And while they may be easy to f ...
What Its Like Being Married to an Equestrian
13th May 2021   |   General   |   Winniefield Park
Long before COVID19 hit there was another bug out there that has changed the lives of those who unwittingly became infected because of their proximity to someone who had the disease. If you are married to someone who has been bitt ...
PonyBox Top Earning Barns April 2021
9th May 2021   |   General   |   Winniefield Park
Itís been awhile since we looked at which stables are the top earners on PonyBox. And, since the last update in September of 2020, the highest earning barns have changed a little. ...
Black Cowgirl Launches Saddle Up and Read
8th May 2021   |   General   |   Winniefield Park
By combining a love of reading with a love of horses, Saddle Up and Read wants to make reading exciting for black children while helping them discover a rich culture of equestrianism. Through books based on Black equestrians, ince ...
Prince Philip Funeral Horses and Kings Royal Horse Artillery
6th May 2021   |   General   |   Winniefield Park
It seems no royal ceremony is held without horses and the funeral for the late Prince Phillip, the Duke of Edinburgh was no exception. The Kingís Royal Horse Artillery, the riders dressed in traditional black trimmed with gold and ...
Draft Horse Plows and Types
5th May 2021   |   General   |   Winniefield Park
The sight of a team of horses hitched to a plow is always an impressive sight. And, it takes a lot of practice for the driver to guide the team over the fields as they open the perfect furrow. This video, by a farmer who works his ...
Swiss Military Flying Horses Exercise
3rd May 2021   |   General   |   Winniefield Park
These flying horses donít have wings. They are airborne thanks to a military exercise carried out in Switzerland. Veterinarians teamed up with the Swiss army to test various ways to use helicopters to airlift injured horses, one, ...
  View All News by Winniefield Park
 
©2002 - 2021   PonyBox LLC Create Account Advertise Terms Privacy Contact Us
194 Members Online 270,515 Registered Members 2,888 News Articles 12,385,993 Unique News Article Views 297,369,158 Website Views