sweetsmokeolena

Hay shortage,what is a good hay stretcher

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We are in a sever drought, Hay is not going to be very easy to get this winter, I'm looking for ideas to stretch the hay.Feeding in between hay but what is best?

I was thinking of soaked alfalfa pellets, any other ideas are welcomed, TIA 

Edited by sweetsmokeolena
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Use soaked hay cubes or bagged chopped hay instead of pellets. Pellets are the bottom end of nutrition and no help with fiber. Also beet pulp, if you are still feeding SOME hay each meal.

Edited by noponies

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Before is easier, so you can just guess the water. About 5# makes a pretty good feeding. I'd start with about 2# til they get used to it. Thats the cubes. Beet pulp about a pound a day, dry weight.

 

Edited by noponies

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On 8/12/2018 at 6:12 PM, noponies said:

Before is easier, so you can just guess the water. About 5# makes a pretty good feeding. I'd start with about 2# til they get used to it. Thats the cubes. Beet pulp about a pound a day, dry weight.

 

oh yeah good Idea Thanks..

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They definitely need other roughage when you feed cubes  to keep their gut working properly and avoid ulcers. I had one who started eating manure when on cubes. If you have pasture, that will help even if it's dried up grass.

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Cubes are fine on their own The fiber length is still there. Its the pellets, ie, ground up hay, that presents problems.

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Sorry, NP, I have to disagree.

from https://ker.com/equinews/tips-feeding-horses-hay-based-diets/

One disadvantage of feeding only forage cubes is the lack of long-stem fiber, which may lead to the horse seeking other sources of fiber to satisfy this need. As your horse is recovering from a colic episode, the most important thing is to provide high-quality forage as grass pasture, hay, cubes, or a combination of these.

A study from Rutgers found the same thing. Some horses fed only cubes began to chew wood. A horse that chews wood needs more fiber. https://esc.rutgers.edu/fact_sheet/forage-substitutes-for-horses/

"Hay Cubes: Long stem hay, either alfalfa or a mixture of alfalfa and timothy hay, is dried, chopped, and compressed into cubes. These are usually sold in 50 lb bags which are easy transported and stored, making them more readily available from regions where the hay crop was good. Cubes made from a mixture of alfalfa and whole corn plants may also be available. We have used hay cubes as the sole source of fiber in several research studies at Rutgers with good results, feeding up to 12 to 15 lbs of cubes per horse per day. However, there was a dramatic increase in the incidence of wood chewing in every study, and two horses had problems with choking on the cubes when they were fed dry. The wood chewing can be reduced by feeding at least some long stem hay or straw (see below), and the danger of choke is eliminated by soaking the cubes in water for 10 minutes before feeding them."

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The wood chewing can be fixed by getting them out of the dang stalls too. Moot point anyway since what she wanted was to supplement and stretch her existing hay.  Also please not it says SOME horses. There are a lot more who won't chew wood. Now, I know you prefer to get in the last word, so have at it.

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