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Old 11-24-2010, 09:30 AM  
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Founder From Hay??

I went to look at some hay yesterday and the guy has some REALLY nice stuff. He has a 2nd cutting orchard grass that is by far the best hay I've ever seen. It is very very green, nice heavy bales, clean, etc. My question is, is it possible my horses could founder because this hay is SO nice? He also has a nice grass hay mix that is fairly green but not so rich looking, and a lesser quality hay (IMO it's still great hay, just a little stemmy) that is only $4 a bale. Obivously I don't want to risk founder by getting the super high quality stuff, but is it really likely hay could cause founder?
My two horses aren't really "founder prone" type horses, but I board a pony that has a cresty neck, he's a very easy keeper, has had some growth rings in his hooves, and keeps s heavy coat even in the summer (possibly pre cushings?) oh, and he's a Morgan.
So yes, opinions on what hay I should buy please!
I'm leaning towards getting mostly the $4 a bale hay and then like 25 bales of the really rich stuff and only feed a flake or two of it at night. They're on grass 14 hours a day now but I'd like to pull them off before my pastures are completely exhusted.
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Old 11-24-2010, 10:28 AM  
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Yes, a pony can founder on hay.

Just keep an eye on that cresty neck and limit the feeding.
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Old 11-24-2010, 10:46 AM  
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Yes, if a horse is prone to laminitis, like the pony, they can founder on hay
That is why one has to test hay for NSC for horses that are insulin resistant
JUst looking at hay won;t tell you the NSC level, although alfalfa is probably the highest risk, some grass hays can also be very high in NSC
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Old 11-24-2010, 01:06 PM  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Smilie View Post
Yes, if a horse is prone to laminitis, like the pony, they can founder on hay
That is why one has to test hay for NSC for horses that are insulin resistant
JUst looking at hay won;t tell you the NSC level, although alfalfa is probably the highest risk, some grass hays can also be very high in NSC

I agree with this and wanted to add that looking at the hay really tells you nothing nutrition wise ...

Alfalfa has no higher risk then grass hay ... it is more calorie dense and the Ca:P ratio is off but the NSC is not normally "higher"

The "normal" NSC on alfalfa is 11 to 13%
and the "normal" NSC on grass hay is 3% to 17%
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Old 11-24-2010, 01:19 PM  
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Sigh, I didn't think having my horses at home would be quite so frustrating. Where would I go to get the hay tested for NSC levels? I don't have a clue.
I think you can tell something about the hay's "nutrition" if you look at it. A hay that is nice and green, w/o weeds, etc is going to have better nutrition than a bleached out stemmy hay.
Pretty much anything is better than what I have now, I'm lucky the horses are eating it, some of the bales are completely bleached out and look like straw.
Maybe I'll just get the middle quality stuff. It's still NICE green hay. Just not grass green like the 2nd cutting orchard grass is. Or maybe I'll stick to my original plan and get like 100 of the $4 bales and like 25 of the really rich stuff. I am beginning to realize that I know a lot less about keeping my horses at home than I thought I did.
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Old 11-24-2010, 01:24 PM  
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Don't fret.

How do you feed your hay...round bales or square outside? Can you separate the fat pony from the others when feeding?

If not, just feed the lower quality hay outside when chunky monkey is in there chowing down, and save the better hay for inside. You probably won't even need to give Mr Chubbs any of the better hay at night, as he will most likely hold his own during the daytime feeding You can also limit the daytime feeding and feed more at night when everyone is stalled, so that you can limit him even more. That's what I do, since our pony eats faster and with more vigour than everyone else

We don't do NSC testing for our hay, and I've found that by being watchful regarding Fat Boy's intake, he maintains just fine...and our hay is pretty rich.
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Old 11-24-2010, 02:57 PM  
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Currently I still have them on pasture, so I haven't been feeding outside. I was planning on feeding out of slow feed hay nets like freedom feeders outside. I feed out of them inside and they work well for me.
I was only planning on feeding the lower quality stuff outside, that way they can eat free choice. Also, if it gets rained on or something it's not the end of the world. The pony will probably maintain weight on the lower quality stuff alone, I can't feel any ribs on him right now , so he could actually stand to lose some weight. I don't own him though, so I don't get to decide what is a good weight for him.
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Old 11-24-2010, 07:28 PM  
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Soonsee, you crack me up, you sound like me ...

fat pony, chunky monkey, Mr. Chubbs, Fat Boy ... that's four names in one post!
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Old 11-25-2010, 01:34 PM  
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Yeah, but you're learning. I am, too which is good.
As long as you're willing to learn, you're a good horse owner!
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Old 11-25-2010, 01:41 PM  
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LadyM, I could go on ...

Quote:
Originally Posted by XXSundanceXX View Post
I can't feel any ribs on him right now , so he could actually stand to lose some weight. I don't own him though, so I don't get to decide what is a good weight for him.
Is the pony self-care boarded? It doesn't sound like it, since you're the one doing the feeding, and choosing/purchasing the hay. If it were me, I would definitely attempt to get him to lose some pounds. A foundered pony will not be a good reflection on your level of horse-care
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