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Old 12-13-2007, 07:48 PM  
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Is there a way to feed a horse without hay

I've been thinking a lot about this lately because of the hay shortage so many are dealing with. Is there a way to feed a horse without hay? What can you do when hay is no where to be found?
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Old 12-13-2007, 07:55 PM  
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There are feeds out there.I use it along w/ 12% sweetfeed mine is called equi-lite it's suppose to be like a hay-replacer kind of feed.I still feed hay but try to make it go along way... 2 bales a day for 8 horses and feed 3 x's a day and mine are holding weight so far so good..But it is alot of grain and it costs like $9.58 a bag..50lbs.. I am not sure what others would do...
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Old 12-13-2007, 07:57 PM  
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Is there no hay extender, beet pulp or alfalfa cubes available? Your other option is of course the good ole complete feed. Now that is a can of worms, as there are so many out there, as well as complete feed wanta be's. You have to way many options, needed nutritional value, and of course cost. You will find complete feeds are a bit more costly, but there are some good ones out there and can indeed work when there is no other option.

http://www.ianrpubs.unl.edu/epublic/...blicationId=12

The article above might help explain a few things and help in the decision making.
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Old 12-13-2007, 08:00 PM  
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Alfalfa cubes, forage cubes, hay extender, beet pulp....these should all be available at your local feed stores and really aren't that expensive to help supplement hay with, considering. Other than that, I don't know of anything else!
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Old 12-13-2007, 08:15 PM  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wildcat180 View Post
I've been thinking a lot about this lately because of the hay shortage so many are dealing with. Is there a way to feed a horse without hay? What can you do when hay is no where to be found?
I use beet pulp year round - just more in winter...
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Old 12-13-2007, 08:19 PM  
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Ive been using beet pulp and hay cubes to curb hay costs. Mine are down to 1 flake am and pm. Its saving me about 80 bucks a month. Thats with the cost of cubes and beet pulp.
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Old 12-13-2007, 08:33 PM  
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One can substitude one flake of oat straw for a flake of hay to stretch the hay per day. It is not easily chewed and digested. It should be well shaken out and offered alongside hay. This is roughage only, no food value. Any more than that and vitamin supplement has to be added. As others have mentioned there are bagged complete feeds or some have hay pellets or cubes as well as alfalfa.
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Old 12-13-2007, 08:36 PM  
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We Use Alfa-12 Nuggets Plus A Pelleted Feed.
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Old 12-13-2007, 08:36 PM  
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Originally Posted by seerfarm View Post
Is there no hay extender, beet pulp or alfalfa cubes available? Your other option is of course the good ole complete feed. Now that is a can of worms, as there are so many out there, as well as complete feed wanta be's. You have to way many options, needed nutritional value, and of course cost. You will find complete feeds are a bit more costly, but there are some good ones out there and can indeed work when there is no other option.
Yep, we had hay last year, but the quality was horrible. There just wasn't any to be found. And the pasture was pretty much non-existant, due to the drought. So, I had to utilize other options. Beet pulp, alfalfa cubes and a good feed. I used senior feed.. I had good luck with that combination.
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Old 12-13-2007, 10:52 PM  
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Alfaoats or pelletized soybean hulls

Pelletized soybean hull Analysis
Crude Protein Min 9.0%
Crude Fat Min 0.5%
Crude Fiber Max, 40.0%
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Old 12-13-2007, 11:21 PM  
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i've seen some research calves fight over a cowboy's hat that blew into their pen because they weren't getting any hay. horses and cattle just need forage. but i totally understand with the whole hay shortage thing. we were lucky in south central kansas this year and got good hay crops. could importing hay be an option for you?
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Old 12-14-2007, 12:31 AM  
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So, I went today to the feed store to verify that they have beet pulp, cubes, pellets, as well as a "Complete hay supplement".
I am heading down to bring my horses up here tomorrow (please wish me luck, my first time towing in the snow!)
I have found some large square bales, 2 bales for $95, thats about the best deal I have come across. Other than that, hay is about $220 a ton!
I am definitely looking to supplement the hay with something to make it stretch.
I will be feeding a 3 year old filly (who is not in any kind of training, she is forever a pasture pet due to injury) a 10 yr old mustang mare who is in great shape currently and gets fat on air. I am also picking up a couple of "rescues" this weekend, an 8 yr old BLM gelding who is a little on the thin side, but not too bad, as well as a very thin coming yearling filly.
I would like to feed them the equivalent of one big flake of grass hay twice a day, and supplement with beet pulp and alfalfa cubes/pellets twice a day. I like the cubes as I can scatter them around on the ground and keep them "busy" foraging for it so to speak, in addition to the nutritional value.
I have always just eyed it out before, but I know there is a formula for feed per body weight. I know the coming yearling (affectionately known as Snot-Face as she nearly took my fingertip with her teeth) will need an additional supplement, a good feed for young growing horses, and will talk to the feed store to get the right one for my situtation... But for the others, what is a good poundage of beet pulp/cubes to add to their diet?
Like I said, I have always just eyed it out before, and have always had my critters in excellent shape (not thin or fat) with nice shiny coats. But with the hay shortage, and me just getting my feet on the ground up here, I want to make sure and be as cost-effective as I can and minimize waste.

I have also never heard of the soybean hulls? can I get some more info on that?
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Old 12-14-2007, 03:58 AM  
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I just started using the Southern States Hay Stretcher feed. I like it so far, the horses like it too. I feed it midday by itself and grain/regular hay morning and night.
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Old 12-14-2007, 04:08 AM  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roberts617 View Post
Yep, we had hay last year, but the quality was horrible. There just wasn't any to be found. And the pasture was pretty much non-existant, due to the drought. So, I had to utilize other options. Beet pulp, alfalfa cubes and a good feed. I used senior feed.. I had good luck with that combination.
We are doing that this year - and they are all fat and happy...
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Old 12-14-2007, 04:19 AM  
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hay

A friend of mine started feeding beet pulp and hay cubes and other things like straw instead of hay, and he had colic in 3 horses and almost lost his show horse. He just payed the hay cost and had no more colic.
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Old 12-14-2007, 04:40 AM  
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we have been supplementing beet bulp (with regular horse feed), and cut back on the hay. Have always fed beet bulp to our senior horses with good luck. we have hay available, but the quality is not the best. the key to beet bulp is if you feed it dry is to make sure they have plenty of water with it. if not it will bound the horse up. i have personaly never had any problems with feeding it.
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Old 12-14-2007, 04:41 AM  
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Beet pulp is awesome. Soak it first, though. I had a horse choke on it once. Cost a nice vet visit and the horse had to be tubed. Not fun for anyone! You can add a bit of veggie oil if you have hard keepers- that will keep a bit of winter fat on them. Up to 1/2 c. per horse per day.

I'm not suggesting it, but I think it's interesting that "back in the day" farmers fed their work horses whatever they grew for crops. I've even heard of horses living on apples all winter!
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Old 12-14-2007, 04:46 AM  
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[[shadow wrote:
A friend of mine started feeding beet pulp and hay cubes and other things like straw instead of hay, and he had colic in 3 horses and almost lost his show horse. He just payed the hay cost and had no more colic. ]]
-------------------------------------------------------------------------
================================================== =======

I'm sure it was more caused by the "straw and other things" than by the beetpulp and the Alfalfa cubes.
We have been adding pulp and cubes for a couple years now and had never had any colic problem!
The pulp makes their digestion moving and not the opposite.

Last edited by randy_dani : 12-14-2007 at 04:50 AM.
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Old 12-14-2007, 05:11 AM  
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hay

Well, 2 vets said it was from the hay cubes and beet pulp and that the show horse now has internal ulcers which is causing her to have other problems internally. He now feeds a nice grass hay and has no more major problems and the horses now all look way better. He could have paid $200.00 more for 100 bales of hay. He now has $500.00 in vet bills. I make hay here (by no means a large farm) and sell it for $5.00 a bale. That barely covers my gas cost, upkeep on equipment and time. It costs me $100.00 just for a baler repair. And I won't mention how many teeth on the baler and rake I have to replace every year. Those that just buy hay don't think about that. No ranting, just letting you know that we that bale, don't like the high cost of hay either, but we can't keep loosing money making hay. I got flooded out 2 years in a row. I got nothing for it. And no goverment help.
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Old 12-14-2007, 05:12 AM  
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[quote] I like the cubes as I can scatter them around on the ground and keep them "busy" foraging for it so to speak, in addition to the nutritional value.
I have always just eyed it out before, but I know there is a formula for feed per body weight. I know the coming yearling (affectionately known as Snot-Face as she nearly took my fingertip with her teeth) will need an additional supplement, a good feed for young growing horses, and will talk to the feed store to get the right one for my situtation... But for the others, what is a good poundage of beet pulp/cubes to add to their diet?[quote]

A horse needs on average about 1.5 to 2.5 percent of his body weight in nutritional grain and forage. So, if you have a 1,000 pd horse, he will need about 25 pds of a complete grain and or combination of grain and roughage to maintain in the colder northern climate. In your situation, I would recommend two types of feed, Equine Senior for all but the yearling and then Equine Junior for the little one. They are complete feeds and have chopped forage mixed in, then you can scatter alfalfa cubes or hay cubes to give the extra roughage. Oat hay if you can find it before it went to seed, is another option, and is fairly well tolerated when given about a pat or two a day no more. Soybean hulls can be feed, but unfortunately they are usually a local product and aren't as clean and predicable as to guaranteed analysis. Adding soybean meal, a more readily monitored and cleaner source is an option though.
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