This reduces waste because the horse has to pull bites out of the small holes, which keeps more hay in the bag and leaves less waste on the ground. Answer: 60 ÷ 12 = 5. But how on earth do you know what’s “enough?” And how do you account for the drop in winter temperatures? So for example, that means a 1,000-pound horse who eats 18 pounds of hay for a maintenance level, would need 20 pounds if the temperature is 30 degrees. Your hay analysis should show the DM content of your forage. Forages are a basic necessity for normal functioning of the equine digestive system, and forage requirements are supplied most easily by pasture and hay. Table 2 lists the major nutrient requirements for different types of horses. Horses thrive on diets rife with forages, whether it is a medley of pasture grasses, baled hay, or another forage product, such as hay cubes, hay pellets, or haylage.They are capable of processing huge quantities of forage to meet their nutritional demands, but where does a horse owner start in determining how much forage to feed? Disk or plow to mix lime evenly with the soil. In this article, I’ll break down the steps you need to take to insure your horse’s winter hay diet is fed correctly. According to Carrie Hammer from North Dakota State University, Horses waste hay. ), “I’m not fat…I’m fluffy!” Have you ever heard this saying? In the cold winter months, I ALWAYS feed hay at least 3 times a day. Prepared by Marvin H. Hall, associate professor of agronomy, and Patricia M. Comerford, instructor of animal science. How often should I offer hay to my horse? The following steps are recommended for pasture renovation. P.S. Destroy or suppress old pasture by plowing or using herbicides. A well-kept pasture also is the most natural and healthy environment for exercise and rest. It may even be possible to have lime and fertilizer custom-applied for a relatively low cost. For more information on feeding horses and balancing their rations, contact the Penn State Extension office in your county. It’s recommended that you add *an additional* 2 pounds of hay for every 10 degrees F drop in temperature below 32 degrees. https://www.nap.edu/read/11653/chapter/1. If using good quality alfalfa hay, reduce the amount of Purina feed recommended by 1/2 to 1 lb/day. 2019. The hay should be leafy and free of molds and dust. Another summer has come and gone in the blink of an eye. Should you choose to grain feed, there can be an added expense. A horse can eat anywhere from 15-25 pounds of hay a day, which generally equates to a half of a 45/50-pound square bale of hay per day (~15-30 bales per month). Horses readily consume good hay, which is rich in energy, protein, minerals, and vitamins. In general, a high-quality Timothy, Orchard or Grass hay is calorie-dense and provides adequate nutrients to keep your horse healthy. Horses waste hay.   That is 1.5 percent to 3 percent of its body weight if it weighs about 1,000 pounds (450 kg). A 500 kg horse eats about 5 kg (12 lbs) of hay each day. Hay may not seem like a big deal, but it’s one of the biggest ways you can contribute to the health of your horse year-round, support overall wellness, and keep them at an optimal weight. The largest of the meals being evening so that it lasts throughout the night. They prefer certain pastures and crops and leave species that are unpalatable. Clearly, weighing hay … But what’s, Is it “healthy” fat and muscle, or is it all “fluff?”. So be sure your horse is getting lots of roughage in the form of hay or grass. The second benefit is slowing down the horse’s eating rate, which extends the time the horse is digesting. Why do we need this? There are no magic supplements, high performance feed secrets, or short cuts that will transform any horse into a champion. He's about 1,250 pounds and turned out 12 hours a day with another horse on three acres. As a general rule, a 500 kg horse will eat less than a 500 kg cow but a horse wastes more pasture. more than what you give in “mild” weather to maintain health) is outside temperature. With that in mind, start by feeding 1.5-2.5% of the horse’s total body weight per day in hay alone. After all, horses didn't evolve with grain and baled hay on the menu. So, doing some quick math, that means that the average horse would eat 75 bales of hay a year. A bale of hay can cost anywhere between $5-$10 per square bale. The management practices, outlined in this fact sheet, can be adopted to help maintain healthy, productive pastures that benefit the horses, the farm, and the environment. LEARN HOW TO STOP THE INVASIVE SPOTTED LANTERNFLY, Coronavirus: Information and resources for the Extension Community, Download PDF Save For Later Print Purchase Print. When acreage is very limited (less than an acre per horse), exercise may be the main pasture use. Use the appropriate method of seeding, based on extent of tillage. If this hay was used to feed a horse in light work, 22 pounds of hay each day would be needed to meet the horse’s energy requirement (20 Mcal/0.92 Mcal per lb/= 22 pounds). Orchardgrass has been cultivated for pasture and hay since colonial times and has been an important forage in horse husbandry since then. When acreage is very limited (less than an acre per horse), exercise may … Q. Changes in season can impact how you feed hay, how much you feed, and what else you might need to add to your horse’s diet. Just how much your horse will need will depend on its weight. (One to two times per month is ideal. People used to think that horses should not be fed legume hay because it would cause digestive disorders. The average thousand-pound horse who relies on hay for all their forage typically eats fifteen to twenty pounds of hay per day. Using these chart, you’ll see how horse-specific factors like age, breed, workload, and weight are used to determine energy needs. If there’s ONE thing I wish I would have realized made the greatest impact…it’d be hay! As winter approaches, we shift gears a little in our daily routines to make the cooler days a bit more tolerable. A group of compatible horses can graze a paddock (area of divided pasture) for approximately 3 to 6 days, then be moved (rotated) to a fresh paddock. Hammer, Carrie. At the same time, p… The primary energy or calorie source for horses is hay or pasture (i.e. But depending on the horse and the hay, the amount may vary. The body can go into shock and begin to quickly use stored fat and muscle to make energy for heat. Once the nutrient content of the feeds is known, the proper amounts of each can be calculated to meet the horse's nutrient requirements. The best way to know the exact nutritional makeup of your hay, however, is to have it tested. Digesting hay has the greatest WARMING EFFECT for your horse. This occurs at no extra cost to you. Q: How do I figure out how many calories my horse needs each day? At the same time, poorly managed pastures supply little or no feed and frequently are the source of internal parasites. Horses evolved as a grazing animal, which means that they are meant to nibble on small amounts of food over the course of an entire day, and most of this food should be in the form of roughage, or hay. So the pellet minimum is about 5 pounds per day per 1000 lb horse plus forage. Respiratory or digestive disturbances associated with feeding hay are more likely caused by dust and mold than by mixtures. A 1,000 horse eats about 4 lbs. I love practicing dressage, eventing, stadium jumping, reining, trail riding, and cow work with my AQHA gelding in beautiful Montana, USA. Ensuring horses have enough hay to eat through the night is essential. Trot on over to: Erica is an Oregon native, adventure seeker with big ol’ dreams, coffee craving gal who loves a good story. Monthly expenses can run to $130 to $275. Whether you improve your pastures by using lime and fertilizer or renovate by reseeding, sound management is essential to keep the desired species persistent and productive. Entering your postal code will help us provide news or event updates for your area. Yes! which offers comprehensive charts on exactly what your horse needs. Well-managed legume-grass hays generally are higher in protein and minerals than are straight grasses under similar management. This is a good practice, as horses often prefer a varied diet, and it reduces the chances of nutrient deficiency. (Using example calculations at end of this page). In this article, I’ll break down the steps you need to take to insure your horse’s, Like all animals, horses need energy to survive and that energy is provided as calories from. If pasture is a feed source, horses with a mature weight of 1,000 to 1,200 pounds generally need the following amount of pasture: mare and foal, 1.75 to 2 acres; year- lings, 1.5 to 2 acres; and weanlings, 0.5 to 1 acre. To feed your horse, make sure it constantly has plenty of hay or grass to chew on. Ensure that at least 70% of the feed is roughage (hay, pasture or chaff). If you are anything like me, few things cause me as much stress and uncertainty as trying to keep my horse happy and healthy year-round. When you’re mapping out your horse’s winter diet, hay must always come first. Liming and top-dressing Kentucky bluegrass pastures with phosphate, potash, and nitrogen costs much less and is less work than completely renovating the pasture. If you are attempting to figure the carrying capacity of land for a horse, then a good rule of thumb is 1-1/2 to 2 acres of open intensely managed land per horse. This means if the horse should weigh 1000 lbs, at least 15 lbs of hay should be fed per day. Hay availablility is dependent on the locale. Continue the 15 minutes of grazing for several days and then increase turnout time in 10 minute increments each day until the horse is grazing for 3 to 4 hours each day. If 1 bale of hay weighs 60 lbs, how many days worth of hay will you get from one bale for one horse? of dry hay per day, the horse would be expected to consume approximately 7.5 gallons of water per day. OK, great. Feed hay according to weight. If you are anything like me, few things cause me as much stress and uncertainty as trying to keep my horse happy and healthy year-round. Can I get a “yay” for headbands, fuzzy socks, and pumpkin spice lattes? You can also look up the nutritional content of all horse feeds (forage and grains). A fluffy horse might be skinny and unhealthy underneath. Washington, DC: National. In the past few weeks our pasture grass has really come in. About 2% of your horse body weight is how much hay or pasture your horse needs a day, and so if your horse is 1,000 lbs, about 20 pounds of hay per day. Without adequate pasture acreage, horse owners will need to limit turnout time to prevent overgrazing and supplement with hay to help meet equine nutritional requirements. Keep yourself warm too! Nutrient Requirements of Horses, 6th ed. High-quality hay can provide most of the nutrients needed for a mature horse. Like any other preserved forage, the quality of orchardgrass hay depends on multiple factors, primary of which are cultivation and harvesting techniques. forage and fiber sources). She, like many of us, caught the “horse-crazy” bug early in life and never looked back. Alfalfa hay, while normally high in protein, may contain an excessive amount of calcium in relationship to phosphorus (wide Ca: P ratio) when fed as the sole source of forage to young, growing horses. Generally, for optimal horse growth and development, forages should supply one-half or more of the total weight of feed consumed daily. Academies Press, 2007. https://www.nap.edu/read/11653/chapter/1. A soil test will determine pH (acidity), nutrient levels, and requirements. That’s 30 lbs of hay per day for a 1000 lb horse. The roughage in horse hay requires a good bit of chewing. Answer: 2 x 2 = 4. Good pasture alone is sufficient to meet all of the nutritional requirements for many classes of horses. Yields on many pastures can be doubled simply by applying lime and fertilizer. How do I make changes to the amount of hay for winter months? Growing, breeding, or working horses require supplemental grain or concentrate to meet their additional nutrient requirements. You should also give it 1/2 a pound of barley or oats daily for every 100 pounds of body weight. In the above example, the hay has 0.92 Mcal/lb of DE. The bag actually tells you how much weight is needed in forage if you add hay. (#betterlatethannever). Most hay is dispensed in flakes; however, the amount of hay in a flake can vary greatly, depending on the size of the flake and the kind of hay. Straight legume hay or legume-grass mixed hay is a desirable feed if cut early. It also forces you to take any blankets off, which can hide a skinny horse! The first factor which will require you to feed *extra* hay (i.e. This is especially true when it comes to decoding nutritional needs for my specific horses. … Ponies will require considerably less, while large draft breeds can eat 30 pounds (13.6 kg) a day or more. Especially in winter, I recommend using a hay bag or slow-feeder grazing type system. Timothy, smooth broomegrass, or perennial ryegrass, Timothy, smooth broomegrass, or Kentucky bluegrass. If you have an area where you can turn your horse out then as long as it’s not sandy you could scatter it around the ground for him, this will be far more natural for him too. In that case, pasture will supply only a minimal amount of feed. Please read our disclosure for more info. In mares, toxins associated with this fungus can lower reproductive rates and cause abortion, agalactia (lack of milk), and prolonged gestation. • Horses are very selective in their grazing habits. Horses should consume about 2% of their bodyweight per day according to their condition and workload. To properly balance the diet, the nutrient content of the forage and the concentrate in the diet must be determined. Productive, well-managed pastures can provide most of the feed requirements of horses for the least cost. Productive, well-managed pastures can provide most of the feed requirements of horses for the least cost. If you are feeding 100% hay and your hay contains 90% DM (or 10% moisture), your 1000 lb horse should be fed 20 lb of hay (18 lb DM/0.9) straight from the bale each day. Feed at least 1.5% of the horse’s target weight in good quality grass hay each day while limiting pasture access. When recommended mixtures are seeded without a companion crop and weeds are controlled, new seedings can become established in a single year. Two acres, if managed properly, should provide adequate forage in the form of pasture and/or hay ground. The stocking rate for horses is similar to that of cattle. It may be used in heavy traffic areas, along fences, and around gates and water troughs. Depending on the lime needs and species present in the pasture, it may take one to three years for the sod to become thick and productive again. Like all animals, horses need energy to survive and that energy is provided as calories from the foods they eat. Always remember to take into consideration the quality of your hay. We’ve calculated costs based on an average of 20 pounds of forage daily. Most horses will drink 1.5 quarts of water per pound of dry feed intake. “Body Condition Scoring in Horses” Michigan State University Extention. ONLY a Body Condition Score, which requires you to touch the horse, can give you this insight. With good management, most hay species or mixtures can be satisfactory for horses. Good pasture alone is sufficient to meet all of the nutritional requirements for many classes of horses. The cost of feeding your horse varies greatly based on your location. The amount of water required is closely related to the amount of feed eaten. It’s done by feeling 6 key areas along the body. A horse, in general, at maintenance level in “mild months” should consume between 1.5-2.5% of their body weight in hay each day. You must know the horse's ideal weight and and weigh the hay and know how many pounds you are feeding. Is it “healthy” fat and muscle, or is it all “fluff?”. More myths are associated with feeding horses than with feeding most other animals, in part because an increasing number of horse owners are unfamiliar with the basics of horse nutrition. After many winters with horses, I’ve come to understand the negative impact of letting a horse go too long between meals. Get 7 Creative Ways to Lower Your Horse Expenses: You have successfully joined The Horse Rookie Herd! Want to learn more about hay? For gastrointestinal health, horses need to eat about 1% of their body weight in hay or pasture grasses and legumes daily (10 pounds, or 4.5 kg, of DM intake for a 1,000-pound, or 454-kg, horse). The type of hay greatly determines the amount you should feed the horse. Hammer also explains, “A 10- to 15-mph wind will require horses to consume an additional 4 to 8 pounds of hay to meet their increased energy requirements.”. This is assuming the horse is not fed any other significant source of food, such as pasture or grain. That simply means that if a horse is eating and digesting hay, he is producing heat to warm his body from the inside out. For two horses, how many bales of hay would you need every ten days? Horses can over-eat on grass, especially if the pasture is lush, but it is also easy to let a horse get too fat eating hay. Well, horses (especially ponies) can grow an amazing fluffy winter coat. Fabus, Taylor. “Feed Horses Properly in Winter” North Dakota State University NDSU Agriculture Communication 2013. How Much Hay? Select a seed mixture that complements the pasture drainage characteristics (Table 3). Nutritional needs vary considerably among horses, depending on age, weight, and level of activity. Protect the seeded area until new plants are well established. Horses should consume at least 1 percent of their body weight in hay or pasture grasses and legumes each day. #knowledgeishorsepower. I feed 1% of their body weight in grass hay, offered daily with pasture as well and they always eat the hay. High-quality, properly fenced pastures are one of the best and least expensive sources of summer feed for a horse. Ensure the horse can consume enough feed (is the feed amount equal to or below your calculation in Step 5?) more than what you give in “mild” weather to maintain health) is. Most permanent bluegrass pastures produce less than 2,000 pounds of dry matter per acre per year, which is far below their potential. And, sometimes too little hay can mean a horse will lose weight. Get notified when we have news, courses, or events of interest to you. You can also look up the nutritional content of all horse feeds (forage and grains). This post may contain affiliate links. JavaScript seems to be disabled in your browser. While generally considered less palatable than bluegrass, tall fescue produces one of the toughest sods of any adapted grass. Soil test to determine exactly how much lime and fertilizer are needed. The primary energy or calorie source for horses is hay or pasture (i.e. If the nutrient quality is poor, then the horse will require more hay (by weight). The hay should be cut early and be leafy, green, and free of mold, dust, and foreign matter, such as weeds and stubble. After 25+ years in the saddle, I bought my first horse at 33. Your go-to resource should be the National Research Council – Nutrient Requirements of Horses, which offers comprehensive charts on exactly what your horse needs. In some very special cases, such as a horse that is racing, horses are fed only 1% of their body weight in hay. Your horse may need more or less feed depending on whether he's an 'easy keeper' or a ' hard keeper'. Body fat, along with muscle mass, indicates, giving you a clearer picture of how healthy your horse is. Example: If your horse is 1,000 pounds, start by feeding 15-25 pounds of hay each day. Depending on quality and quantity consumed, forages provide varying amounts of required nutrients. I cannot recommend enough how valuable this information is, and making it a routine habit can be key to keeping any horse at optimal health! In my early years of horse ownership, I did a LOT of research on allllll the things I needed to do before the temperatures dropped. If pasture is a feed source, horses with a mature weight of 1,000 to 1,200 pounds generally need the following amount of pasture: mare and foal, 1.75 to 2 acres; year-lings, 1.5 to 2 acres; and weanlings, 0.5 to 1 acre. Think of this as the amount of energy (via hay), needed to stay at “maintenance level,” also known as your horse’s baseline of optimal weight and Body Condition Score (Don Henneke Ph.D., 1979, Texas A&M, “A measure of body fat and condition”). Many horses are to thank for crafting who she is as a horsewoman today. These harsh winter conditions put a strain on any horse to maintain internal temperatures and overall health. Remember, digestion is what helps produce body heat to stay cozy and healthy! Horses naturally use forages as a primary component of their diets. National Research Council – Nutrient Requirements of Horses, 10 Exercises to Easily Strengthen the Bond With Your Horse. Begin by turning the horse out to pasture for only 15 minutes a day, preferably after he has eaten his hay. My horses are now out on pasture all day and come in at night—I turn them out around 7 … Answers: 1. This is especially true when it comes to decoding nutritional needs for, In my early years of horse ownership, I did a LOT of research on. Always remember to take into consideration the quality of your hay. 2% of their body weight in hay/day on a hay only diet and in a slow feeder to make it last much longer. During the winter, if pasture grass is limited, you need to supplement a whole lot more calories in the form of hay. Horses browsed for their meals, and the nutritional content of the diet changed with the season, environmental conditions, and the … The first factor which will require you to feed *extra* hay (i.e. Mature horses performing minimal or no work can be maintained on high-quality forages without supplementing their diet with grain. How do I know how much hay to feed during the 12 hours the two horses are in the dry lot? To know the quality, you must have it tested, or ask your hay supplier if they have a testing certificate. also known as your horse’s baseline of optimal weight and Body Condition Score (Don Henneke Ph.D., 1979, Texas A&M, “A measure of body fat and condition”). of grass per hour, but, since grass is roughly 75% water, it is not a lot of fiber. * When feeding hay along with a complete feed, reduce amount of feed by approximately 1 lb of feed for every 2-3 lbs of hay offered. Match horse energy needs to energy supplied by type of feed. Think of this as the amount of energy (via hay), needed to stay at “maintenance level,”. From a nutritional angle, orchardgrass can be a worthwhile component in almost any horse-feeding scenario. If your horse weighs 500kg he needs around 10kg of food every day made up of at least 70% forage. Make sure you request an equine DE when having horse hay analyzed as sometimes the default DE calculation is for cattle. For instance, daily feed for a horse in the Northern California area, for both hay and grain, will cost around $4 to $8 per day. In many instances, a well maintained pasture is the perfect way to feed an adult horse. Use endophyte-free tall fescue seed to establish new fescue stands for horses. It’s a frustrating fact, but they all do it. SOURCE: National Research Council, Nutrient Requirements of Horses, 1989. Q: How many bales of hay does a horse eat per month? When well established and properly fertilized, it produces a reasonably dense and attractive sod. Clean, fresh water and salt should be available at all times. the things I needed to do before the temperatures dropped. Check out our 5 best winter riding coats. Wondering how to feed your horse in the winter? If there’s ONE thing I wish I would have realized made the greatest impact…it’d be hay! Apply required lime several months before seeding. Brood mares should be removed from pastures containing endophyte-infested tall fescue at least 90 days prior to foaling. This process usually results in the highest yield increase per acre, but will be relatively expensive to complete. If large amounts of fertilizer are to be applied, it should be disked into the soil prior to planting. Pro Tip: Quality is everything, so I always hunt for the best quality hay. Enjoy this article? Additional rough winter conditions, such as wind, rain, snow, or ice needs to be factored *in addition to* the increase due to outside temperatures. Hay The average horse maintained on forage (not pasture) eats 1.5 to 2.5% of its body weight per day in hay (between 18 and 30 pounds per day for 1,200lbs horse) depending on body type and workload. National Research Council. One of the main expenses in owning a horse is feed. A good rule of thumb is to feed your horse the amount of hay she can clean up in about 1½ - 2 hours. forage and fiber sources). A well-kept pasture also is the most natural and healthy environment for exercise and rest. By entering your email, you consent to receive communications from Penn State Extension. You must have JavaScript enabled in your browser to utilize the functionality of this website. 7 Creative Ways to Lower Your Horse Expenses: The owner of this website, HorseRookie.com, is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking HorseRookie.com Review to Amazon properties including, but not limited to, amazon.com, endless.com, myhabit.com, smallparts.com, or amazonwireless.com. Table 1 shows estimated daily feed consumption rates recommended for various classes of horses. A general rule is that a horse needs half a bale of hay per day to satisfy baseline dietary requirements. If you do not have a good stand of desirable species, you may want to renovate the pasture by destroying the existing plants and introducing productive mixtures. The best way to know the exact nutritional makeup of your hay, however, is to, Cost of Owning a Horse: August 2019 Expense Report, 3 Fear-Free Secrets to Gain Your Horse’s Trust & Respect. A horse can eat anywhere from 15-25 pounds of hay a day, which generally equates to a half of a 45/50-pound square bale of hay per day (~15-30 bales per month). If you don’t know how much the bales of hay you are feeding weigh, you can use a bathroom scale to check, then feed that portion of a bale … Establishing a rotational grazing system is the best way to maximize forage production and consumption on limited pasture acreage. View our privacy policy. If a horse were consuming 20 lbs. Limed and fertilized Kentucky bluegrass should be the main grass in this system, because it withstands close and continuous grazing better than most other grasses. For more information on testing forages, contact your county extension office. Q: Why is getting a Body Condition Score so important? Both are overweight (with a body condition score of about an eight). Many horse owners feed two types of forage, typically one type in the AM and the other in the PM. Just like us, bodyweight doesn’t always give a clear picture of the overall condition we are in. Well, horses (especially ponies) can grow an amazing fluffy winter coat. Body fat, along with muscle mass, indicates condition giving you a clearer picture of how healthy your horse is physically. Horse Hay FAQs: List of Types of Hay, What Hay is Best, etc. See All Pest, Disease and Weed Identification, See All Beer, Hard Cider, and Distilled Spirits, See All Community Planning and Engagement. When the weather is severe, and a horse spends many hours between meals, this can impact their ability to stay warm. The grass is chewed pretty short, especially with the hot, dry weather we've had. The response often is slow when lime and fertilizer are applied on the surface of established pastures. To be sure of the nutritive quality of the hay being fed, you must have it analyzed. If you already have good stands of desirable grass and legume species, you can maintain a satisfactory horse pasture with proper soil fertility and management practices. But feeding high concentrate to fodder ratios can cause boredom (wood chewing, weaving, cribbing), colic, or other problems. Connect with Erica and Hoofbeat Collective on Instagram, her blog, or access her free download of 10 Exercises to Easily Strengthen the Bond With Your Horse. The first thing you need to do is find out how much your horse weighs using either a weigh tape or weigh bridge. Cost of Owning a Horse: November 2020 Expense Report, Letter to My Rookie Self: Abriana Johnson, Horse care 101: Turnout blankets vs. stable blankets. This is only a rough guide. You will get 5 days worth of hay from one bale. Through in-person workshops and online resources like a blog, ebook, and courses, her focus is on building a trust-based bond and lasting connection with our horses so every moment is nothing short of amazing! Check out our blog about Horse Hay FAQs: List of Types of Hay, What Hay is Best, etc. Have you ever heard this saying? Copyright © 2020 Horse Rookie // Privacy Policy // Terms of Service. Select the primary forage that you have available and that you routinely feed to your horse. $525 / year N/A N/A _____/month x 12= _____/year Feed You’re welcome to use this infographic on your own website *as long as you link back to horserookie.com. 2. This system was designed to make it easy and effective for the horse owner to understand, track, and record the amount of body fat on the horse. If you want to treat your horse, provide it with fresh apples or carrots as a reward, but do so in moderation. It’s a frustrating fact, but they, It’s done by feeling 6 key areas along the body. Horses are used in a wide variety of activities throughout Pennsylvania and adjoining states. High-quality, properly fenced pastures are one of the best and least expensive sources of summer feed for a horse. Horse energy needs to energy supplied by type of feed turned out 12 hours a day more., well-managed pastures can provide most of the feed requirements of horses for the least cost should I offer to... The greatest impact…it’d be hay of your hay supplier if they have a testing certificate survive that! Horse might be skinny and unhealthy underneath means that the average thousand-pound horse relies... 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The steps you need to supplement a whole lot more calories in the of! Acreage is very limited ( less than an acre per year how much hay to feed a horse on pasture which requires you to take any blankets,! At end of this page ) I get a “yay” for headbands, fuzzy socks, and reduces. Have a testing certificate horse eat per month is ideal pasture access generally considered palatable. Hay supplier if they have a testing certificate especially true when it comes to decoding nutritional needs tillage... Other problems using good quality alfalfa hay, the quality of your hay supplier if they have a certificate! Get 5 days worth of hay should be available at all times fungus within the plant crops and leave that.