Do horses really eat hay?

Many pleasure and trail horses don’t need grain: good-quality hay or pasture is sufficient. If hay isn’t enough, grain can be added, but the bulk of a horse’s calories should always come from roughage. Horses are meant to eat roughage, and their digestive system is designed to use the nutrition in grassy stalks.

Why do horses eat hay?

Feed Hay to Horses Often

Horses need to graze on small amounts of forage almost constantly. Hay, which provides fiber, nutrients and vitamins in a relatively low-calorie dose, can be fed in this manner all year round, allowing even horses with zero turnout time a chance to eat like their ancestors.

Is hay really for horses?

There are quite a few different types of hay that people feed to horses, but hay generally falls into one of two categories – legumes and grasses. Alfalfa hay, sometimes called lucerne hay, is the most popular legume hay fed to horses in the U.S., while timothy and orchard are popular grass hay choices.

Should horses eat hay off the ground?

Why feeding hay and grain from ground level is in your horse’s best interest. You can reduce your horse’s risk of choke, colic and respiratory disorders and increase the amount of nutrients he gets from his ration by doing nothing more than eliminating chest- or head-high feed tubs and hay racks.

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How many bales of hay does a horse eat per month?

Q: How many bales of hay does a horse eat per month? 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).

How long can horses go without hay?

Ideally, horses shouldn’t go more than 3-4 hours without foraging/grazing. I know my guys go longer periods during the evening, but they will still paw through the snow and find whatever they can to munch on.

What hay can horses eat?

Horses typically eat hay that’s grown locally, which means their options are often restricted to what grows best in their area. While alfalfa is considered an ideal hay, horses can also eat timothy, clover and tall fescue hays as well as mixtures of these hays.

What kind of hay is bad for horses?

Hoffman said there are a few grasses to avoid in hay or forage if you are feeding horses. They include: Perennial ryegrass and rye. This quick-growing grass is popular in dairy pastures.

What is the best hay for older horses?

Alfalfa hay and good quality grass hays are preferable to stemmy and mature hays that have tougher fiber to ferment. The small intestine loses some function – Older horses find it harder to digest protein in the small intestine.

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