Thursday, December 16, 2010

Not Much Going On

Still Cold and  a Cold

I am still under the weather with my cold, and it's still really cold out, so status quo.

My hay man came today to bring another twenty-two bales of hay. What I have should tide me over into the New Year.

I've been feeding the Boys after 9 AM in the mornings lately, so I can sleep in.  With their late night snack, they do fine waiting until then. But this morning, I realized at about 6 AM that I had forgotten to put out the garbage and recycling. I leapt out of bed and carted the cans out, only to see three cute horse faces staring at me from the barn.  Not one to ever be able to ignore cute horse faces, I took some hay out to them.  They seemed quite pleased and I felt even better about leaving them until 9 AM for breakfast.

In the winter, especially, forage is an important part of a horse's diet.  Constant eating is how horses keep warm.  It's hard to keep hay in front of them all the time, though.  If you put out too much, they trample it into the ground and waste it.  Even today, when I went to clean the stalls, there was leftover hay scattered about.  I wouldn't mind but my Boys tend to pee on the uneaten hay and all I end up doing is cleaning it out of the stalls to throw it away.  It gets kind of expensive when that happens.

I keep working on trying to find the right amount of hay to portion out at each feeding.  Right now, I'm getting pretty close to finding the right balance. They get hay three times a day.

I would think one of the big round bales in the pasture would be nice, but I always wonder how it stays dry and edible in the rain and snow. I know some of you feed round bales, so input would be appreciated.

For now, though, I seem to have it all pretty much under control.

5 comments:

  1. I -love- my mare. Much less of the whole peeing-in-hay thing. I don't know why horses do that. It's nasty.

    Good luck! I know nothing about round bales.

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  2. Sorry you're still not feeling well. We don't use round bales but my daughter thought of an ingenious plan for our hay. It keeps the waste way down, we built 2 "hay trees" in the paddocks. We can attach four hay nets to each one and during the winter they pretty much hang around them eating all day.(I did a post on how to build them, if you're interested I'll send it to you)if not I know everyone has their own routine. At night she's devised these very large hay nets with dowel poles that make them open and shut from the top and we stuff them with a lot of hay, so no worries about getting out to cute horse faces in the early morning.

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  3. Bummer that you are still not feeling well! I have been under the weather most of the week and even canceled my work trip due to a fever.

    My old barn, well like 4 barns ago! We fed round bales out to the pasture and they were left uncovered and unprotected. We did have a bit more horses feeding at them than your 3. 12- 15 so I think they hay never lasted long enough to spoil.

    Feel better!!

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  4. With our horses, a round bale lasts about a week or a bit more for a herd of 3-4 horses. These are not the 800 lb. monster bales but the 300-400 lb. smaller ones. At this time of year, the horses go through it fast enough that we don't have to worry much about mold/spoilage. But it depends a lot on your hay supplier - our guy produces really nice grass hay. We got a few bales last year (that he bought for us because we used his up) that were moldy and no good, so caution is in order - it depends on how they were baled and stored.

    Hope you feel better soon.

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  5. At the barn Cruizer is at the horses get between 1-3 flakes in the stall at night (depends on the horse's size, and how much they actually eat). Outside they have access to big square bales all day. However, there are a few pastures which only have 1-4 horses in them, and in that case they just get regular hay distributed to them outside to avoid waste. Since most of our pastures have 8+ horses in them, we don't see much waste. Occasionally if its really rainy and snowy the barn manager has to take out all the ruined hay and add more, which is annoying but easier than distributing hay for 8+ horses every single day. I guess it depends how many horses you have and how much they eat.

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