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  1. #1

    Default Hay doesn't get eaten

    Probably a very stupid question but my horses, who live out 24/7 seem to not eat their hay once it's been in the field for a while.

    It's perfectly fine hay, but they seem to prefer the fresh one I give them. Like there's hay out from the beginning of the week which looks fine - but they ignore it and then hoover up the hay I brought them this morning.

    Is it like with other animals and they'll eat it if they're really hungry or are horses different?

    I don't want to waste hay by topping up too much but obviously I also don't want to starve them.

    Thank you.

  2. #2
    Sport horse
    Join Date
    Mar 2013

    Default Re: Hay doesn't get eaten

    It starts to get a bit rank when it's been on the ground for a while. Unless your neds are like mine and walk, pee, poo and roll on it. Some of it is bound to get wasted by being trodden into the ground. Put less out - then if it all gets eaten - you've got the quantity right!

  3. #3
    Old nag
    Join Date
    Aug 2008

    Default Re: Hay doesn't get eaten

    Don't force them into eating hay they have rejected. It might look fine to you but there are all sorts of moulds and bacteria which build up in wet muddy hay. If you make them hungry enough they might eat it and you could end up with a significant vets bill. Discarded trampled hay will also damage the grass mat so I would remove the unwanted hay and dispose of it. Then follow cowgirl's advice and put less out - although still in more piles than there are ponies to prevent fighting.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Hay doesn't get eaten

    I suggest putting a couple of 'hay feeders' in the field with your horses as well, again, more feeders than there are horses to avoid fighting. This can be done fairly cheaply by either using wheelie bins with a hole cut out at the bottom of the front, or black bins with lids (drill a hole through the edge of the lid and the lip of the bin in two or three places along the edge and secure with carbine hooks/clips) and again, cut a hole from the side of the bin towards the bottom. Have a look on Pinterest for DIY hay feeders, and you'll see what I mean. You should be able to fit quite a bit of hay in these, and it'll stay dry and off the mud. It will also encourage slower foraging which is so much better for their digestion and gut health. Not trying to teach anyone to suck eggs, just sharing what I've learned.

  5. #5
    Old nag equi's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Northern Ireland

    Default Re: Hay doesn't get eaten

    Put it this way, would you eat a lettuce thats been sitting out for a day? Horses generally dont like wet hay.


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