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Horses Eating

The Best Way to Feed your Horse

To keep your horse in optimal health, there are some guidelines that should be followed for feeding. Whether it’s the type of food or when they are fed, changes in a horse’s food regimen can mean the difference between a happy horse and one that is ill tempered.

Feed Horses on a Regular Schedule

As with many animals, horses do best when a regular schedule is followed. They feel most comfortable when they can rely on when they will get their next meal. Whether you are feeding your horses in the field with a hay feeder or in their stall, horses will thrive by sticking to a regular routine.

If Feeding Grain, Consider Smaller Amounts

While hay should be the primary food source, if you are supplementing your horse’s diet with grain, try not to feed them too much at one time. When fed grain in smaller amounts, horses do better digesting the feed.

Don’t Make Any Sudden Change in Your Horses Feeding Routine

Whether it’s changing the time of day or the type of food you are feeding your horse, a sudden change can cause unnecessary stress. If you do need to change something, do it gradually so that the horse can adjust. Therefore, if you are changing the feeding time, do so in small time increments until you get to the final adjusted time.

Be Mindful of When Your Horse is Fed

It’s best not to feed your horse just before or after exercise. Exercising on a full stomach can make exercise harder for horses and can also slow down digestion. Therefore if you are planning on riding your horse, be aware of their feed schedule and work around that.

Hay Saver Hay Feeder for Horses

The Benefits of Using Hay Saver Feeders

After using a hay saver hay feederBefore using a hay saver hay feederWhen it comes to hay waste, using the right type of hay feeder can make a significant difference in saving hay, money and time. That’s why it’s important to understand all of the positive benefits that come along with using hay saver feeders.

Confining hay within a feeder helps to eliminate waste by nearly 40%. While that may not seem like an overwhelming percentage, the significance comes into play when you consider the cost of hay as well as the amount of time and work it takes to haul it, stack it, store it and deliver it to the horses.

How Hay Saver Hay Feeders are Beneficial for Horses

Less hay waste directly correlates to better feed efficiency for horses. In comparison to slow feeders, hay saver feeders are more beneficial to horses as they are less likely to overeat because they can eat freely, whereas slow feeders can oftentimes create stress for horses because of the time it takes to consume the hay. Choking, vomiting, gastrointestinal discomfort and bloating can also occur through the use of slow feeders. In contrast, with hay saver feeders, horses suffer fewer of these respiratory effects from inhaling less dust by not sticking their faces directly into the hay. In short, eating from a hay saver feeder reduces ingestion of dirt and sand, which reduces the incidence of colic related to that sort of debris in the GI tract. Hay saver feeders ensure that horses stay healthy and well-fed because their feed remains as fresh as possible.

How Hay Saver Hay Feeders are Beneficial for Horse Owners

While hay saver feeders reap several benefits for horses, they’re also cost-beneficial to horse owners. The less hay that is wasted, the more money you can save. An overall decrease in wasted hay will more than pay the cost of the hay feeders themselves.
It’s no secret that one of the largest expenses that come along with owning a horse is the cost of feed. Anything you can do to prevent a rise in cost can positively affect not only your wallet, but your horse, too.

Horse Hay Feeder

Horse and Cattle Nutrition

Without the right amount of protein, carbohydrates, fiber, vitamins and minerals, horses, cattle and other livestock could suffer from poor nutrition. For optimal growth, it is important your livestock is getting the proper nutrients.

Most feeds are simply designed to be the primary source of food for animals, while others are designed with a primary focus on animals eating forage with extra protein and energy so if necessary, they can improve their diet.

For horses, most do not need grain as good quality hay will suffice. And, while grain can be added, the majority of their nutrition should come from roughage. This makes ensuring you contain as much hay as possible in a hay feeder important in order to save hay and money.

If you do feed your horse grain, it should be given in small amounts as they can’t digest large amounts effectively.  Find out more about the best way to feed your horse.

When it comes to feed, it isn’t always ‘one-size-fits-all.’ Your horse and/or cattle will have unique needs, so it is important to be aware of which feeds will be best for them based on their nutritional needs.

Different types of feed include:

  • Pelleted cattle feed (ingredients are formed into small pellets)
  • Sweet feed (comes from fresh grains)
  • Block feed (formed into solid blocks)

Similarly, there are different types of minerals that are important for your cattle’s’ health. Minerals can be loose, separated in mineral feeders, or if preferred, they can be added to normal feed the same way humans would add salt onto food, whereas block minerals are meant for animals to lick.

To keep your animal’s energy up, be sure to provide ample water, carbohydrates, protein, fiber, vitamins and minerals.

H8 Hay Feeder in Use

Horse Care in Spring

It may be warm enough for the snow to have melted, but the springtime is still too damp and cold to jump right into summer practices. This makes spring one of the most tedious seasons to care for your horses, preparing them for the warm months of summer.
Luckily, we’ve put together a short to-do list so you can start preparing for the summer now.

  • Schedule Your Check-Ups
    The spring is the perfect time to schedule your horse’s annual wellness exam. It’s especially important to get them vaccinated for mosquito season as mosquitoes and other insects oftentimes carry preventable diseases.
  • Check Your Fences
    Once the snow and ice melts, you may notice that some things have shifted a bit during the cold weather – like fences for example. Freezing and thawing of the ground can cause fence posts to “heave,” resulting in downed rails, loose mesh or high tensile fences, which no longer have high tension. It’s important to make note of this now so you can tighten any fence posts that may have become loose over the winter.
  • Hay and Grass Intake
    When the first sprouts of grass begin to pop up, it’s common for horses to overindulge in the beginning. To prevent overindulgence, grazing muzzles can help to monitor grass intake. In addition, the use of a hay saver hay feeder can assist in preventing horses from overeating. It’s also important to keep a steady supply of forage for your horses as this is what will help to keep them warm through fermentation. The threat of laminitis due to over consumption is at an all-time high during the early spring.
  • Hoof Care
    Do not neglect regular trimming and resetting of shoes during the winter, even if your horses are not working. Letting horse hooves get overly long increases the chances of them chipping, cracking or other major changes in hoof angles. That’s why it’s important to keep up with hoof care during all seasons.

Summer is only right around the corner, so start gearing up for busy season while you can!

Best Hay for Your Horses

Best Hay for Your Horses

When it comes to finding the best hay to feed your horses, there are actually a select few choices for you to pick from. Generally speaking, however, hay will fall into one of two categories: legumes and grasses.

Legume hay has higher protein content, higher energy content and higher calcium levels than that of grass hay. Higher protein is especially important for young, growing horses and/or working or performance horses. With protein levels ranging anywhere from 15 to 21 percent in legume hay, horses are getting the nutrients they need to grow properly. However, it’s also important to understand that legume hay typically has more calories per pound than grass hay, so horses consuming these particular types will need to consume less to maintain their body weight.

Grass hay has its benefits, too. Lower in energy content and protein, grass hay is oftentimes preferred – especially for older horses as it is much easier on the kidneys and easier to chew and digest. Grass hay has high fiber content, which makes it a convenient solution to horse feeding as it satisfies their appetites without adding extra calories or protein. The lower nutritional values in grass hay is also a plus, not to mention, it’s less dusty than legume hay which makes it a smarter choice for horses that may have respiratory issues.

Every horse has different nutritional requirements. Age, activity level, breed and size all contribute to finding what hay is the best choice for your horse. Since there is no cut-and-dry answer to which hay is the ‘best’ generally speaking, it’s important to become familiar with your horse and your options to pinpoint the best choice specifically for you and your horse.