Do Horses Need Hay Around the Clock?
Q.Do horses need hay around the clock? I have heard that horses need hay kept in front them all the times, but also that they don’t need 24-hour access to hay. I feed my 20-year-old horse 8 ounces of protein feed in the morning with two to three flakes of hay, and then turn him out on the pasture in afternoon until it gets dark. Now that it’s dark at 5: 30 p.m., I bring him in but don’t give him any hay for the night. Am I feeding him enough?
A.Accurately evaluating if you’re currently feeding the right amount of hay is challenging because I don’t have all the information I need about your horse and what you’re currently feeding. There are really two ways to look at your question:
- The first is are you feeding enough to meet your horse’s nutritional requirements; and
- Are you feeding enough to maintain gut health?
I will try to address both using some general considerations and hope you’ll find it helpful
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