Feeding Horses in Drought Conditions

Prepare for drought long before pastures wither and hay supplies dwindle.
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Feeding Horses in Drought Conditions
As pastures thin and dry up, owners should start supplementing horses'daily diet with more hay,. | Photo: Thinkstock

Prepare for drought long before pastures wither and hay supplies dwindle.

The thought of drought conditions can be enough to make a farm owner’s heart skip a beat and hand clutch his or her wallet. And for good reason: When pastures dry up and hay stores dwindle, the remaining options for feeding horses can become costly.

The good thing (if there is one) about droughts is that they don’t happen overnight. “It’s not that your pastures are green one day and then brown as a biscuit the next,” says Tom Keene, Agronomy Specialist with the University of Kentucky, in Lexington.

You have time to adjust to these conditions, as do your horses. As pastures get thinner, owners should start supplementing each animal’s daily diet with more hay, Keene says. This helps the gut gradually adapt to the loss of fresh grass and accommodate the addition of dry hay

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