Horses and cows together?

PotterWatch

My Patronus is a Chicken
11 Years
Apr 22, 2008
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Virginia
We will soon be moving to our new farm and start raising beef steers. My youngest son really, really wants a horse. Can the horse live in the same pasture area as the steers? There would be plenty of space for all the animals. We do have some other pens that can be used to house a horse, but they don't have any grass so we would have to purchase more hay.

Does a horse on good pasture need supplemental hay at all or should it get enough from grazing? I have never had a horse where there was pasture available so I don't know the answer to that. I know about general care as I used to be an avid jumper and had a half-lease on a horse for a while as well. That has been almost 20 years ago though (wow, typing that just made me feel really, really old). Anything else I should know about keeping a horse on pasture?
 

greenfamilyfarms

Big Pippin'
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Feb 27, 2008
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We had a horse and a pony in with my Grandpa's Angus herd when I was a kid with no issues. They get along fine with each other as long as the horses and the cows are pretty docile. If the steers are a more aggressive breed, I would watch to be sure they didn't hurt the horses and vice versa.
 

PotterWatch

My Patronus is a Chicken
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Apr 22, 2008
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Well that's good news. The steers we are going to get tend to be pretty timid as far as those things go.
 

OtterCreekRanch

Songster
8 Years
Mar 16, 2011
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I would not worry about the steers being aggressive so much as the horses being aggressive. We kept horses with our cow herd for awhile but ended up moving them because the horses would bite and kick at the cows all of the time. They would try and herd them on their own. It was wearing the cows out. I guess alot of it depends on the horse.
 

Chickerdoodle13

The truth is out there...
12 Years
Mar 5, 2007
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They should do fine together.

I would recommend feeding the horse pellets or grain though in addition to pasture. Also, you have to be careful with some horses. Sometimes a pasture only diet can be too rich and can cause issues like obesity, founder, and laminitis. In cases like these, you may have to let the horse out to pasture for a controlled amount of time. Also, in the winter, you will most likely have to supplement with hay, depending on your location. Be careful in the spring though. This is the time when grass can cause problems because it is growing quickly and the horse is not accustomed to it having been on hay all winter.
 

Haviris2

Chirping
8 Years
Feb 2, 2011
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I agree it depends on the horse, generally I'd say they'd be ok together. Although I would feed them separate, the horse will chase the cows away from the feed and make themself sick. And no if good pasture they shouldn't need any supplimental hay.

My pony is in w/ the cows right now.
 

PotterWatch

My Patronus is a Chicken
11 Years
Apr 22, 2008
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Quote:We could easily keep the horse in the pasture for only certain amounts of time. We won't have an issue with having to feed hay in the winter as we will have green pasture year-round. Our steers won't be getting any supplemental feed, so we would just have to put the horse in its own pen for any supplemental feeding. If we end up getting a horse that has never been out on pasture before (or very little), how much access to pasture should we allow at first and at what rate could we increase its pasture time?

Thanks so much for all the advice everyone!
 

NottinghamChicks

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Aug 31, 2010
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We raised Black Angus and Morgan horses and they shared the same pasture. We never had a problem but they had over 60 acres of fields. There were typically 25 head of cattle and 10 horses give or take a few. We also brought them up from pasture each night and in the hot weather they would stay in a huge paddock area until daybreak. During the daytime they had the option of coming up also, but there was always access to water from either the pond or the trough in the paddock area. They had quite the lifestyle, the way it was meant to be


ETA Each spring when we put the horses out to pasture we always started off with just a few hours of grazing each day and gradually increased it each week. We did not supplement them with hay or grain unless they were very young or very old. The next most important thing is to keep up with worming, and check for injuries of any sort on a daily basis.
 
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