??'s regarding roundbales and horses

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by bkreugar, Dec 26, 2009.

  1. bkreugar

    bkreugar Songster

    Jun 18, 2008
    Asheboro NC
    Okay I have 3 horses. One 21 yr old hard to keep extremely finicky retired full arab mare (a babysitter who has earned her retirement due to arthritis).One 18 yr old morab mare who will eat ANYTHING not nailed down, but also a touch hard to keep. An 11 yr old pintabian (pinto arab) who is NOT a hard keeper and who will also eat ANYTHING.

    SO on the 16th I bought a 700# round bale from southern states that was fescue orchard grass mix and VERY nice hay.I had wanted to try roundbales to lower my feeding $$$. All 3 LOVED it, even my finicky old mare.It only lasted 8 days. It was $40.00 which is high but it was because it was from Southern states not a farmer.

    I also bought from a farmer square fescue hay $2.00 a bale. It IS horse quality baled this year. They will eat it when in but obviously it does not compare with the fescue/orchard grass roundbale. I was/am feeding my guys southern states legends high fat (9%) pellet.I HAVE to have a high fat pellet for the old retired girl.

    So my dumb question is has anybody been able to keep their horses fat and sleek on nothing but hay, paticularly roundbale hay? I would like to just feed the younger 2 the good quality roundbale hay and the retired girl a smaller ration of the high fat pellet.

    I was told they would waste a lot of the roundbale but I only had about 10% wastage.I have NO grass and they live on rocky soil.So the hay keeps them busy and happy.The 2.00 square bales are fine for when they are in, but I doubt they have a lot of nutritional value.My old girl picks thru the square bale hay.

    My guys ONLY go in when it is cold and wet, they stay out most of the time.That is because the old girl will PACE in a stall if you just do 12 hours in 12 hours out.SHE wants to be out unless it is cold and wet, and she will let you know when she wants IN by pacing at the gate.

    So I would like to get a roundbale every 7-10 days and then just give my old girl a grain ration.Has anybody had any luck with this?

    I have had horses for over 25 years but never tried the roundbale thing before. I could not afford to give them all they could eat quality square bale hay, but even at 40.00 the roundbale WOULD cut down expenses if I could reduce my grain rations for the 3.

    So anybody have luck keeping horses fat on JUST quality roundbale hay?

  2. chickenwhisperer123

    chickenwhisperer123 Whispers Loudly

    Mar 7, 2009
    Lincoln, Nebraska
    Quote:That is ALL we feed ours (besides pasture in the spring/summer). We do supplement our yearling with grain though.

    Everyone is keeping their weight on just fine, and has for as long as we have been doing it. [​IMG]

    We do grain after a long CTR to help them get going again, but thats all.

    I dont know how this compares to yours, because our oldest is 15.
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2009
  3. EweSheep

    EweSheep Flock Mistress

    Jan 12, 2007
    Land of Lincoln
    I have a friend that had an OLD Paso mare, about 29 years old and she was so hard to keep weight on her regardless. She does feed them roundbales (mostly grass) and what got this mare put on weight is beet pulp. She can not be grained, it makes her HOT. She had better luck with that one than anyother things she has tried including the senior feed. Try beet pulp and see what your mare can hold her weight on.
  4. La Mike

    La Mike (Always Slightly Off)

    Nov 20, 2009
    How much (weight wise) are you feeding in pellets per horse now ?
  5. Elite Silkies

    Elite Silkies Crowing

    Jun 17, 2009
    My Coop
    I no longer have my horses, but when I did they all did well on hay alone except one. She was an Arab and just could not keep weight on with hay alone. I supplemented her with several different things. But, she came from a home that had almost starved her to death, which makes a big difference.

    I fed Bermuda and mine stayed fat. I think your younger ones would do fine. Round bales are so much easier than square bales. Esp. when it's really cold. It was also cheaper for me, because our square bales around here were $5-6 per bale.

    I would try it and watch their weight closely.

  6. floridamama

    floridamama Songster

    Oct 17, 2009
    Polk City
    Hi I guess I am not the only one with "old timie" horses. My Youngest is 22yrs old Gelding, a true old cow horse, Jump on and move type, 24 yr old Buckskin Gld, 26yr old Mare, has heart murmur. They are at our place for retirement living. The Mare was a abandoned horse in a pasture with a stallion they had to fend for them selves. She almost died due to stress on her heart bec. she was preg. and underweight w/ heart murmur. That was a few yrs back now she has a little trouble holding weight but she is 26 now and she still has teeth to eat with.

    We have all the guys eatting Sr feed due to softer pellets in the feed. We Feed everybody Morning & Evening Full Rations and They get a lunch feeding. M&E They get Sr. Feed(16%) Mixed With Alfalfa pellet/Sr pellet(14%).
    Lunch They get Alfalfa Cubes Soaked in either water or 1/2 water and peanut oil. They just love when its the mixed water. Its a great way to "sand blast" they guts out without being harsh to their system. We did use a coastal when they were "younger" But due to the 22yr he as the problems with chewing hay of any kind. I have tried the T&A he wasn't as bad but, I have found For my Guys its better to hold the weight with the Alfalfa pellets added to their daily diet and the alfafla cubes moisten for them to chew up is working I don't know if the price of Alfalfa cubes or pellet is for you but I get a months worth of Cubes for $30 and Pellets $26 So It helps make the feed bill a little cheaper (16%) Sr feed is $16.95/50lbs bag and The (14%) Sr pellet is $14.50/ 50lb bag.

    Hope you are able to find what works for your guys.
  7. bkreugar

    bkreugar Songster

    Jun 18, 2008
    Asheboro NC
    21 yr old mare gets 10# a day of the 9% fat pellet. 18 yr old gets 6# and 11 year old gets 4#.

    I have tried her on beet pulp and she will in fact eat it.But I am really trying to get away from adding this and that in in to the feed.

    Great quality square bales go for for 4-5 dollars a bale here.SO a bale a day for the 3 would be 150.00 in hay alone not including my bags of grain. And really the 3 probably need more than a bale a day between them.

    A roundbale of high quality hay would be 40.00.So $40.00 X 4 = 160.00 and they have as much as they want of it.Plus I would be buying considerably less grain.
  8. bkreugar

    bkreugar Songster

    Jun 18, 2008
    Asheboro NC
    Here in NC southern states also has an 11 or 12% fat senior feed but it is MUCH higher in $ and Nutreena has a feed called XTN that has I think 12 or 14% fat but that is crazy high $$$.I feed that ocaisonally when mare feels bad and doesn't want to eat along with alfalfa hay.

    If the old mare turns down alfalfa hay I KNOW she is hurting bad that day, time for some bute.

    Where do you get a grain that high in fat???It IS the fat that is the secret to the old mare. All my guys have their teeth and they get floated or checked every year.

    I wanted to try to get the younger 2 to a more hay based diet, and again was pleasantly suprised that finicky mare would eat this round bale.

    Do you guys that feed round bales all the time find they waste a lot. Maybe my guys didn't waste elot of this one because they were so happy to be able to eat as much as they wanted, maybe they would start to waste, but still would like to try it.
  9. ChickenCat

    ChickenCat Songster

    Mar 1, 2009
    craig county, VA
    My horses are younger than yours, a 10 and a 15 yr old quarter horses. They get 6 pounds of grain split between them. One full square bale of hay when weather is fair, 2 bales per day when harsh weather. We do not have a shelter for them. Our pasture is non existent. The horses maintain very well. The 9 yr old is too fat actually. If we were feeding rolled hay, we wouldn't feed grain at all.
    For your oldest horse, gosh, I can't imagine feeding 10# of grain.................. try giving less less grain but upping her fat content with adding corn oil to her grain. the fat content is what sticks to the ribs so to speak. You may even try adding a 1/4 of "Calf Manna" to the grain. I've done both of the above for young horses that needed some meat on their bones to help with winter cold.

  10. bkreugar

    bkreugar Songster

    Jun 18, 2008
    Asheboro NC
    The 21 yr old I know it is the fat content that makes the difference.She has to have a higher fat grain to maintian.I have had her since she was 3 and have spent some $$$ trying to figure out WHY she is so darn hard to keep. When I bought her she was in a stall WITH HER DAM at 3. It was a big arab farm 30 stalls down each side of the barn and they were running out of room.Mare had never been haltered and again was still with her dam.

    Day I picked her up was her first day with a halter and first day away from mom.Anyway she was stunted is all I can come away with. She was not a very hard keeper till the last 3 years.Once she hit 18 she got pickier and harder to keep the weight on.I have had her scoped for ulcers (she has none) I have done fecals to check for worms.She is fine.I even double dosed her on strongid or zimectrin to get rid of any tape worm she may have.All I can came away with is the damage she had as a youngster before I had her now is affecting her.

    She was a total babysitter in her youth and took my daughter to MANY blues.I just TRY to do my best to balance her needs to my checkbook.We retired her at 18 when her arthritus really started to affect her range of motion.Honestly the mare was sad to not be ridden and go out and about anymore.SO she now carries my 6 yr old a couple times a month. I saddle her and we all ride and the mare carries my son till SHE says she's done and comes in the middle to say she is finished.That is usually 1/2 an hour to 45 minutes.

    But in the last 7 years I have NEVER been in a situation to give them as much hay (square bale)as they wanted.So this roundbale thing MIGHT be a cure for her too. She is happy and will eat it. I should have tried it earlier but had heard you could not get good QUALITY roundbale hay. That does not seem to be true.

    I am quite happy to hear there ARE people that can maintain them on only hay.I dont think I will beable to do that with her, but if I can do it with the other 2 it will help me tremendously. Vet is really on my case to try the mare on legends injections for her knee. If I can spend less on feed I could give it a try. We don't think it will make her sound , but I would like her to be comfortable.Now she has good and bad days and the quick weather changes seem to be very hard on her.

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