Advice wintering out

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26 September 2014
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Need a bit of advice I've always had a little yard, but having another addition to the horsey family I have not got enough grazing so have rented 3 acres of land off the local farmer, it's in two paddocks with lots of natural shelter a lean to shelter has no sides but a nice roof and well put together. Now what I need advice with the living out option as I've never done it before, my ponys are native types with the largest 14hh, I will rug according to the weather, but it's the hay situation that's worrying me, I have ordered a feeder for the rounds, and have 10 reels being delivered, now do you think this will last all 3 through winter with alibi hay? Any other advice welcome or suggestions thanks :)
 

Amymay

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I would put piles out, rather than feeding via a roundbale feeder. That way you'll get less wastage, and your hay will last longer. Is there plenty of grass at the moment?
 

ameeyal

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Now i think that the feeder willl have less wastage, i just hate seeing hay put out in the fields, that has been trod in/trashed.
10 bales should do you,
 
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There is grass but not a lot left I would say a few weeks or so then I will prob have to start introducing hay, I was advised with the feeder as less wastage thank you for your comments x
 
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Are they good doers? I ask because my natives used to be, but 1 is in her thirties and the other mid twenties who still works. Mine seem to work better with lots of hay piles dotted about as I have a very dominent mare who will scoff the lot otherwise. I never notice any wastage that way, you can just see where the piles were the day before but they're very efficient and don't waste a morsel. In terms of how long that will last, I can't help, I'm not that scientific, I just buy it in when I'm getting low.
 

hotair

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My last pony had a few winters out and we found that the feeder deffinatly minimized waste as it ment they couldnt trample all over the hay. We had a 12.2hh a 15.2hh and a 14.2hh and found a round bale would last about 2 weeks but our grazing was generally pretty good so i think 10 should do you :)
 

Auslander

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I feed hay in piles - and don't get much wastage, unless there are mares in the field. The boys are happy to pee elsewhere, but the girls like to use the hay.
I'd quite like a feeder, but mine would argue. Alf believes that everything belongs to him, and he only shares if he feels like it, which is why I give them piles!
 

luckyoldme

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we put large round bales in a round feeder for five horses..two Clydesdales , 1 percheron my ish and a yearling . the large bales did four days..we did get a bit of wastage but with a well established herd found that this was the most convenient way to feed them. I love having my horse out 24/7 with the big boys...he s certainly a lot better than he was stood in a stable 13 hours a day!
 

annagain

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A friend whose horses winter out puts her hay on top of the hedge (assuming you have one of course!) - she deliberately trims the top of it at about 45 degrees so the hay can sit on it but the horses can also reach it. Gets very little wastage and the horses all have room to eat apart if they want, although two of hers would share the same blade of hay if they could! She has a tractor so sticks it on a spike and unrolls it in stages along the hedge, but if you don't have that, putting piles along it would be a bit bit more labour intensive but doable. It also means they're not eating (and therefore standing) in the same spot all the time.
 

AdorableAlice

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The small holed bale buddy would be useful with out of work stock, but with in work horses the constant upward pull would but a big lump of muscle just where you don't want it.
 

Spring Feather

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10 rounds should last you depending on the size.

We only use large hardcore rounds and feed from hay feeders and yes there is wastage. The amount of wastage directly relates to the size of the bale in comparison to the size of the hay feeder. If we feed 5ft rounds in 6ft feeders then we work on around 25% wastage. If we feed 6ft rounds in 6ft feeders that percent goes up dramatically to about double, therefore if we are ever feeding 6ft round these days (which we try not to do!) we only feed them in 8ft feeders.
 

Ceriann

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i feed in piles - there is some waste but it keeps them moving about the field and it avpids squabbles (i have one mare who can be a cowbag with food)
 

annagain

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I remembered seeing a good homemade feeder that had a haynet hanging from a barrel so I just googled "home made hay feeder barrel and haynet" and the images it came up with would probably give you some good ideas. I think that barrel is very clever, although if they're out permanently it might be pain having to fill it all the time as it wouldn't hold much. I'd also want it a bit higher so they can't catch their feet in it.

https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=h...v&sa=X&ei=r3AlVIimMYHg7Qacr4GADQ&ved=0CCAQsAQ
 
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Gloi

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We can't leave our natives to feed ad lib on a big bale as they get too fat. They also rubbed their manes off on the ring feeder. We now have some large barrels cut in half and feed hay 2 times a day in those.
 

annagain

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I remembered seeing a good homemade feeder that had a haynet hanging from a barrel so I just googled "home made hay feeder barrel and haynet" and the images it came up with would probably give you some good ideas. I think that barrel is very clever, although if they're out permanently it might be pain having to fill it all the time as it wouldn't hold much. I'd also want it a bit higher so they can't catch their feet in it.

https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=h...v&sa=X&ei=r3AlVIimMYHg7Qacr4GADQ&ved=0CCAQsAQ
Clicking on one of the photos in this selection led me to this page. The things academics study! Having said that it's probably quite useful - although it is American so not sure they're all available here.

http://www.extension.umn.edu/agriculture/horse/nutrition/selecting-a-round-bale-feeder/
 

twiggy2

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I have old water tanks (from lofts), I get them for free and just have 1 or 2 more than there are horses in the field-I give hay twice daily and give as much as they clear up before the next lot gets put out, that way I get no waste and no poached areas because they are easy enough to move every time I put more hay out-I also have one in my stable now to save waste.
 

Foxy O

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Last winter I put hay out twice a day for my two one was an 20 year old ish the other a young welsh section a by the end of winter the section a was obese as he was greedy with the hay but the ish had to be fed loads of hard food just to keep the weight on, so be careful
 

SO1

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The problem with hay rings is that the area around it can get very muddy. I was on a yard that had a hay feeder/ring my pony ended up with mud fever as it got very muddy in the area around the feeder and they would spend a long time standing eating.

At our current yard the YO feeds hay in the field and puts it out in piles and this seems to work well as we don't get so much mud and we don't seem to get wastage.
 

fattylumpkin

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We've done hay feeder one winter and piles the next winter and they were both pretty wasteful, so no points won or lost there. Piles did thwart the field bully though as he couldn't claim dominion over the hay ring and push the others out any more. Overall neither method worked for my hippo who inhales hay and haylege like a vaccuum; she's getting treated to a slow net feeder this year.
 

dollyanna

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For those who feed round bales and wan to keep them dry and limit access a bit, a friend of mine uses paddling pool covers or trampoline covers for her. She can cover the whole thing or fold it back every few days, just thought it was worth mentioning as they are likely to be on sale at the moment.
 

Gloi

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We are fortunate in that there is a patch of concrete in the field from where there used to be a building s we can feed off that. When we had big bales in a ring feeder and they were getting too fat we ended up electric fencing off the feeder and just letting them have access morning and night and the rest of the time they had to look around for grass.
 
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