Feeding the olden oldie - who won't eat hay.

Joined
23 February 2021
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Help needed!

I have a 26 year old cob x throughbred who has decided she will no longer eat her hay or hayledge!

I have tried small hole nets, big hole nets, on the floor, soaked, dry, small amounts at a time, mixture of both. One day she will nibble the next day she will refuse and this is new to me. She has recently had her teeth checked however no change to the problem.

She is out during the day and eating the grass. And will eat her dinner, lunchand breakfast and nut ball!

What short chopped hay alternative to you do go to and in what quantities? I'm not eager to use readigrass as she gets running bum but has anyone had the same experience and what did you do?

She is not able to live out 24/7 due to other reasons so this isn't an option.

Suggestions please!

Thank you!
 
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Either the forage on offer is unpalatable for some reason..(moulds or animal urine etc) or genuinely it’s a tooth problem. There are dried grass blocks which you could rehydrate to tempt her or soak grass fibre cubes to a soft crumbly mass to eat.
 

meleeka

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Mine can’t eat course hay but still eats less course.

It depends on how her weight is as to what you should give her instead. The easiest thing is soaked grass nuts or speedibeet or a mix of the two with a chaff of your choice, mixed to the consistency she likes in a trug. I like Honeychop Lite and Lean for my good doer. If she’s in at night, it’s perfect because you can give her a big trug full to replace the hay.
 

Gloi

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When you say teeth checked what did they do? She may need more than the average dentist can do. I'd be thinking of taking her in to where she can be sedated diastemas packed and possibly x rays to see where the problems lie. It may be that she no longer has enough teeth left to eat hay and she will have to live on soft foods but it's worth a full check out first to see if anything more can be be done.
 
Joined
23 February 2021
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When you say teeth checked what did they do? She may need more than the average dentist can do. I'd be thinking of taking her in to where she can be sedated diastemas packed and possibly x rays to see where the problems lie. It may be that she no longer has enough teeth left to eat hay and she will have to live on soft foods but it's worth a full check out first to see if anything more can be be done.
It was the vet who did her teeth, and they weren't able/willing to sedate her due to a heart mumer - no concerns for any infections, sharp edges or loose teeth and she hasn't lost any teeth yet. We simply want her to be able to enjoy a retirement but I also don't want her losing any weight!
 
Joined
23 February 2021
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Mine can’t eat course hay but still eats less course.

It depends on how her weight is as to what you should give her instead. The easiest thing is soaked grass nuts or speedibeet or a mix of the two with a chaff of your choice, mixed to the consistency she likes in a trug. I like Honeychop Lite and Lean for my good doer. If she’s in at night, it’s perfect because you can give her a big trug full to replace the hay.
I am rather lucky at the yard I am at as the hay is included and we have a good variety of coarse and fine hay along with hayledge as well. (Touch wood) her weight is nice at the moment, but as the grass starts to go I want to make sure I am ahead of the game to ensure she doesn't lose any weight. Thank you for your advice 🙏
 

windand rain

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She might have teeth problems not visible to the eye though so should perhaps have x-rays Moles own quicksoak and emerald green grass chaff would be my thought the Moles stuff is on offer just now
 
Joined
23 February 2021
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Either the forage on offer is unpalatable for some reason..(moulds or animal urine etc) or genuinely it’s a tooth problem. There are dried grass blocks which you could rehydrate to tempt her or soak grass fibre cubes to a soft crumbly mass to eat.
Thank you for your advice! I thought it was a tooth problem, but the vet didn't raise any concerns. She is very eager to eat her dinners and breakfasts not fussy at all. Just the hay and hayledge she is being a pickle with. I'll definately look at some grass fibre cubes :)
 

meleeka

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It was the vet who did her teeth, and they weren't able/willing to sedate her due to a heart mumer - no concerns for any infections, sharp edges or loose teeth and she hasn't lost any teeth yet. We simply want her to be able to enjoy a retirement but I also don't want her losing any weight!
It’s common when they age that their teeth aren’t in perfect alignment anymore so chewing isn’t as effective. One of my oldies is the same. She still eats hay, but quids a lot. I’m supplementing with speedibeet/chaff but she’s not giving up hay just yet. The vet was surprised at her determination given how her teeth look.
 

AdorableAlice

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I have an old boy with poor teeth, he can't cope with haylage or coarse hay. I source him the softest meadow hay possible which I dunk not soak, as he needs all the calories in it. He can eat it and is doing well at the moment. Soaked grass nuts, veteran and vitality, linseed, copra and equi jewel are also in feed room. This winter so far, has been kind and there is still good grazing so he isn't eating a lot of hay yet.

This horse has a gap in his teeth which allows a point to grow down. After much thought we did sedate very lightly to allow a power tool to take the point off and he thrived after the work was done. He also has a heart murmur.
 

TGM

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Do you know whether she has diastemas (gaps in her teeth)? A lot of older horses get them and if that is the case they are better having mash type hay replacers rather than short chop which are the perfect length for getting impacted in the diastemas.
 

Gloi

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Do you know whether she has diastemas (gaps in her teeth)? A lot of older horses get them and if that is the case they are better having mash type hay replacers rather than short chop which are the perfect length for getting impacted in the diastemas.
My old pony was different altogether after getting his diastemas cleaned and packed with some sort of dental cement. He went from being unable to eat hay to enjoying it again . He needed redoing every few months though.
 
Joined
21 November 2021
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My friend has a 26 Yr old that wasnt eating her hay or any feed , she was turn out in the day and brought in around 4. She started to lose weight. She called the dentist as that seemed the obviously thing,The vet came out too, and it turn out to be ulcers in her stomach, she continued to lose weight until my friend had to make the big decision .
 

Puzzled

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13 January 2009
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827
Allen & Page fast fibre. I’ve used it for years on horses that have aged and struggled with eating hay. You can add a bit of sloppy sugar beet to help it tasted less bland or apple juice etc.
 
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