Horse eating wheat straw

Michen

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I have a gelding on box rest/walk rehab whose choosing to eat his wheat straw bed over soaked hay. He will eat some soaked hay but I’d say he’s eating 60% straw 40% hay at the moment. Maybe even more straw than that.

He’s doing plenty of poos, seems fine, is on a decent mineral balancer and can certainly shed some weight. Should I be worried? He will eat more hay if I don’t soak it.
 

Red-1

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I deliberately feed mine on straw (although barley straw) for weight loss, as he is on small portions of soaked hay and the straw is a filler. However, if he has too much his poos do go somewhat dry.

I would just keep a check on it, is it possible he has been eating some all of the time, but it is more noticeable and increased volume now he is opening all day inside? If so, I would be less worried as his gust will already be partially adjusted.

There is something of a risk though, as my vet was at pains to tell me :rolleyes:
 

Michen

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I deliberately feed mine on straw (although barley straw) for weight loss, as he is on small portions of soaked hay and the straw is a filler. However, if he has too much his poos do go somewhat dry.

I would just keep a check on it, is it possible he has been eating some all of the time, but it is more noticeable and increased volume now he is opening all day inside? If so, I would be less worried as his gust will already be partially adjusted.

There is something of a risk though, as my vet was at pains to tell me :rolleyes:
I think he’s always nibbled on it but usually he’d eat most of his hay when in during the day even soaked. Now he seems to have discovered the straw as a better option and he’s switched.

I could spray it with something but he may still eat it anyway and then I’d be worried about what he’s eating.

I guess my concern is as it’s wheat straw tether than oat or barley..

His poos are a bit dry/yellow but I think they would be anyway now he’s only getting about 45 mins of grass a day (in hand grazing)
 

Red-1

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Then I guess the answer is that it isn't perfect, he is at increased risk (dry droppings being a red flag)... and IME, there is no rhyme or reason as to the ones who do get colic and those that don't! In fact, it seems that the people who take care have no colic and those who don't give a hoot don't :rolleyes:

I have never used wheat straw as a feed material, so don't know if that increases the risk.
 

Michen

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Then I guess the answer is that it isn't perfect, he is at increased risk (dry droppings being a red flag)... and IME, there is no rhyme or reason as to the ones who do get colic and those that don't! In fact, it seems that the people who take care have no colic and those who don't give a hoot don't :rolleyes:

I have never used wheat straw as a feed material, so don't know if that increases the risk.
Bit typical eh! Hmmm. Will have to have a think. Maybe I’ll have to relent and give him unsoaked hay.

Swapping bedding isn’t really an option at the moment.
 

Red-1

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Bit typical eh! Hmmm. Will have to have a think. Maybe I’ll have to relent and give him unsoaked hay.

Swapping bedding isn’t really an option at the moment.
Horses are just awkward! Mine is on a 'non edible' bedding, as he is on a constant diet for previous EMS etc. However, he started to nibble on rape stalks, hard ones! So, he has straw as a top up as, although the vet was keen to point out the potential risk, I deemed it less risk than the rape bedding!!! I was also not willing to change bedding, as the farmer who takes my much didn't want to deal with shavings.

I do find that I need to up his supplementation with soaked hay as, although it is great at keeping weight down, it does leach the vitamins/minerals from the hay.
 

Michen

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Horses are just awkward! Mine is on a 'non edible' bedding, as he is on a constant diet for previous EMS etc. However, he started to nibble on rape stalks, hard ones! So, he has straw as a top up as, although the vet was keen to point out the potential risk, I deemed it less risk than the rape bedding!!! I was also not willing to change bedding, as the farmer who takes my much didn't want to deal with shavings.

I do find that I need to up his supplementation with soaked hay as, although it is great at keeping weight down, it does leach the vitamins/minerals from the hay.
Yes defo. He’s on full whack of pro hoof platinum.

Argh not sure what to do.
 

Upthecreek

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Definitely stop soaking the hay so he stops eating so much of the wheat straw. I lost a pony to colic from this several years ago.
 
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