How much hay should I feed my horse overnight?

Pooley22

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So I have a very good doer that's a 15.2 cob, he is currently weighing in at 580kg on the weigh tape which is way too much!
He is out on restricted grazing for 7-8 hours in the day with a muzzle on (when he doesn't get it off 😑) and comes in at night. I am aiming to feed him 8.7kg of forage a day in order for him to lose weight, but have no idea how much grass he is eating so don't know how much hay I should give him overnight? He also gets a small feed when he comes in of spillers lo-cal balancer and chaff. TIA ☺
 

11bluewolf

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One haynet should be enough. I would double net to make sure it lasts longer. Maybe mix in some straw aswell? Not good with weights sorry!
 

Mike007

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It is almost impossible to calculate the amount of grass they eat . the TOTAL DRY MATTER they should eat per day is betwean 1.5 and 2.5 % of their ideal body weight. Glad you are feeding a balancer. Try to find some hay that was cut a bit late and is a bit woody,whilst still smelling clean . Threshed ryegrass hay is good if it is clean .( This is the hay from grass grown for a seed crop.)
 

Pooley22

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I currently give him a large greedy feeder net with small holes but there is always some left in the morning and he isn't losing weight so I'm guessing it's too much! And I live on a farm and just use the hay we produce ourselves so don't have much choice on that front! 😕
 

LD&S

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What is the weight of his current net? Maybe reduce it by 1/3 - 1/2 kg and see if it's all gone, straw has fewer calories than hay but does still have some, perhaps top the net up with straw also try soaking as suggested (2-3hrs takes the majority of calories out but leaves a bit more goodness in).
 

touchstone

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I'd soak it and use a greedy feeder net, he still needs plenty of forage, but not the calories. I always aim for some left over in the morning.
 

fatpiggy

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I wouldn't soak it, it can go rancid in the centre of the net very quickly. I'd follow the 1.5% body weight rule (for a good doer) and split that 50% hay and 50% straw. Alternatively, instead of straw feed the same weight of the lowest calorie chop you can find. It has been proved that it takes longer to eat a pound of chop than a pound of hay.
 

Leo Walker

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Mine would get ad lib hay and straw mixed together, roughly 60:40 spilt straw to hay. That way he doesn't binge eat because he can see loads of food and never runs out, and it takes him a while as he tends to sift the hay from the straw and that slows him right down.
 
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