You can't always get the same size flake off a bale of hay, so it is always a good idea to weight your flakes when you first open a bale to determine and "eyeball" how much of a flake you need to pull out to feed your horse. From there on out you should be able to repeat that size flake and get the same weight. You will likely have to weight the flake of the next bale you open if it seems to flake off smaller or thinner flakes.
The quality of hay you get also determines the amount you should feed. Barn 21 has quality Arizona grown alfalfa hay and we deliver nationwide in bulk truckload deliveries. Contact us for info on current pricing for loads to your area.
The amount your horse needs to eat to keep weight on may vary due to a variety of factors:
- Exercise and work load
- Amount of water they consume
- Metabolism - easy keeper vs hard keeper
- Stress or sickness
- Breed and size of horse
We have another article on slow feeders vs free feeding and get asked that question by our clients, which is better, the answer is, it depends.
Alfalfa hay has a high concentration of protein and is a great source of feed to sustain your horses all year long. It is rich in vitamins and nutrients and with Barn 21 hay, you can guarantee that our hay has optimal nutrition for your horse.
It can be hard to determine what is the right amount of alfalfa hay for your horse since all horses are different. You might have to do some trial and error to determine what is best for your horse. For example, if your horse is older and you in are in a cold environment and the horse is kept outside, it is going to burn more calories keeping warm than a older horse in a warmer environment. The key factors listed above can contribute to a equation that means your horse might require more hay than you thought.
Carefully monitor your horse and if they begin to loose or gain weight, you may need to adjust their alfalfa intake. Opinions vary on this, but we feel horses should be fed two times per day.
Like anything with horses, everyone has a different take on things, so you might need to experiment with the amount you feed and the times of day and how often. We hope this helps you determine how much to feed your horse and what things to look out for.