Hay Shortage Tips

Feb 24, 2019

Hay Shortage Tips
Hay Shortage Tips
As most horse owners know, the past year was not a good year for hay and the rough winter is depleting hay supplies quick. This is causing forage shortages and many horse owners are looking for alternative options.  There are a few ways to help make your hay last as long as possible. Using a hay feeder minimizes the loss of hay by keeping it off the ground. Horses are notorious for eating the most palatable hay and walking on the rest. An easier and more cost friendly way is putting your hay on a hard flooring or on a heavy tarp so it cannot be stepped into the ground. Another big tip for saving hay is always having fresh and adequate supply of water available. Water drives dry feed intake, if a horse is not drinking, it will drastically decrease how much the horse eats.

If adequate forage is not available, there are a few alternatives to supply the forage and fiber in your horse’s diet. Beet pulp, a by-product of sugar beet, is an easy addition or substitute of forages. It contains fiber, calcium and protein so your horse would need a concentrate grain or other forage to balance out the vitamins and minerals. Hay or alfalfa cubes is compressed forage that is used as a substitute or top dress for added nutrients.  These can also be used in addition to poorer quality hay. Some concentrates, especially senior feeds, have forages built in. These products are great for older horses when they cannot chew forages but can be used in desperate times. 

There are many options for getting your horses through a hay shortage. For more help or information, contact your Lifestyle Feeds Specialist.

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