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Continuous Slow
Feeding Systems for Horses

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Horse Feed and Hay

Most people provide their horses with both horse feed and hay. The table below compares hay at early, mid and late maturity and indicates when additional grain may be needed. It will help you calculate how much hay is required by your horse on a daily basis. 

Approximate Daily Intakes when Different Maturities of Hay are Fed to Horses with Average Mature Weight of 1100 lbs.

Type of Horse

Late Maturity

Mid Maturity

Early Maturity

Comment

Maintenance, Very Light Work, Early Gestation 24 lbs/day 20 lbs/day 16 lbs/day More hay may be needed in cold winters; some grain may be necessary for a few horses.
Late Gestation 22 lbs/day 20 lbs/day 18 lbs/day Many mares will not eat more than 20 lb of hay/day and will need grain if late maturity hay is fed; all will need some mineral supplement.
Lactation 28 lbs/day 22 lbs/day 18 lbs/day Most lactating mares will need about 6-8 lb of grain/day in addition to hay.
Yearling 25 lbs/day 20 lbs/day 15 lbs/day Most will require grain in addition to hay. Amount of hay and grain will vary with age, type of hay and situation (sale preparation; breaking, etc).
Weanling 15 lbs/day 11 lbs/day 8 lbs/day All will need grain and hay. Amount of hay and grain will vary with age; most will need 5-9 lb of grain/day.
Performance Horse 22 lbs/day 18 lbs/day 14 lbs/day Amount of hay and grain will vary depending upon level of work; most will receive 6-12 lb of grain/day.


Lawrence, L. (1998) Evaluating Hay For Horses: Myths and Realities. Internet reference from UC Davis Web Pages:

 

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