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Grass / hay replacer

14 replies

Stupidbonfire · 27/07/2022 23:44

Hello, I’m having a slight issue feeding DD’s dear little welsh section B pony. It’s 12hh, 17 years old and very very fine. She looks older than she is I think.

Anyway bay makes her cough. She is out 24/7 atm and no cough at all since 2 weeks of being out. However we’re getting very short of grass, very. And she needs more forage. If she doesn’t have v regular access to forage she colic’s.
hay makes her cough
she won’t eat soaked or steamed hay (to the extent she goes hungry all night)
haylage gives her very very loose poo and she loses weight and tbh she only picks at it anyway

we’re off to pony club camp next week where there is v limited turn out time. And she’ll be stabled when not riding and at night. And in the winter she’ll have to come in at night on dust extracted bedding. But what on earth can I feed her to replace the grass, hay or haylage?

Currently she has 2 massive feeds morning and night. Half big scoop calm and condition, half big scoop pony nuts and massive double handful of vetran Molly chaff and a dollop of oil. She looks okay. But only okay… she is also pretty excitable if she’s fed up too much.

please don’t tell me to find more grass. I know that’s what she needs. But There simply isn’t any round here. I’m on the best livery yard with 40 minutes drive, grass wise, and short of buying my own land I can’t get more grass.

Her teeth are good and up to date. So signs of ulcers and no laminitis history.

any ideas at all??? Thank you

OP posts:
Lastqueenofscotland2 · 28/07/2022 08:19

Simple systems haycare is quite good. I think Dengie have a feed that is just meadow grass, if her teeth are good meadow brix or fibre blocks?

none of these are a particularly cheap way of doing it sadly!

DimplesToadfoot · 28/07/2022 08:32

My old boss (riding school) used to feed one of the ponies nettles. Every morning we went out to collect bunches of the stuff, then it was left to dry/lose its sting before being fed to pony, pony loved it, she even sustained a few pregnancies while on it. But I am going back over 30yrs and everything is sooooo different now

Limecoconutice · 28/07/2022 11:52

I know a supplement can't solve this problem which is basically one of environment, but have you tried spirulina for cough? It's a green algae and I absolutely swear by it! As does Miri Hackett - have a look at her You Tube video on feeding.

Mollyplop999 · 28/07/2022 15:12

Contact Sarah at Forage Plus. They are brilliant . It's not about the quantity of hard feed but the quality. Thunderbrooks chaff is a hay replacement. Good luck!

RatherBeRiding · 28/07/2022 16:03

Graze On or Readigrass? I feed to my old boy to supplement the miserable grass at the moment (although he will eat hay - he just prefers grass). I feed it damp, mixed with Fast Fibre and he loves it.

JustAPony · 28/07/2022 16:06

When you say soaked hay,do you mean soaking it for a period of time? Does it make a difference to her cough if you just run a hose over the hay so it is damp but not soaked through? Would she eat it then?

balancingfigure · 29/07/2022 07:40

I used Fast Fibre when my mare couldn’t have hay. Doesn’t seem like the same as forage to look at but recommended by the vet as hay replacement.

Mollyplop999 · 29/07/2022 13:19

Have you tried sprinkling salt on the hay?

CountryCob · 31/07/2022 16:46

All I would say is due to the lack of rain there is barely any grass so I sympathise. I have own land, 6 acres for 1 horse and 2 ponies and a saved winter paddock. Generous land to horses ratio, had grass topped three times last year and I have very little grass and starting to supplement feed/ hay….

CountryCob · 31/07/2022 16:47

so I suppose I mean to say that even if you bought your own land you would probably have a lack of grass issue this year

Orangesare · 31/07/2022 16:49

my old girl would eat the hay if it had a kettle or two of boiling water poured over it and I fed her it before it went cold.
are there any grass verges you can walk her out to to graze. I did this but do live in an area of wide verges

elastamum · 31/07/2022 16:52

I lightly steam hay to reduce the dust. A wall paper steamer and a big laundry bag make a great steamer. Shove in a couple of wedges, put the nozzle in and zip up.Takes about 15 minutes and turn the bag a couple of times. Gets rid of the dust and much easier than soaking, particularly in winter.

elastamum · 31/07/2022 16:56

Otherwise we have fed fast fibre to our oldies and even picked grass. I feel you pain, we are already feeding our winter hay as we have very little grass left.

namechange7654 · 31/07/2022 17:00

Fast fibre or speedi beet mixed 50:50 with chaff (I use top chop zero for lami prone pony with very few teeth!)

That sounds like an enormous hard feed you're giving her. If she's still looking poor on all that, I'd be wanting to rule out cushings and ulcers.

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