How Much Hay Does A Horse Eat Per Month? (Solution)

A horse can eat anywhere from 15-25 pounds of hay a day, which generally equates to a half of a 45/50-pound square bale of hay per day (~15-30 bales per month).

  • A horse can eat anywhere from 15-25 pounds of hay a day, which generally equates to a half of a 45/50-pound square bale of hay per day (~15-30 bales per month). Always remember to take into consideration the quality of your hay. If the nutrient quality is poor, then the horse will require more hay (by weight).

How long does a bale of hay last for one horse?

In general, a standard 40 lb. square bale of hay lasts one horse for about 3.5 days. But many factors such as age, workload, type of hay, and access to pasture grass affect how much they eat. I find most horses eat between 10-15 pounds of hay each day.

How many tons of hay does a horse eat in a month?

Registered. The “average” horse eats roughly 20 lbs of hay per day (although hard keepers may go through closer to 25 lbs daily). 20 lbs per day translates to about 600 lbs per month and 3.6 tons per year. Hay is frequently sold by the ton.

How much hay should horse eat per day?

Measure feed accurately and feed consistently The average thousand-pound horse who relies on hay for all their forage typically eats fifteen to twenty pounds of hay per day. Most hay is dispensed in flakes; however, the amount of hay in a flake can vary greatly, depending on the size of the flake and the kind of hay.

How many bales of hay does a horse eat in a year?

This is assuming the horse is not fed any other significant source of food, such as pasture or grain. An average sized hay bale (95 pounds) makes for an average of about 21 bales to a ton of hay. So, doing some quick math, that means that the average horse would eat 75 bales of hay a year.

How many square bales do I need for one horse?

If you buy your hay by the ton, this would be 3915/2000 = almost 2 tons of hay per horse. If you buy your hay by the bale, you will need to find out the approximate weight of each bale. Assuming a 40 lb bale, 3915/40 = 98 bales per horse.

How many flakes of hay does a horse need?

You’ll now be able to calculate the approximate number of flakes you should feed your horse daily. So if a flake weighs about four pounds, you’ll need to feed your 1000 lb. horse five flakes every day. Remember to feed in as many small portions as possible.

How much hay should a 1200 pound horse eat?

Calculating the Right Amount of Hay The first thing to know is that an average fully-grown horse weighing from 1,000 to 1,100 pounds (453.5 – 499 kg) should eat approximately 15 to 30 pounds (8 – 3.5 kg) of hay daily. That amount is about 1.5 to 3% of the horse’s body weight.

How long will a round bale of hay last 3 horses?

Most owners with 2 or 3 horses get 7-14 more days out of a bale with a 1.75″ hole. For example, this time lapse video shows one bale being eaten by 3 horses over a period of 22 days. We have 6 horses at the Texas Haynet barn. One round bale lasts about 8-10 days using our regular round bale hay net with 1.75″ holes.

How much hay should a horse eat on pasture?

When given access to pasture, how can you tell how much your horse is actually consuming and whether or not supplemental hay should be offered? “As a general rule of thumb, horses on pasture eat about 1-2 lb (0.45-0.9 kg) of pasture dry matter per hour.

Do horses need more hay when it’s cold?

The average horse requires approximately 20 lbs. of forage per day and winter weather can increase the amount of hay needed by 30 to 50%. For each decrease in coldness of one degree F below the critical temperature there is an increase in digestible energy requirements of one percent for body temperature maintenance.

How many flakes of hay are in a bale?

Each bale has 16 flakes. The difference is 5.6 vs 7.2 lbs. To ensure that your horses are receiving the appropriate amount of hay, check the bale weight and average number of flakes per bale for each hay load.

Can horses eat too much hay?

Horses should have access to good quality hay at all times, but it is possible for a horse to eat too much hay. If your horse, donkey or mule is bored or greedy he may eat whatever is available until it is gone. Equines can founder on too much grass or hay. It also helps prevent overeating and waste of hay.

How much hay does a horse need in the winter?

Now, that you have taken hay waste into consideration you are ready to calculate how much hay you will need to buy this winter. Horses should consume 2% of their body weight in hay. For example, a mature 1,000 pound horse should consume 20 pounds of hay per day.

Can horses eat fresh hay?

In perfect conditions — where the hay has been baled at less than 12% moisture and is very dry — it is safe to feed straight away, but this isn’t often the case, Tim explains: “The main reason for allowing a period of anywhere between two and eight weeks before feeding freshly made hay is to allow for a process called

Should horses have access to hay all day?

Conclusion. Horses don’t have to eat all the time, but having constant access to hay helps keep their digestive system working correctly. Allowing your horse to graze on pasture grass is safe and keeps them healthy.

Estimating Winter Hay Needs

In response to the following question:We recently acquired a farm and will be boarding our two quarter horses there for the winter. During the winter, they are used as trail horses and are not ridden. Given that I’ve always boardinged my horses, I’m not sure how to estimate the amount of hay I’ll require for the winter months. Is it possible for you to give any guidelines? A maintenance adult horse will take between 2 and 2.5 percent of his or her bodyweight in feed (hay and grain) per day, according to the USDA.

  • The horse would consume approximately 5,350 pounds of hay, or 2.7 tons, during the period from October 15 to May 15 (when there is no pasture in Minnesota). The equivalent of 107 fifty-pound tiny squarebales or six 900-pound roundbales would be produced during this period. This number would be doubled if there were two horses: 214 little squarebales or 12 roundbales. It is vital to understand the weight of the hay bales since not all bales are created equal.

If the same horse were to get 5 pounds of grain per day, their hay requirements would be lowered to 20 pounds per day, saving them money.

  • Over the course of the year, the horse would consume around 4,280 pounds of hay, or 2.1 tons
  • This would equal 86 fifty-pound tiny square bales or five 900-pound round bales. This quantity would be doubled if there were two horses
  • 172 small-square bales or ten circular bales would be needed.

These estimations are based on the assumption that excellent quality hay is put into a feeder in order to prevent hay waste. When feeding tiny squares or bales, hay waste when no feeder was used (hay fed on the ground) was roughly 13 percent, but hay waste when a feeder was used was just 1 to 5 percent. When feeding huge round bales of hay, not using a feeder resulted in 57 percent hay waste, but utilizing a feeder resulted in 5 to 33 percent hay loss when using a feeder. It’s usually a good idea to buy a little extra hay just in case your horses require some extra nutrition during the harsh winter months (depending on their access to shelter).

The author has granted permission for this reprint.

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Asked in the following category: General The most recent update was made on April 13th, 2020. Our bales are 2-strand square bales weighing 55-60 lbs apiece, so he’d go through 1/3 of a bale every day, which translates to 2-1/3 bales per week, which translates to 10 bales per month. All of this is dependent on the particular horse and the amount of grass he’s receiving. The daily hay consumption of 1,000 pound horses given a 100 percent grass diet would be 25 pounds of hay each day. The horse would consume approximately 5,350 pounds of hay or 2.7 tons of hay from October 15 to May 15 (when there is no pasture in Minnesota).

  1. As a result, the issue becomes, how many tons of hay does a horse require each month?
  2. 20 pounds each day equates to around 600 pounds per month and 3.6 tons per year.
  3. The cost of hay varies greatly based on where you live and the quality of the hay you purchase.
  4. Feed precisely and consistently by measuring the feed accurately and consistently by feeding One to two hundred-pound horses who rely only on hay for all of their nutrition often consume fifteen to twenty pounds of hay each day.
  5. When it comes to horses, how long does a bale of hay last?

At the Texas Haynet barn, we have a total of six horses. One roundbale will last around 8-10 days when using our ordinary roundbale haynet with 1.75 inch spacing “a few divots

How Much Hay Does a Horse Eat? (Calculation Method)

Taking care of a horse requires a significant amount of effort. An open area, suitable handling and training, as well as frequent workouts and cleaning will be required for this. The most difficult aspect of horse care, on the other hand, is choosing the right diet for each individual horse. Inadequate or excessive feeding of your horses may harm their overall health. That is why it is important to calculate the appropriate amount of food, particularly hay, that each horse requires. The amount of hay a horse consumes on a daily basis will vary depending on its size and the amount of labor it performs.

Proper Feeding

Excessive feeding of a horse will result in an obese animal in the end. Many horses, believe it or not, lack self-control and will continue to eat even when they are completely satisfied. On the other side, failing to provide adequate nourishment to the horse will result in unhealthful weight loss and a lack of vigor. Additionally, the animal may become more susceptible to ailments, notably colic, in this situation. As you can see, understanding how much hay to provide your horse is critical to ensuring that it is kept in good condition.

As a result, it is critical to tailor the diet to meet the particular requirements of each individual patient.

Calculating the Right Amount of Hay

In order to begin, it’s important to understand that an average fully-grown horse weighing between 1,000 and 1,100 pounds (453.5 – 499 kg) should consume between 15 and 30 pounds (8 and 3.5 kg) of hay every day. This quantity is around 1.5 to 3 percent of the horse’s total body weight. Therefore, before estimating your horse’s daily portions, it is vital to take measurements of him. You will be able to adjust the diet more precisely in this manner. There are two techniques to figure out how much your horse weighs:


Measure the horse’s body length and girth with a measuring tape. Simple formulas may be used to easily compute its estimated weight, which is as follows: Adult horse weight in pounds is calculated as girth x girth x body length / 300. Pony weight in pounds is calculated as girth x girth x body length / 299 Yearling weight in pounds is calculated as girth x girth x body length / 301 = yearling weight in pounds. Weanling weight in pounds is calculated as girth × girth x body length / 280.


To get a more precise measurement of your horse, invest in a livestock scale. Unfortunately, it is not always easy to come by or to obtain. Veterinary clinics and auction bars, for example, frequently carry livestock scales, so you may try weighing your horse in one of these locations.

Horses Requiring Special Attention

The amount of work your horse performs is the next factor to consider. For leisure trips that last a few hours every day, an average quantity of food should be sufficient for the duration.

However, because the horse that is consistently used as a draft animal expends far more energy, it requires significantly more food. If the horse is still developing, or if the female mare is pregnant or nursing a foal, it is necessary to make changes to the horse’s nutrition as well.

Different Horse Breeds Feeding

Keep in mind that various horse breeds have varying nutritional requirements. To put it another way, draft breeds will require more hay than a horse of normal size. Horses such as the English Shire, a Belgian horse, or a French Percheron, for example, are substantially larger than typical horses and require significantly more food. These draft breeds are used for heavy labor and farm work, among other things. Because they frequently work longer hours every day, they require more meals to maintain their energy levels.

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Ponies, on the other hand, are rarely put to work these days, as they are usually kept as riding companions for youngsters.

For example, a Shetland pony that weighs between 440 and 880 pounds (200 and 300 kg) each day will require between 4.4 to 13 pounds (1.9 to 5.9 kg) of hay.

Combined Diet

Hay, as you may be aware, is just dried grass. The amount of hay consumed by the horse will vary depending on how much other food it consumes. Fresh grass, roughage, fibrous bulks, and grains such as oats, barley, corn, wheat, and soybeans are examples of what is included. Horses should be allowed to graze on pasture for the majority of the day because it is their natural feeding routine. For example, wild horses can graze for up to 16 hours a day on their grazing grounds. The amount of hay you give your horse should be reduced if they are frequently outside and grazing freely on pasture.

If, on the other hand, you confine your horse to a stall for the majority of the time, he will require more hay.

Combining Grains and Hay

The horse should be able to receive all of the nutrients he needs by simply eating forage (grass or hay) every day. If you decide to incorporate grains into your horse’s diet, you will need to lower the amount of hay he consumes. When feeding your horse just with hay, it is not difficult to determine the exact amount of each item. The same idea applies when feeding your horse with other foods. Consider the following scenario: you have a 1,000-pound horse (453.5 kg). That horse will require roughly 2.5 percent of its body weight in diet, which translates to approximately 25 pounds (11.5 kg) of grass, grain, and hay taken together.

25 pounds (2.3 kilogram) grain plus 20 pounds (9 kg) hay equals 5 pounds (2.3 kg) grain (11.5 kg)

Feeding a Horse with Hay in Winter

As previously stated, pasture is the most important source of nutrition for horses. However, they are unable to graze throughout the winter, as they are able to do during the spring and summer, because the pasture grass is in short supply during that time of the year. It is devoid of moisture and has a low nutritional value. As a result, when winter arrives, you need make adjustments to your horse’s feeding rations. Horses obtain the majority of their energy and nutrients from hay during this period.

Another reason why having an adequate hay supply for horses during the colder months is important is that it keeps them warm and comfortable.

As a result, the colder the weather outside becomes, the more hay your horse will require to have the appropriate warming effect.

Small yet regular quantities of hay are consumed throughout the day as part of a natural feeding regimen.

This aids in digestion and allows the horse to get more nutrients from each mouthful he consumes. Due to the fact that digestion generates energy and keeps the horse warm, it is advised that you feed it a bigger evening amount to ensure that it remains warm throughout the whole night.

Feeding Routine

The general rule of thumb is to give your horse several, smaller servings of food throughout the year, not only when it is cold. This applies to all seasons. It is possible to mimic a horse’s natural technique of eating on a pasture in this manner. Horses have a unique digestive system, with a lengthy colon that is designed specifically for the digestion of plant fibers. The fact that a horse might suffer from colic if its colon is not routinely filled should be noted. In other words, if your horse does not consume enough calories, it may have belly pain.

The most effective method of keeping your horses healthy is to maintain a rigorous feeding schedule for them.

Keep in mind that horses have a precise internal clock, which means you must feed your animal at the same time each and every day.

Hay Bales and Flakes

When feeding a horse, it is beneficial to break hay into smaller quantities so that you can keep track of how much it consumes more accurately. It is possible to achieve this by splitting the hay bales into flakes, and then separating the bale portions by hand. It is not always possible to receive the same number of flakes from a bale, but you should expect to get at least a dozen flakes from each square bale. With the knowledge that an average bale of hay weighs around 60 pounds (23 kg), you can rapidly determine the weight of each flake.

When determining the weight of a bale, it is important to count the number of flakes contained within the bale and divide the weight of the bale by the number of flakes.

As previously stated, a horse weighing 1,000 pounds (453.5 kg) need 25 pounds (11.5 kg) of hay every day to maintain its weight.

Always remember that not all flakes weigh the same, so make sure you weigh them properly.


It is critical for the health of your horses that they receive the proper amount of hay each day. An average horse weighing 1,000 pounds (453.5 kg) requires around 15 to 30 pounds (6.8 – 13.5 kg) of hay per day, depending on his or her weight. When selecting your horse’s diet, you should take into account the size of your horse as well as the quantity of labor it undertakes.

How much hay do horses need?

It is critical for the health of your horses that they receive the proper amount of hay. In order to maintain its weight of 1,000 pounds (453.5 kg), an ordinary horse requires around 15 to 30 pounds (6.8 – 13.5 kg) of hay daily. When deciding on a horse’s diet, you should take into account the size of the horse and the amount of labor it undertakes.

Horse Hay: How Long Will a Bale Last For One Horse?

Any links on this page that direct you to things on Amazon are affiliate links, which means that if you make a purchase, I will receive a compensation. Thank you in advance for your assistance — I much appreciate it! My next-door neighbor is a father of two, and he’s been considering purchasing a horse for his children. Prior to purchasing one, he wants to make certain that he understands how much it would cost him–which involves determining how long a bale of hay will last for one horse! In general, a regular 40 lb.

However, a variety of factors, including age, workload, hay quality, and access to pasture grass, influence how much they consume.

The expense of keeping a horse and the amount of money you can anticipate to spend on hay are important considerations while making this decision.

For example, if your horse is kept in a stall the most of the time, it will require more hay than a horse that is maintained on pasture. This post is part of a series of articles about horse hay that I authored, the main piece of which is titled “Horse Hay: An Owner’s Guide.”

How long a bale of hay lasts depends on your horse’s situation.

Horses that spend their days grazing in a pasture but are confined to a stall at night also require hay, although the amount required is less than that required by horses that do not have access to pasture. As a result of the fact that horses eat in modest amounts throughout the day, they require hay even at night. Their digestive system differs from ours in a number of ways. Horses’ stomachs process food fast and completely empty themselves within 24 hours; as a result, horses require fodder to be accessible at all times in order to maintain a correct nutritional balance.

The presence of high-quality grass on your horse’s pasture may mean that it does not require any hay at all as a supplement to its diet.

Stall Time How long a 40 lb bale of hay lasts
Stall kept (average horse) 3.5 days
Overnight in a Stall (pasture in the day) 10 days
Stall Kept Draft Horses (2,000lbs) 2 days

These are approximations since horses are individuals and some may require more or less hay than others.

How long does a round bale of hay last for one horse?

A buddy of mine feeds his horses with spherical bales of hay. He places them in a pasture beneath a run-in shed to keep the hay protected from the elements. When it comes to round bales for horses, he and I are at odds; I believe they are unsuitable for feeding horses since they tend to mold. But, in any case, his round bales are used to supplement the grass that his horses consume in the pasture and may last for several months, sometimes even up to three months. If you intend to utilize them as your sole source of foraging, they may not survive as long as you would want.

Each of these bales weighs around eight hundred pounds and lasts for approximately two months.

Knowing how long a bale of hay lasts for your horse is essential.

In order to maintain its health, a horse requires a lot of fodder, and hay is the most frequent form of forage that horse owners provide to their horses. Having a sense of how long a bale of hay would last a horse is crucial for a variety of reasons. Here are some of them: Of course, the most obvious reason is that it is expensive, but it is also beneficial to know for the sake of your animal’s well-being. If you find a bale remaining in place for an exceptionally extended period of time, it might be an indication that your horse is unwell or has a dental condition.


In order to determine how much it will cost to keep a horse, it is necessary to first determine how much hay your horse consumes each day. This is especially true for horses that are kept in stalls. My arrangement with a trainer said that I would pay the expenditures for a racehorse, and that the trainer would get 50 percent of the horse’s profits instead of the standard 10 percent of the purse. When racehorses are in training, their fodder intake is limited to hay, therefore I wanted to know how much a bale of hay would cost and how long it would last for me to purchase one.

It’s unlikely that he’ll take advantage of the situation or do something dishonest, but it’s always best to be prepared!

Our agreement worked out nicely for both of us, and in the end, the monthly fees were exactly what I had anticipated paying. Even if you don’t board a horse, understanding how long a bale of hay will last a horse is important for determining the costs of keeping a horse.


A healthy horse should consume fodder that accounts for one to two percent of its body weight. The quantity that your horse consumes will vary depending on a variety of factors like age, kind of hay, and how hard he is working, but this provides you a basic sense of how much you can anticipate them to ingest. if your horse is not eating enough fodder, it might be unwell or have a problem with its teeth if it is not getting enough forage. Horses require a particular quantity of feed in order for their digestive system to function properly and for their health to be maintained.

To begin, inspect the hay to verify that it is not moldy or rotted.

If your hay is nice and of a sort that your horses are accustomed to eating, it’s time to call the veterinarian and have your horse examined.

How many bales of hay does a horse eat per month/year?

The amount of hay consumed by a horse is determined by the animal’s availability to pasture grass. Horses who spend the most of their time on a pasture consume far less hay than horses housed in a paddockor stall with no grass. In general, horses maintained in stalls require as much as 10 square bales of hay every month to maintain their health. Horses typically consume around twelve pounds of fodder per day, however they may consume more or less depending on their diet at any given moment. Thus, while determining how long a bale of hay will last your horse, the size and weight of the bale will be important considerations to consider.

However, if your horse consumes twelve pounds of hay every day, he will consume 360 pounds of hay in a thirty-day period, based on the aforementioned assumptions.

Which cut of hay is best for horses?

Horse owners want to provide their horses with the greatest hay possible, and vendors are well aware of this, which is why they charge more for second cuts than for first or third cuttings. Is it, however, worthwhile to spend an additional fee for a second cutting? According to conventional wisdom, first cuttings are generally densely packed with stems and weeds, and they have lower nutritional value than second cuts. This is also true of third cuts, but I’m not convinced by this notion. It is often believed, although not necessarily true, that hay derived from second cuttings is the single most essential component adding to the nutritional content of hay.

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Because not all grass kinds grow at the same time, a first or third cutting of some grass species may be the most beneficial for the plant.

It has been my experience that there is no discernible difference between the first and second cuttings of Bermudagrass.

When selecting hay, the most significant aspects to examine are the maturity stage of harvest, the presence of weeds, the scent, and the appearance of the hay.

High-quality horse hay has a fresh scent, has a brilliant green color, and has thin stems, allowing your horse to chew it with no difficulty.

What hay is bad for horses?

Hay that contains dust, weeds, mold, or an excessive amount of thick stalks is harmful to horses. While most horses would refuse hay in this situation, others will eat anything, and if they do, they run the danger of being severely ill as a result of it. Make sure your horse is getting plenty of fresh hay to keep him happy and healthy.

How do you know if hay is a good quality horse?

When shopping for high-quality horse hay, pay attention to the color and fragrance of the hay you choose. If it’s brilliant green and smells fresh, you’ve probably got a winner on your hands! Make sure there’s no dust or mold in the bale, and don’t forget to thoroughly inspect your hay for weeds as well, since this might be an indication of poor-quality hay!


  • Feeding “Hay-bags” and “Slow feeders” to yearling and adult horses and observing their effects on their behavior and wellbeing
  • Voluntary intake and digestion of Coastal Bermuda grass hay by yearling and mature horses

How to Calculate How Much Hay to Feed Your Horse

Feeding “Hay-bags” and “Slow feeders” to yearling and adult horses and observing their influence on their behavior and wellbeing; Voluntary intake and digestion of Coastal Bermuda grass hay by yearling and mature horses;

How to Feed Hay

When you have tiny quantities of hay available to feed your horse on a regular basis, you are mimicking his natural grazing impulses and providing him with the best possible nutrition for his mind and body. As a result, avoid feeding your horse a full day’s worth of food in one sitting. If the meal is very excellent, it will most likely feast on the tastiest pieces while leaving the least delectable, then trample what is left into the ground. Hay should be readily available at all times in order to provide the healthiest digestive system and the happiest horse possible.

Some horses will require a restriction on their hay intake to prevent obesity.

For many horses, hay is sufficient nutrition, and they will not require concentrated feeds such as oats or sweet feed, nor will they require particularly rich hay that contains legumes such as clover and alfalfa to thrive.

Small Square Bales

How much of a little square bale does that make up, on the other hand, is the next question. A typical bale of hay will have to be weighed, and this will be your task. It should weigh roughly 60 lbs (23 kg), or 60 kg in total. The actual weight will vary depending on how dry the hay is, how long the bales are, and how securely the hay has been packed into the baled bales. After that, count the number of flakes in the bale. Floes are the readily split portions that are generated when a square bale is taken up by the baler and placed in the baler’s feed chute.

Now, divide the weight of the bale by the number of flakes contained within it to arrive at a final answer.

Because one flake weighs around four pounds, you’ll need to feed your 1,000-pound horse five flakes every day.

Ponies and Draft Breeds

Because ponies have a slower metabolism than horses, they will require less hay as a percentage of their body weight unless they are working really hard, which is something that very few ponies do these days. In order to keep their coats in good condition, little ponies may just require a handful of flakes every day. The opposite is true as well: certain draft horses, particularly those who work hard, will require more hay than the typical daily allowance. Because of this, it’s critical to constantly check on your horse’s condition and make modifications as needed based on the season, the temperature (hot or cold), how hard they’re working, their age, the quality of their hay, and their overall health.

Always consult your veterinarian for health-related inquiries, since they have evaluated your pet and are familiar with the pet’s medical history, and they can provide the most appropriate suggestions for your pet.

Buying Winter Hay for Horses

Penn State photographer Danielle Smarsh captured this image of grass hay. Hay is an incredibly vital aspect of your horse’s winter diet, and it should not be overlooked. Additionally, the internal heat produced by fiber fermentation aids in keeping your horse warm throughout the winter months. Many of us are beginning to think about loading up on hay for the winter as the weather cools down. There are a plethora of aspects that will impact your decision.

  1. Photo by Danielle Smarsh of Penn State University, showing grass hay For your horse’s winter diet, hay is a very vital component. Additionally, the internal heat produced by fiber fermentation aids in keeping your horse warm during the winter. Many of us are beginning to think about loading up on hay for the winter during the autumn months. In making your purchase, there are a variety of aspects that must be considered.

Hay Waste

Consider how much hay you will waste before determining the amount of hay you will need to purchase. This includes hay that is wasted due to storage and hay that has been squandered by your horses. Depending on how you store the bales, storage waste might range from 2 to 40% of the total weight. It is round bales that create the greatest waste when they are stored outside since the bottom and outermost 4″ layer will be exposed to damp. It is possible to limit the quantity of hay lost by storing it indoors or covering it carefully.

Horses stomp and defecate on hay that has been placed on the ground, resulting in a significant amount of waste.

When tiny square bales of hay were fed, the researchers discovered the following quantities of hay waste:

  • Consider how much hay will be wasted before determining the amount of hay you will need to purchase. This includes hay that is wasted due to storage and hay that has been squandered by your horses. Depending on how you store the bales, storage waste might range from 2 to 40 percent. As a result of being exposed to moisture at the bottom and outermost 4″ layer of round bales kept outside, they generate the greatest trash. It is possible to limit the quantity of hay wasted by storing it indoors or covering it carefully. Then there’s the matter of how much food your horses are wasting while they’re eating it all up! Horses trample and defecate on hay that has been laid out on the ground, making it a major source of waste. Feeders, according to research conducted by the University of Minnesota, can considerably minimize hay waste. The following quantities of hay waste were discovered when tiny square bales were fed, according to the study:

While acquiring feeders is an additional expense, considering the price of hay and the amount of hay that may be lost if a feeder is not used, these feeders pay for themselves in nine to twelve months. Researchers at the University of Minnesota also investigated round bale feeders, examining nine different feeders as well as a no-feeder control. Both entire and restricted access to the hay were permitted by the feeders that were evaluated (slow feeders). The following amounts of hay waste were discovered by the researchers:

  • The percentage of households without a feeder ranges from 57 percent to 13-33 percent
  • The percentage of households with restricted access ranges from 5 to 11 percent.

Without a feeder, 57% of the population; circular free choice feeders, 13-33%; and restricted access feeders, 5% to 11% of the population

Calculating Hay Needs

You may use a few easy calculations to figure out how much hay you’ll need to buy. We’ll estimate that horses consume roughly 2-2.5 percent of their body weight in hay every day as their whole ration for the sake of this analysis. If your horses have higher energy requirements and are also fed grain meals, you can remove the weight of the grain from the 2 percent amount calculated based on your horse’s weight to arrive at a more accurate figure. The hay season, which runs from November to March, and the availability of high-quality pasture for foraging during the rest of the year will also be assumed in this section.

Never neglect to account for any unused materials.

3300 pounds multiplied by 1.05 (storage waste) multiplied by 1.13 (ground waste) is 3915 lbs of hay per horse.

If you purchase your hay by the bale, you will need to determine the approximate weight of each bale before purchasing it. Assuming a 40-pound bale, the number of bales per horse is 3915/40 = 98 bales.


Forage is the most vital component of your horse’s diet, and during the long winters of Pennsylvania, hay is the most cost-effective method of providing forage. Owners of horses may save money and ensure that they have acquired the appropriate amount of hay to sustain them through the winter months by planning ahead and performing a few easy calculations in advance.

Calculating Your Horse’s Winter Hay Needs

With the onset of the colder months, it is imperative that you begin storing up on hay for your horses as soon as possible. As temperatures begin to go below freezing, pasture grasses will begin to wither and horses will be forced to rely on alternative sources of energy in order to keep their body temperatures stable. Because of the higher fiber content of fodder, a greater quantity of heat is created when it is consumed by livestock. Fermentation of fiber by bacteria occurs in the cecum and large intestine, and this is how fiber is consumed.

  1. It is important to factor in the quantity of hay that will be wasted from either your horses or your storage when estimating how much hay you will require for the season ahead.
  2. Hay kept outside is the most usual approach, although the amount of waste produced by outdoor storage varies from 5-35 percent, depending on how much rain or snow is deposited on the bottom and outermost layers of the hay bale.
  3. Earlier this year, researchers at the University of Minnesota released two distinct studies on the quantity of hay that horses squander.
  4. When tiny square bales of hay were fed, the researchers discovered the following quantities of hay waste and hay intake:
Feeder Type Hay Waste, % Hay Intake, %BW
Basket 3 2.4
Hayrack 5 2.4
Slat 1 2.2
No Feeder 13 2.2

They discovered that while employing a round-bale feeder or no feeder, the following amounts of hay waste were consumed by the animals:

Feeder Type Hay Waste,% Hay Intake, %BW
Restricted Access Feeders 5-11 2.3-2.4
Circular, Free Choice Feeders 13-33 2.0-2.2
No Feeder 57 1.3

To get the complete findings of “Selecting a tiny square-bale feeder,” please check the link below. To see the whole set of results for “Feeding Horses Using a Round-Bale Feeder,” go to this link. Assuming that you have taken hay waste into account, you may begin calculating how much hay you will require this winter. Horses should take hay equivalent to 2 percent of their body weight on a daily basis. Typical hay consumption for a mature 1,000-pound horse is 20 pounds per day for a mature horse.

  • Due to the fact that your horse’s winter hair coat or blanket might give you a misleading idea of his body health at this time, it is critical that you pay special attention to his body condition and truly “feel” him during this time.
  • 20 pounds multiplied by 121 days equals 2,420 pounds of hay each horse.
  • It is reasonable to predict that there will be 5 percent storage waste because our bales are stored inside, as well as 5 percent waste from putting tiny square bales into a hayrack feeder (both estimates are conservative).
  • If you purchase your hay by the bale, you will need to determine the approximate weight of each bale before purchasing it.

For a 40-pound bale, 2,668/40 = 67 bales per horse will provide enough for 121 days of work. You will be able to save money and be prepared for the next cold months by performing a few basic calculations. If you want further information or help, please contact your local extension agent.

Number of Bales of Hay a Horse Eats Per Day

Photographs courtesy of IHemera Technologies/ Images When it comes to your horse’s nutrition, forage is one of the most crucial components. The majority of a domesticated horse’s fodder diet comes from hay. The amount of hay your horse requires on a daily basis may vary depending on his size and how active he is. The quantity of nutrients included in the hay plays an important part in determining how much hay is required to maintain a healthy animal.

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How Much Hay Does Your Horse Need

Getty Images/IHemera Technologies/ When it comes to your horse’s nutritional needs, forage is one of the most crucial. Hay accounts for the majority of the feed requirements of a domesticated horse. Depending on your horse’s size and activity level, the amount of hay he requires each day will vary significantly. Additionally, the quantity of nutrients included in the hay plays an important part in determining how much hay is required to keep a healthy animal alive.

Bales of Hay

Bale weights will vary based on the type of hay used and the settings on the baling equipment that is being used to bale the hay. The weight of an ordinary square hay bale is roughly 50 pounds on average. You will need to give your horse between a quarter and a half of a bale of hay every day in order to supply him with the proper amount of hay.

Hay Quality

Some varieties of hay are more nutrient-dense than others, so choose wisely. It is important to note that Alfalfa is a high-quality hay, and if you are giving a high-quality hay, you will not need to feed as much hay or supplement with grain. Poor grade hay will have few nutrients and will be offered primarily to provide roughage to keep the digestive tract working rather than to supply the nourishment that the animal requires to thrive. If you are giving your horse low-quality hay, you will need to supplement his diet with concentrated nourishment in the form of grain to compensate.

Feeding Your Horse

Every horse is an individual with his or her own set of nutritional requirements. Some horses acquire weight quickly and easily maintain a healthy weight with little work, but others struggle to maintain an acceptable weight despite their efforts. If your horse is losing weight, you must either feed him additional hay or increase the amount of grain he consumes on a regular basis in order to keep him at a healthy weight. References Photographic Credits Biography of the AuthorJen Davis has been writing professionally since 2004.

Davis graduated from Berry College in Rome, Georgia, with a Bachelor of Arts in communication with a specialization in journalism in 2012.

The rules of feeding your horse

Jen Davis is a writer who has been working professionally since 2004. As a newspaper writer, she has written for publications such as “Horses Incorporated,” “The Paisley Pony,” and “Alabama Living.” Her freelance writings have also featured in publications such as “Alabama Living.” Davis graduated from Berry College in Rome, Georgia, with a Bachelor of Arts in communication with a specialization in journalism.

Provide plenty of roughage

Many pleasure and trail horses do not require grain; instead, they thrive on high-quality hay or pasture. If hay isn’t enough, grain can be added, but roughage should always account for the majority of a horse’s caloric intake. For horses, roughage is essential, and their digestive systems are geared to make advantage of the nutrients found in grassy stalks. Every day, a horse’s roughage intake should be one to two percent of his or her total body weight. Horses who spend the most of their time in stalls don’t have much opportunity to graze, but their normal eating habits may be recreated by placing hay in front of them for the majority of the day.

Horse feed may be purchased on

Feed grain in small amounts and often

If you are feeding your horse grain, divide it up into smaller meals rather than one huge meal every session. The majority of horses are fed grain twice a day to make it easier for their human caregivers to care for them. If you have to feed your horse a significant amount of grain for whatever reason, you might want to consider adding an additional noon feeding. Horses benefit from little, frequent meals because they are more natural for them and because they help them to better digest and use their food.

  • Every horse has a unique set of requirements. When determining how much food they require, take into account both their size and the amount of effort they perform. Take into consideration how much hay or pasture your horse receives: Horses who spend the most of the day grazing on good pasture require little, if any, in the way of hay. Regardless of whether they are kept indoors or outside, horses who do not receive enough turnout or are not on suitable pasture will require extra hay. During the winter or when there is a drought, hay should be used to supplement pasture grazing. It is possible to reduce or totally remove hay rations when the grass is thick and lush, depending on the amount of accessible pasture. When it comes to grain, less is always more, so start with a little quantity and increase or decrease as needed. Your horse’s nutritional requirements will be met with the appropriate combination of grass, hay, and grain. It is important to remember to alter your horse’s feeding ration if the amount of labor they are doing varies.

How Much Hay Does Your Horse Need For Winter?

Winter has here, which means meadows are withering and other food sources are becoming a mainstay in horses’ diets, as is the case every year. You’re the sort of horse owner who buys what you can in the late summer and fall, then finds yourself trying to locate more in the middle of winter, often settling for inferior quality since that’s all that’s left because it’s all that’s available and paying a hefty price for it. Alternatively, do you want to prepare ahead and try to obtain nearly all of the winter forage you’ll require before winter begins?

  1. Is there insufficient barn space?
  2. It contains the same quantity of fodder as a standard 50-pound bale (about), but in a more handy, compressed configuration, which is necessary due to the limited amount of available storage space.
  3. Compressed or packaged items allow you to pack in more fodder!
  4. A horse should ingest at the very least 1.5 percent of its body weight (BW) in fodder each day, according to conservative estimates.

In an ideal world, this would account for less than 2.5 percent of their BW*. Let’s have a look at how much hay you may need to stockpile in order to keep the following horses going through the winter:

  • 1000lb horse multiplied by 1.5 percent equals 15 pounds of hay per day
  • 1000lb horse multiplied by 2.5 percent equals 25 pounds of forage per day

When it comes to winter/mud season, we normally have roughly 5 months (150 days) during which our horses require 100 percent of their fodder requirements to be met by hay or hay substitutes, which may vary depending on your region.

  • 15 pounds per day multiplied by 150 days equals 1.13 tons
  • 25 pounds per day multiplied by 150 days equals 1.88 tons

Let’s put this into context with the help of some instances. 1.13 metric tons of forage is equivalent to:

  • Standlee Compressed BalesOR
  • 57 bags of StandleePremium Alfalfa CubesOR
  • 25 StandleePremium Alfalfa CubesOR
  • 46 Standlee Compressed BalesOR
  • Timothy Compressed Bales with 26 packs of StandleePremium Alfalfa/Timothy Cubes
  • Timothy Compressed Bales and Timothy Cubes

1.88 metric tons of fodder is equivalent to:

  • 76 Standlee Compressed BalesOR
  • 94 bags of StandleePremium Alfalfa/Timothy PelletsOR
  • 55 bags of StandleePremium Alfalfa/Timothy Choppedand 39 bags of StandleeCertified Timothy Pellets
  • 76 Standlee Compressed BalesOR
  • 94 bags of StandleePremium Alfalfa/Timothy Choppedand 39 bags of StandleeCer

Do you have a local hay source you’ve relied on for years but have run out of supplies, or would you like to add more high-quality forage to your feed program by partnering with Standlee? Or, perhaps, a few months from now, you discover that winter has extended its duration in your location by another month this year? Standlee Premium Western Forage® ensures a steady and constant supply of high-quality forage year after year. Let’s add another 30 days to the equation for a horse that requires 2.5 percent of their body weight in feed.

750 pounds of forage means:

  • The following items were purchased: 15 Standlee Compressed BalesOR
  • 19 bags of StandleePremium Alfalfa/Timothy CubesOR
  • 11 StandleePremium Alfalfa/Orchard Compressed Bales
  • And 5 bags of StandleePremium Orchard Pellets

To download the infographic, simply click on the picture above. Obviously, if you have more than one horse, you must double this figure by the number of horses you will be feeding over the winter months. Are you preparing for the amount of forage you’ll require this coming winter? Notes to consider while determining your particular hay supply requirements:

  • Bales of Standlee Forage compacted are around 50 pounds in weight. Standlee Forage bagged items, such as alfalfa cubes, timothy pellets, and so on, weigh 40 pounds (with the exception of forbeet pulp shreds, which weigh 25 pounds). You may purchase Standlee Forage from farm and ranch retail sites all over the United States, so you can be confident that you will receive consistent, high-quality forage no matter where you go. A rise in digestible energy is required by adverse weather circumstances, such as wind or rain, as well as temperature variations below threshold levels. This indicates that more forage is required to assist maintain bodily condition.
  • *Nutrient Requirements of Horses: Sixth Revised Edition, published by the National Research Council in 2007. The National Academies Press is based in Washington, DC.

How Much Hay Does An Adult Horse Need

Adult horses should have daily hay, grain, and grass quantities recommended by a veterinarian, according to the report. According to Question: I recently relocated my horse, a 5-year-old warmblood gelding, to a different barn. What should I do now? Recently, I discovered that the amount of hay they consume is really limited. Every morning, they receive one flake of salt, and every evening, they receive two flakes of salt. They also get grain twice a day, which is a lot. Every day, for around seven hours, the horses are sent out in a field where there is no vegetation.

How much hay does a warmblood horse require that is exercised moderately every day for around an hour require?

A typical rule of thumb is that a horse requires half a bale of hay every day to meet his or her basic nutritional requirements.

The amount of hay you should feed the horse is strongly influenced by the sort of hay you use.

Timothy hay, which is a grass, is less nutritious but may be fed in considerably greater quantities.

The time at which the hay is harvested has an impact on the quality of the hay.

An analysis of hay at a facility such as Holmes Laboratory, which tests for protein, digestible nutrients, and other feed components, is the most scientific technique to establish the appropriate amount of hay for a specific horse.

Mature horses require a crude protein content of 10 to 12 percent in their meals.

An energy-dense grain concentrate can be used to augment the ration, boosting the amount of energy it contains as well as its protein, vitamin, and mineral content.

At the very least, a 1,000-pound horse need 10 pounds of hay each day as a starting point.

On excellent quality hay, mature horses may maintain their weight and health while being turned out or doing very minimal labor.

Using a weight tape to measure your horse and keeping track of the results on a regular basis can assist you in noticing any changes.

Hay is not only a food requirement, but it is also a physiological necessary.

Horses have evolved to consume food on a continuous basis; as a result, they create stomach acid on a continuous basis.

Horses are happiest when they are able to munch practically constantly throughout the day.

The practice of veterinarian Carolyn R.

Her specialization is educating new horse owners who are eager to offer the finest possible care for their animals.

Horse trials at Training Level and dressage competitions at Second Level are among the events in which she has competed. Pony Club is something that both of her girls are participating in.

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