The Hay Situation

So, in one of my previous posts, I alluded to a post about how I’m feeding hay this year. If you recall I used to block off my entire indoor to feed hay. I basically used it as a giant run in. That worked great when I just had three horses and two donkeys, but with five horses and three donkeys, it is just too tight in there. Also Russell is very territorial with foods that are in limited quantity, so it isn’t in the best interest of his health to put him in a situation where he wants to scatter the herd of horses that are much larger than he is.

I’m also fond of the idea that I won’t have to clean out my indoor this year if there aren’t horses living in it. As it stands now, I’ll just have to clean out two 12×12 sections and the stall that attaches to the donkeys’ field. The dilemma there is that five horses are having to eat hay from two 12×12 sections. They’ve had two round bales for a week now and have mostly demolished them.

Here are some pictures to demonstrate my fancy use of baling twine and gates.

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Robin inhaling the hay on one side of the barn. 

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And Paige eating opposite her. 

As you can see, there are only two horses of the five eating from the round bales. I thought I would have a more harmonious sharing of the hay since all five of them cram into the 12×12 section where Robin is pictured when it is raining, but no. Hay sharing is not like shelter sharing.

So as it stands now, Robin has access to hay all the time since she’s easily the herd leader. Copper and Kricket merely glare at Paige and she runs out of the barn and starts picking at the non-existent grass. There have been occasions where I’ve seen Kricket sharing with Blondie and Robin sharing with Copper, but that is all the sharing that is happening. *facepalm*

So we’re going up to put in two more bales tonight, but we’re adding a third out in the field to get an idea of how much hay they’d waste if its outside. I really truly hate feeding hay outside.

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Paigey says nomnomnom. 

I’ve been utilizing the open end of the round bale feeders to use a pitchfork to gather huge wads of hay to throw over to the donkeys. Russell brays for me if I take too long to deliver their precious hay. Oh donks.

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A brief moment where Robin shared hay with Copper. 

I’m expecting Robin to go outside and commandeer the hay bale that we’re putting outside. Because she can. Mares.

I’m feeding leftover hay from last winter so far. I’m really glad to see that they’re eating it so well. The donkeys are picking up every last blade of hay from their stall too. I tossed them some extra yesterday from an old square bale that was in the trailer and it was gone yesterday as well. Just goes to show that quality hay can be good for a long time if kept properly.

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Just in case you were worried that she was losing weight…

Outside of feeding them, I haven’t done much else. The farrier came a couple weeks ago and trimmed Copper and Chloe. Everyone else looks good, just eating and staying warm is our goal right now. I’ve decided that I need a work out buddy of some sort for the winter. Right now I just lay around in the evenings and watch tv starting at 630 or so since it has been dark out. I definitely have a hibernation mentality and it isn’t doing my waistline any favors…or Paige’s really…haha.