We are considering some exciting educational opportunities in the new year and would like to know how you like to receive education online. Use the following poll to share the options do you prefer? And feel free to share topics in the comments that you would like to learn about. ... See MoreSee Less
Who here buys their own hay in relatively small amounts? How long does your hay last? Did you know that every time you get a new batch of hay in your horse's colic risk is increased for about 3 weeks? What are some things you can do to decrease that colic risk? Share your thoughts to these questions below and I will share mine back here tomorrow. ... See MoreSee Less
Great tips shared by everyone in the comments below. The most important thing is to try and make any changes as slowly as possible. This may mean some extra planning so you don't just run out of hay and switch cold turkey to the new one. You might think you aren't changing hays. After all, you were feeding variety X and will continue to feed the same variety. But, the chemical composition of every batch of hay whether it's the same variety or not differs. This can result in digestive disturbance. So try to slowly feather in new hay with old over a period of at least a week. For most horses this will do the trick but if you want some insurance or have a more sensitive horse, feeding a good prebiotic is a good idea. My favorites are live yeast as these have been shown to help stabilize the hindgut environment. If going with a probiotic try to find one that will provide at least 50 billion CFU per serving as any less than this may not be particularly effective. In the long run consider investing in some kind of covered area where you can store hay in order to have more on hand. This will not only protect from digestive upset but will save you money in the long run as you will not be so subject to the high hay prices that often occur at the end of winter. As for how you stack the hay in your truck just be careful not to put more weight in the bed that your truck can actually handle!
Pre/Probiotic- good for switching hays, or switching to hay from grass, or to grass from hay.
I try to buy enough hay to last a whole season (so here in Canada, that's from Oct to May), from the same grower.
Sometimes not always possible, though. I would mix new hay into old hay, ideally, to help them switch.
Bind off the top row by laying bales across the center of the 4th row, then tie off with a rope from front to back for a total of 44 bales. Leave the tailgate down for an extra row across the back.
I try to get as close to a year’s worth as I can fit, but always seem to need a refill around March. I add a flake of the new to their old hay each meal as a transition, and often I can get the new load from the same source as the old one, when I’m lucky. Haven’t had a colic here in about 5 years, and that one was a strangulating lipoma, so I’ve been lucky so far!
Definitely leave yourself a cushion of a few bales to mix between each batch. Check with your feed store, often early in the season they may get loads in consistently from a single supplier. Some get it from brokers, so anything goes regarding consistency. Towards the end of the season it will certainly get more scattershot.
Figure out how to maximize your storage, and calculate how much how you need per horse per season. Can you work with other horse owners to go in on a truckload to maximize delivery costs?
We did this interview last Saturday but it didn’t get many views since people are not in front of their computers on the weekend. This is a really important topic, please take the time to watch and share.
Tomorrow is World Mental Health Day and this morning I had the pleasure of talking about mental health awareness with Dr. Joanna Robson D.V.M about the mental health challenges facing veterinarians. It is a conversation of value for all of us and we discuss how we can be more aware and in particular how we can be better clients for our veterinarians. Please share and spread the word on the importance of mental health. #NOMV