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Discuss How big is your idea of a flake of hay? at the Horse Health forum - Horse Forums.

I'm confused about something. I read posts where people say they feed "one flake twice ...
  1. #1
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    How big is your idea of a flake of hay?

    I'm confused about something. I read posts where people say they feed "one flake twice a day" or "two flakes twice a day," etc. I've had horses for 18 years, and have always given a roughly 5-6" flake twice a day. What constitutes a flake? Do any of you weigh your flakes? I feel I may be underfeeding my TWH, who never gains weight, yet I've been told he's a perfect weight. Still. . . .when comparing him to my "fat boy" Arab, who is 22, and has always been an easy keeper, the TWH looks thin to me.

    Should I be feeding more? The flakes I feed are approximately 10-12 lbs., so my horses each get approx. 20-25 lbs. of hay daily, plus one of the LARGE coffee cans of Equine Advantage Senior, and a cup of BOSS. They are not in heavy work -- a light trail ride once or twice a week. Am I underfeeding? I feed Bermuda or 3-way with a small amount of alfalfa mixed in (grown that way). The alfalfa is no more than 15% of the total amount fed.

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    By the way, my Arab isn't obese -- he doesn't have but a bit of a depression in his backbone.

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    from what info you gave, and the amount of work that you are doing with them, I do not think you are under feeding.

    My gelding gets 2 flakes of alfalfa/grass mix, AM & PM and has free access to pasture and 2 lbs of platform 2x a day, and I ride on a daily basis.

    Do you have any pics of your TWH?
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    Yes, but don't know how to post it. If you PM me your email, I'll send you a pic of him.

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    They come in all sizes....I have alfalfa that the flakes are quite thin....and grass hay flakes, that are so thick they won't fit in my hand (carrying them one handed) I guess once you are used to the weight, and size of you flakes, you can then feed them by the flake...it's best to weigh them if you want to know exactly what your horse is eating....

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    Really is no certain size it will depend on hay type and bale size. A flake of grass hay from a 50 lb bale will be much smaller then a flake of alfalfa from a 800 lb bale.

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    That is exactly why it's not valid to say "I feed 3 flakes of hay a day" because they can range from barely 2b to 10+lb each. How big the bale is, how thick the flakes are, and what kind of hay it is (alfalfa weighs more than grass) make a huge difference.

    So, because 40lb-ish bales are very common here, giving the flakes a roughly 3lb average, mayyyyyybe 4, that is what I automatically think of when I hear "1 flake". So, that's why you cannot, ever, simply go by # of flakes.

    It's along the same lines as someone asking what you pay for your bales. If I heard someone say "90 for a round bale" I might have a COW until I realize they are likely talking about 1000lb+ round bales - around here, 500lb is more like it. Or, $15/square bale - yikes! But if those are 100lb bales, that is a far different story than if it's the common 40lb bale here.

    It's much more accurate to talk in terms of cost per ton of hay, or at least cost per pound.
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    Hay should be fed by weight - 1.5 to 2.5 lbs hay per 100 lbs of horse based on the the horse and use. Also how much they need is dependant on how much pasture and the quality of it.

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    Yes, a flake of hay can vary wildly! lol I always weigh flakes for a few days after getting new hay in to get an average on what the flakes are running weight wise. After that I can just feed by the number of flakes.

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