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Discuss How much does the average healthy horse eat in a month/day?? at the Horse Health forum - Horse Forums.

Hey! Ok I am trying to determine this you would think I would know I ...
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    Question How much does the average healthy horse eat in a month/day??

    Hey!

    Ok I am trying to determine this you would think I would know I have had horses forever haha! But I just never really got rite down to the numbers of it, I was never really worried about cost, but now I am so I need to do numbers and budgeting etc.........

    I am trying to figure out how much the average horse eats in hay a month and in grain a month.

    Also how many flakes does your horse eat a day?? Grain??

    Thanks guys!
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    There is no real answer. It is entirely dependent on your horse. Theoretially, you would want to be able to substain a horse entirely off of good quality hay, but this is not always an option.

    If you are looking to budget for your own specific horses, the only thing to do is to keep track of what they are eating and figure it out for yourself. It is also dependent on the cost of any hard feed you are using, as well as hay.

    You may receive many answers on this, but even if you had two posters feeding the exact same amounts per day/month, you would still find differing numbers due to feed costs.

    If you don't have any horses at the moment, it might be best to sit down and figure out what you can afford a month and start to look at horses that you could afford to feed, whether that be someone able to be kept up on pasture board and hay, etc.

    Another option for a lower budget is to board your horse where you will not have to worry about day to day or month to month changes in feed, nor costs rising as the price of hay goes up.

    Best of luck...

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    Hey mtroika,

    This is a tough one but it is a good question. I have 2 healthy horses, one is an old gelding 26 years old, and he eats 4lbs of senior horse feed 2 x a day. the other is a 10 year old mare who is an extrememly easy keeper which stays super fat with no more than 2 hands full 2 x daily. During the summer when we have good grass, no hay but in the winter when the grass is not so good, i give 1 flake in the morning and 1 flake in the evening per horse. For the older horse I have to buy around 3 bags of feed every 2 weeks, for the younger horse, feed lasts forever. I also bought my hay this summer while it was not expensive. I bought around 30 bales at $2.50 per bale. I hope it lasts. Last year I bought hay all winter long at $7 to $9 bucks a bale!
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    When my horses are being feed and not on pasture.
    My four horses eat a ton of hay a month when they are home. If they aren't working a 50 lb bag of oats will last me three weeks, more of a treat than a supplement to feeding. But when one is working I go through a 50lb bag of rice bran in 10 days or better. And my horses are in healthy condition. All my horses are pretty easy keepers, too.
    Hope that helps.
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    Assume 2% of their body weight in forage - grass and/or hay. If you have only hay (or hay with poor grass) that means 20lb of hay a day for the average 1000lb horse. The colder the weather, the more hay. It's nothing for a 1000lb horse to need 30-40lb of hay a day to stay warm if they are unblanketed and outside in cold climates.

    Anything beyond that depends on the horse. Harder keepers will need some source of concentrated calories, and that could be anywhere from 1-20lb a day, depending on the horse and the concentracted calories.
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    Thanks guys!!! Great advice! I am just trying to find an average so I can figure out a number to charge for boarding horses.....

    If I think an average per horse per day

    7 flakes of hay a day
    thats 49flakes in a 7 day week
    thats about 196 flakes a month
    about 12 flakes in a bale give or take the wieght of the flake
    12 divided by 196 = 16 bales of hay a month
    16x$6.00 a bale = $97.00 a month for feed on average

    Does that make any sense??? Did I do it right??? Anyone????
    Last edited by mtroika; 11-25-2006 at 07:29 PM.
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    If you are thinking of boarding horses, it would depend on what type of boarding facility you will be operating. If you are going to be boarding show horses, you may need to step up the quality of hay and grain. Otherwise, if you are going to be boarding the occassional riding horse, you may be able to cut corners to save money. I have a show horse (8yrs. old) and a 5 yr old gelding, which we just found out, can never be riden again - here is what they get: as for hay, I'm not sure if there are round bales available in your area or not, but if the horses are out 24/7 or if they are out 12 hrs and in 12 hrs then I would recommend round bales in your field (in the winter months) and two flakes of hay in the morning and evening if they are not turned out. Round bales are generally cheaper than bales of hay (in my area a grass mix round bales runs about $35 and a bale of the same hay is around $3 a bale. As for grain, depending on what your facility would be, I feed the same thing to our show horse and pasture mate. The show horse (who is a very easy keeper) gets 1 lb of a 10% grain twice a day and the pasture mate (who is very hard to keep weight on) gets 2 lbs twice a day. Plus, they each have their own supplements. When I boarded my horses at a show barn, they provided the feed and hay, but the boarders had to supply any supplements for their horses. Hope this is a little helpful. I use to own a boarding facility many moons ago and you need to be up front with potential boarders on what quality of hay you will be feeding as well as what grain you will be feeding as someone will always recommend you feed something different (whats best for their horse) - stick to your choices. Good luck to you.

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    I think you did your calculations correctly, but you need to consider how much hay that actually is, not just by flakes.

    The average 'flake' of hay weighs in at 3-4 lbs. So 7 flakes a day would be 21 lbs to 28 lbs. That's fine (we're assuming no grass but mild climate here) if the horse weighs about 1000 lbs and is not a hard keeper. Throw in a heavier horse, harder to keep weight on, or colder temps, and you're looking at more hay.

    Also there are many other costs, which I'm sure you have figured in as well.

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    Well we have 3 horses, and we go through a bale and a half a day... Each horse gets 2 flakes AM, 1-2 flakes in afternoon, & 2 flakes PM. Skip gets 4 lbs of grain a day, my 4 year old mare gets 2-3 lbs a day, and our older mare gets 4 lbs a day.
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    Thanks guys! I do know there are many other factors in feeding hay wieght, type, weather, horse, size etc.... I am just trying to get a some what number in the ball park as an average for each horse so I can figure out pricing for my board per month.

    My horses are such easy keepers they get fat looking at a flake of hey hahah, so its hard to base anything on them, I am to lucky with my horses.

    Now I gotta factor in my time, shavings, minerals, salt, power etc........... Arrrrg I am not good with numbers haha
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