Ad Libitum - please discuss

Jessey

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Dec 20, 2004
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#1
We all know horses are better with Ad Lib forage, be that grass or hay etc. but what constitutes Ad Lib?

Ad Libitum literal translation is ‘according to pleasure’.

To me it means they can get forage when they want it, but it doesn't mean it has to be given in a super easy to access format (as in loose or unrestricted) naturally they have to work for their grub but it is still Ad Lib if they try hard enough (IMO). I see using a net or muzzle as the horse being Ad Lib as long as the supply never runs out.

Some say that using a net or muzzle means they are not being fed Ad Lib, do you agree?

I know its fussy definitions and interpretation, I'm just interested in how others see it? :)
 

Trewsers

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#2
I always think it's open to different interpretation. If it is an endless supply then we don't feed ad lib in the stable do we? Unless we plonk one of those humungous round bales in that last weeks ! Lol
I have heard people saying they give ad lib hay / hayledge when stabled. So I think it's a loose term in that sense. Makes no odds netted or not - ours is loose on the floor. Hmm.
 

Jessey

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#3
I always think it's open to different interpretation. If it is an endless supply then we don't feed ad lib in the stable do we? Unless we plonk one of those humungous round bales in that last weeks ! Lol
I have heard people saying they give ad lib hay / hayledge when stabled. So I think it's a loose term in that sense. Makes no odds netted or not - ours is loose on the floor. Hmm.
So long as the supply doesn't run out before the next feeding/delivery its ad lib tho isn't it? stabled or not I don't see that makes any difference?
 
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Trewsers

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#4
So long as the supply doesn't run out before the next feeding/delivery its ad lib tho isn't it? stabled or not I don't see that makes any difference?
Yeah I suppose so, only for ours to not run out (and in particular a certain mare with a huge appetite!) I'd have to put a ginormous amount in, say overnight. But I do see the point if it's only until the next feed, I think with our mares being in all night then maybe difficult. Storm sometimes has a birds nest left. Chloe generally more. Not sure on Zi as he's free to wander.
 

Jessey

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#5
Yeah I suppose so, only for ours to not run out (and in particular a certain mare with a huge appetite!) I'd have to put a ginormous amount in, say overnight. But I do see the point if it's only until the next feed, I think with our mares being in all night then maybe difficult. Storm sometimes has a birds nest left. Chloe generally more. Not sure on Zi as he's free to wander.
My lot get hay twice a day, they have been doing a small bale at each feeding, If they ever had nothing left in the morning I would increase their night time ration or put it into a slow feeder to make it last longer if they are already fat :p
 

Trewsers

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#6
My lot get hay twice a day, they have been doing a small bale at each feeding, If they ever had nothing left in the morning I would increase their night time ration or put it into a slow feeder to make it last longer if they are already fat :p
Mr T came to me the other evening with a dead straight face asking if I has bought the large baskets. I wondered what he meant - he said "to sit inside when Storm floats off like a balloon":p:D
I think he was making reference to the size of her night time pile:oops:o_O
 

MrC

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#7
I believe it to be constant access to forage or feed in any form.

So if it’s a massive Haynet with tiny holes that makes them work for it and hey still have some left when the next top up is due then that to me is ad-lib as they could be eating it if they wanted to.
 

mystiquemalaika

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#8
Mine have ad lib low calorie haylage most of the year but have it weighed for part of it. I use a variety of feeding methods, small holed haynet, loose, hung so it swings,low, thrown loose in hedges,muzzle when on grass, strip grazed etc. When they have it ad lib as in they don't ever run out as far as I'm concerned it doesn't matter how easy or hard it is for them to get it is there. Torin and Rhan would balloon on loose easy to get to hay/haylage/standing hay/grass whichever you use and Torin would come down with Lami.
 
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mystiquemalaika

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#9
I do also think grass only kept restricted can look like they have nothing or very little when in actual fact it is amazing how counting poos can show just how much they truly are getting, despite what they might have you believe with their "oh my god I'm starving you must move the fence I am going to die" antics. If They can s*** x amount of poos on the "bare" part they are obviously getting enough. How you monitor and move depends on what you want but I've seen it time and again with people trying to get weight off their horses but giving them too much grass on a strip for example then wondering why they aren't losing or are still putting it on.

ETA imo if they are pooing they are eating which to me equates ad lib.
 
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Jane&Ziggy

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#12
I consider nets to be ad lib. I'm not convinced about muzzles, just based on Ziggy's behaviour. He never gets cross with a net, whether it's hung up or on the ground: he just works patiently through it and seems to relish the tearing motion to get the hay out. He hates muzzles with a passion and will do anything to get them off.
 
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joellie

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Apr 24, 2011
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#13
To Clarify, do you not consider in nets to be Ad Lib?
Sorry my wording is horrendous sometimes, I type how I speak, which over here is fine but on the mainland must seem confusing. I do consider them to get ad lib. Just because I make it harder for them doesn't mean its not ad lib, it is there all the time for them to get, they just need to work a bit harder to get it ;):D
 

newforest

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#14
To me it means a constant supply of something, regardless of how they source it.

I box rested and she was ad lib. She still had hay in the morning. She had the choice of double netted, from floor and straw.
She only had 8kg of hay for a 24 hour period. I have seen people feed that to a horse in half that time.
She used to eat her Swede as well and you can shove that now I have grass.

The scientific stuff said the horse gets more stressed if it runs out and gains weight from chemicals released!
 
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OwnedbyChanter

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#15
Mine don’t get hay from about April onwards I count poos they live out 24/7 from March if not feb, I go by how they look and poo counting.

But ab lib to me is having hay enough to see the through a pre determined period with out running out. How you feed that is not relevant. As in on the floor in haynet jay feeders etc
 
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Star the Fell

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Jun 14, 2015
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#16
I Consider mine to be fed ad lib. Like most people on here (it seems) I feed in small holed nets and hay play balls. Hay is weighed out, but I also leave in a second net of straw. Star eats most of her hay and nibbles on her straw. Mylo quite often doesn’t finish his hay and rarely touches his straw. The fact that there is something left means that they have had enough to satisfy their needs ( not necessarily wants) means that they have been fed ad lib.
 

KP nut

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#17
I try to make sure mine never run out when they are stabled overnight. If there is nothing left in the morning they just get more. Ginny has hers small netted as she could get fat. Amber and Max have theirs on the floor to encourage them to eat as they drop weight easily. I consider all to be fed ad lib.
 
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