When is ad lib too much??


Nov 10, 2014
So when is ad lib hay too much??

Faran is currently stuffing away 5/6 big thick leafs of hay in 12 hours. I fed him at 6pm last night his bucket feed and a full stuffed haybar of hay with the above in it. When his next door neighbours owner came down this morning at 6am she told me he had nothing left. So she gave him some more 2 leafs I think and his morning feed and there was nothing left when I did his stable (he was turned out at 8am).

Now he has 2 bucket feeds of

Youngstock balancer
HiFi chaff

One Am and one Pm and hay and is turned out from 8-4.30/5pm grazing isn’t great at the moment but they are finding something as his poos are green and when I drove past at lunchtime they are grazing.

Now he’s not fat by any stretch of the imagination but he’s not even a year old and he’s eating 1/2 a bale of hay a night now. I’m all for letting them have as much as they want, I’m happy to keep giving him as much as needs be but having had a greedy horse before who wouldn’t leave a round bale until it was gone I don’t want him going the same way.

I’ve put three leafs loose in the haybar and another two in a small holed net to see what we go through tomorrow.

This is him at the moment

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Well-Known Member
Dec 20, 2004
Suffolk, UK
When I brought Jess as a yearling she, even then, would have half a bale overnight in small holed nets. She still eats a lot of hay, it's just the way she's built I guess.
I don't believe in leaving them with nothing to eat for more than a couple of hours at a time so mine always get adlib, if they get fat they get lower nutrition hay and/or small holed nets to slow them, if they are a good weight I just let them crack on.
Although they graze a lot this time of year they are mostly getting the new shoots of grass (on sparse grazing) which are very rich and lacking fibre, so it's best they get a top up on the fibre front from hay.
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Well-Known Member
Apr 23, 2009
I'd go by his weight. If he isn't fat (which he clearly isn't, he looks fab) I'm guessing he's using what he eats to grow. Does he drink a lot as well?
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chunky monkey

Well-Known Member
May 2, 2007
I wouldn't worry hes a growing boy. I was reading about horses left without hay and how it can make them food aggressive. So I'm very much an advocate of ad lib.
As soon as the grass starts probably coming through my boys will leave the hay completely. At the moment they are still eating half a bale each a day.
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Well-Known Member
Jun 21, 2000
As the grazing is poor, I wouldn't be worried too much. Like others have said, he's not fat and anything he's eating in the field will be the young shoots and not much fibre. As he's growing I'd carry on letting him eat as much hay as he wants and hope the grass comes through fairly soon to give your wallet a rest!
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Nov 10, 2014
Thanks folks.

He’s much cheaper to keep than Kia was at the end, if he needs 1/2 a bale then he will get it. I was just concerned with it as I don’t want to make him greedy, Stella was a nightmare over food of any description and would gorge and make herself ill. I don’t want him doing that :confused:

This was him today with his 15hh Cobby friend. I’ll have to try to get him measured to see what he’s standing at :)

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Well-Known Member
Jan 7, 2013
Well he is certainly growing well and obviously using it all up but clearly is a Welshies and loves his grub :p
Hoping your grass starts coming through thick and fast soon so he gets some more Dr green and gives your hay supply some rest! He looks amazing!
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