meadow vs oaten hay

Discussion in 'Feeding Horses' started by snoopydoo, Jan 11, 2009.

  1. snoopydoo

    snoopydoo Well-known Member

    I've always believed that meadow hay was better for ponies and oaten better for horses. Is this true? I have a v fat pony who needs to loose weight and a TB who needs to put a bit of weight on!! It's a difficult situation. I can't really seperate the 2 at feed time. I've been relying on the fact that the TB is the dominant 1 and (hopefully) will not let the pony near her hay. ATM thay both get meadow hay. I've been considering putting her on oaten and leaving him on meadow. Is this a wise thing to do? I'm worried that the pony will get hold of the oaten though when the TB had had oaten before she wouldn't let any other horse near it... I think I'm worrying about nothing but need some re-assurance or other advise.
    The pony get 1 biscuit at night and she gets 2 biscuits at night and 2 in the morning. They both get a hard feed at night too but obviously the pony's is tiny and the TB's is much larger.
  2. deschuur

    deschuur Gold Member

    As I understand it, and I could be totally of the mark here:eek:, meadow hay has less nutrients in it than oaten. It was recommended I feed my fatty meadow hay but up here it is not available so he gets a strict ration of oaten.

    Does the pony need hardfeed? If it were me personally I would feed oaten hay and cut out or cut back on the hardfeed (i.e the grains) and just give him a small feed of chaff and lucerne chaff with his vit supplement.

    Good luck:) I know who hard it is to keep very good doers on the right side of the scale!
  3. Eoroe

    Eoroe Gold Member

    It one of those things.......some horses need this - some need that.

    I have - and will always seek out meadow hay in preference to oaten - as It's quality, and nturitional value can actualy be better than oaten.

    Good quality meadow hay should offer more than the conventional oaten.

    However - as their is no stipulation on what 'meadow hay' is - other than it grew in that paddock and we cut it for hay, it can very GREATLY in it's nutritional value.

    Also - people who often cut meadow hay do it as the paddock is overgrown and can make a buck - rather than a purpose grown oaten hay crop.

    I prefer to feed meadow hay - as the only reason I would feed hay is to suppliment the pasture.

    And meadow hay is the closest thing to pasture I can find.

    Our meadow hay has a blend of Rygrass, Lucerne, and Medic in it (clover) so it's a lovely potent blend that actually has to be diluted out in their diets with oaten :)

    I think it's one of those situations where it's a great Idea for us all to learn to get better at identifying our grasses so e can actually see the quality of what we are feeding. We'd save ourselves alot of money in the end.

    Actualy with my 4 - nomally this time of the year we'd be hardfeeding everyone. Im only giving them vitamin supps at the moment. Amazing - im really suprised.

    Food for though **)

    Our Meadow hay

    Last edited: Jan 12, 2009
  4. Remaani

    Remaani Guest

    I feed meadow once, never again.

    All of my horses, ranging from a yearling 29" Mini to a 13.3hh pony (well until last week was a 15.2hh stallion) live on oaten hay rolls.
    We have VERY limited paddock feed except the 6 acres of stubble that is now vanished, my neddies do very well off the oaten rolls & majority of them are just on hay, with a mineral lick.
  5. Kintara

    Kintara Well-known Member

    I find nearly all my horses actually do better on meadow hay. Especially the ponies, cobs and QH though. I think a good quality meadow is better for them, oaten is usually off highly fertilised paddocks that are usually incredibly minerally unbalanced. Plus I don't really have horses that need excess grain. Then the rest of oaten hay is straw with very little nutritional value. My problem is usually finding a good meadow hay though and getting it all the way here!!
  6. Bon & Ted

    Bon & Ted Guest

    I fed meadow to both my horses for about a year or so with some excellent results. BUT I won't touch the stuff again after Rye Grass Tox killed my best mate.

    Oaten all the way now.
  7. Eoroe

    Eoroe Gold Member

    Can I ask why you wont feed it again? thanks remaani :)
  8. citygirl

    citygirl Gold Member

    we grew our own Meadow hay last year..and the neddies never looked so good !

    So this year {we've got no more spare paddocks he he he } we're buying it in from a local $50 around bale, its all Rygrass & Clover **)

    love the stuff !

  9. Caroline

    Caroline Well-known Member

    We have always fed oaten rolls with excellent results.:)*

    It would be good to try some meadow hay out, but it is a very rare commodity in the Avon Valley, and the freight $$$ up from the Harvey region makes the whole idea cost prohibitive.#(

    Where you live and what is locally produced and available, greatly influences what you feed!!:D:))
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2009
  10. snoopydoo

    snoopydoo Well-known Member

    Thanks every1, but I'm still no clearer!LOL!
    I bought some oaten today and threw some down with the mares meadow hay. She ate the oaten first! So I thunk it'll be ok, however, at the price i paid for it I could be giving her an extra 3 biccies of meadow so I guess $$$$$ tell and I'll be going back to meadow only once the oaten is finished unless she picks up condition dramatically on it.
    Deschuur - the pony get the tiniest of hard feeds, just as a carrier for the vits/mins. It's about a double handful chaff recommended amount of vit/mins and about 10 pony cubes for a bit of interest!! He also has 1 biccie meadow hay and has access to grazing 24/7 atm. I've only had him about a week so the weight is not my fault, though is now my problem. He's getting exercised once a day but I'm concerned about stress on his joints so it's mostly walking atm. I hope i';m doing the right thing. I must get a weight tape to monitor his weight loss!:)*
  11. casperjesse

    casperjesse Well-known Member

    I think you will find the reason that some people will not feed meadow is because of Rye grass Toxidity. It is a horrible ailment that can be caused by the rye grass in meadow hay. It has symtoms very similar to wobblers but also a nuralogical effect on them as well. NOT nice at all. It can in alot of cases kill the said horse. I prefer to feed oaten for this reason.
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2009
  12. jodles

    jodles Well-known Member

    How do you know the Rye content? have not heard of this before, my boy is getting one biscuit a day of meadow and one of Lucerne. Am concerned Oaten will heat him up as well as he is older and wonder on the palatibility of Oaten.
  13. Ziggy the Piggy

    Ziggy the Piggy Active Member

    I think it's quite hard to sort out horses differing weight issues unless you are able to seperate them, atleast at meal times.

    I have two horses and one pony, all with differing feed requirements, and I'll tell you how I juggle my system, but firstly introduction....Jess, QHX, infoal due end March, biggest requirement for food....Ziggy, QH fatty......Chester, 12HH pony, good doer.

    All horses seperated at night with their relevent feeds, plus Zigs has one bicki hay to last the night. Jess maintains access to hay feeder which has a whole bale of hay put in each night. Jess gets to pick through and get the best bits out of the hay and then..... the morning Zigs is let out with her and they get to clean up the rest of the bale through the day. This way Zigs only gets the scraps, so to speak, and not all the good stuff. Chester is on firebreak duty, which means alot of leg work for a little grass.

    This seems to work for me.

    In relation to your query re different types of hay/feed for different sized horses/ponies....I think the volume is what needs to alter, ie more hay for your TB and less for your pony.

    Hope this helps.:)
  14. Golden Biscuit

    Golden Biscuit Well-known Member

    With oaten hay- how do you guys keep it fresh? I gave it a go last year and found it sitting in my shed it grew mould? My ponies loved it but it went bad too quickly so alot got wasted?? Especially how do you go with a roll?
  15. arylin

    arylin Well-known Member

    I feed all my ponies on oaten hay either rolls or squares.
    I occasionally buy meadow hay from my neighbours but they feed it to their horses so I know it is safe.
    I have never had oaten hay go mouldy BEB unless it gets wet.
    Oaten hay stored correctly will last for ages.
    I just chuck rolls uin the paddock and they are gone with in days never get a chance to survive long enough to do anything but be pooped out the other end *#)
  16. Golden Biscuit

    Golden Biscuit Well-known Member

    Hmm thats weird, maybe mine was bad? I had it in the wet weather but i kept it in the shed undr shelter on a pellet off the ground? Maybe it was the damp air? How do you go in winter? Thanks for that aryln might give it another go
  17. SandownLodgeJelks

    SandownLodgeJelks Well-known Member

    ive never fed meadow hay. it just looks yucky so my horses get oaten :) a biscuit morning and night.
  18. snoopydoo

    snoopydoo Well-known Member

    ????? Meadow hay is the closest you can get to grass, after all it is dried grass - how can it look yucky????? Good meadow hay has a smell to die for and the horses love it....
  19. Cornish Pixie

    Cornish Pixie Active Member

    Aaarrrrr meadow hay - perhaps its the poms thing to do?! :)*

    Since we've been in Oz tho we've only used Oaten Hay, purely because it was recommended to us, and have had excellent results. We get a hay roll and have had no problems whatsoever.

    L x
  20. dayna

    dayna Well-known Member

    I have always fed oaten hay and lucerne hay. Usually one bikkie of lucerne to every 2 bikkies of oaten. I have fed meadow before (in rolls in the paddock)but found that it caused scours in my horse and there was a lot of wastage left compared to the oaten rolls (might have just been that roll, however not taking any chances) and my horses have always much prefered the oaten and lucerne.

    I think it is a matter of having a go and seeing what suites your particular horse.

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