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How to Buy, Store, and Feed Hay

Good quality hay can provide all of the calorie, protein, calcium, potassium and magnesium requirements (to name a few) for most mature idle horses, as well as those in light to low-moderate work. Certainly, growing horses, lactating mares or high-level performance horses will need additional calories, protein, minerals and vitamins, but a substantial portion of nutrients will still be met by hay. In addition to providing ample nutrients for all horses, hay provides a horse with fibre, which is important for gastrointestinal health and satisfies their innate “foraging” behaviour. Despite the nutrients from hay and the physiological importance, most people just buy whatever is available, toss it into a hay loft, and then feed it as a complement to a grain mix. But, in fact, supplemental grain mixes should only be fed when nutrients are lacking in the hay. To get the best bang for your hay dollar, you should…

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