Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Changes in our hay

When the vet visited our barn last Friday, he said that six out of seven of the horses he saw were underweight. Most of us have noticed a change in the last month, but it took the vet's observation for us to pay attention to it. (I for one had assumed that it was Panama's increased exercise that had caused the change in weight, but I didn't think he was underweight because of his big belly.)

The barn's owner and I have been discussing possible causes for all the horses losing weight at once. The other day she brought up something important: They got a new shipment of hay just a month ago, and she says she noticed that it looked a little more dried out than the last shipment (same supplier, and supposedly the same cut).

We're wondering if the hay lost some of its nutritional content from sitting for a longer period of time. That would definitely explain why all the horses appear to be underweight!

I suppose there's not much we can do about it until this shipment of hay is all used up, but I might need to back off on Panama's grain again if the next shipment of hay has a better nutritional content. Good grief — managing a horse's diet can be a lot of work!

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