How Much Hay Does A Horse Need

How Much Hay Does A Horse Need


A common question asked by horse owners is: how much hay do I need to feed my horse? It’s a good question, and one that doesn’t have a short answer. The amount of hay you feed your horse should depend on the animal itself, what type of hay you’re feeding it, and if it gets any other types of forage (like pasture). Read on to learn more about what type of hay your horse needs and how much!

How much hay does a horse need per day?

The amount of hay a horse needs per day depends on a number of factors, including the age and size of the animal. In general, most horses need approximately 1-2% of their body weight in dry matter each day. This can vary depending on whether they have access to pasture or not, as well as what type of forage is available (grass versus alfalfa hay).

Also keep in mind that horses are ruminants like cows and sheep; therefore they require both forage (grass) and fiber (hay) from their diet to meet their nutritional needs.

The type of hay can affect how much hay a horse needs.

The type of hay you feed your horse can also affect how much it needs. If a horse is eating mostly grass, for example, it will need less hay than one that’s eating mostly alfalfa.

The size of your horse can also make a difference in how much it needs to eat. A small pony won’t consume as much as a large draft horse would on average, just like the amount of food and drink an adult human requires differs from that of a child or teenager.

Size matters when feeding hay to horses.

Size matters when feeding hay to horses.

Smaller horses need less hay because they eat less, and large horses need more hay because they eat more. Pregnant or lactating mares may require even more forage than usual, as will growing foals and healthy adults that are working hard. Excess weight in an overweight horse requires additional forage intake to maintain a healthy body condition score (BCS).

Remember that as a general rule, the bigger your horse is, the more he should eat relative to his size—but don’t be afraid of upping his intake if he’s underweight!

Horses need different amounts of hay depending on the horse, and forage should be the focus of their diet.

The amount of hay a horse needs depends on the size and activity level of the animal. A retired show horse that lives in an indoor stall can get away with eating less than a young, growing colt that’s out in pasture. Hay should be your horse’s primary source of nutrition; they shouldn’t just eat grass or grain.

Typical feeds for horses include grass hay (such as Timothy), legume hay (clover, alfalfa) and alfalfa hay (which is higher in protein). Your veterinarian may also recommend specialty diets based on your horse’s age and breed. Most people feed their horses alfalfa in the winter since it is higher in calories than other types of hays but you want to make sure they have access to other types of forage during warmer months so they don’t become addicted to this one food source alone!


The amount of hay a horse needs will depend on its size, age, and activity level. If you’re not sure how much hay to feed your horses, weigh the hay before feeding it and then weight the leftover to get an estimate of what they eat each day. The average horse should consume around 2% of their body weight in hay per day.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top