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Learn how to adjust your hay feeding for horses with health issues such as heaves, HYPP and equine metabolic syndrome.
By Rhonda Hoffman PhD, with Elaine Pascoe
Hay choice and feeding methods are especially important for horses with certain health problems.Hay choice and feeding methods are especially important for horses with certain health problems.
Heaves: Heaves, also called recurrent airway obstruction or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, is similar to human asthma. Hay dust and mold aggravate it.
* Buy only hay harvested under the best conditions, and keep it inside and dry to avoid mold formation. Vegetative and early bloom hays generally have less dust than late bloom, mature hay.
* Feed hay on the ground or in a low bunk that allows the horse to eat with his head and neck in a naturally low position. This helps to keep any dust from the hay low to the ground and out of his airways.
* Wet the hay before feeding to reduce dust. You don’t need to soak for long—a dunk in water or spray with a hose should be enough...
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