Hay is on the menu for All of our farm residents. I thought today I'd share a few, albeit flaky, tidbits about how we use this beneficial forage!
For, of course, the usual suspects: (the equines wandering about) I prefer square bales...Why? I want to keep them moving, mimicking that pastured lifestyle. We load a wagon up, dropping a flake at a time in various spots along paths wandering through our pastures. Hay, (pun intended) you can mark off your exercise to-do for the day as well! The idea is to keep them moving not hunkered down at the feed source. This type of feeding is also extremely helpful if one of your horses (like mine) is the lunch room bully.
For those ruminants: (in our case goats who think their horses and continue to try and fit into our dysfunctional herd) Our goats are roaming about with our horses; therefore, they follow the same regiment. They wander briefly, grabbing a bite or two before heading into the much more desired brush. Hay is an especially beneficial feed addition when your females are milking.
For the least likely suspects: (the chickies) Oh yes, they love to pluck, kick, and toss the hay! Our chickens are free-range most of the time, and the horses and goats allow them to share on their terms. But, when I find hay to be of the most help is when I have to keep them cooped for some reason (another minute). I hide all kinds of goodies (fruits, vegetables, mealworms, etc.) on the ground then cover them with slightly tossed hay flakes. Leave them as much intact as possible because that's half the fun. Like a child receiving a boxed gift - the box is as much fun as what it holds inside!