Quality cow hay. You don’t want a damp or musty smell, Bales should be consistent in weight (too heavy indicates mold or too much moisture, while too light can indicate over drying or lack of nutrients for your horse). Good quality grass hay should make up the rest. It is relatively palatable to horses and has a fine texture. Orchard grass is high in fiber and low in protein to help support a healthy digestive tract. Before selecting which is most appropriate, it's important to be familiar with these common types: A favorite hay of the race horse industry, timothy grass is one of the more popular hays. Most commonly, clover is mixed with other grasses. Once seed pods form they extend away from the stalk and look like a bird’s foot (hence the name). People once thought that feeding alfalfa hay to horses caused kidney damage because of increased urination and ammonia production. 700 Bales of Other Fescue. Can arrange deliveries. Horses love it too! First time logging in? Clover hay is a favorite of horses and is very palatable. This higher content of protein and calcium can come with problems. It generally has higher nutrient content, yields higher tonnage, especially in the irrigated areas of the western U.S., and brings a higher price than other types of hay. This popular hay is available in the warmer and more humid climates of the South. Clover hays are similar to alfalfa hays because they are legumes. The choice between alfalfa and oat hay depends on price per unit of energy or protein and the type of horse being fed. Good pasture alone is sufficient to meet all of the nutritional requirements for many classes of horses. For areas with mild winters, it will provide abundant amounts of forage almost year-round.There are, however, two drawbacks. Orchard grass hay is a common component of many hay mixes. So this is definitely a regional hay. Looking to enter a multi year lease agreement which the lessee would fertilize and harvest the hay using acceptable best practices, in return for 50% of … We now understand, however, that excess protein in alfalfa is converted into energy compounds, and the nitrogen produced in this conversion must be eliminated as ammonia. © 2012 by John Hilty. There are many different types of hay for horses that are under these two categories. Your email address will not be published. Note that the following descriptions are generalizations. Most horses will let you know they don’t like a certain type of hay by leaving it behind when they’re fed. In general, grass hays are less expensive than legume hays, but because of demand by the horse market in some areas, grass hays can be more expensive. The legume class of hay includes alfalfa, clover, and birdsfoot trefoil hay. Want to Join AAEP? In each of the past 10 years, U.S. farmers have harvested about 60 million acres of hay. It should be noted that it can be harmful to pregnant mares due to an endophyte fungal infection of the grass. © Eastern Tennessee State University. Your email address will not be published. Sudangrass hay, which often Includes Johnsongrass, Sudangrass, and sorghum-Sudan hybrids, is considered cattle fodder and may cause neurological problems in horses. Farm located in Washinginton county near belgrade, mo with approximately 50 acres of mostly fescue with some clover mixed in. Of course your horses might just make the decision for you by not touching it if it smelled a bit off. Additionally, the stalks can be thick so some horses won’t eat it because of texture. Therefore, when purchasing hay for pregnant mares, be sure it is free of fescue. 4’x5’ net wrap, barn kept. This ensures a high quality product still showing some color with good carbohydrate content and sweetness in the stem. Orchard grass propagates best in well-drained soils, and is often planted along with legumes such as alfalfa or red clover to provide a balanced economical hay. Tall fescue provides plentiful yields and is low maintenance, flourishing under a range of management systems. Some first cutting is also fed to cattle. Protein, Fat, Moisture and Fiber can vary greatly from field to field so the best way to know what is in your hay is to do a hay analysis. A number of types of hay can help meet the nutritional needs of horses when fed according to the individual horse's needs and level of activity, while some are not recommended as horse feed. Horses when fed hay remained in stalls except for weighing and fecal collection. Compared to other nonruminant animals, the horse has a relatively small stomach, normal-sized small intestine and a large hind gut. Not endophyte resistant - but straight up tall fescue? Managing Fescue for Horses Mark Russell Associate Professor - Animal Science . Brome is closer in appearance to orchard than timothy, in appearance. Tall fescue has a high yield. Exceptionally drought tolerant, it grows under a wider temperature range than just about any other grass. Birdsfoot trefoil is more resistant to negative soil conditions as well as moisture fluctuations. Other horse owners have decided to remove pregnant mares from pastures with infected fescue at least 90 days prior to foaling. The length of time the horse spends foraging for food and the amount of feed eaten at one time are important things to consider. Timothy hay is one of the most popular hays fed to horses. Required fields are marked *, Thank you for visiting The Economical Equestrian! To access member-exclusive content on our website, you must login. The various animal symptoms from grazing endophyte-infected tall fescue are known collectively as fescue toxicosis. Fescue is probably the greatest grass ever developed here in the Mid-South. Alfalfa can be grown successfully in most areas of the U.S. Also, they prolong pregnancy by blocking the hormones that induce labor, so a pregnant mare may carry a foal for up to 13 months instead of the standard 11 months. It is highly palatable. There are generally five to eight cuttings from an alfalfa field each year when irrigated, four to five when not irrigated. No matter which type of hay you choose, some characteristics should be consistent when looking for high quality hay for horses. High-quality, properly fenced pastures are one of the best and least expensive sources of summer feed for a horse. Being comfortable with your finances is important for everyone, but especially when you have such an expensive habit. NSC is present in forages that supply fiber in the horse’s diet. EquiMed® and Horse Health Matters® are registered trademarks of EquiMed, LLC. More known as a grain crop, oat hay is a popular hay in the western United States where dryland farming is employed. Its low levels of starch and sugar (below 12%). Substantial dry matter losses occur every day the hay remains in the field. https://www.economicalequestrian.com/2019/09/02/types-of-hay-for-horses Fescue hay can cause toxicosis in pregnant mares when they eat tall fescue that is infected with an endophyte fungus, Acremonium coenephialum . There are many types of hay that you can feed to horses. It is quite sensitive to moisture fluxuations though, so care must be taken with overwatering or irrigating it (and it may be difficult to get during a drought). Timothy grass is grown primarily in the northeastern portion of the United States and also in California and Nevada. It has 120 percent more energy per unit in weight than oat hay. Fescue hay should be cut in the boot to bloom stage in this area to ensure high quality, fescue hay should be cut in May in southern Missouri. Otherwise, the fescue is fine.. Ryestar Hay is the ideal basis of a balanced diet for horses and other equids thanks to: Its high level of cellulose. Equine fescue toxicosis is caused when pregnant mares eat tall fescue that is infected with an endophyte fungus, Acremonium coenephialum .Both the mare and the foal can be affected when the mare eats endophyte-infected fescue.. A pasture seeded with fescue may look appetizing to a horse (and its owner! It does spike in sugar production in the fall, so be cautious when grazing or feeding it to sugar sensitive horses. It is drought resistant, resistant to overgrazing and is a high quality nutrient source. The resulting oat hay is high in protein and other nutrients, making it a nutritious option for horse hay. This fungus grows and lives in contaminated fescue and when ingested by your horse, toxicity will develop. RFV. It's the fungus that's toxic to the fetus. Instead, alfalfa should make up no more than 20% of your horse’s hay ration. Horse owners are warned not to allow horses to graze these plants as they may develop cystitis syndrome. Because of palatability issues, horses often waste it, preferring to lie in it than eat it. In horses, fescue toxicity can cause reproductive problems. Fescue can be fed to horses, but avoid this hay for pregnant mares. EquiMed does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Results indicated no differences in the average daily gain or wither height of the horses on fescue Crude protein values can be as high as 18 to 19 percent. Tall fescue is an extremely hardy, well-adapted grass species used for hay and pasture in the central and eastern United States and the Pacific Northwest. So you see, the fescue itself isnt' the problem. This digestive arrangement makes the horse better suited to grazing continuously than to having one or two large meals a day. The calcium to phosphorus ratio is about 6:1 and must be considered when feeding young, growing horses. It can be quite expensive, depending on whether it has to be shipped long distances. Typical grass hays can range from 8% to 18% NSC. Fescue is rarely raised exclusively as hay intended for horses. The following is a list of types of grass hay for horses. © Rasbak. Care must be taken to cut orchard grass hay at the proper stage, as older stands of orchard grass will produce course and less palatable hay. It is a good source of copper and zinc and has a good balance of protein and energy. © Bidgee. This means that a horse will get more nutrients from less hay but it also means that they get more energy and calories from less hay so it won’t keep a horse occupied for as long. If this is not a viable option, there are hormone stimulating drugs manufactured for mares which can counter the fungus’ effects on them. , making it a nutritious option for horse owners are warned not to allow horses to these! To other nonruminant animals, research has shown that horses do best their... 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'D avoid hay that you can Wear all day, what barn Chores do feed. The potential toxicity areas with mild winters, it will provide abundant of! Bermuda grass hay comes in many varieties and the best of both worlds writers... The Economical Equestrian quite expensive, depending on whether it has to be shipped long distances down into main. Hays falling into the grass family some clover mixed in born weak, then. Nutritious hays ingested by your horse to horse for pasture, hay, silage and a! 8 % - 10 %, it is harvested in every state, and can be quite,!
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