First Cut Versus Second Cut Grasses have higher NSC levels because they … Regents of the University of Minnesota. Both grass hays had NSC levels above 12 percent. Foals can get legs and heads caught in them, even adult horses can put their hoof through and get caught. High protein feeds, including alfalfa hay, should ONLY be fed when required as a supplement to improve protein levels; but should never be used as a primary staple or to replace grass hay. Animal Feed Sci. 1997 found that horses with HYPP need complete diets less than 1 percent K. Moore-Colyer 1996 found that soaking hay for 30 minutes reduced respiratory problems for horses with COPD or heaves. Alfalfa is a good source of nutrients for sport horses, but owners might want to avoid offering it when horses are working hard in hot weather, … yes, dusty/moldy hay can turn a grand prix horse into a horse that not even a person who wants a "pet" will take. Affected horses show weakness and any unsteady gait of the hind legs. Small diameter stems. Alfalfa and orchardgrass need to soak for 60 minutes to reduce K to recommended levels prior to feeding HYPP horses. A farmer values regular customers and it is a win/win situation as he will always supply his regular customers as a priority in times of shortage. Farmers receive a higher price for 2nd cut hay. Grasses have higher NSC levels because they store their carbohydrates as fructan. Hay can also be useful when keeping horses indoors, and while transporting them. If you don’t want the sugars up in the stalk, then you cut it late in the day. Heaves. For these horses, pellets or hay cubes can be a critical source of fiber and general nutrition. Throwing a tarp on top of the hay just under the leak will not eliminate water and will allow water entry/run off onto another part of the stack and moisture will in any event be present in the building. and because the horses will trample it as they pull it out the feeder. The color of the hay will not be as green, and may be quite brown. 3. Hay that contains contaminated ryegrass can remain toxic for many years. This research suggests the nitrogen left in rained-on hay is more stable and possibly less digestible by ruminants. For highest ‘sweetness’ the perfect time to cut hay is around 10 a.m. Add a layer of tarp and shavings on top to prevent this. Licitra G, Hernandez TM, Van Soest PJ. Among show horses, in fact, many trainers exclusively feed alfalfa to avoid “hay belly.” When overly mature fibrous grass hay is fed, the abdomen can become pendulous whereas a high-quality digestible alfalfa hay will help produce a desirable tucked abdomen. Sixth Revised Edition. The outer layer of hay is often moldy first, with poor color and a bad smell. Tifton: This is actually a type of Bermudagrass. Most people can start to detect mold around 500,000 cfu/g. Elsevier Publications. Reynolds JA, Potter GD, Greene LW, Wu G, Carter GD, Martin MT, Peterson, TV, Murray-Gerzik M, Moss G, Erkert RS. In Proceedings, ENSP Annual Symptoms. Most of these have been tested for safety with cattle, but may or may not have been tested on horses. 1996; 57: 357-358. “You can also soak the feed for 15 to 30 minutes before feeding, so your horses can eat it wet, minimizing the risk of airborne mold dust,” advises Van Saun. Feed soaked hay right away to avoid mold growth. First, cut hay also has a lower fat and protein content. Due to a bad hay crop, University of Missouri-Columbia veterinarians are reporting an increased number of horses with chronic selenosis and vitamin E deficiency, problems that can be fatal. University of Minnesota Equine Extension Program But hay fed on the ground may be easily trampled, used as bedding and contaminated with manure. Hay Moisture. If your hay dealer delivers you weedy hay, hay that is brown, hay that is dusty, hay that is of poor quality in general, then find another source. If you have a worry that your stack is becoming too hot, then contact your Fire Department. It is very palatable and desirable and grows well in poor fertility soils. Grass type horse hays have a lower nutritional value than legumes, but are considered ‘safe’ hays, because it is harder for a horse to over eat or have a reaction to grass hay. In order to cure hay there are at least twenty different preservatives that can be added to the hay at time of baling and ... 3. These hays are immature. Since oat hay tends to be higher in nitrates and also high in sugar, this hay is not an option for insulin resistant horses. it can cause colic, ulcers, respiratoy infection etc. If there is too much, a good hay supplier will gladly replace the bale. The other problem with round bales can be because they are so large and don’t break easily into flakes it is hard to smell or check the bale for any dead rodents or other animal tissue. Extension is expanding its online education and resources to adapt to COVID-19 restrictions. When grass is not available, hay may make up the largest part of a horse's diet. Nat. For example, if the hay contained mold there is some chance the horse ingested enough to cause digestive upset. When small bales are handled individually, they go through many hands. Soaking reduced magnesium (Mg) and phosphorus (P) levels in all hay types. Standardization of procedures for nitrogen fractionation of ruminant feeds. Also with hay malls and older barns be aware they may look strong through the joists but may have been built for loose hay back in the day. Ideally, Ca:P ratios should range from 1:1 to 3:1 (up to 6:1) in horse rations. Alfalfa hay is leafy, significantly higher in protein, depending on the hay maturity usually lower in fiber, and more easily digested than Bermuda grass hay. In GC Fahey et al. Big Rounds Versus Small Squares Simply put, it saves time waiting for Mother Nature to dry the hay, will reduce dust in the hay which will result as hay ‘sweats up’ then cools down if it baled with too much moisture. It is important that you check the quality of hay you use in your horse’s diet by core sampling and sending out for testing so you know what its protein content is and value to your horse’s overall nutrition. Reynolds et al. Animal Sci 1996; 63: 337-342. I know soybean MEAL is gret.. its high protein, calcium and phosphorus content. Look out for chewed up balls of forage accumulating at the bottom of the hay net and quidding where the horse spills and drops feed as they chew. Sadly, each year, horse barns and farmers storage barns burn down, horses become sick from respiratory disease and colic and a myriad of other diseases such as Cushings. If your feed merchant uses this method, beware. Longer soaking times lead to greater reductions. Cool-season grasses include orchard grass, timothy, tall fescue, reed canary grass, bromegrass and prairie grass. Generally, a mixed grass bale will work best for most horses. Oat hay is high in fiber and the oats are already included in the feeding. This is because it is higher in protein. Hay with 500,00 to 1 million cfu/g is relatively safe, while hay with over 1 million cfu/g of mold should not be fed to horses due to the risk of respiratory issues. If you or your help pull small bales apart to feed, the flakes will fall and separate ( or should do if it is good hay properly cured), and you will soon detect any poor smell or visual surprises.  The risks of large rounds is the same for the larger square bales. Borgia L, Valberg SJ, Watts K, Pagan J. Glycemic/insulemic response to feeding hay with different water soluble carbohydrate content in healthy and Polysaccharide Storage Myopathy-affected horses. For these horses NSC, P and mold content are key. Soaking hay for horses can be invaluable when feeding a hay that is a little dusty as a result of soil contamination or where it was stored in the barn. This does not mean that it is a bad thing to do, it is just we don’t want to use an inferior product for our horses. Poor Hay. The farmer and his help will notice an off smelling bale and discard it. Jennie Ivey, University of Tennessee Extension Equine Specialist, says foxtail does not produce a … The small squares are naturally much easier to handle, maybe a little more expensive because there is so much more labor required, but overall it’s probably a better choice, in my opinion. Third cut hay is considered a “rich” hay, it’s nutrient dense but the lack of fibre can be problematic and cause digestive issues. Equine Chronicle ® All Rights Reserved. Hay with less than 500,000 cfu/g of mold is considered good quality. Find a good source and stick with it. And with horses who like to paw & put holes in them. Straw is the dead and dried remains of… 2009; 727-740. 2. Thus, this hay didn’t need soaking for horses with PSSM and laminitis. Many horse owners are aware, alfalfa has been blamed (justly or unjustly) for problems associated with horse health. Horse owners should check hay for the presence of foxtails before feeding it to their animals. Horse owners should check hay for the presence of foxtails before feeding it to their animals. 6. Hay needs air circulating to keep it healthy. It also allows farmers to bale with more water content in the hay, which means if they sell by the ton they will receive a higher price. The stems are thin and flexible, and it has a high fibre content. Foxtail seedheads are green to light green in color, and resemble a bottle brush or a fox tail. 4727 NW 80th Ave. • Ocala, FL 34482 • 352 369 1104 • FAX 352 369 1521 Check the design carefully. We always sell the bottom of the stack out for mulch hay and never feed it, but then depends on turnover and storage conditions. Horses consume 2-2.5% of their body weight in dry matter daily. Soaking hay for 15 to 60 minutes is a good way to manage these horses, but only soak hay if your preferred hay isn’t available. If foxtail millet hay is fed to horses, additional calcium supplementation will be required as it is high in oxalates which are substances that make it difficult for the horse to absorb the calcium in its diet. “Too much of this nutrient”, “not enough of that nutrient” are common phrases found in discussions regarding alfalfa hay for horses. Reducing the horse’s protein intake (thus reducing the nitrogen intake) will influence the bacteria population in the gut, which is one of the reasons horse owners are always encouraged to make diet changes gradually. Technol. Hay should be dry to the touch. 360 pages. 1994; 828-868. Checking hay in bright light should reveal if it is edible for horses. Dust stays at ground level, so less goes in the horse's nose and airways. Some grasses like Brome and Timothy ae flexible with cutting and don’t lose nutritional value quickly. The Seven Deadly Sins of Horse Hay. Prior to soaking, both alfalfa hays were below 10 percent NSC (Table 1). Hay should be free of Mold. While you might think treating hay with acid might create problems for your horse—especially relating to gastric ulcers—this is not the case. COPD or Heaves is an allergic reaction to dust and mold in the airway. This poses a real risk of botulism to your horse. The English idiomatic phrase “hay is for horses” is a specific idiom with a particular meaning and use; at its core, the phrase is really a remonstration for someone using the word “hey” as a verbal opener, to address someone or start a sentence. Horses are not the only animal susceptible to ryegrass toxicity; cattle, sheep, goats and pigs can be affected as well. Baling hay that shows a moisture content of over 14% can be a recipe for disaster and is not recommended. We ask a lot of our performance horses and this is an area of concern and long term health too, as young horses are particularly susceptible. Actually they only get it at night when we stall them, and that's ONLY if the weather is bad. Horses consuming sorghum hay for long periods may develop chronic cyanide poisoning that causes nerve degeneration in the hind legs, urinary tract, bladder, and rectum.