Frequent question: Is first cut or second cut hay better for horses?

Timothy hay is one of the most popular hays fed to horses. … Timothy must be harvested in the pre- or early-bloom stage to ensure a high nutrient content. The first cutting usually has a higher weed content, and quality decreases after the second cutting, so the second cutting is usually the best to feed.

Which cutting of hay is best for horses?

The most common choice of hay is second cutting, but first cutting is also good for horses, plus it is usually cheaper than the other two. Choose hay that is soft, green, and leafy, with thin stems, so it is easier for horses to eat.

Is second or third cut hay better?

Third cut is a very soft and heavy leafy hay. It should be a darker green than 1st and 2nd cut. It’s higher in protein and fat content and lowest in fiber content. … If you have a rabbit that is underweight, this is an ideal hay to give them as it’s higher in protein and fat which should help weight gain.

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Is 3rd cutting hay OK for horses?

From a nutritional standpoint, all cuttings can result in prime horse hay. … Therefore, third cut hay will usually have the highest nutritive value. Horses which are not accustomed to a good, leafy hay may experience flatulent (gaseous) colic or a loose stool.

How soon can you feed fresh cut hay to horses?

Yep, rule is not to feed fresh cut hay. We’ve got a barn full of hay made 3 weeks ago, cant touch any of it so am still having to buy in old stuff to tide us over until we can. I was told 6 months is generally the rule.

What is the difference between 1st cut and 2nd cut hay?

First cut hay is coarser than second cut, this is because the spring growth (rain, etc.) leads to thicker stems and stalks and heavier leaves. Second cut hay has a finer texture and usually, a greener color and heavier leaves. It is more dense, the leaves are more tender and healthier, especially in protein.

How many bales of hay does a horse need?

This is assuming the horse is not fed any other significant source of food, such as pasture or grain. An average sized hay bale (95 pounds) makes for an average of about 21 bales to a ton of hay. So, doing some quick math, that means that the average horse would eat 75 bales of hay a year.

How many pounds of hay should a horse eat a day?

Once you figure out how much your horse’s typical ration weighs, measure that portion at feeding time using a scoop, coffee can, or whatever suits your needs. The average thousand-pound horse who relies on hay for all their forage typically eats fifteen to twenty pounds of hay per day.

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What time of day is best to cut hay?

With all of these factors in mind, it is best to cut hay when there is the greatest opportunity for successful drying, or early in the morning after the dew has dried off. As the old saying goes, “make hay while the sun shines!”

Is Stemmy alfalfa bad for horses?

However the nutritional value of coarse or stemmy hay may be low, leading to weight loss or nutritional deficiencies. Very coarse hays and straws can increase the risk of abdominal pain (colic) and intestinal impaction. For this reason, coarse hays should not be fed to older horses or horses with dental problems.

Will horses stop eating when they are full?

In general, horses will spend less time grazing good-quality pasture, but this is not always true. … Horses do not have the ability to control their eating so that they will stop eating when they have met their nutrient requirements. They will continue to eat, which can lead to digestive and lameness problems.

Why is alfalfa bad for horses?

It can be detrimental, however, to horses with impaired kidneys or liver. These individuals have problems processing and excreting protein and should be kept on a very low-protein diet. Duren also doesn’t recommend feeding straight alfalfa to endurance horses due to its protein and calcium content.

What can you feed horses instead of hay?

Six Hay Alternatives for Horses

  • Bagged chopped forage. It can replace all of your horse’s hay, if necessary.
  • Hay cubes. Chopped cubed hay (usually alfalfa or timothy or a combination) is another 100-percent replacement. …
  • Hay pellets. …
  • “Complete” feed. …
  • Beet pulp. …
  • Soybean hulls.
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How do I know if my hay is dry enough to bale?

Breaking stems in half or twisting them in a circular motion to see if the stems break cleanly will give farmers the go-ahead to bale. “If all the stems break and crack that’s an indication that the hay is cured and then you can rely on the moisture test that you’re getting from the probe,” Yaremcio said.

Can horses eat dusty hay?

Do not feed dusty and moldy hay and grains. Keep horses outside as much as possible. Place feed at a lower level so particles are not inhaled through the nostrils. Feed hay outside to minimize dust problems.

How many acres should a horse have to graze?

In general, you need 2 to 4 acres per horse if you want them to be out all the time and not overgraze a pasture. Most farm owners don’t have this much space, but with more intensive grazing management, you can maintain horses on fewer acres and still have great pastures.

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