Question: What is the best kind of hay to feed horses?

Kentucky bluegrass, orchardgrass and timothy are all examples of common grasses used for hay. Benefits: Grass hay is lower in protein and energy than legume hay — but it’s also higher in fiber, which can make it a good choice for many horses.

What is the best hay to feed horses?

Timothy hay is one of the most popular hays fed to horses. It can be quite expensive, depending on whether it has to be shipped long distances. Timothy must be harvested in the pre- or early-bloom stage to ensure a high nutrient content.

Is timothy or orchard grass better for horses?

Orchard Grass is higher in protein (10-12%), higher in calorie content and contains the same balanced levels of calcium and phosphorus as Timothy grass. … With three cuttings instead of two cuttings, Orchard Grass produces consistent soft texture hay that horses readily consume with minimal or no waste.

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Is timothy hay or alfalfa better for horses?

While other feeds such as Alfalfa hay can meet energy requirements of horses in high levels of products, low nutritional concentrations of Timothy hay are ideal for many life stages. For racehorses, fiber is a good cornerstone for any feeding program.

What is the difference between first cut hay and second 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.

What is the best hay for older horses?

Alfalfa hay and good quality grass hays are preferable to stemmy and mature hays that have tougher fiber to ferment. The small intestine loses some function – Older horses find it harder to digest protein in the small intestine.

Do horses need salt blocks?

Most horse owners know a hydrated horse is a healthy horse, and a dehydrated horse is a serious matter. We provide salt blocks for horses to replace essential trace minerals they need, and because salt triggers their thirst for water.

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.

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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.

What grass has the highest protein?

Alfalfa has become one of the world’s most useful forage crops. The plant’s protein content is high and it is much more drought-tolerant than other perennial legumes.

Is too much alfalfa bad for horses?

While feeding extra protein is wasteful, a high-protein diet in itself does not hurt a healthy horse. It can be detrimental, however, to horses with impaired kidneys or liver. … Duren also doesn’t recommend feeding straight alfalfa to endurance horses due to its protein and calcium content.

Can too much alfalfa cause laminitis?

Alfalfa hay can cause horses to founder and develop laminitis due to the excess nutrients provided by the high quality hay if too much is fed. If switching from grass hay to alfalfa, generally less alfalfa is required to provide the same nutrients present in the grass hay.

How much alfalfa hay should I feed my horse?

Horses can normally eat 1.5-2% of their body weight in hay, which equates to 18-24 lbs. of hay per day. The quality of the hay will determine how much is needed and if supplemental grain should be added. Good alfalfa can be 18-20% protein and 55% TDN or energy.

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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.

What does good brome hay look like?

Smooth Brome grass is dark brown-greenhay. Its grass grows tall with soft leafy stems. Meadow Brome cures into soft medium-green leafy hay. It mixes well with alfalfa in pastures so some baled varieties include alfalfa.

Can horses eat hay that has been rained on?

Hay that has gotten wet and is fed immediately is perfectly fine to feed to horses, and a bale of hay that has been rained on and then dried thoroughly, and fed within a week or so is also not going to cause any problem whatsoever.

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