Once grass is cut and dried for hay… On your hunt for hay, you’re likely to run across different cuttings. You can fill in with pelleted complete feeds to make up any differences, but you’re still getting that natural fiber. Instead, it’s advisable to treat each crop of hay individually. Best for: Horses that require an energy- and nutrient-dense hay, such as lactating mares, growing foals or horses that need to ingest a plentiful amount of calories. A good rule of thumb is to feed your horse the amount of hay she can clean up in about 1½ - 2 hours. First cuts tend to grow for a longer period of time, so the plants are more mature with more stalk at the time they are cut and baled. When harvested and processed correctly, baled alfalfa is a high-quality source of protein and calcium for horses. Hay Stacking. 2nd cutting is usually greener in color and has a sweeter smell. Giant Bermuda is usually cut and baled for horses on a consistent monthly cycle. Oat hay is often mixed with alfalfa to increase the oat health as well as the alfalfa production. And lastly, 3rd cutting is very thick and rich. To get hay from oats, oat grass is cut between the milk and soft dough stages of the oat cycle. Hay allows us to keep horses in climates and conditions not natural to horses. I buy my old guy the chopped hay from tractor supply, but at $15/bag and rising practically every time I buy it, I'm wondering if there is a way I can just chop my current hay somehow, that way I can just feed the chopped hay to the 3 of them since my fat appy seems to favor the chopped hay and always finds a way to steal it the matter what I do. The resulting oat hay is high in protein and other nutrients, making it a nutritious option for horse hay. What causes Equine Colonic Ulcers? Not all farmers will get a 3rd cutting though. First, cut hay also has a lower fat and protein content. Many horses will turn their nose up to hay with a lot of weeds. Your horse is in good body condition; she is doing well on the grass/alfalfa-mix hay you are currently feeding. Mold and dust can inflame the respiratory tract and impair breathing. Many horse owners wonder which is better 1st, 2nd, or 3rd. how can i chop hay (1 or 2 bales/week) into small pieces for my old horse? © 2020 COWGIRL Magazine/Modern West Media, Inc. | COWGIRL™ is a registered trademark of Modern West Media, Inc. All rights reserved.. 5 Weeds That Are Actually Healthy For Your Horse, Stunning Small Barns For Your Horse Property, Save Money On Hay With These DIY Slow Feeders, Proudly powered by Newspack on WordPress.com. This results in a desirable quality hay. Farmers can feed the oat hay immediately or store it for winter forage. Usually the best forage hay is locally grown and is not overly irrigated so it does not develop large stems. Good pasture alone is sufficient to meet all of the nutritional requirements for many classes of horses. If you have a hard keeper or senior horse, then this may be a good idea. Many horse owners jump at the chance to purchase 2nd. To begin with, 1st cutting is the first hay cut from that field for the year. It was something like, "Hay is for horses, cows eat grass, go to the farm and get them cheaper?" AbGard: Equine Omeprazole Paste Alternative, Dewormer: Praziquantel and Ivermectin Combined, Horse Wormers and Equine Worming Schedule, AbPrazole Plus: Special Equine Omeprazole Formulation, AbGard: Treat Horse Ulcers Immediately Before It Gets Worse. Preservative-treated hay has been fed to horses without problems. At the same time, p… When you are done soaking a serving of hay, dump the water rather than reusing it for another soak. Weather Issues: Excess moisture can result in mold growth. You will need a separate analysis for each field, cutting etc. A swather cuts the grass and arranges it in windrows. Sorry, your blog cannot share posts by email. Heating will occur and may reduce forage quality, resulting in musty or moldy hay; and in the worst case, it can cause spontaneous combustion. Hay needs air circulating to keep it healthy. When I was younger if you would say, "Hey", someone would say, "Hay is for horses" I don't know the rest of the little saying. The Cuttings and Harvesting: Giant Bermuda Hay is nutritious when cut and baled for horses with proper management and fertilizer program. This can be important for horses prone to gut upset with diet changes. You’ll want to avoid this hay, as it can cause digestive and respiratory problems. Weeds do tend to appear in first-cut hay. It tends to be more coarse and have more grasses in it. However, there are significant differences in the variety, quality and availability of hay, which can make feeding your livestock a time-consuming chore. When grass is not available, hay may make up the largest part of a horse's diet. This hay may be fine for the easy keeper though. A mature horse requires at least 10% protein. This is because hay appropriate for cubing is usually cut at the same growth stage each time, and manufacturers either maintain their own fields or buy from the same sources. If it takes more than 2 hours she’s more than likely trampling and wasting the excess hay. It’s usually more affordable, as well! This is because it is lower in nonstructural carbohydrates (sugars and starches) and is typically softer, greener and leafier. Read more about hay here: FAQ About Feeding Your Horse Hay! Many horse owners wonder which is better 1st, 2nd, or 3rd. “But a horse that is prone to insulin resistance problems or laminitis would do … The stems are thin and flexible, and it has a high fibre content. 3 Looks To Rock This Winter From Cavender’s, Hot New Styles From Rock And Roll Denim Will Keep You Warm This Winter. During the cold winter months when pastures contain scant forage, hay is the typical diet for cattle, horses, sheep and goats. This is especially important if you’re concerned about the hay quality or if your horse is having nutrition problems. A number of factors come into play when choosing the right type of hay for your horse. Whether you are buying first, second, or third cut hay, pay attention to quality First Cutting. However, a lot of horses do just fine on quality 1st cutting hay. It also looses it nutritional value over time. Productive, well-managed pastures can provide most of the feed requirements of horses for the least cost. Forage hay analysis - … Second cut alfalfa hay is usually the fastest growing because it is developing during the hottest part of the season, and it usually has more stem in relation to leaf. What do these terms mean? As a result, he might start to collect wads of hay in his mouth. First cutting of hay is the one harvested first in the year from the field before it blooms. To begin with, 1st cutting is the first hay cut from that field for the year. You can even perform a hay analysis to check crude protein, fiber, energy, and mineral content. Maturity: Spring rains can delay farmers from harvesting their 1st cutting of hay. COWGIRL inspires the Modern Western Lifestyle. The first cut of hay is the first hay harvested from a field for that year. They cut their prairie hay once a year, usually early in July. She is getting no grain, and she has never developed laminitis, inflammation of the soft connective tissues within the foot that can result from a … Horses that can’t chew hay efficiently may do well on a few pounds per day of chopped forage. He gets senior feed 3 times a day and soaked alfalfa cubes once a day, but need some short cut hay to chew on as well. Performance horses in heavy work often benefit from legume hay that can provide calories and … Hay should not be packaged when moisture content is greater than 20 percent and an effective preservative is not used. Many horses can develop permanent lung damage after consuming moldy or dusty hay. Which is best Omeprazole or Sucralfate for Horse Ulcers? A well-kept pasture also is the most natural and healthy environment for exercise and rest. Here is a short checklist for evaluating the quality of hay relative to the horse being fed: Cut, texture and stage of maturity. Clean hay is the best hay for horses. Heaves is a common respiratory problem that occurs when a horse consumes moldy or dusty hay. Cut early in the growing season … As grazing animals, research has shown that horses do best when their feeding patterns follow a natural grazing pattern. One of the most critical factors of field-cured hay--hay that is left out in the field to dry after is has been cut--are weather conditions that may influence the hay quality. Legume hays (alfalfa and clover) contain 12% to 20% protein. First cut lucerne hay with a high C3 grass content must be soaked for high risk horses. After a half-hour, remove the hay and feed it immediately. Additionally, hay that sits on the field too long once it has been cut, or that gets wet, can leach nutrition before it gets baled. Grass hays contain 6% to 10% protein. For highest nutrient values, select hay cut in the late afternoon. The roughage in horse hay requires a good bit of chewing. There are quite a few factors involved in determining this! A hay analysis helps you better understand what you’re feeding your horse. The oats are planted in the spring of the year and cut and harvested for hay in the early summer. Furthermore, weeds don’t offer a lot of nutritional value. If your horse is cleaning it all up in less than an hour, chances are he’s not getting enough. Hay can also be useful when keeping horses indoors, and while transporting them. Because of the unpredictable weather in spring, hay growers must sometimes postpone the harvest of first-cut hay, and during this delay plants might become overly mature. Analyses of timothy hay harvested at several stages of maturity are shown in Figure 1. Protein in hay varies depending on the type and maturity level of the hay when it is cut. It tends to be more coarse and have more grasses in it. To ensure that the hay is processed at exactly the right time, from eighty to one hundred people are employed to cut and "put up" the hay. The taller the hay grows the coarser and tougher it becomes. Rain and excessive sunlight reduce the quality of hay by reducing the nutrient content. Weeds: A weedy field will produce weedy hay. Don’t soak the hay longer, however, because this risks leaching beneficial nutrients. If all the hay is soaked, then some of the soluble trace-mineral, vitamin and … High-quality, properly fenced pastures are one of the best and least expensive sources of summer feed for a horse. Three Common Problems to Address. A basic hay analysis costs about $20. There is a lot of fiber, so it is nutritious, plus it is easy to eat because the stems are flexible and thin. Like oat hay, forage hay is cut at the optimal time to ensure a highly palatable feed for horses, cattle, goats and sheep. In a separate study that featured teff hay cut at three different stages of maturity (boot, early, and late), mature horses preferred the boot and early-maturity hays based on voluntary intake: 1.8% of body weight for boot, 1.7% of body weight for early, and 1.5% of bodyweight for late maturity. 2nd cutting is usually greener in … Help! And what cutting is best? Inspect a few bales. Set a timer on your phone, if necessary, to ensure you don’t forget about your submerged hay net. A horse that is prone to insulin resistance problems or laminitis would do best with hay cut in the early morning when the plants are lowest in sugars and starches.” It’s important to choose the right hay for your horse. Immature hay is both more easily digested by, and more appetizing to, horses. Thus for highest nutrient values, select hay cut in late afternoon, but for an idle horse, morning cut hay might be just right. Always request a horse analysis when sending in hay samples. Hay for Your Horse Smorgasbord of hay and grain for horses Flickr.com - Smerikal. Great care is taken to ensure that the prairie hay is cut only when Total digestive Nutrient (TDN) and Crude Protein levels are optimal. Next to pasture, good quality hay is the ideal feed. Step 1 There are quite a few factors involved in determining this! Post was not sent - check your email addresses! This oat hay produces a high protein feed suitable for cattle, horses and sheep. None of the commercial chopped hay is available in my area. You’ll want to look for mold, moisture, weeds, texture, dirt, and insects. All cuttings can result in good-quality horse hay! ! 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