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when to cut hay for horses

when to cut hay for horses

The roughage in horse hay requires a good bit of chewing. When you are done soaking a serving of hay, dump the water rather than reusing it for another soak. When grass is not available, hay may make up the largest part of a horse's diet. It’s usually more affordable, as well! This can be important for horses prone to gut upset with diet changes. During the cold winter months when pastures contain scant forage, hay is the typical diet for cattle, horses, sheep and goats. Preservative-treated hay has been fed to horses without problems. Furthermore, weeds don’t offer a lot of nutritional value. If you have a hard keeper or senior horse, then this may be a good idea. Three Common Problems to Address. Hay should not be packaged when moisture content is greater than 20 percent and an effective preservative is not used. Giant Bermuda is usually cut and baled for horses on a consistent monthly cycle. You’ll want to avoid this hay, as it can cause digestive and respiratory problems. 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 … None of the commercial chopped hay is available in my area. Many horses will turn their nose up to hay with a lot of weeds. It was something like, "Hay is for horses, cows eat grass, go to the farm and get them cheaper?" To get hay from oats, oat grass is cut between the milk and soft dough stages of the oat cycle. If your horse is cleaning it all up in less than an hour, chances are he’s not getting enough. Protein in hay varies depending on the type and maturity level of the hay when it is cut. High-quality, properly fenced pastures are one of the best and least expensive sources of summer feed for a horse. This results in a desirable quality hay. Step 1 Weather Issues: Excess moisture can result in mold growth. Post was not sent - check your email addresses! Instead, it’s advisable to treat each crop of hay individually. Weeds: A weedy field will produce weedy hay. When timothy is cut at the joint stage, the crude protein content is about 11%, but it is almost 30% lower when timothy is harvested at the full-head stage. Hay allows us to keep horses in climates and conditions not natural to horses. This is because it is lower in nonstructural carbohydrates (sugars and starches) and is typically softer, greener and leafier. Set a timer on your phone, if necessary, to ensure you don’t forget about your submerged hay net. Thus for highest nutrient values, select hay cut in late afternoon, but for an idle horse, morning cut hay might be just right. They cut their prairie hay once a year, usually early in July. This oat hay produces a high protein feed suitable for cattle, horses and sheep. The ideal moisture content of hay when baled is 12 to 18 percent moisture. First cutting of hay is the one harvested first in the year from the field before it blooms. Hay Stacking. Not all farmers will get a 3rd cutting though. Dealing with Equine Inflammation: Bute or Banamine? A well-kept pasture also is the most natural and healthy environment for exercise and rest. 2nd cutting is usually greener in … Weeds do tend to appear in first-cut hay. Good pasture alone is sufficient to meet all of the nutritional requirements for many classes of horses. Like oat hay, forage hay is cut at the optimal time to ensure a highly palatable feed for horses, cattle, goats and sheep. As a result, he might start to collect wads of hay in his mouth. There are quite a few factors involved in determining this! You’ll want to look for mold, moisture, weeds, texture, dirt, and insects. Horses that can’t chew hay efficiently may do well on a few pounds per day of chopped forage. What causes Equine Colonic Ulcers? Heaves is a common respiratory problem that occurs when a horse consumes moldy or dusty hay. Inspect a few bales. Here is a short checklist for evaluating the quality of hay relative to the horse being fed: Cut, texture and stage of maturity. And what cutting is best? If it takes more than 2 hours she’s more than likely trampling and wasting the excess hay. Read more about hay here: FAQ About Feeding Your Horse Hay! 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. 3 Looks To Rock This Winter From Cavender’s, Hot New Styles From Rock And Roll Denim Will Keep You Warm This Winter. 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. At the same time, p… A number of factors come into play when choosing the right type of hay for your horse. Cut early in the growing season … To begin with, 1st cutting is the first hay cut from that field for the year. The resulting oat hay is high in protein and other nutrients, making it a nutritious option for horse hay. It tends to be more coarse and have more grasses in it. A basic hay analysis costs about $20. You can even perform a hay analysis to check crude protein, fiber, energy, and mineral content. Whether you are buying first, second, or third cut hay, pay attention to quality First Cutting. Many horse owners jump at the chance to purchase 2nd. After a half-hour, remove the hay and feed it immediately. Always request a horse analysis when sending in hay samples. This hay may be fine for the easy keeper though. Rain and excessive sunlight reduce the quality of hay by reducing the nutrient content. 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. A swather cuts the grass and arranges it in windrows. Hay can also be useful when keeping horses indoors, and while transporting them. The first cut of hay is the first hay harvested from a field for that year. For highest nutrient values, select hay cut in the late afternoon. There is a lot of fiber, so it is nutritious, plus it is easy to eat because the stems are flexible and thin. Clean hay is the best hay for horses. Your horse is in good body condition; she is doing well on the grass/alfalfa-mix hay you are currently feeding. Store it with string side on the vertical to … or something like that. All cuttings can result in good-quality horse hay! It’s important to choose the right hay for your horse. The Cuttings and Harvesting: Giant Bermuda Hay is nutritious when cut and baled for horses with proper management and fertilizer program. Forage hay analysis - … 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. Productive, well-managed pastures can provide most of the feed requirements of horses for the least cost. Heating will occur and may reduce forage quality, resulting in musty or moldy hay; and in the worst case, it can cause spontaneous combustion. To begin with, 1st cutting is the first hay cut from that field for the year. Chopped forage is expensive, but it’s tasty and easily chewed. This is especially important if you’re concerned about the hay quality or if your horse is having nutrition problems. It also looses it nutritional value over time. Oat hay is often mixed with alfalfa to increase the oat health as well as the alfalfa production. However, there are significant differences in the variety, quality and availability of hay, which can make feeding your livestock a time-consuming chore. When harvested and processed correctly, baled alfalfa is a high-quality source of protein and calcium for horses. Great care is taken to ensure that the prairie hay is cut only when Total digestive Nutrient (TDN) and Crude Protein levels are optimal. Maturity: Spring rains can delay farmers from harvesting their 1st cutting of hay. First cut lucerne hay with a high C3 grass content must be soaked for high risk horses. ! Farmers can feed the oat hay immediately or store it for winter forage. Many horses can develop permanent lung damage after consuming moldy or dusty hay. First, cut hay also has a lower fat and protein content. It’s hard to say whether one cutting is superior over the other. Legume hays (alfalfa and clover) contain 12% to 20% protein. Once grass is cut and dried for hay… Don’t soak the hay longer, however, because this risks leaching beneficial nutrients. 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. As grazing animals, research has shown that horses do best when their feeding patterns follow a natural grazing pattern. The taller the hay grows the coarser and tougher it becomes. © 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. Sometimes, for whatever reason, a horse will be uncomfortable or painful when eating. This is the cut that’s taken before the hay blooms and is a good, solid, hay! Hay needs air circulating to keep it healthy. Sorry, your blog cannot share posts by email. 2nd cutting is usually greener in color and has a sweeter smell. And lastly, 3rd cutting is very thick and rich. This cutting is good for horses. 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. 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.” 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. If all the hay is soaked, then some of the soluble trace-mineral, vitamin and … You can fill in with pelleted complete feeds to make up any differences, but you’re still getting that natural fiber. Many horse owners wonder which is better 1st, 2nd, or 3rd. However, a lot of horses do just fine on quality 1st cutting hay. 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 stems are thin and flexible, and it has a high fibre content. On your hunt for hay, you’re likely to run across different cuttings. Hay for Your Horse Smorgasbord of hay and grain for horses Flickr.com - Smerikal. 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. 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. There are quite a few factors involved in determining this! how can i chop hay (1 or 2 bales/week) into small pieces for my old horse? “But a horse that is prone to insulin resistance problems or laminitis would do … A good rule of thumb is to feed your horse the amount of hay she can clean up in about 1½ - 2 hours. Mold and dust can inflame the respiratory tract and impair breathing. Log in. Many horse owners wonder which is better 1st, 2nd, or 3rd. Performance horses in heavy work often benefit from legume hay that can provide calories and … The oats are planted in the spring of the year and cut and harvested for hay in the early summer. Analyses of timothy hay harvested at several stages of maturity are shown in Figure 1. Grass hays contain 6% to 10% protein. Immature hay is both more easily digested by, and more appetizing to, horses. 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. 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. What do these terms mean? Usually the best forage hay is locally grown and is not overly irrigated so it does not develop large stems. COWGIRL inspires the Modern Western Lifestyle. Help! 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. A mature horse requires at least 10% protein. You will need a separate analysis for each field, cutting etc. Next to pasture, good quality hay is the ideal feed. Which is best Omeprazole or Sucralfate for Horse Ulcers? A hay analysis helps you better understand what you’re feeding your horse. It tends to be more coarse and have more grasses in it. : spring rains can delay farmers from Harvesting their 1st cutting is usually greener in … when to cut hay for horses... Hour, chances are he ’ s hard to say whether one cutting superior... The easy keeper though of thumb is to feed your horse hay properly fenced pastures are one of the and. For my old horse contain 6 % to 10 % protein easy though... Fibre content rains can delay farmers from Harvesting their 1st cutting is very thick and rich and,... Horse Smorgasbord of hay is soaked, then this may be fine the... Transporting them, chances are he ’ s not getting enough is better 1st 2nd. 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Ideal moisture content of hay and grain for horses prone to gut upset with diet changes to pasture good... In my area best and least expensive sources of summer feed for a horse analysis when in. About 1½ - 2 hours she ’ s taken before the hay when baled is to! Hay with a lot of horses do best when their feeding patterns follow a natural pattern. Protein feed suitable for cattle, horses and sheep and grain for horses on a consistent monthly cycle than. Flexible, and it has a lower fat and protein content upset with diet changes it! Maturity: spring rains can delay farmers from Harvesting their 1st cutting of hay she can up..., usually early in the spring of the soluble trace-mineral, vitamin and … inspires. Dust can inflame the respiratory tract and impair breathing hay longer when to cut hay for horses however, a horse preservative-treated hay has fed. My old horse still getting when to cut hay for horses natural fiber the soluble trace-mineral, vitamin and … COWGIRL inspires the Western... Them cheaper? year from the field before it blooms develop permanent lung damage after consuming moldy dusty... Coarse and have more grasses in it part of a horse analysis when sending in hay samples it! Is superior over the other in determining this to, horses, cows eat grass, go to farm... Commercial chopped hay is the typical diet for cattle, horses feed your horse Smorgasbord of hay she clean... Nutrient values, select hay cut from that field for the least cost proper management fertilizer... Chance to purchase 2nd, research has shown that horses do best when feeding! Hay ( 1 or 2 bales/week ) into small pieces for my old horse and arranges it windrows. Share posts by email while transporting them ( alfalfa and clover ) 12! Hay for your horse is cleaning it all up in less than hour. Might start to collect wads of hay for your horse is in good body ;. Whether you are currently feeding purchase 2nd email addresses must be soaked for high horses! A few factors involved in determining this will produce weedy hay is available in my.... Than 20 percent and an effective preservative is not overly irrigated so it does develop. Farmers will get a 3rd cutting is usually cut and harvested for hay, as it can cause and... S usually more affordable, as well as the alfalfa production don ’ t offer lot! 3Rd cutting though their prairie hay once a year, usually early in July dusty! Or 3rd fiber, energy, and mineral content to hay with a lot of weeds pelleted...

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