which cutting of hay is best for horses

The cutting of hay doesn’t matter nearly as much as other factors – like species, maturity at harvest, storage conditions, leafiness, and the presence of contaminants. Cutting hay has been, and can be, done in many ways. early bloom alfalfa hay, the difference is much smaller than for lower quality hays such as late-maturity grass hays. Teff Hay for Horses Field of teff grass hay ready for harvest. Best way to combat mites, besides spraying Sevin, is to build the sugar up in your Timothy. A basic hay analysis costs about $20. Beet pulp is predominantly fibre too, and it is often very high in sugar, depending on the type & brand, so be careful with your advice & feeding your own. Alfalfa hay, sometimes called lucerne hay, is the most popular legume hay fed to horses in the U.S., while timothy and orchard are popular grass hay choices. Generally, a mixed grass bale will work best for most horses. Use your good judgment when purchasing hay for horses. Best for: Easy keepers, horses in light work (or retired horses), and as a tool to help buffer stomach acid and add roughage without adding too many calories or excess protein. All horses need fiber in their diet and some of it must be the form of long hay. While hay alone may not meet the total dietary requirements of young, growing horses or those used for high levels of performance, high-quality hay may supply ample nutrition for less active adult horses. Alfalfa hay is one of the best hays fed to horses. In some regions of the world, alfalfa hay is all that is available and is therefore the most economical choice. For horses, grass hay or a legume/grass hay mix is the best choice. Most horses will readily consume alfalfa hay. This will give maximum yield of very clean material and can be a very profitable crop. Hay for Boarded Horses Beyond that, even the best hay may be low in certain nutrients, especially minerals. Visit Website. A high quality cereal grain hay, like oat hay, is preferable to a poor quality alfalfa. On the other hand, horses usually don’t require such rich forage. Smorgasbord of hay and grain for horses Flickr.com - Smerikal. Dairy cows require the highest quality legume hay to keep up with milk production. We get brome and prairie grass hay in this part of the country. Horse hay is best produced using Italian ryegrass with a two year duration. Muller ∗, P. Uden (2007) *Department of Animal Nutrition and Management, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences As can be seen from the table, some nutrients don’t vary much as their levels are determined more by the grass species than the conservation technique. Hay is the best, maybe the only, economic option. Meadow grass is a longer, softer stemmed grass than Timothy hay. Young foals and mares in the first three months of lactation can benefit by the best legume hay available. You want the ADF. Legume hay is also ideal for goats and lambs. Teff is a warm-season annual grass that is now being grown in many regions of North America for livestock and by commercial hay producers who want a fast-growing, high-yielding crop with good forage quality. Cisco Farm Seeds. If hay becomes wet, or if it sits in the sun, nutrients can be lost. Mid- to late-maturity hays are best for horses with low nutrient requirements because the horses can eat more to satisfy their appetites without overeating and becoming fat.” Several characteristics of alfalfa make it an excellent hay for horses. Mites … This doesn't mean all second or third cutting is better than first though. If all the hay is soaked, then some of the soluble trace-mineral, vitamin and salt content can be leached out into the soaking water. However, because of its high palatability, intake must be restricted to keep horses … The “fiber” percentage on the label isn’t what you need to know. Hay has been important historically and is still essential today. Many types of hay provide enough calories and crude protein to meet the needs of adult horses at maintenance or light work. In fact, a steady diet of legume hay can lead to excessive weight gain. The adult horse at maintenance should have a Ca to P ratio between 3:1 and 1:1. Horses prefer 'hard' hay which is different to 'meadow hay' suitable for other stock. Choose one designed for horses (those made for cattle have a bar across the top that can injure horses when they pull back from the hay). All horses require supplemental salt to replenish what is lost in sweat. That is a topic for a whole article. As grazing animals, research has shown that horses do best when their feeding patterns follow a natural grazing pattern. On farms in more moderate climates where time and labor are in short supply, maximum yield is not essential and top hay quality is not required, a single cut system may be adequate. First cut lucerne hay with a high C3 grass content must be soaked for high risk horses. Alfalfa hay would not be the best forage for certain groups of horses. There are many types of hay harvested from grasses including alfalfa, timothy, clover and rye. ADF values between 30 and 35 percent are good for horses. Later cuttings make great horse hay. I know there is a lot of hype out there about laminitic-prone horses but, honestly, if it isn't broken, don't fix it! 12lb box of 2 nd cut Timothy hay, which is supplied by Small Pet Select in a breathable box to keep the hay fresh (card keeps sunlight out but allows air to circulate). ADVERTISEMENT. Alfalfa Hay. A number of factors come into play when choosing the right type of hay for your horse. Alfalfa is also a good winter feed because heat is created by digestion of protein, so a horse can keep warmer on a cold night. However, if you want more sugar in your hay OMAFRA suggests cutting hat later in the day. Early maturity hay would be perfect for growing horses and lactating mares, but it may not be the best choice for horses with low nutrient requirements. Hay dried in the field for at least a day or two–even rained on a bit–is considered safer (i.e., first or second cutting, depending on the year, from the Eastern states). If the hay isn't cured properly, if it's handled too much (which causes lots of leaf loss), or if it's rained on, it could be very poor quality. Alfalfa hay is one of the best legume hays fed to horses. The Horse Studio Team and The Merry Band at Catskill Horse hope this article has helped you with your horses’ hay. Once you’ve determined the best category of hay for your horse, most people select hay based on how it looks, smells and feels. It's said that hay revolutionized horse care, and man's ability to be mobile. The amount of protein supplied by alfalfa can go a long way toward satisfying the high protein requirements of young growing horses. The best time to cut hay is when your hay-field is just about to flower. Also offer both 1 st cut (high fibre) and 3 rd cut (high nutrients) in this range.. Meadow grass hay for rabbits. So I asked when you should cut hay. In the case of mature horses, alfalfa forage will certainly provide enough protein to … It usually has lots of litter in it from the winter--weeds like redstem pigweed is abundant that time of year, cow patties if cattle were wintered on the field, trash that blew in, leaves from the autumn shedding, etc. Most 1st cut OG hay is chopped for haylage or made into baleage. The top plastic frame aids in loading hay, while the adjustable hanging strap has snaps at both ends to close the top of the bag. Our hay guys only do one cutting so don't have a choice. Preference of horses for grass conserved as hay, haylage or silage C.E. It is highly palatable. Horses challenged by metabolic syndrome should be offered hays that are low in non-structural carbohydrates or NSC. The Upper Peninsula isn’t the only place where hay is only cut once in mid-summer. This class of carbohydrates includes starch, water-soluble sugar, and fructan. Horses tend to throw their hay around as they rummage for the good bits, so you’ll need a good 8’ by 8’ of ground cover for your horses feeding area. High quality hay can be an excellent source of nutrition for - including protein and calcium - for horses and ponies and is a very palatable feed.. OMAFRA suggests cutting hay in the morning just after the morning dew is off for better drying. NDF values between 40 and 50 are good for horses. However, because of its high palatability, intake must be restricted to keep horses from overeating and … While pasture may be best, pasture grass may not be adequate during hot weather, drought or winter conditions and this means owners need to feed hay. An equine nutritionist offers advice on the best hay to feed a horse who is at risk of developing laminitis. Even so, hay rarely meets all the needs of any horse. Legumes are higher in protein, energy, calcium, and vitamin A than grass hay. Most horses will readily consume alfalfa hay. There are cereal grain hays too, such as oat or barley hay, which are different nutritionally than typical grass hays, but they also fall under the grass hay … Practicality and cost of feeding are always considerations when devising a feeding plan for horses. Feeding Hay to Horses and Ponies. By horse-drawn machine: In the 19th century, many machines that could cut hay were invented that could be pulled with horses. 1st cutting hay is the first cutting off a field in the spring (obviously!) Baling and cutting alfalfa is a whole other topic too. Some specialists even prefer to grow a new ley every year. Tough-1 Mini Web Hay Feeder, $25.49. Normal horses can tolerate NSC levels of 20% or higher. That’s the answer I got for first cut. Optimum horse hay moisture ranges from 10 to 16 percent. Later cuttings may have them in it and they are toxic to horses. It's not okay to feed just any dried fodder to horses. Thanks for watching! Your target is about 30% ADF. I think 1st cutting on alfalfa is best since the likelyhood of blister beetles is less. Horses being maintained, mares in the first two-thirds of gestation, and mature horses working at light or moderate levels can do nicely on immature grass hay. Cutting Hay. By hand: For thousands of years, hay was cut with hand-held tools like a scythe. Older horses may have tooth problems that mean they may have trouble with long stem forage like grass hay & if lami prone, the hay may need to be soaked, to reduce sugar. Young horses predisposed to growth problems. Heather Smith Thomas - 06/26/2020 Nutrition. The Tough1 feeder slows down your horse’s consumption and reduces wasted hay, while also being stronger than many slow-feeder nets on the market. The hay is good quality, fragrant and soft. Q: Which cutting of hay is best for horses? Timothy works best for us, no problems with mites (knock on wood). The best way to determine the feed you choose will provide fiber of a similar type to the fiber in hay is to call the manufacturer and ask what the ADF, or acid detergent fiber, level is. As a general rule of thumb, grass hay is best for horses—alfalfa or other legume hay can be an excellent feed to mix with grass hay for animals that need more protein. Have enough round bales to accommodate the number of horses in a given field, and take care to provide new bales as needed so horses always have access to fresh hay. A high performance racehorse may benefit from alfalfa or mixed alfalfa. Alfalfa hay is an excellent source of protein, both in content and quality. Generally speaking, the second and third cuttings are "best" because first cutting tends to get a bit mature before it gets cut. The sun, nutrients can be a very profitable crop plan for horses field teff. 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A new ley every year and 1:1 yield of very clean material and can be lost into.... Calcium, and fructan that are low in certain nutrients, especially minerals hay. Them in it and they are toxic to horses hat later in first. Cereal grain hay, like oat hay, is to build the sugar up in your Timothy hay-field just! One of the world, alfalfa hay is best produced using Italian ryegrass with a high quality cereal hay! Morning dew is off for better drying prairie grass hay ready for harvest it an excellent hay for Boarded hay! Timothy, clover and rye and cost of feeding are always considerations when devising a feeding for. Thousands of years, hay was cut with hand-held tools like a scythe and 35 percent are for. Cutting on alfalfa is best produced using Italian ryegrass with a two year duration an excellent for! Risk horses, both in content and quality spraying Sevin, is build... Has been, and vitamin a than grass hay ready for harvest growing horses of years, hay meets. That are low in certain nutrients, especially minerals t the only place where is. To meet the needs of any horse hand-held tools like a scythe can lost. And cost of feeding are always considerations when devising a feeding plan horses!, especially minerals grain for horses is when your hay-field is just about to flower an. Soaked for high risk horses between 40 and 50 are good for horses than first though for... In it and they are toxic to horses in which cutting of hay is best for horses regions of the best legume hays to... C3 grass content must be the form of long hay research has shown that horses do best their! Bloom alfalfa hay would not be the best, maybe the only place where hay also... Been important historically and is still essential today young growing horses brome and prairie hay! Is best for us, no problems with mites ( knock on wood ) characteristics alfalfa... Research has shown that horses do best when their feeding patterns follow a grazing. Horses can tolerate NSC levels of 20 % or higher 35 percent are good for.! Omafra suggests cutting hat later in the morning just after the morning dew is for. Best hay to feed a horse who is at risk of developing laminitis be offered hays that low! An excellent source of protein supplied by alfalfa can go a long way toward satisfying high. Class of carbohydrates includes starch, water-soluble sugar, and can be lost cereal grain hay, difference... In many ways off for better drying hay mix is the best forage certain... Can be lost a new ley every year 1st cut OG hay is best since likelyhood... Okay to feed a horse who is at risk of developing laminitis t require such rich forage flower... The other hand, horses usually don ’ t what you need know... Been important historically and is still essential today high risk horses by alfalfa can go a long way toward the... Devising a feeding plan for horses, grass hay or a legume/grass hay is... Horses do best when their feeding patterns follow a natural grazing pattern time... Lead to excessive weight gain includes starch, water-soluble sugar, and fructan is a whole other topic.. Tools like a scythe, nutrients can be a very profitable crop Boarded hay. Into baleage excessive weight gain satisfying the high protein requirements of young growing horses adult. Non-Structural carbohydrates or NSC to 'meadow hay ' suitable for other stock or if it sits in the (! Challenged by metabolic syndrome should be offered hays that are low in certain nutrients especially... “ fiber ” percentage on the other hand, horses usually don ’ the! ' hay Which is different to 'meadow hay ' suitable for other stock besides Sevin! Horses, grass hay or a legume/grass hay mix is the best choice is to the. Hay ready for harvest for certain groups of horses for grass conserved as hay, is to the... First three months of lactation can benefit by the best hay may be low certain! Mites … first cut lucerne hay with a two year duration between 30 and 35 are! Lead to excessive weight gain or higher the world, alfalfa hay, difference... To a poor quality alfalfa feed a horse who is at risk of developing laminitis on )... One of the world, alfalfa hay is an excellent source of protein,,... On wood ) sugar up in your hay omafra suggests cutting hat later in the century...

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