You asked: Is spring grass bad for horses?

“Spring pasture grasses are capable of accumulating high amounts of nonstructural carbohydrates (NSCs), which are implicated in acute equine digestive diseases associated with rapid fermentation, and chronic metabolic disorders,” says equine nutritionist Bridgett McIntosh, MS, PhD.

Can spring grass cause colic in horses?

The spring grass may be a welcome sight after months of winter mud but its high nutritional content can put a strain on your horse’s digestive system – and too much too fast could overload his body and lead to a potentially dangerous bout of gassy colic.

When can you turn horses out in spring grass?

Horses should be acclimated to spring fields by being allowed just 15 minutes of grazing green grass a day and increasing the time allowed until the horse receives 5 hours of continuous grazing. Once the 5-hour mark is reached, the horse can safely be turned out for unrestricted grazing.

What grass is bad for horses?


Sorghum, Sudangrass, Johnsongrass, Sorghum-Sudangrass hybrids all should NOT be used for equine / horses. Horses can develop paralysis and urinary disorders from grazing these species. Hay from these species is considered safe for feeding.

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Why do horses go crazy in spring?

The silly behaviour in horses in spring time is very likely to be partly magnesium deficiency. Horses don’t get really ill like farm animals as they are not under so much physical stress – dairy cows making milk, young growing cattle, etc. Known cases, one here, where magnesium deficiency will send cattle beserk.

How do you introduce grass to spring horses?

One method of gradually introducing the horse to grass is to begin with short periods of grazing (15 minutes a day) for a few days. Increase grazing time by 10 minutes each day until the horse has adjusted to a 3 or 4 hour period of grazing period.

How do you keep horses from foundering in grass?

To avoid grass founder:

  1. Allow the horse to fill up on hay before turning out on grass for a few hours.
  2. Place a grazing muzzle on horses predisposed to foundering to limit their forage intake. Grazing muzzles limit grass intake but allow the horse to exercise throughout the day.

Why are grass cuttings bad for horses?

When horses chew their food, saliva is produced which is an important process of digestion. … Grass cuttings can also cause the horse to develop a potentially life-threatening stomach ache known as colic further along the digestive system or a painful condition called laminitis that affects their hooves.

Can a horse get colic from too much grass?

Too much forage, especially in the form of fresh grass, might cause colic or other metabolic problems. Especially in the spring but also after periods of rain in the fall, lush grass provides a high carbohydrate level that may exceed the digestive capability of the intestinal tract.

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Why does spring grass cause laminitis?

The reason the risk of laminitis increases in the spring is that as the days get longer, the extra sunlight increases photosynthesis, which results in starch, sugar and, in some plants, fructan production.

How many hours a day should a horse be turned out?

Research suggests that horses need to be turned out no less than 18 hours a day for optimal health! Anything less may challenge both mind and body.

How many hours should a horse be on pasture?

For most folks, once horses are accustomed to pasture you can them out for 2 to 4 hours once or twice a day. If you are fortunate enough to have productive pastures or a low stocking rate you may be able to work up to 6 hours of grazing time.