Frequent question: What kind of grass hay is best for 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.

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. … This helps ensure your horses always have a high quality grass forage option to utilize.

What type of hay is not good for horses?

Hoffman said there are a few grasses to avoid in hay or forage if you are feeding horses. They include: Perennial ryegrass and rye. This quick-growing grass is popular in dairy pastures.

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.

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Is straight timothy hay good for horses?

Timothy Hay: A Popular Feed for Horses

Horse owners have found that Timothy hay promotes a shiny coat, good digestion, bowel regularity, and a healthy weight. It is also excellent for colic prone, protein-sensitive, and obese horses.

Is timothy or alfalfa better for horses?

Generally speaking, grass hay such as Timothy has less nutrition than alfalfa, and that can be a good thing for a grazing animal. Remember that horses are supposed to nibble continuously for good digestion and general contentedness. For this reason, it is better for forage to be lower calorie and less rich.

Do horses like orchard grass hay?

“As a source of fiber, well-made orchardgrass hay has a place in the diets of all types of horses. When it’s clean and sweet-smelling, its palatability is wonderful, and few horses refuse it,” said Kathleen Crandell, Ph. D., nutritionist for Kentucky Equine Research (KER).

What kind of grass is bad for horses?

DO NOT PLANT THESE GRASSES FOR GRAZING 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.

How can you tell good quality hay?

Evaluating hay quality

  1. Maturity – High quality hay will have a high proportion of leaves in the bale, with few or no coarse stems or seed heads.
  2. Condition – High quality hay will contain little dust or mold.
  3. Color & odor – High quality hay generally has a bright green color and a sweet, fresh odor.
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Is it good for horses to eat wet hay?

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.

Should horses have hay all time?

Conclusion. Horses don’t have to eat all the time, but having constant access to hay helps keep their digestive system working correctly. Allowing your horse to graze on pasture grass is safe and keeps them healthy. A healthy pasture provides all the nutrition horses need.

How do you make high quality hay?

Here are seven steps to help you produce a quality alfalfa yield:

  1. Choose an appropriate field. …
  2. Plant the right seed variety. …
  3. Scout regularly. …
  4. Cut alfalfa at the best time. …
  5. Set yourself up for drying success. …
  6. Lean on moisture levels. …
  7. Be smart about bale storage.

Do horses need hay if they have grass?

Many pleasure and trail horses don’t need grain: good-quality hay or pasture is sufficient. If hay isn’t enough, grain can be added, but the bulk of a horse’s calories should always come from roughage. Horses are meant to eat roughage, and their digestive system is designed to use the nutrition in grassy stalks.