Quick Answer: What is the difference between horse hay and cow hay?

Horse and cow hay are mainly different in how good quality it is; cow hay may have weeds in it, horse hay usually doesn’t. Horse hay is usually nice and green, where cow hay might have been rained on, and though dry, might be less green. Horse hay is not moldy, where some cow hay might be moldy.

Can horses have cow hay?

Dry cow hay is less expense than dairy and horse hay. The protein content of dry cow hay ranges anywhere from 10 to 22 percent. It is often off color, very mature, and may contain a little mold. While dry cow hay is fine for cattle in the feedlot, it is not fine for horses.

What is considered horse quality hay?

Horse hay should be bright green, leafy and fine textured, with a fresh, pleasant aroma. Musty hay or other indications of mold or heating, and dust, weeds and other foreign material in hay can be unhealthy for an animal. Color is an indicator of quality and nutrient content; good hay is a bright green.

Why is cow hay bad for horses?

The hay might contain excessive dust, mold, weeds, foreign debris, or a high stem-to-leaf ratio. … On the flip side, cow hay could mean dairy-quality alfalfa, a pure legume forage that is rich in protein, often over 25%, and therefore inappropriate for most classes of horses.

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Which hay is better for horses?

Grass Hay for Horses

  • 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. …
  • Downsides: Grass hay alone may not be enough to sustain a hard-keeping horse, a growing horse or a pregnant or lactating mare.

Do horses eat more than cattle?

Horses have a different digestive system to cows and sheep. … As a general rule, a 500 kg horse will eat less than a 500 kg cow but a horse wastes more pasture. The stocking rate for horses is similar to that of cattle.

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.

How much hay should my horse have at night?

Its equivalent to one slice of the large baled hay and fills a large haylage net so 3/4 slices small baled hay per night.

Can horse hay get rained on?

Rained-on hay can be a suitable forage, especially for horses prone to laminitis. Forage quality tends to be retained if: The rain occurs soon after cutting when the forage has had little time to dry.

Is first or second cutting hay better for horses?

Timothy hay is one of the most popular hays fed to horses. … Timothy must be harvested in the pre- or early-bloom stage to ensure a high nutrient content. The first cutting usually has a higher weed content, and quality decreases after the second cutting, so the second cutting is usually the best to feed.

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Can a horse only eat hay?

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.