Feeding Hay to Horses and Ponies. Anyway, I previously was able to buy in bulk and therefore I could go directly to a trusted grower, look at his fields and know his quality and also know that he would harvest keenly, and I never had to worry about the quality of the hay. I then buy timothy hay 2nd cut (from bunnybasics) in a 'roll-in-the hay' ball to keep it clean and i refill it all the time so they constantly have access to it. View our privacy policy. The most common cool-season grasses in the United States are timothy, orchardgrass, ryegrass, fescue, redtop, reed canary grass, and occasionally bluegrass in the East; and wheatgrass, blue grama, bluestem, and meadow in the Midwest and West. Feeding meadow rolls at the moment and the horses are doing a little too well on it.Theres a lot of clover in it.I swap and change between oaten and meadow depending on which is the better quality. Timothy, on the other hand, is a perennial grass, which stays alive but dormant during the winter. JavaScript seems to be disabled in your browser. Warm-season grasses include Bermuda grass (referred to as coastal), bromegrass, and most recently teff. This usually means that the leaves came off during baling or when the hay was lying in the field. Pure legumes are rarely roundbaled, but if faced with tightly wound round bales that cannot be opened, an instrument designed to remove core samples from the inside of hay bales, called a hay probe, can be used. Early-maturity hays are softer to the touch than late-maturity ones.” As with legumes, Crandell checks for dust and unusual odor indicative of mold. With alfalfa, Crandell recommends a thorough scan of multiple bales for blister beetles. “Maturity is judged by the number and age of the seed heads, ratio of leaves and stalks, color, and texture. To determine the type of grass, seed heads are the most telling, though blade characteristics are also useful. Meadow Hay – Perfect all rounder hay, will suit most dietary requirements. Photo: North Carolina State University. If you can pull or dig up the plant, take a look at the crown, where the shoots meet the roots. As a pasture grass, horses seem to consume more of it in the fall after a frost has hit and the sugar content has risen. Hay. Many believe that the nutritional quality of first-cutting timothy hay is inferior to the second cutting. I'm always open to change if it benefits my horses! This will bury the seeds too deep for them to germinate. It is known for being rich in nutrients and high forage quality. I have to purchase my hay twice a month. Timothy is a cool-season, perennial bunch-grass that thrives in high altitudes, but is not very drought-tolerant due to its shallow root system. Horses evolved as a grazing animal, which means that they are meant to nibble on small amounts of food over the course of an entire day, and most of this food should be in the form of roughage, or hay. Right image: Foxtail: Fringe of fine hairs at collar. The foxtail seed head may droop over, which is a dead giveaway that it isn't timothy. If the infestation is widespread and there isn't much desirable grass left in the pasture, you may want to plow everything under and reestablish the field. At first glance, it looks like the popular timothy grass, but a close inspection can tell you that it's really foxtail. If you mow between this stage and full seed set, then the plant will not be able to drop seeds for next year, and it won't grow another seed head during this year. Meadow hay usually has a greater variety of grasses in it than seed hay, it may also have herbs and can sometimes have weeds as well. Specifically, the orchardgrass/red clover mix is especially useful for picky eaters. Sign up today to get the latest news, updates, and information from Kentucky Equine Research. There are many types of hay harvested from grasses including alfalfa, timothy, clover and rye. Timothy is a beloved favorite of horses and their owners for its palatability and the great hay it produces. If the cereal hay is harvested after the grain is removed, it is no longer considered hay but straw. When evaluating legume hays, Crandell first establishes the type of hay. Typically timothy grass has a finer texture than other grasses. You don't need to feed out quite as much lucerne as you do meadow. Subscribe to Equinews and get the latest equine nutrition and health news delivered to your inbox. From a nutritional standpoint, clovers and alfalfa are very similar: higher in calcium and protein, and more calorie-dense than grass hays. Our Bagged Meadow Hay is an all round Hay for horses and ponies in low to medium work. Distinguishing hay types is important, if only from the standpoint of purchasing the appropriate hay. All bags used are 100% Recyclable under code 4. These are what gives foxtail its illustrative name. Why do we need this? Timothy grass hay is commonly fed to horses, as well as cattle. Timothy corm. Because it's a grass, it is nearly impossible to eradicate with herbicides that won't also damage your desirable grass. It can be quite expensive, depending on whether it has to be shipped long distances. It is not unusual to run into bales that have both green and brown plant material, according to Crandell. Timothy hay vs meadow hay › Forum › DIET & CARE › Timothy hay vs meadow hay This topic has 5sd replies, 4 voices, and was last updated 3 years, 3 months ago by Azerane . Foxtail does not have corms. Like most grasses and legumes, early-cut timothy hay provides more energy and protein than late-cut hay. On a timothy plant, you will see a tall membrane come away from the stem and stand upright. If a horse really is sensitive to NSC content, the "safest" hays would be coastal Bermuda or timothy cut early in the day, after a warm night and recent rainfall. Mixed hay is usually defined as a blend of grass and legume plants, though some hay producers and horse owners may define it as a combination of several grasses. If the hay was baled wet, it might have a distinct smell that results from caramelization of proteins,” remarked Crandell. Lucerne (alfalfa) is the most common hay fed to horses, followed by grass (meadow) hay and oaten hay. The leaves of a foxtail plant may have some hairs as well. This means they can get too many calories and not enough fiber. “I have seen lovely bales of the classic timothy/alfalfa mix. This is not the cheapest option for hay but it works for us. They mistakenly believe that it is the clover plant that causes horses to slobber, but the causative agent is actually a mycotoxin produced by a fungus that grows on clover. Timothy hay is an excellent source of roughage for equine diets. Australian horses are fed roughage in the form of hay, chaff, pellets and cubes. One reason horse owners often avoid clover is its propensity for mold. These awns can work their way through the tissue, causing lesions and infections. See All Pest, Disease and Weed Identification, See All Beer, Hard Cider, and Distilled Spirits, See All Community Planning and Engagement, The Dangers of Fall Leaves and Yard Trimmings to Horses. It is recommended that horses with metabolic syndrome consume hay with NSC levels of around 10% to 12%. “Yellow, brown, or otherwise faded hay indicates that it was made at a mature stage, laid in the field longer to dry, or possibly rained on after being cut in the field, all of which would indicate lost nutrients through leaching by the sun or rain,” said Crandell. Second, the herbicide has a planting restriction of 10 months for grasses. Timothy Grass Hay is a premium feed used for thoroughbred horses, pleasure riding horses, and ranch horses. In a severe infestation, eradicating the foxtail may be difficult and can take several years. The presence of mold, unusual growths on leaves, insects, and suspicious plants is noted. If, on the other hand, the occasional stem is brown but the leaves are green and well-anchored to the stem, then the hay is probably still nutritious. On a foxtail plant, you will see a fringe of hairs instead of a tall membrane. Horsemen often have to decide if they should purchase the first or second cutting of timothy hay for their horses. Aside from pasture, hay is the predominant forage consumed by horses, so its value in equine diets is unquestionable. Foxtail is a summer annual grass, meaning it grows from seed in the spring and dies in the fall. Some varieties may have very long and obvious awns, but others may have shorter awns that you need to look for. 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