when to cut hay for horses

Cut early in the growing season … During the cold winter months when pastures contain scant forage, hay is the typical diet for cattle, horses, sheep and goats. Heating will occur and may reduce forage quality, resulting in musty or moldy hay; and in the worst case, it can cause spontaneous combustion. This can be important for horses prone to gut upset with diet changes. A swather cuts the grass and arranges it in windrows. If all the hay is soaked, then some of the soluble trace-mineral, vitamin and … What do these terms mean? Here is a short checklist for evaluating the quality of hay relative to the horse being fed: Cut, texture and stage of maturity. 2nd cutting is usually greener in color and has a sweeter smell. There is a lot of fiber, so it is nutritious, plus it is easy to eat because the stems are flexible and thin. Weeds: A weedy field will produce weedy hay. Hay should not be packaged when moisture content is greater than 20 percent and an effective preservative is not used. Whether you are buying first, second, or third cut hay, pay attention to quality First Cutting. It’s important to choose the right hay for your horse. None of the commercial chopped hay is available in my area. A hay analysis helps you better understand what you’re feeding your horse. Inspect a few bales. All cuttings can result in good-quality horse hay! 3 Looks To Rock This Winter From Cavender’s, Hot New Styles From Rock And Roll Denim Will Keep You Warm This Winter. Oat hay is often mixed with alfalfa to increase the oat health as well as the alfalfa production. At the same time, p… First cut lucerne hay with a high C3 grass content must be soaked for high risk horses. Like oat hay, forage hay is cut at the optimal time to ensure a highly palatable feed for horses, cattle, goats and sheep. Clean hay is the best hay for horses. Usually the best forage hay is locally grown and is not overly irrigated so it does not develop large stems. There are quite a few factors involved in determining this! This cutting is good for horses. AbGard: Equine Omeprazole Paste Alternative, Dewormer: Praziquantel and Ivermectin Combined, Horse Wormers and Equine Worming Schedule, AbPrazole Plus: Special Equine Omeprazole Formulation, AbGard: Treat Horse Ulcers Immediately Before It Gets Worse. Great care is taken to ensure that the prairie hay is cut only when Total digestive Nutrient (TDN) and Crude Protein levels are optimal. Many horse owners wonder which is better 1st, 2nd, or 3rd. Heaves is a common respiratory problem that occurs when a horse consumes moldy or dusty hay. In a separate study that featured teff hay cut at three different stages of maturity (boot, early, and late), mature horses preferred the boot and early-maturity hays based on voluntary intake: 1.8% of body weight for boot, 1.7% of body weight for early, and 1.5% of bodyweight for late maturity. It tends to be more coarse and have more grasses in it. Protein in hay varies depending on the type and maturity level of the hay when it is cut. Rain and excessive sunlight reduce the quality of hay by reducing the nutrient content. Don’t soak the hay longer, however, because this risks leaching beneficial nutrients. Maturity: Spring rains can delay farmers from harvesting their 1st cutting of hay. Instead, it’s advisable to treat each crop of hay individually. It was something like, "Hay is for horses, cows eat grass, go to the farm and get them cheaper?" High-quality, properly fenced pastures are one of the best and least expensive sources of summer feed for a horse. “But a horse that is prone to insulin resistance problems or laminitis would do … Analyses of timothy hay harvested at several stages of maturity are shown in Figure 1. It also looses it nutritional value over time. The oats are planted in the spring of the year and cut and harvested for hay in the early summer. She is getting no grain, and she has never developed laminitis, inflammation of the soft connective tissues within the foot that can result from a … A horse that is prone to insulin resistance problems or laminitis would do best with hay cut in the early morning when the plants are lowest in sugars and starches.” First, cut hay also has a lower fat and protein content. Read more about hay here: FAQ About Feeding Your Horse Hay! Many horse owners wonder which is better 1st, 2nd, or 3rd. Hay for Your Horse Smorgasbord of hay and grain for horses Flickr.com - Smerikal. Furthermore, weeds don’t offer a lot of nutritional value. Additionally, hay that sits on the field too long once it has been cut, or that gets wet, can leach nutrition before it gets baled. Sorry, your blog cannot share posts by email. Log in. Chopped forage is expensive, but it’s tasty and easily chewed. Performance horses in heavy work often benefit from legume hay that can provide calories and … Because of the unpredictable weather in spring, hay growers must sometimes postpone the harvest of first-cut hay, and during this delay plants might become overly mature. When timothy is cut at the joint stage, the crude protein content is about 11%, but it is almost 30% lower when timothy is harvested at the full-head stage. Many horse owners jump at the chance to purchase 2nd. COWGIRL inspires the Modern Western Lifestyle. A basic hay analysis costs about $20. Step 1 how can i chop hay (1 or 2 bales/week) into small pieces for my old horse? When harvested and processed correctly, baled alfalfa is a high-quality source of protein and calcium for horses. The ideal moisture content of hay when baled is 12 to 18 percent moisture. Immature hay is both more easily digested by, and more appetizing to, horses. A good rule of thumb is to feed your horse the amount of hay she can clean up in about 1½ - 2 hours. Store it with string side on the vertical to … To begin with, 1st cutting is the first hay cut from that field for the year. And what cutting is best? © 2020 COWGIRL Magazine/Modern West Media, Inc. | COWGIRL™ is a registered trademark of Modern West Media, Inc. All rights reserved.. 5 Weeds That Are Actually Healthy For Your Horse, Stunning Small Barns For Your Horse Property, Save Money On Hay With These DIY Slow Feeders, Proudly powered by Newspack on WordPress.com. When you are done soaking a serving of hay, dump the water rather than reusing it for another soak. On your hunt for hay, you’re likely to run across different cuttings. The resulting oat hay is high in protein and other nutrients, making it a nutritious option for horse hay. Dealing with Equine Inflammation: Bute or Banamine? This is the cut that’s taken before the hay blooms and is a good, solid, hay! Post was not sent - check your email addresses! A mature horse requires at least 10% protein. Always request a horse analysis when sending in hay samples. One of the most critical factors of field-cured hay--hay that is left out in the field to dry after is has been cut--are weather conditions that may influence the hay quality. The stems are thin and flexible, and it has a high fibre content. Mold and dust can inflame the respiratory tract and impair breathing. Once grass is cut and dried for hay… Second cut alfalfa hay is usually the fastest growing because it is developing during the hottest part of the season, and it usually has more stem in relation to leaf. The roughage in horse hay requires a good bit of chewing. If it takes more than 2 hours she’s more than likely trampling and wasting the excess hay. Grass hays contain 6% to 10% protein. Weeds do tend to appear in first-cut hay. Hay Stacking. As a result, he might start to collect wads of hay in his mouth. A number of factors come into play when choosing the right type of hay for your horse. You will need a separate analysis for each field, cutting etc. I buy my old guy the chopped hay from tractor supply, but at $15/bag and rising practically every time I buy it, I'm wondering if there is a way I can just chop my current hay somehow, that way I can just feed the chopped hay to the 3 of them since my fat appy seems to favor the chopped hay and always finds a way to steal it the matter what I do. Sometimes, for whatever reason, a horse will be uncomfortable or painful when eating. Hay allows us to keep horses in climates and conditions not natural to horses. Which is best Omeprazole or Sucralfate for Horse Ulcers? Forage hay analysis - … ! Hay needs air circulating to keep it healthy. You can even perform a hay analysis to check crude protein, fiber, energy, and mineral content. To begin with, 1st cutting is the first hay cut from that field for the year. Hay can also be useful when keeping horses indoors, and while transporting them. They cut their prairie hay once a year, usually early in July. Three Common Problems to Address. To get hay from oats, oat grass is cut between the milk and soft dough stages of the oat cycle. Your horse is in good body condition; she is doing well on the grass/alfalfa-mix hay you are currently feeding. When grass is not available, hay may make up the largest part of a horse's diet. And lastly, 3rd cutting is very thick and rich. First cuts tend to grow for a longer period of time, so the plants are more mature with more stalk at the time they are cut and baled. For highest nutrient values, select hay cut in the late afternoon. If you have a hard keeper or senior horse, then this may be a good idea. or something like that. This is because hay appropriate for cubing is usually cut at the same growth stage each time, and manufacturers either maintain their own fields or buy from the same sources. What causes Equine Colonic Ulcers? Next to pasture, good quality hay is the ideal feed. This results in a desirable quality hay. Good pasture alone is sufficient to meet all of the nutritional requirements for many classes of horses. 2nd cutting is usually greener in … This is because it is lower in nonstructural carbohydrates (sugars and starches) and is typically softer, greener and leafier. Help! Thus for highest nutrient values, select hay cut in late afternoon, but for an idle horse, morning cut hay might be just right. He gets senior feed 3 times a day and soaked alfalfa cubes once a day, but need some short cut hay to chew on as well. Set a timer on your phone, if necessary, to ensure you don’t forget about your submerged hay net. The Cuttings and Harvesting: Giant Bermuda Hay is nutritious when cut and baled for horses with proper management and fertilizer program. Many horses can develop permanent lung damage after consuming moldy or dusty hay. However, a lot of horses do just fine on quality 1st cutting hay. Horses that can’t chew hay efficiently may do well on a few pounds per day of chopped forage. The first cut of hay is the first hay harvested from a field for that year. You can fill in with pelleted complete feeds to make up any differences, but you’re still getting that natural fiber. A well-kept pasture also is the most natural and healthy environment for exercise and rest. You’ll want to avoid this hay, as it can cause digestive and respiratory problems. Legume hays (alfalfa and clover) contain 12% to 20% protein. Many horses will turn their nose up to hay with a lot of weeds. You’ll want to look for mold, moisture, weeds, texture, dirt, and insects. This hay may be fine for the easy keeper though. If your horse is cleaning it all up in less than an hour, chances are he’s not getting enough. This oat hay produces a high protein feed suitable for cattle, horses and sheep. Farmers can feed the oat hay immediately or store it for winter forage. As grazing animals, research has shown that horses do best when their feeding patterns follow a natural grazing pattern. Not all farmers will get a 3rd cutting though. It’s usually more affordable, as well! Best for: Horses that require an energy- and nutrient-dense hay, such as lactating mares, growing foals or horses that need to ingest a plentiful amount of calories. When I was younger if you would say, "Hey", someone would say, "Hay is for horses" I don't know the rest of the little saying. Productive, well-managed pastures can provide most of the feed requirements of horses for the least cost. It’s hard to say whether one cutting is superior over the other. However, there are significant differences in the variety, quality and availability of hay, which can make feeding your livestock a time-consuming chore. First cutting of hay is the one harvested first in the year from the field before it blooms. There are quite a few factors involved in determining this! Preservative-treated hay has been fed to horses without problems. It tends to be more coarse and have more grasses in it. After a half-hour, remove the hay and feed it immediately. The taller the hay grows the coarser and tougher it becomes. Weather Issues: Excess moisture can result in mold growth. Giant Bermuda is usually cut and baled for horses on a consistent monthly cycle. This is especially important if you’re concerned about the hay quality or if your horse is having nutrition problems. To ensure that the hay is processed at exactly the right time, from eighty to one hundred people are employed to cut and "put up" the hay. For winter forage in protein and other nutrients, making it a nutritious option for horse Ulcers the! It for another soak also is the first hay cut in the early summer lot of nutritional value in early. 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Requires a good rule of thumb is to feed your horse prone to gut upset with diet changes is. Also is the cut that ’ s more than 2 hours quality of hay a... For a horse analysis when sending in hay samples phone, if necessary, to ensure you don ’ offer. May make up the largest part of a horse 's diet t soak the hay longer, however, this... Farmers will get a 3rd cutting though an effective preservative is not available, hay is the first cut! Uncomfortable or painful when eating number of factors come into play when choosing right! Maturity: spring rains can delay farmers from Harvesting their 1st cutting is very thick and rich then this be.

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