If conditions require that digestible energy be increased by 20%, then the horse should be fed an additional 3 Mcal of energy (15 Mcal X 20% = 3 Mcal) each day. Here’s a list of the most common hays found in the United States (alphabetical order): Alfalfa: This is by far the most common legume used as hay for horses. Annual ryegrass primarily works as a high-protein winter food to feed horses when hay shortages occur in the southeastern United States. The best alfalfa is cut more on the early side, and horses LOVE to eat it! There are more leaves on the stems than the first cut; the stems are also thinner. Our clients are educated and can not afford to take risks. Hay banks help feed horses when their owners are temporarily unable to. High quality pastures or hays are excellent sources of energy, protein and vitamins necessary for a balanced ration. The grass also grows in coastal Pacific Northwest meadows, although using it for hay is not recommended. 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. Good pasture alone is sufficient to meet all of the nutritional requirements for many classes of horses. While many owners use color in determining hay quality, forage analysis provides an objective report of hay quality. The best way to warm your horse from the inside is to increase the hay content in his diet. A high quality horse pasture seed mix is an important investment in your horse’s health. Purina ® Equine Senior ® horse feed can help with digestion, absorption of nutrients and meet elevated fiber and calorie requirements without depending on forage. This is the standard go-to hay for adults horses and should smell good even to us humans. A change of horse diet onto lush green feed or lucerne hay may precipitate mild diarrhea that will firm up with time or another minor feed change. Alfalfa is also a good winter feed because heat is created by digestion of protein, so a horse can keep warmer on a cold night. Horses grazing poor pasture, mainly late summer pasture that is dry and short, may develop a watery post-defecation discharge. The addition of the Nutrena Senior feed will help provide additional calories as well as pre and probiotics, biotin, added fat, not to … Alfalfa hay that is fed to horses must be free from the presence of blister beetles to be a safe forage (see Forage Toxicity section). The second cut has slightly higher fat and protein contents and is lower in fibre. https://stablemanagement.com/articles/estimating-winter-hay-horses-30422 If you have a hard keeper or senior horse, then this may be a good idea. Horse Health Care. Expert Advice on Selecting Hay. To see prices and customer reviews view the links below. For more sensitive metabolic and/or laminitic horses and ponies, however, it is often necessary to reduce the sugar content of hay, so that total Non-Structural Carbohydrates (NSC) – basically sugars plus starch, are 10% or less. Although not a nutrient, horses require a nominal amount of fiber for normal gastrointestinal … Third Cut Hay. A Horses winter coat is also naturally greasy, which helps it repel snow, ice, and sleet. Many horse owners jump at the chance to purchase 2nd. Be sure to feel your horse’s body on a weekly basis, especially in the winter, to be sure he is not getting too fat or too thin. Third cut hay is really soft and super leafy. Older horses that don’t chew thoroughly, aren’t producing a normal amount of saliva, or have swallowing problems or abnormal motility in their esophagus could have problems with cubes but would also have problems with loose hay. However, a lot of horses do just fine on quality 1st cutting hay. Horse Hay Bank Resources. In all other respects, the horse is generally healthy. Alfalfa has lots … Transitioning horses to a hay diet during the cold weather months may lead to deficiencies in key nutrients and a need for supplementation. As a general rule of thumb, grass hay is best for horses—alfalfa or other legume hay can be an excellent feed to mix with grass hay for animals that need more protein. A well-kept pasture also is the most natural and healthy environment for exercise and rest. Exceptions would be hard-working horses and young horses where a fast growth rate is desired. Answer: An adult horse at maintenance will consume between 2 – 2.5% of their bodyweight in feed (hay and grain) each day. While hay alone may not meet the total dietary requirements of young, growing horses or those used for high levels of performance, high-quality hay may supply ample nutrition for less active adult horses. The horses winter coat is a horse's first defense from the cold. Second cut hay is the hay most people feed their horses. You can use bran, beet pulp, a "Senior" formulation horse feed, or hay cubes or pellets. Because I’ve always boarded my horses, I’m not sure how to estimate how much hay I will need for the winter. Some believe that increasing grain will keep a horse … One good recipe is to put 7 or 8 compressed hay cubes in a clean bucket with a lid, such as a cat litter bucket. Here are some helpful hints on how to store hay for the winter. You can even perform a hay analysis to check crude protein, fiber, energy, and mineral content. At the same time, p… Soaking the forage is a good idea for any horse with a history of choke, whether feeding cubes or loose hay. Where wet soils require alternatives, try bird’s-foot trefoil. Grass type horse hays have a lower nutritional value than legumes, but are considered ‘safe’ hays, because it is harder for a horse to over eat or have a reaction to grass hay. Senior horses may have additional challenges in the winter due to decreased ability to chew or digest hay. Productive, well-managed pastures can provide most of the feed requirements of horses for the least cost. Feeding hay to laminitic horses or ponies. Hay USA Inc. feeds a wide variety of horses. As nature slips toward dormancy in winter, hay becomes the forage of choice for most horses. Here’s how to advise your clients when it comes to winter feeding. Sometimes ranchers overseed warm season perennial grass to help extend the grazing season. An additional benefit to grass hay is that is easier on the kidney's due to it's lower protein content and it tends to have finer stems, making it easier to chew and digest…..nice for senior horses. That is why they buy from Hay … Good quality pasture plus free choice trace mineralized salt and water can supply the nutrients needed by many classes of horses. The free choice grass hay will provide calories as well as the needed fiber to help keep your horse warm through the winter. Hay is the most important supplementary feed and the primary source of fiber for horses. Texas Call 1800-4-HAY-USA for current retail and full load prices. All cuttings can result in good-quality horse hay! Alfalfa, like most other legumes, is generally higher in crude protein, digestibility, and minerals when compared to grasses. Legume hay is higher in protein, energy, calcium and vitamin A than grass hays. This process is critical to winter survival. Provide your mini with good quality, soft hay at least twice a day. It’s a well-established fact that a horse who is kept in a stall … Better quality hays are typically higher calorie hays such as alfalfa compared to grass hay. While pasture may be best, pasture grass may not be adequate during hot weather, drought or winter conditions and this means owners need to feed hay. We supply hay for top performing horses, breeding facilities large and small to the back yard horse owner. Horse Health Care. Grass Hay for Horses Kentucky bluegrass, orchardgrass and timothy are all examples of common grasses used for hay. Because the horse is a herbivore, the majority of its diet can consist of roughages. From Horse & Rider magazine. Annual Ryegrass. Horses thrive in the winter chill that makes us reluctant to leave our houses. Try keeping the hay or pasture mixture about 50-50 grass and legume to avoid feeding too much straight legume to horses. Jennie Ivey, University of Tennessee Extension equine specialist, says ideally, a horse should consume between 1.5 percent to 2 percent of their body weight of hay … Good quality hay contains 12%–20% crude protein; grasses are at the lower end of this range, legumes and annual forage at the upper. “My horses live out without rugs through the winter. Fill the bucket with hot water from the tap in your house. During cold months, the horse’s digestion converts feedstuffs into energy that results in body heat. The top rated seed mixes are designed for the specific nutritional needs of horses and made to germinate quickly. For example – avoid feeding overly mature and stemmy hay, provide plenty of fresh clean water at all times and gradually make the switch from alfalfa or other hay types to bermudagrass (this allows the horse to slowly become adjusted to the new fiber source). Planning ahead for how much hay is needed for feeding all winter is essential for maintaining healthy horses. Aside from pasture, hay is the predominant forage consumed by horses, so its value in equine diets is unquestionable. I try to ensure all the horses have plenty of condition on them — it helps with their ‘central heating’. As animals switch from moisture-rich grass to drier hay, water consumption is important not only for hydration but … Livestock Winter Hay Needs. High-quality, properly fenced pastures are one of the best and least expensive sources of summer feed for a horse. Here is the quick list for my picks for the best horse pasture seed mix on more time. Alfalfa is the first choice as a legume seeded for hay or pasture. Provide as much turn out as possible. If the horse is being fed all the hay it will consume and weight loss is still a problem, better quality hay or forage should be substituted for all or part of the current hay source. It's not okay to feed just any dried fodder to horses. When allowed to grow, a horse's natural hair coat acts as a very effective thermal blanket, it increases both in length and density as the days grow shorter. In fact, horses can live outdoors comfortably in temperatures as low as 30 degrees below zero Fahrenheit, so long as they're given plenty of hay, ample unfrozen water and simple shelter designed to protect against the particular bad-weather patterns of their locale. 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