type of hay for horses – Grass Hay. Introduction of a legume also improves the quality by increasing energy, protein, and calcium. Reed Canary grass in the northeast MUST be cut for hay before June 1. It is on a ridge that drains well. Grass hay comes in many varieties and the best hay can vary from horse to horse. Sign up for free now! A profusion of leaves and few stems indicates that the hay was made at the desired maturity and that few leaves came loose during baling. Try keeping the hay or pasture mixture about 50-50 grass and legume to avoid feeding too much straight legume to 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. Evaluating hay requires a thorough visual appraisal. It can be used for pasture, silage or hay as well as for erosion control. Badger Farms, LLC grows Reed Canary Grass-Marsh Hay for horse, dairy, and construction industries, producing 60,000 small square bales and 2,000 round bales each year. In the voluntary intake experiment, horses consumed more timothy hay than reed canarygrass hay during the two-week study period. Distinguishing hay types is important, if only from the standpoint of purchasing the appropriate hay. Good Horse Grass Crested Dog’s Tail. The difference in intake was most pronounced during the first week of the period. Productive, well-managed pastures can provide most of the feed requirements of horses for the least cost. Although it has been identified in the region for at least 50 years, the cereal rust mite has become a significant problem only in the last 15 years for producers of timothy hay in the Mid – Atlantic States. Horses were kept in stalls and were walked 30 minutes each day on an automated exerciser. Grass hay typically is quite a bit lower in protein than alfalfa hay; the energy content of grass hay is also generally lower than alfalfa hay. This usually means that the leaves came off during baling or when the hay was lying in the field. Mixed grass hays usually include a medley of grasses, some grown specifically for hay intended for horses and others not, while common grass/legume mixes include timothy/alfalfa, orchardgrass/ alfalfa, and orchardgrass/clover. A practical advantage occurs as well: when grasses and legumes are grown together it is more difficult for horses to pick out the tasty portions, as they could if fed a flake of legume and a flake of grass. Subscribe to Equinews and get the latest equine nutrition and health news delivered to your inbox. As hay, it would be harvested in the spring and summer so palatability might not be an issue for certain horses. Red clover is the most common clover hay because it grows taller than white clover and thus provides more yield per acre. Don't know that for a fact, but it has had lots of chances here and never been in the pasture. Chiefton reed canarygrass hay can be fed to horses in place of timothy hay, but managers should know that this hay may be consumed at a lower rate, at least when first introduced to horses; is not as digestible; and may require the addition of dietary calcium in some form. The first involves improvement of the land. A healthy and easy-to-grow mixture for your horses, our Horse Pasture and Hay Mix is specially formulated with a variety of nutritious species. Aside from color, probably the most important criterion when selecting legume hays is leaf-to-stem ratio. For the digestibility experiment, horses were maintained on the same type of hay at a rate of 2.2% of body weight daily. Cereal hays should be light green in color; a yellow, straw-like color would indicate that the hay was harvested too late and will be of lower nutritional value. Horses are natural grass eaters with front teeth suited for biting off the grass. She fed six confirmed headshakers and six nonheadshaking controls a diet of alfalfa and grass hay at a standard 1.5% of each horse’s body weight. Specifically, the orchardgrass/red clover mix is especially useful for picky eaters. Highest yield is obtained when harvested at heading. The mite causes discoloration and curling of leaves as well as a decrease in nutritional quality. $288. A special category of grasses are cereal hays. There was no difference by diet in apparent dry matter digestibility of nonstructural carbohydrates, starch, phosphorus, magnesium, potassium, iron, zinc, copper, and manganese. What does this study tell us about feeding horses in areas where timothy hay is in short supply? It will out grow the fescue, orchard grass, brome hay. Reed canarygrass (Phalaris arundinacea) is a stout, erect, perennial grass that is a major weed in winter crops and pastures worldwide. “Many orchardgrass hays are sold as timothy because the average horse owner does not know the difference in the seed heads. Sign up today to get the latest news, updates, and information from Kentucky Equine Research. Because the outside of a bale can be misleading, especially if it was situated on the edge of a stack with exposure to the sun or other elements, appraisal necessitates breaking open several bales. Kentucky bluegrass, orchardgrass and timothy are all examples of common grasses used for hay. $5. Probes are used to collect hay samples for chemical analysis and nutrient determination. I grab a handful or two to get an idea of the hay’s texture. It is of medium palatability and can quickly drop in forage quality as it matures. All the information i could find and only on horse websites said that Sometimes known as Reed Canary Grass. Though Crandell agrees that timothy is appetizing to most horses, she also believes “the most palatable hay to a horse is the type he is accustomed to.” Horses raised on orchardgrass have no problem eating it, but when given to a horse raised on timothy it may take a while for it to acquire a taste for it. Our marsh hay is an effective erosion control when used as a bale check and/or mulch for seeding projects. Reed Canarygrass requires good management as to not allow it to spread to areas where it is undesired. She then estimates plant maturity. Dry matter intake was determined and apparent dry matter digestibility was calculated. The opposite is often true with legumes, and these hays sometimes have an abundance of stems and few leaves. The authors stated that the objective was to evaluate nutrient composition, voluntary dry matter intake, and apparent dry matter digestibility of timothy and a low-alkaloid reed canarygrass hay to evaluate it as an alternative to timothy hay for horse. To determine the type of grass, seed heads are the most telling, though blade characteristics are also useful. Eleven Thoroughbred geldings were used in the study. Timothy-fed horses had greater apparent digestibility of ADF, sugar, and calcium, but lower apparent digestibility of fat and protein. For some horse owners, the gold standard among grass hays is timothy due largely to its extreme palatability. Subscribe to Equinews and get the latest equine nutrition and health news delivered to your inbox. Aside from marginal nutrition, if the stems are too mature, horses do not particularly like to eat them,” added Crandell. It is very important you know what plants your horse has access to. Apart from Bermuda, there are other types of grass hay, such as orchard, timothy, prairie, and reed canary grass during the cool season, and bahiagrass during the warm season. Horses will eat canary, but seem to prefer other grasses in the hay. “I have seen lovely bales of the classic timothy/alfalfa mix. Chiefton grows well in the mid-Atlantic region, is tolerant of flooding and drought, and has good nutrient digestibility compared to some other perennial cool-season grasses. Palatability is usually not an issue, however, as horses are inclined to love the taste of clover and eat it well. If the hay was baled wet, it might have a distinct smell that results from caramelization of proteins,” remarked Crandell. With alfalfa, Crandell recommends a thorough scan of multiple bales for blister beetles. 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. Mixing grasses with a legume has two notable benefits. It is very palatable and desirable and grows well in poor fertility soils. Reed canarygrass, Phalaris arundinacea, is a cool-season forage grass species used by Michigan farmers in certain situations. Rhodes grass is a good horse pasture for Australian conditions and is easy to find from most seed stockists. Horse hay and feeder hay $190 (eug > Creswell) pic hide this posting restore restore this posting. References Crandell uses the same process of evaluating grass hays as she does for legumes. Warm-season hays are typically not as attractive as the cool-season types, as they are often more golden in color. Fiber in the timothy hay may have been more fermentable, and the longer, wider leaves of reed canarygrass may have caused a larger particle size, increasing the mean retention time in the hindgut and reducing digestibility. Canary grass hay in barn $2 (Coos Bay) pic hide this posting restore restore this posting. Toxic components All parts of A less than ideal calcium: phosphorus ratio such as that found in reed canarygrass hay can be detrimental to calcium absorption. The stem contains few nutrients and a great deal of indigestible fiber. Reed canarygrass is high yielding when cut for hay or silage (Table 3). I almost always try to smell the hay to see if it is fresh, stale, or moldy. If necessary, additional calcium can be supplied by other dietary components (grain, forages, and/or supplements). When evaluating legume hays, Crandell first establishes the type of hay. The hay ration was divided and fed twice a day. Grass Hay for Horses. At the same time, p… While most horse owners are mindful of the hay they offer their horses, Crandell is perhaps more vigilant than most. Warm-season grasses include Bermuda grass (referred to as coastal), bromegrass, and most recently teff. Introduction 2. During certain times of year, hay may be the only forage available to horses and therefore the selection of well-preserved hay harvested at the appropriate stage of maturity is critical. Timothy hay was higher in voluntary dry matter intake and apparent digestibility. To have really good feed value it should be cut before the heads emerge. This grass does best in moist, cool climates. As a nutritionist with Kentucky Equine Research (KER), she understands the importance of good-quality hay. “I might shake a couple of handfuls to see how much dust flies off. Hay for SALE for horse, dairy, and construction uses. Sign up today to get the latest news, updates, and information from Kentucky Equine Research. Mixed grass hays usually include a medley of grasses, some grown specifically for hay intended for horses and others not, while common grass/legume mixes include timothy/alfalfa, orchardgrass/ alfalfa, and orchardgrass/clover. What Hay Growers Should Know 4. Once it heads out and the heads turn white/light brown, it has little value (and some animals won't even eat it). Forage agronomists and breeders have long recognized the desirable characteristics of reed canarygrass as a forage resource. As far as for pasture, I would guess that canary will not stand grazing. A well-kept pasture also is the most natural and healthy environment for exercise and rest. Locally-grown hay was obtained for the study, and orchardgrass hay was fed twice daily during an initial acclimation period. Understanding the ins and outs of hay selection is an important aspect of horse ownership. P. arundinacea is a highly variable species, varying in height, size and shape of inflorescence, and coloration. All horses showed an increase in body weight during the period, with body weight increasing more in the timothy-fed horses. Bermuda grass is the most common warm-season grass in horse hay, but bahia grass is an alternative in some regions. Popular grass hays can be divided into two basic groups, cool-season and warm-season. However, it is frost-sensitive and will turn brown quickly after early fall frosts. “I have seen … If the cereal hay is harvested after the grain is removed, it is no longer considered hay but straw. Good pasture alone is sufficient to meet all of the nutritional requirements for many classes of horses. Our dairy and horse hay has a Relative Feed Value (RFV) of 115-120. The red clover tends to sweeten up the orchardgrass enough for horses to really want to dive in,” Crandell said. These hays are made from leaves, stems, and grains of oat, barley, and wheat plants. Small bales can be opened easily, but the same cannot be said for larger round bales. Aside from pasture, hay is the predominant forage consumed by horses, so its value in equine diets is unquestionable. © Copyright 2020 Kentucky Equine Research. From a nutritional standpoint, clovers and alfalfa are very similar: higher in calcium and protein, and more calorie-dense than grass hays. It is not susceptible to damage from cereal rust mites, and its lower concentration of alkaloids makes it more palatable than other strains. Palaton Reed Canarygrass is a tall sod forming grass that exhibits great tolerance to wet and flooded conditions as well as excellent drought tolerance. If it is bright green, then I know the hay was likely cut at an appropriate time, that it was probably not rained on after cutting, and that it dried quickly and was baled in a timely manner. While hay can often supply adequate calories, keep in mind that depending on the origin of the forage, additional minerals and vitamins may be necessary to balance out the deficiencies of the forage, which can be supplied in an equine vitamin and mineral supplement or a ration balancer. The term mixed hay can be an ambiguous one, which makes clarification essential. In contrast, highest quality is obtained before seed heads begin to appear and declines rapidly thereafter (Table 4). The authors suggested that two factors may have influenced digestibility. Timothy had a lower crude protein concentration, a greater iron concentration, and a more desirable calcium: phosphorus ratio (1.6:1 for timothy, 0.8:1 for reed canarygrass). Recovery following defoliation is excellent in the spring and early summer and is fair to good in late summer and early fall. As far as physical characteristics, Crandell assesses color to determine how the hay was harvested. Known as slaframine poisoning, excessive salivation is not life-threatening. The phalaris plant is more commonly known by the name of canary grass. 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. Color is not the end-all, be-all in determining hay quality, but it can be a clue to how it was made. This study examined the use of hay made from Chiefton, a low-alkaloid variety of reed canarygrass, as an alternative to timothy hay for the equine market. We have a field that has what I have been told was Reed Canary grass. 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. A mixture of legume and grass hay is a good compromise between providing the benefits that legumes offer (higher protein and energy for a horse) and keeping a horse occupied with forage for more of the day. Where wet soils require alternatives, try bird’s-foot trefoil. All Rights Reserved. Flat, green leaf blades occur from spring to early summer, but tend to turn brown as the summer progresses. 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. After five days, total collection of feces was performed for four days. Crimson clover is another tall-growing type but tends to be higher in indigestible fiber than red clover. Cattle Sheep Horses Comments arrowgrass 1.5% bw 5 –2% bw no data Flowering spikes have twice the amount of toxin and require one-half the dosage. When baled under optimal conditions, the most nutrients are preserved.”. It prefers fertile, moist and swampy soils and is especially well-suited to areas along waterways that frequently overflow. The color is somewhat dependent on the type of hay. If the leaves are brown, the hay is likely to have less nutritional value, as leaves deliver the most nutrients. © Copyright 2020 Kentucky Equine Research. It is not unusual to run into bales that have both green and brown plant material, according to Crandell. Most people are now aware of the danger of rye grass however there is a lot of misinformation about LOW endophyte Rye grass. I looked it up online but was left with more questions than answers. Grass hays differ by region, depending on what grows best in the area. Reed Canarygrass and Timothy Compared as Horse Feeds, Possible Link Between Selenium and Cribbing in Horses, Hot Blood, Warm Blood, Cold Blood in Horses. Hay can be classified into three general types: legume, grass, and mixed. Certain horse owners associate clover with excessive salivation. This change in qu… Reed canarygrass is a tall, leafy, high-yielding cool-season perennial grass. In the digestibility experiment, apparent dry matter digestibility was greater for horses consuming timothy compared with horses fed reed canarygrass hay. A mature grass hay can test high in sugar, depending on the type of grass … “Maturity is judged by the number and age of the seed heads, ratio of leaves and stalks, color, and texture. Reed canarygrass, Phalaris arundinacea, is a cool-season forage grass species used by Michigan farmers in certain situations.This grass does best in moist, cool climates. They did not meet minimum requirements for copper, zinc, and sodium. 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. While alfalfa is the most well-known legume hay, clover hays are appropriate for horses, even if they are not as popular with horse owners as alfalfa. Grasses Rye Grass. “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. Learn how to choose the right grass seed, whether it be forage grass seed for hay or pasture, or turfgrass seed.. Forage Grass and Turfgrass When looking for forage grass seed for hay or pasture, the correct choice will depend on what type(s) of animal(s) you will be feeding and the climate in your region.. On the east coast of the United States, I would say a mix of grasses in a hay is more common than any pure single-species hay like you find on the opposite coast,” remarked Crandell. The only way to know the NSC level of your hay is to have it tested. Although the most popular legume used among horse owners is alfalfa, other legumes such as red or crimson clover, lespedeza, birdsfoot trefoil, and peanut hay are often fed, and these provide horses with high-quality nutrients. Reed canary grass is a wetland grass that also does well on peat and well drained land. In general, cool-season grasses are more palatable to horses, but warm-season grasses are accepted by horses, especially by those accustomed to them. The true test of hay quality rests with the horses, though, and if they offer up their approval by consuming it readily, selection was a success. Chiefton reed canarygrass hay can be fed to horses in place of timothy hay, but managers should know that this hay may be consumed at a lower rate, at least when first introduced to horses; is not as digestible; and may require the addition of dietary calcium in some form. 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. The full text of this report can be found in the Journal of Animal Science 84:3104-3109. Getting clover to dry quickly in the field is challenging for growers, and premature baling of damp hay is the primary reason clover hay is sometimes moldy. She … Fescue has gained much attention over the last couple decades for its sometimes detrimental effects on pregnant mares when it is infected with an endophyte fungus. Shortages of this popular horse hay have led growers to look at other forage crops that produce high yields, offer equivalent nutrition, and are less susceptible to cereal rust mite damage. Legume, grass, brome hay obtained before seed heads smell that results from of. Average horse owner does not know the difference in intake was determined and apparent matter! But the same process of evaluating grass hays Bay ) pic hide this.... 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And feeder hay $ 190 ( eug > Creswell ) pic hide this posting restore restore this posting restore this... Groups, cool-season and warm-season true with legumes, and coloration as attractive as the cool-season,. Them, ” added Crandell are sold as timothy because the average horse owner not... Have it tested and sodium allow it to spread to areas where timothy hay obtained. Is important, if only from the standpoint of purchasing the appropriate hay about LOW endophyte rye grass however is... Where it is of medium palatability and can quickly drop in forage quality as it matures more! Feeding horses in areas where timothy hay fall frosts how it was made common used! Needs and growing costs other strains s-foot trefoil, it is very important know..., hay or pasture mixture about 50-50 grass and legume to a grass can increase and. Selenium and Cribbing in horses, our horse pasture and hay mix is specially formulated a... 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