What is the healthiest hay for horses?

Legume hay is higher in protein, energy, calcium and vitamin A than grass hays. 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.

What kind of hay is best for horses?

  • 1.) Alfalfa. Alfalfa hay is high-protein legume hay from the ‘pea’ family.
  • 2.) Clover. Clover hay is the other legume hay suitable for horses but not as popular with horse owners.
  • 3.) Timothy Grass.
  • 4.) Orchardgrass.
  • 5.) Fescue.
  • 6.) Reed Canary Grass.
  • 7.) Bluegrass.
  • 8.) Bromegrass.

Is grass hay or alfalfa better for horses?

Grass hay typically has lower nutritional values than alfalfa hay, and is also lower in calcium, making it closer to a more desirable Ca:P. ratio (between 3:1 to 1:1). Also, grass hay is often less dusty than alfalfa hay, so it a good choice for horses that have respiratory issues.

What hay has the least amount of sugar?

Low sugar hay is extremely important in a horse’s diet due to its health properties and the enormous benefits it can offer. While lucerne usually has lower sugar than a lot of grass hays, it more often than not tests HIGHER in sugar, starch & protein compared to our Low Sugar Hay.

Is timothy or alfalfa better for horses?

Alfalfa hay is typically higher in protein and essential nutrients than timothy hay, making Alfalfa a better option for more active animals that need a high protein diet. Alfalfa also has more calories per pound than timothy, so it’s generally the preferred choice of sport horse owners.

Can a horse colic on alfalfa?

Rich alfalfa hay can also cause colic, so we recommend feeding a grass hay or grass/alfalfa mix. Changes in management or a horse’s routine can be stressful and contribute to colic risk as well. Water is also very important, as a horse with minimal exercise needs to drink 4-5 gallons a day to remain healthy.

Does lucerne hay make horses hot?

Grains and grain based feeds, molasses and forages like lucerne hay tend to be commonly blamed for making horses ‘hot’. Whether this is because they do actually make horses hyperactive, or because they are energy dense feeds that are easy to overfeed and therefore by default make horses hot is hard to determine.

Can a horse eat only alfalfa?

Generally alfalfa is a good hay to feed horses, but there are caveats: Don’t overfeed alfalfa. Only feed alfalfa if your horse needs extra digestible energy, protein, and calcium.

Is oat hay OK for horses?

You can feed oat hay, but feed it to mature horses and make sure nitrate levels are at acceptable levels. Oat hay is not a commonly fed hay but can be an effective hay for older horses. The oat hay needs to be harvested in the soft dough stage when the leaves and stems are still green.

Does alfalfa make a horse hyper?

Alfalfa hay will make a horse hot, or crazy. – Alfalfa provides a significant amount of calories; however, an excess of calories in any form, whether from alfalfa, grain or oil, without the exercise to burn them, can result in an excessively energetic horse.

Does orchard grass make good hay?

Orchardgrass is a versatile grass and can be used for pasture, hay, green chop, or silage. A high-quality grass, it will provide excellent feed for most classes of livestock.

Is timothy hay OK for horses?

Timothy Hay: A Popular Feed for Horses – Timothy hay is the most digestible of all hays and is one of the most popular hay feeds for horses. The hay is a late-maturing high fiber bunchgrass with a relatively low protein content.

Is Tifton hay good for horses?

Tifton is beneficial to any horse. Many vets recommend horses that have weight, laminitis or founder issues to be on a diet strictly of Tifton due to its low sugar content. Tifton is also great for HYPP horses and can be one of the only hays that some HYPP horses do well on.

Which is better 1st or 2nd cut hay?

Hay is often cut three or more times each season. The first cutting in any cut will have thicker stems, perhaps have flowers (usually called tassel), and is the highest in fiber of any cut. The second cutting is softer, greener, has a higher protein but lower fiber than first cutting.

Is grass or hay better for horses?

LEGUME HAY – Legumes tend to be higher in protein, energy, calcium and vitamin A than grass hays. This concentrated source of energy and protein may be an advantage when fed as part of the ration for young and growing horses, lactating mares and performance athletes.

Is there a difference between timothy hay and timothy grass?

Timothy hay is a mix of leaves and stems from Timothy grass, which is a perennial bunch grass. Timothy grass is a cool-season grass and it works well for bunnies with delicate digestive systems. It provides very good fibre content and is a thick, coarse hay.

Is Bermuda grass good for horses?

Bermuda hay is good for horses; it’s high in fiber which helps horses ingest food and absorb nutrients in their diet.

Can horses get laminitis from hay?

Feed a low energy forageHay is more suitable for horses and ponies at risk of laminitis than haylage. For those prone to the disease and/or overweight, feed hay that has been soaked for 12-16 hours.

Is timothy hay good for older horses?

The horse needs to be able to chew and break down the hay, so select good-quality, soft hay that isn’t overly mature; it shouldn’t have thick, fibrous stalks. Coleman has found that mixed grass-legume hay, such as orchard-alfalfa or timothy-alfalfa, is often a good choice.

What type of hay is best for horses to have free choice of?

If feeding free choice, every attempt should be made to find a suitable grass hay. The next best choice would be a grass/alfalfa mix. Alfalfa or grain hays (such as oat or rye) can be fed free choice too, and most horses will probably regulate their intake of these as well.

Should horses have unlimited hay?

Whether horses need constant access to hay or not largely depends on their age, diet, and digestive health. There are horse owners who believe that feeding their horses only at mealtime is enough, but others say that this might upset the gut health of a horse.

Should horses have free choice hay?

Some have said free choice forage feeding leads to increased obesity and an increased risk of laminitis. They are mistaken. During a harsh winter, when the food supply is sparse, wild horses hold on to body fat to help them survive. They do this by having an elevated blood insulin level.

How many pounds of hay should a horse have per day?

Just how much your horse will need will depend on its weight. According to the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, a full-grown horse should eat about 12 to 15 pounds (5.4 to 6.8 kg) of hay a day. 1 That is 1.5% to 3% of its body weight, if it weighs about 1,000 pounds (450 kg).

Does alfalfa make horses pee more?

Because alfalfa is high in protein and because excess protein will normally be converted to urea, a horse that gets more than its share will urinate more than usual.

Is timothy or orchard grass better for horses?

The higher calorie content of Orchard Grass is a result of higher fiber digestibility compared to Timothy Grass. The high nutrient intake delivered by Orchard Grass hay translates into potentially less grain the horse would need to eat to satisfy energy and protein requirements.

Is orchard grass bad for horses?

“As a source of fiber, well-made orchardgrass hay has a place in the diets of all types of horses. When it’s clean and sweet-smelling, its palatability is wonderful, and few horses refuse it,” said Kathleen Crandell, Ph. D., nutritionist for Kentucky Equine Research (KER).

What kind of grass makes the best hay?

Alfalfa– It is probably the best high quality feed for livestock and as a cash crop but it requires deep, well drained soils and high fertility for high yields. While it can be used for grazing, it is best adapted for hay or silage.

Is millet hay good for horses?

Pearl millet is considered the most suitable millet species for horse grazing or hay. It has moderate to good nutritional quality if kept short (about 2.5 feet or less). Pearl millet is leafy, with an upright growth habit, and grows from 4 to 8 feet tall.

What hay is best for Laminitic horses?

Generally, a mixture of grass hay and alfalfa is the best hay combination for horses prone to laminitis.


Steaming Hay for Horses – Steam Culture

Hay Steamer for healthy horses

Ask the Vet – Are round bales healthy for horses to eat?

Other Articles

What breed of horse does dressage?

Which way does a saddle pad go?

Are Thorowgood saddles comfortable?

What are the most comfortable riding breeches?

What is the difference between an English saddle and a jumping saddle?