What kind of hay is best for horses?

There are two primary types of horse hay: legume and grass. Alfalfa is the best variety of legume hay, and Orchard grass is the grass hay I recommend; however, Timothy, bermudagrass, bahiagrass, and Kentucky bluegrass are also excellent choices.

What type of hay do you feed a horse?

There are quite a few different types of hay that people feed to horses, but hay generally falls into one of two categories – legumes and grasses. Alfalfa hay, sometimes called lucerne hay, is the most popular legume hay fed to horses in the U.S., while timothy and orchard are popular grass hay choices.

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.

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What hay is bad for horses?

Some hay types are particularly prone to high nitrate levels and should be avoided if there are options. These include: Sorghum, Sudan, Johnsongrass and Pearl Millet. High levels of simple carbohydrate (sugars, starch) are an issue for horses with insulin resistance and can occur in virtually any type of hay.

Which cutting of hay is best for horses?

The most common choice of hay is second cutting, but first cutting is also good for horses, plus it is usually cheaper than the other two. Choose hay that is soft, green, and leafy, with thin stems, so it is easier for horses to eat.

What is the most nutritious hay for horses?

Timothy hay is one of the most popular hays fed to horses. It can be quite expensive, depending on whether it has to be shipped long distances. Timothy must be harvested in the pre- or early-bloom stage to ensure a high nutrient content.

Is grass or hay better for horses?

Overall, grass lacks in nutrients, but it is a very common choice among horse owners. Some horses can be allergic to Alfalfa and so grass is the better option. Again think about your horses age and activity level.

Which is better 1st or 2nd cut hay?

They are generally given grain as well. First cut hay is grass heavy and doesn’t have a lot of legumes, such as alfalfa or cover. … Second cut hay has a finer texture and usually, a greener color and heavier leaves. It is more dense, the leaves are more tender and healthier, especially in protein.

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How much does a bale of timothy hay cost?

What Is the Average Price for a Bale of Hay? On average, a bale of hay costs around $15. For example, two wired Alfalfa Hay bales typically run high, costing $19.95 apiece, whereas bermudagrass is only $8.75. Timothy Hay is the most expensive, typically costing at least $20 a bale.

Is timothy or orchard grass better for horses?

Orchard Grass is higher in protein (10-12%), higher in calorie content and contains the same balanced levels of calcium and phosphorus as Timothy grass. … This helps ensure your horses always have a high quality grass forage option to utilize.

How can you tell a good hay for a horse?

Good quality hay should be bright green in color with little fading. A bleached, yellow, brown or black color may indicate aged hay, mold or poor storage conditions. Storage condition and age have a significant effect on vitamin content of hays.

Is Bluestem hay good for horses?

Native warm-season grasses also can provide good summer pastures for horses. Warm-season grasses that horses graze well include blue grama, big bluestem and sand bluestem, sideoats grama, sand lovegrass, and indiangrass. … So they can be used for horse hay even if they make poor horse pasture.

How can you tell good quality hay?

Look for the following characteristics:

  1. Maturity – High quality hay will have a high proportion of leaves in the bale, with few or no coarse stems or seed heads.
  2. Condition – High quality hay will contain little dust or mold.
  3. Color & odor – High quality hay generally has a bright green color and a sweet, fresh odor.
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Is green hay bad for horses?

Green. Without question, the most desirable color of hay is bright green. Greenness indicates the hay was not subjected to any adverse conditions during curing or storage, thereby suggesting the forage is nutritious and free of molds. Green hay is often rife with carotene, a precursor to vitamin A, and vitamin E.

Is coastal Bermuda hay good for horses?

Coastal hay is a type of Bermuda hay that has a reputation for increasing the risk of ileocecal impaction in horses. The belief that coastal hay causes impactions has been around for a long time, and in some cases might be true; however, Bermuda hay can make excellent forage for horses.

Can horses graze on alfalfa?

Alfalfa can be grazed as a single-species or mixed with grass. Red or white clover doesn’t regrow well when grazed by horses, so it’s best to mix with grass. Alfalfa and red clover can be appropriate pasture species for horses diagnosed with metabolic disorders.