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Rebmik
Sep. 10, 2009, 07:06 AM
does anyone know or know where to find nutritional info. on specifically crabgrass hay and/or versus other grasses like orchard? I can find all other grasses and hay, but nowhere is crabgrass nutritional info listed.
I will be getting it analyized but wanted to know what to expect.
Thanks.

jeano
Sep. 10, 2009, 07:39 AM
try the Stockman/Grassfarmer and similar sites/publications geared toward cattle grazing. I used to subscribe to this rag, tons of great info on maintaining pasture, but not very horse oriented. I know that crabgrass is palatable and nourishing in the sense that it is high in sugar, maybe even more so than ryegrass, so perhaps not so good for easy keepers. Serious grassfarmers (ie those who fatten cattle strictly on grass, no grain) actually buy crabgrass seed for their pastures if their climate will support it. Its a warm season grass. Take a look at this link:

http://www.dirtdoctor.com/organic/garden/view_question/id/64/

RedMare01
Sep. 10, 2009, 09:28 AM
Hmm, didn't know that there was crabgrass hay. However, the sugar content might explain why my mare drags me to each spot of crabgrass available and eats it down to the ground whenever I hand graze her...:lol:

Caitlin

JB
Sep. 10, 2009, 12:01 PM
Crabgrass seed is $$$! :eek:

But it's great grazing for a lot of horses - tastey. I used to get some fescue/crab grass hay and my horse ate every morsel.

Rebmik
Sep. 10, 2009, 02:24 PM
I just cannot seem to find any values....I am sending ours out to be analyized, but didn't know what to expect.
I've read a lot of the recent articles mentioning "crabgrass shedding it's weed image" these same articles say how nutrition and palatable crabgrass is and usually ends up with more digestible matter and that it is more easily digested as well....all sounds good....

coco21
Sep. 16, 2009, 10:54 AM
Redmik,
Please let us know what you find out about crabgrass for horses. The farmer that I buy my hay from has a lot of alfalfa/crabgrass mixed hay this year. Apparently it wasn't planned to have crabgrass in it but the crabgrass took over the alfalfa field. So he's selling it cheap. I usually feed a alfalfa/orchard grass mix (30% alfalfa/70% orchard grass) but was unable to get it this year and I'm wondering if crabgrass instead of orchard grass would be okay to feed.
I'm especially interested to know about the sugar content (with the alfalfa already in it). I do have an easy keeper that might be better off without alfalfa or crabgrass.
thanks!

acoustic
Sep. 16, 2009, 11:00 AM
Hmm, interesting! Crabgrass is all that grows way down in S. Florida. Well, other types grow as well, but it's looked on more as a weed. Didn't know they made hay out of it either.

Thanks for the info!

JB
Sep. 16, 2009, 11:44 AM
acoustic, it's like inbreeding/linebreeding: If it works, it's linebreeding; if it doesn't, it's inbreeding :lol:

with crabgrass - if it's in your yard, it's a weed; if it's in the pasture, it's great grazing :lol:

aaussie_gal
Sep. 16, 2009, 01:26 PM
Redmik,
Please let us know what you find out about crabgrass for horses. The farmer that I buy my hay from has a lot of alfalfa/crabgrass mixed hay this year. Apparently it wasn't planned to have crabgrass in it but the crabgrass took over the alfalfa field. So he's selling it cheap. I usually feed a alfalfa/orchard grass mix (30% alfalfa/70% orchard grass) but was unable to get it this year and I'm wondering if crabgrass instead of orchard grass would be okay to feed.
I'm especially interested to know about the sugar content (with the alfalfa already in it). I do have an easy keeper that might be better off without alfalfa or crabgrass.
thanks!

Would the farmer let you have some to take to your local county extension office, or ag office, to have it tested?

MistyBlue
Sep. 16, 2009, 01:28 PM
Huh, I'd think more hay growers would grow it around here if it makes good hay.
It is easy as hell to grow, hard as hell to kill. And spreads like...well...a weed. :D

JB
Sep. 16, 2009, 02:57 PM
Misty, last I checked, the actual seed, for farmers to plant, was fairly pricey :( This Seedland link has it at $350/50lb :eek:
http://www.seedland.com/mm5/merchant.mvc?Screen=CTGY&Store_Code=Seedland&Category_Code=FS-CRABGRASS

I can't find a seeding rate though, so if it's small, then that price may not be so out of reach. It actually sounds tempting to try.

As an interesting tidbit on that Seedland page, "Quick-N-Big" crabgrass, named so because, duh, it germinates quickly and grow big :lol: :lol: apparently grows 2-3 *inches* per day at some point! :eek:

I did find this info:
http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/AG195
http://www.noble.org/Ag/Forage/Crabgrass4Forage/PrintLayout_1_82554_82554.html this one in particular is cool

JB
Sep. 16, 2009, 02:59 PM
Oh, found it!

"Good stands have been obtained with as little as 2 pounds of pure live seed (PLS) per acre, but planting 3 to 5 pounds PLS per acre helps ensure quick cover and a thick, productive stand."

Wow. So, 50lb would do 10 acres! Ok, so not so $$ after all!

So yeah, why don't they do that??!!

MistyBlue
Sep. 16, 2009, 03:01 PM
Meanwhile I have none of it in my grass paddock at all and every year I fight WWIII against it all over my lawn. :lol:
Hmmm...maybe I'll let it grow longer and then yank it up by the roots and see if I can't transplant some into the paddock. The way it spreads and takes over my lawn in no time at all...maybe it'll do the same in the paddock?
I'm not normally good at growing stuff, but if I can't grow weeds there's something more wrong with me than I thought. :winkgrin:
$350 for 50#??? Seriously...I have jewelry that costs less. :eek: ;)

Okay...eta...that coverage doesn't sound bad then.
And sounds like typical crabgrass to me...plant a teeny bit and BAM there it goes taking over everything else.
I considered trying zoysia grass for either lawn or paddock...but appparently it's "illegal" grass here in CT due to it trying to Take Over The World. ;) Plus I heard it's not palatable for horses, wouldn't mind it on my lawn though.

JB
Sep. 16, 2009, 03:34 PM
Yep - weed vs grass, depends on whether it's growing where you want it LOL

It appears there is a "hair free" version which is much more suitable to being a weedy invader in the yard but doesn't stand up well to grazing/traffic, so not really suitable for a pasture. The "hairy" varieties, like that Red River and Quick-N-Big, are more suitable for grazing and hay.

Maybe that can work its way into the yard so when the Summer has driven the fescue into hibernation, we'd still have green grass LOL

frugalannie
Sep. 16, 2009, 03:38 PM
Don't know if this got mentioned, but up here in the north country, MistyBlue, crabgrass is an annual and it dies back in the winter. You'd theoretically have to reseed each year, except the stuff does such a great job of seeding itself. However, it is just plain dead all winter, so it may not protect your pasture soils from erosion.

I'd think that the Ct Agricultural Extension Sevice would be able to give you good info. They were a terrific source when I lived down there.

JB
Sep. 16, 2009, 03:59 PM
Yep, annual that, if managed well enough (which doesn't seem all that intensive if you just want grazing) seems to be pretty good at self-maintaining via volunteers.

If erosion is an issue, the in the late Summer/early fall you could plant a Winter annual, if you're in an area where that's suitable. The crabgrass should hold out long enough to let the oats/rye get established well enough, and even then the root system of the crabgrass will hold on for a bit once the grass actually dies back.

acoustic
Sep. 16, 2009, 04:55 PM
acoustic, it's like inbreeding/linebreeding: If it works, it's linebreeding; if it doesn't, it's inbreeding :lol:

with crabgrass - if it's in your yard, it's a weed; if it's in the pasture, it's great grazing :lol:

LOL :lol: Good comparasion.

Most of the suburban folks would think of it as inbreeding around here. I should just lend my horse out for hire. Weed-eater and fertilzer all in one!

MistyBlue
Sep. 16, 2009, 06:44 PM
I had read it was an annual...but it has some hardy darned seeds it drops.
Because every year I put out the crab grass pre-emergent killer at the exact right time and every year I *still* get flipping crab grass.
Some years I just give up and mow it and pretend it's regular grass.

coco21
Sep. 16, 2009, 08:38 PM
Would the farmer let you have some to take to your local county extension office, or ag office, to have it tested?

He probably would. I'll have to check into that. Problem is the field was orginally all alfalfa that was overrun with crabgrass so the bales are inconsistant. Some have lots of alfalfa and not much crabgrass and others have more crabgrass.

He did give me a bale to see if my horses like it and they do eat it fine. (not as enthusiatically as straight alfalfa but just as much as orchard grass. I do have straight orchard grass that I can suppliment with it.