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Cruiser12
Jul. 28, 2012, 04:52 PM
Not even sure if I have the correct name and/or spelling but I was wondering if anyone has any knowledge of this hay for horses.

Cruiser12
Jul. 28, 2012, 04:55 PM
I guess it's actually called "Sericea Lespedeza" that much I finally figured out!

Tamara in TN
Jul. 28, 2012, 07:41 PM
it's common, of low value feed value,hard to bale w.o leaf loss and has to be baled at less than 9 inches tall


Tamara

QacarXan
Jul. 28, 2012, 07:47 PM
It has tannins that make it an effective anthelmintic for ruminants. IDK much about its use with horses, but here's haying and nutritional info that may help:

www.uaex.edu/Other_Areas/publications/pdf/FSA-3050.pdf


Lespedezas make excellent hay. Because the fine stems do not contain much water and the proportion of leaf is high in improved varieties, they cure quickly and can be cut, dried and baled on the same day under ideal conditions. Leaves will shatter easily if overdried. Lespedeza can be mowed, windrowed and conditioned in the same operation to minimize leaf loss. Use of tedders and rakes on nearly dry lespedeza should be avoided. Baling will also cause excessive leaf loss if the lespedeza is too dry – baling when a dew is present may minimize this problem. Properly baled lespedeza hay should contain 55 percent leaf.

Annual lespedeza should be cut for hay when plants are at 30 percent bloom, reach 12-15 inches in height or start to drop their leaves. Pure stands of annual lespedeza can potentially yield 1-4 tons of hay per acre, depending on site, weather conditions and number of harvests. Stands should produce about one ton of hay for every 4-5 inches of growth above the cutter bar at harvest.

Nutrition and horses:


Annual lespedeza is also a good forage for dairy heifers and horses. Annual lespedeza usually contains 10-16 percent crude protein.

Sericea lespedeza can be grazed when a height of 8-10 inches is reached, and a 4-inch stubble should be left between grazings. Sericea should not be allowed to become mature and coarse when pastured, or animals will not eat it readily. Sericea tests slightly lower in crude protein than annual lespedezas.

pj
Jul. 30, 2012, 08:15 PM
I used to be able to get some each year for our horses and goats.
They loved it when it was fairly new but over not too much time it dries out more and more and the leaves do fall. Then you have stems which the animals aren't that crazy about.

My crew did just fine on that hay for some months but it isn't something I'd want to get a load of for the whole year.

When the leaves would start dropping my critters would valcumn up the leaves and leave piles of stems for me to clean up.

Cruiser12
Jul. 30, 2012, 10:40 PM
Thanks! Very informative. I think I may pass on this hay.
The hay guys is basically claiming that it is the "poor man's" alfalfa, but you know when it sounds too good to be true....

SkipHiLad4me
Jul. 30, 2012, 10:46 PM
They call it poor mans alfalfa here too. Its a legume like alfalfa and can be high in protein if baled correctly. As mentioned, it can be difficult to bale without losing leaves.

nashfad
Jul. 30, 2012, 11:41 PM
Has to be cut just right and the horses love it. yes, the leaves do fall off when it dries.

crosscreeksh
Jul. 31, 2012, 11:10 PM
Another "downer"...when eaten out of a round bale it can cause odd problems. My good TB started to stink when you were near his head. One day I saw a tiny piece of hay in his nostril...I thought it was about two inches long. I grabbed the sprig and gently pulled...it ended up being about 14 inches long and covered with puss and crud at the far end!! Yuck!!! Ended up treating him with antibiotics to clear up the infection!!! Seems that with the leaves gone...they ALWAYS fall off...the stems are like knitting needles and can go right up their nostrils!! No more of "that" hay for my horses!!!

Cruiser12
Aug. 2, 2012, 08:39 PM
Another "downer"...when eaten out of a round bale it can cause odd problems. My good TB started to stink when you were near his head. One day I saw a tiny piece of hay in his nostril...I thought it was about two inches long. I grabbed the sprig and gently pulled...it ended up being about 14 inches long and covered with puss and crud at the far end!! Yuck!!! Ended up treating him with antibiotics to clear up the infection!!! Seems that with the leaves gone...they ALWAYS fall off...the stems are like knitting needles and can go right up their nostrils!! No more of "that" hay for my horses!!!

OMG!! That is horrible!

crosscreeksh
Aug. 2, 2012, 08:58 PM
Yes, it was since we were/are treating that eye for squamous cell carcinoma and my first thought with the smell and discharge that his head was "now" full of cancer!!! Problem is that there is no way to prevent the sprigs from entering the nose and apparently the horse hardly notices until it has caused a problem!! We mow the darn stuff off before we bale our hay...helps a bit. No way would I BUY hay with it in it.