View Full Version : Rye Grass hay?

florida foxhunter
Apr. 15, 2013, 11:07 AM
In many areas, growers and feed stores are out of coastal or bahia grass hay (in the Southeast). All the growers have for the next month or two is rye grass hay.
I'm aware that one has to be careful with Cushings/older horses eating rye grass because of the sugar. I do plant rye in my pastures (top dress to allow horses to have something to nibble on over the winter) and it comes up heavier in the spring then dies out when the bahia gets growing. It's been working for me for years..
However, I hesitate to feed Rye hay too.........
How does it differ nutritionally/sugar wise to regular grass hay? Anyone know?

Katy Watts
Apr. 15, 2013, 11:48 AM
It has the highest potential for sugar content, but would have to be grown under cold stress, drought stress or low fertilizer inputs to maximize its sugar content.

If your normal horses get diarrhea, that would be an indication it is high in sugar.

Apr. 15, 2013, 01:01 PM
My guys eat it right now because they quit eating any kind of Bermuda. We are limited also in choices here for hay and my guys can't have alfalfa. I think they just get sick of Bermuda after a while and like a change. They've done this before. I've never had a problem with rye but I'm not sure about others opinions.