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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov. 28, 2011
    Location
    Upatoi, GA
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    622

    Default Finally got a load of beautiful hay...RANT

    So I FINALLY found a decent hay supplier. I got a beautiful load of orchard/timothy hay. It is green, soft, sweet smelling... 1000% times better than the Coastal I have been able to find locally. I have a forage analysis for it- this is good hay.

    Or at least I thought so.... because my horses are not really eating it!! They were gobbling up the coastal crap... and now they won't eat the more expensive, beautiful hay. They are leaving it behind and spreading it all over.. they would eat every last bit of the coastal....

    Arghh!!
    Founder & President, Dapplebay, Inc.
    Creative Director, Equestrian Culture Magazine
    Take us to print!



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec. 30, 2003
    Posts
    401

    Default

    I too would love to know the answer to this!

    Why oh why do they prefer the straight grass hay (for the pony) over the nice soft leafy green timothy/alfalfa mix I finally found?

    And how nice it is to have a hay guy warn you this particular cutting isn't as nice as his stuff usually is? I am used to getting to the field and finding this out on my own...



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov. 2, 2009
    Location
    Iowa
    Posts
    624

    Default

    It may just be because it is different and they need to get used to it.
    If it is sweet smelling that means it has a high sugar content which isn't ideal. Did you mix it with oold hay gradually so they accept it better?



  4. #4

    Default

    horses are creatures of habit...it is their habit to eat the old and be suspicious of the new.
    left to their own devices most horses would eat acorns and chew boards and eat wild cherry leaves... they are not among God's brightest creations after all

    Tamara



    Quote Originally Posted by leahandpie View Post
    So I FINALLY found a decent hay supplier. I got a beautiful load of orchard/timothy hay. It is green, soft, sweet smelling... 1000% times better than the Coastal I have been able to find locally. I have a forage analysis for it- this is good hay.

    Or at least I thought so.... because my horses are not really eating it!! They were gobbling up the coastal crap... and now they won't eat the more expensive, beautiful hay. They are leaving it behind and spreading it all over.. they would eat every last bit of the coastal....

    Arghh!!
    Production Acres,Pro A Welsh Cobs
    I am one of the last 210,000 remaining full time farmers in America.We feed the others.



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar. 26, 2005
    Location
    Back to Normal.. or as close as I'll ever get
    Posts
    9,983

    Default

    I'm going out on a limb here...or maybe that s/b out on a dry, leafless stalk

    What looks & smells yummy & lush to us may not necessarily be what the horses prefer.

    Green isn't everything for hay.
    The bales I've had stacked in my barn since June are sun-bleached and icky-looking on the outside.
    Cut them open and still nice & green where it matters, at least to me.
    The horse & pony tear right into them, sad-looking exterior or not.
    Some of last year's bales are poor-looking right through, but they still eat them w/o protest or comment*

    *nothing like a big pile of uneaten hay, strewn about & peed upon for good measure.
    OK, I get it, you don't like that flake.
    *friend of bar.ka*RIP all my lovely boys, gone too soon:
    Steppin' Out 1988-2004
    Hey Vern! 1982-2009
    Cash's Bay Threat 1994-2009



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov. 28, 2011
    Location
    Upatoi, GA
    Posts
    622

    Default

    By green and sweet smelling... LOL... I mean dullish green and actually smells like hay!! This is orchard/tim but it was grown in NE AL, I have the forage analysis and it is good (18% crude protein). I'm not from the south... only been here 8 months..and where I'm from in the NW, hay is bright green, 120 lb bales, smells like it was cut yesterday, etc. The local stuff here is just laughable. It is literally straw colored, 50 lb bales, and it just smells funky to me. Like sweet, weird smelling dirt. I'm not sure why the horses even ate it?? But then again, I am not a horse.

    I was mixing old/new.. but they were eating all the old stuff and dragging the new stuff all around...

    Sigh.
    Founder & President, Dapplebay, Inc.
    Creative Director, Equestrian Culture Magazine
    Take us to print!



  7. #7
    Join Date
    May. 15, 2009
    Location
    Eastern Ontario, CND
    Posts
    2,191

    Default

    If you'd like an ol' farm trick, I know pouring molasses on the hay will get the cows to eat just about anything.

    Just make sure the bull doesn't break out of his pen to get to the barrel, sending it flying down the aisle, laying out a nice slick coat in -30C ( wasn't our barn, but it was such a mess!).

    You probably don't want to put that much on your horses hay but a *touch* might get them to try it.
    "For some people it's not enough to just be a horse's bum, you have to be sea biscuit's bum" -anon.
    Nes' Farm Blog ~ DesigNes.ca
    Need You Now Equine



  8. #8
    Join Date
    May. 17, 2003
    Posts
    5,752

    Default

    If you can bring yourself to, feed a lot less than normal for a couple of days so they are actually hungry. As my hay guy says "they'll eat it before they eat their feet."



  9. #9
    Join Date
    May. 30, 2006
    Location
    Little Rhody
    Posts
    3,842

    Default

    I'm surprised nobody has mentioned that the sweet, fresh mown hay smell in some plants is caused by the natural chemical coumarin. It is bitter tasting and has been shown to have heptotoxic properties in animals. Horses usually do not like hay with this smell and often refuse to eat it. I've smelled this (coumarin) more in orchard grass than any other type of hay grown for horses.



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov. 28, 2011
    Location
    Upatoi, GA
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    622

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by rcloisonne View Post
    I'm surprised nobody has mentioned that the sweet, fresh mown hay smell in some plants is caused by the natural chemical coumarin. It is bitter tasting and has been shown to have heptotoxic properties in animals. Horses usually do not like hay with this smell and often refuse to eat it. I've smelled this (coumarin) more in orchard grass than any other type of hay grown for horses.
    That is interesting... how do you find out if the hay has coumarin in it?
    Founder & President, Dapplebay, Inc.
    Creative Director, Equestrian Culture Magazine
    Take us to print!



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb. 16, 2003
    Location
    MI USA
    Posts
    7,717

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by atr View Post
    If you can bring yourself to, feed a lot less than normal for a couple of days so they are actually hungry. As my hay guy says "they'll eat it before they eat their feet."
    I would agree with this, reduce the hay fed, until they are cleaning it up. You will feel better because it is not wasted. Might be as Tamara suggested, with hay just tasting and feeling "different" than what you were feeding previously.

    Animals will eat what they "like best" whether it is expensive or cheap, and despite what we people KNOW is best for them. I did the same thing with our heifer last year, bought BEAUTIFUL hay, mixed grass and alfalfa, but she DID NOT like it. Wasted quite a bit, so I gave her the junky first cutting we bought for the horses to feed outside. She LOVED IT, ate every blade of hay. So I gave her nicer hay to the horses who thought that was GREAT HAY and ate every leaf and stem! Made me feel dumb!!

    Our horses were eating the first cutting fine, but liked the other when I offered it. Heifer always preferred the "rougher" hay in the first cutting, did keep gaining on it.

    Giving your horses just what they will clean up will acclimate them to the new flavor and texture, without wasting much.

    As stated above, they won't starve themselves if hay is offered. They may give you surly looks, not be happy, but eventually they WILL eat it. May take a little while to change over, but I am sure they have a good layer of flesh that will sustain them while they pout about the new stuff. My small but trim little dog does that. Gives me hateful looks, while eating her limited food that is not going to kill her with fat in it. She sulked too, but she gobbles food up now, very svelte at about 19lbs for a Corgi. No more visits to the Vet either!!

    When they do clean up the daily offering, you can add another small flake to what you put out. Don't put out more than they clean up, until you reach what you think they need for a daily quantity. If this is really better hay, you may need to feed less so they don't get obese.



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb. 6, 2003
    Location
    NorthEast
    Posts
    24,809

    Default

    they are not among God's brightest creations after all
    Very very true.

    Mother Nature never made large made-to-be-meals animals very smart.

    Also try mixing. My guys are walking Hoovers. One will eat anything he can catch. The other can be a bit suspicious of hay changes. New hay means he'll sniff at it and nose around and run the other horse off of his a few times, then pout for an hour because it's New Hay. And then eat it just fine. Usually. But I mostly mix when I get new...so new hay goes out in a 50/50 mix with the old. And I *mix* it...I shake out a bunch of old hay and then shake out same amount of new hay and then it's like tossing salad....I mix it. helps the suspicious horse try the new without the pouting or waiting until he's starving. (well, he thinks he's starving )

    Maybe try mixing yours with the old hay?
    You jump in the saddle,
    Hold onto the bridle!
    Jump in the line!
    ...Belefonte



  13. #13

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by MistyBlue View Post
    Very very true.

    Mother Nature never made large made-to-be-meals animals very smart.

    ?
    yeah....Horse-worship-child replacement cults to the contrary
    horses are big,spooky,easily killed,not so smart mammals who are a vet bill waiting to happen

    establish that in your life and things fall into place a little better when you deal with horses

    Tamara
    Production Acres,Pro A Welsh Cobs
    I am one of the last 210,000 remaining full time farmers in America.We feed the others.



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Nov. 28, 2011
    Location
    Upatoi, GA
    Posts
    622

    Default

    Well I asked my boyfriend about it...(not a horse person)
    his response was "Well maybe the junk hay was like doritos, and the new hay is like oatmeal... I mean what would you rather have?"

    That made me laugh

    I did only put out 3 flakes this AM, and they mostly cleaned it up.
    But... I think the problem was... that they were reaching their heads into the hay stall and eating directly off the stack. My proof: bales pulled down and hay dropped all on the floor!! (Stall has a 1/2 door, and apparently they could reach far enough inside... sigh)

    I jerry-rigged a cover for the top 1/2 of that door... so they shouldn't be able to reach it. Also only put out 1 flk each tonight... so we'll see how they clean up overnight... Sneaky ponies!!!

    Founder & President, Dapplebay, Inc.
    Creative Director, Equestrian Culture Magazine
    Take us to print!



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jun. 21, 2004
    Location
    Central Florida
    Posts
    4,173

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by leahandpie View Post
    Well I asked my boyfriend about it...(not a horse person)
    his response was "Well maybe the junk hay was like doritos, and the new hay is like oatmeal... I mean what would you rather have?"
    LMAO sounds like something my BF would say...lol
    *^*^*^
    Himmlische Traumpferde
    "Wenn Du denkst es geht nicht mehr, kommt von irgendwo ein kleines Licht daher"



  16. #16
    Join Date
    Apr. 1, 2011
    Location
    British Columbia, Canada
    Posts
    734

    Default

    If it's higher quality hay they are going to eat WAY less, we feed a really high quality Washington timothy and the horses eat roughly 4 flakes a day, 5 for the hard keepers.



  17. #17
    Join Date
    May. 30, 2006
    Location
    Little Rhody
    Posts
    3,842

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by leahandpie View Post
    That is interesting... how do you find out if the hay has coumarin in it?
    By smell. It's quite distinctive. Otherwise, it would probably cost several $100's to have a lab test for it.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coumarin

    I just bought a couple of bales of 2nd cut local grass hay that smells wonderful (coumarin again) and put out 4 large flakes into their (a very fussy TB and a mini) paddock last night for today's grazing pleasure. We'll see if it has been eaten when I go to the barn tonight. I kind of figure not. They ate most of the straw I put around the muddy spots this past weekend though. Figures!



  18. #18
    Join Date
    Aug. 13, 2003
    Location
    California USA
    Posts
    740

    Default

    This is nothing new. I go through it with my cats and the dog too. Spring something new on them and they go on a hunger strike. So I mix it in with the last of the old food and usually they will take it.
    Horses need time to adjust to the new feed. cut back for a few days and let them get good and hungry. It will have new meaning to them then. It is normal to suspect the human is pulling a fast one on them. Hunger though has wonderful medicinal qualities to it.
    They will adjust. The law of Nature is Adapt, Migrate or become extinct. I think they will adapt.
    JMHO,
    sadlmakr



  19. #19
    Join Date
    Sep. 25, 2005
    Location
    The Land of the Frozen
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    13,787

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by rcloisonne View Post
    I'm surprised nobody has mentioned that the sweet, fresh mown hay smell in some plants is caused by the natural chemical coumarin. It is bitter tasting and has been shown to have heptotoxic properties in animals. Horses usually do not like hay with this smell and often refuse to eat it. I've smelled this (coumarin) more in orchard grass than any other type of hay grown for horses.
    That is very interesting, because I once got a load of gorgeous orchard grass and the horses hated it. It had that rich, sweet fresh grass smell. Lovely green, soft, fluffy. Most of it got peed on and tramped into the mud.

    The other day I saw Amadeus extracting old yellow bits of hay out of the frozen mud hole. He had a knee deep pile of lovely alfalfa but I guess he wanted those old soggy brown dirty stems frozen into the mud.



  20. #20
    Join Date
    Aug. 12, 2002
    Location
    Calera, AL
    Posts
    1,901

    Default

    Maybe they're like my cats. My outdoor "strays" have very picky tastes and don't like the cheap food I tried to give them. My indoor cats inhaled it like crazy. I switched the outdoor cats to the more expensive indoor cat food and the indoor cats to the cheaper stuff.

    My horses, fortunately, eat just about anything.



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