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  1. #1
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    Default Safest Hay for Previously Foundered Horse?

    Rescue came leaning on stall walls because he was so severely foundered. Good management (and six month of stall rest later) he is sound and on a dry lot (much to his dismay). He does not present with any Cushings-like symptoms. I'm feeding him straight timothy rather than our usual 2nd cut orchard grass - in a pinch, I've given him 1st cut grass hay. What is the OPTIMAL hay for this horse?



  2. #2
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    Aug. 20, 2004
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    Default

    Google SAFEGRASS.org. There is some excellent information on the site. Good luck and thanks for helping this guy.
    friend of bar*ka



  3. #3
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    Apr. 2, 2008
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    Default

    If you have a source for Teff hay in your area I would check with your vet about giving that a try - I bought a load last year and all of my horses loved it.


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  4. #4
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    the safest hay is tested low NSC, or soaked for an hour or more, hay.

    You just cannot go by type of hay or which cutting, because it's variable enough that even when a certain combo SHOULD be safe, it may not be. At all.

    Do you have any idea the cause of his founder? If it was mechanical, then while it is probably still a good idea to keep sugars down for now while he's still growing out a new foot, it isn't AS important as if it was because of metabolic issues.
    ______________________________
    The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET


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  5. #5
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    One option is the Triple Crown Safe Starch forage in a bag. Another is a complete ration with minerals and vitamins added, called Ontario Dehy Timothy Balanced Cubes. You would not soak those. If you cannot get either one, do as suggested previously, soak and DRAIN the hay before feeding. The sugars in the hay leach out into the water which is why the all-important step of draining (that I do not believe was mentioned) is vital.
    Jeanie
    RIP Sasha, best dog ever, pictured shortly before she died, Death either by euthanasia or natural causes is only the end of the animal inhabiting its body; I believe the spirit lives on.



  6. #6
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    Sep. 13, 2002
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    Default

    Second the safergrass.org site. Testing the hay is the only way to know for sure what you have. Teff is generally a lower NSC hay, yes, but just buying teff does not insure you will have low NSC. I have teff right now that I tested and is 14% NSC. Too high to feed dry to my IR horse, so I soak.

    If feeding hay that is not tested, I soak. Plenty of water and yes, you do ave to drain prior to feeding. It is a pain, but necessary, and better than treating founder and watching your horse suffer.

    I also feed the Triple Crown Safe Starch in small quantities, but it is not economical to use in large quantities. I can't remember if it is a 40 or 50 lb. bag, but at $35 to $40 a bag here (and has to be special ordered as no one stocks it here), that costs a lot more than hay! Good stuff, though, and I'm glad to have it on hand.
    Last edited by horsepoor; Apr. 28, 2013 at 12:57 PM. Reason: Correcting website!


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  7. #7
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    Aug. 21, 2004
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    Default not all NSC are defined the same

    Quote Originally Posted by sdlbredfan View Post
    Another is a complete ration with minerals and vitamins added, called Ontario Dehy Timothy Balanced Cubes. You would not soak those.
    As per the Ont Dehy site:
    http://www.ontariodehy.com/tab02-07.htm

    They define NSC as ESC+ starch, which is different from the way others define it, being WSC + starch, which will always be higher in cool season grasses grown in cool climates.
    Timothy hay grown in Canada can be very high in WSC. Some, not all, horses are sensitive to the fructose break down products of fructan fermentation and metabolism. Preliminary studies have been presented at conferences showing that fructose is worse on IR long term, but there is no funding for the long term study on IR horses that is needed. Too much variability in response between low numbers of test subjects to be conclusive. I have had clients who's horses DID do better when taken off high WSC but low ESC hay.
    Metabolically induced laminitis often respond with dramatic improvement by removing the sugars that drive it. If a horse does not respond well to a diet of low ESC + starch, remove that food source and try one is is guarrenteed to be low in NSC as defined by WSC + starch.
    More here on the confusion created by conflicts in definitions:
    video here:
    http://www.safergrass.org/articles.html

    Carbohydrate Nomenclature and Analysis- No Wonder We're all Confused


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  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec. 21, 2008
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    Default

    Why not just stick with the hay you have been feeding him for the last 6 months?
    He seems to be doing well on it.



  9. #9
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    Dec. 12, 2004
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    Massachusetts
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by JB View Post
    the safest hay is tested low NSC, or soaked for an hour or more, hay.

    You just cannot go by type of hay or which cutting, because it's variable enough that even when a certain combo SHOULD be safe, it may not be. At all.

    Do you have any idea the cause of his founder? If it was mechanical, then while it is probably still a good idea to keep sugars down for now while he's still growing out a new foot, it isn't AS important as if it was because of metabolic issues.
    Exactly. Testing is usually FREE through your feed dealer or farm extension. (Have sent off 7 samples in the last six months since rescuing my own mare)

    Ditto the "can't just go by looks" thing either. Some of my grossest, roughest looking first cut somehow came out at almost 20% this year. Thank god I got it tested, because I was just going to assume it was safe for the foundered/Cushings mare.

    The rest of my "grass" hay, first/second/third cuttings, came back underneath that but varied quite drastically, even if they were in fields right next to each other and cut only a day or two apart.

    Mare is eating a second cutting that came back at a remarkable 7%...such a fantastic thing, not having to soak in the winter!


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  10. #10
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    Jan. 24, 2004
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    Default

    We know nothing about how the founder was induced. He was boarded locally and the owner stopped paying board, so the barn owner was planning a one-way trip to the auction. The owner, who had him for sale, offered him for free instead and was able to work out a payment plan with the barn if he vacated his stall. I agreed to transport him for his adoptive owner, but when she was told he was not sound, her response was "my husband won't let me have a horse I can't ride". Wasn't going to leave him there. He was getting 4 quarts of cheap sweet feed each day and (crappy) grass turn-out when he could walk. Low starch grain and no pasture made a world of difference, as did the six months of stall rest to enable him to grow a new foot. He is sound and an easy keeper. I've fed hay cubes in the past and they aren't right for this horse. Never heard of teff hay in this area: we have timothy or orchard grass. I buy small quantities, so it is impractical to have tested. IN GENERAL, is timothy an appropriate choice for him?



  11. #11
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    Aug. 25, 2012
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by JanWeber View Post
    We know nothing about how the founder was induced. He was boarded locally and the owner stopped paying board, so the barn owner was planning a one-way trip to the auction. The owner, who had him for sale, offered him for free instead and was able to work out a payment plan with the barn if he vacated his stall. I agreed to transport him for his adoptive owner, but when she was told he was not sound, her response was "my husband won't let me have a horse I can't ride". Wasn't going to leave him there. He was getting 4 quarts of cheap sweet feed each day and (crappy) grass turn-out when he could walk. Low starch grain and no pasture made a world of difference, as did the six months of stall rest to enable him to grow a new foot. He is sound and an easy keeper. I've fed hay cubes in the past and they aren't right for this horse. Never heard of teff hay in this area: we have timothy or orchard grass. I buy small quantities, so it is impractical to have tested. IN GENERAL, is timothy an appropriate choice for him?
    I would buy a bagged forage that is what is safest if you can't test hay. The levels in the hay are greatly influenced by temperature, drought conditions, etc Either that or soak his hay.


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  12. #12
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    Dec. 13, 1999
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    Default

    I've got a friend in NJ would found a farmer up there who grew the best Teff - tested 4% NSC

    If you can't test the hay (and I get that) then you have 2 options - see if it will work for him as-is, or soak it.

    Timothy and OG are cool season grasses, so in general, tend to have higher NSC levels.

    Warm season grasses are, *in general*, lower in sugars. But if your Timothy grew though a period of warm days and warm nights and was cut in the morning of that time period then it could be quite low enough.

    A given batch of fescue could be quite high if the days prior to cutting were cool and sunny, and was cut in the afternoon of a sunny day.
    ______________________________
    The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET



  13. #13
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    Jul. 27, 2011
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    Default

    [QUOTE=JB;6962914]Warm season grasses are, *in general*, lower in sugars. But if your Timothy grew though a period of warm days and warm nights and was cut in the morning of that time period then it could be quite low enough. QUOTE]

    JB, what specific types of grass are considered warm season? Bermuda is the only one I know for sure, but would love to know what else to consider that can be readily available for sale in the southeast U.S. (without costing an arm and a leg because it had to be trucked in from far away)

    <Sorry OP, not trying to hijack your thread, but I had to ask!>
    "...That's the worst, I think. When the secret stays locked within not for want of a teller, but for want of an understanding ear." --Stephen King



  14. #14
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    Default

    If I had to buy hay in small quantities, so couldn't test, I'd just assume the worst and soak it. While the bagged forage is great stuff, it just wouldn't be economical to feed long term (the Triple Crown Safe Starch bagged forage is about a buck a pound here, while even my most expensive hay is only about 15 cents a pound...plus cost of water to soak, but for me, that's just power for the well pump).

    You might be able to find someone that has actually tested the hay they sell and be able to buy from them. IME, however, those are few and far between.



  15. #15
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    Besides Bermuda, there's Teff, some types of Prairie grasses, and probably lots of tropical grasses we'll never see LOL. Sadly, I don't think there are many readily available, let alone commercially produced, warm season grasses
    ______________________________
    The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET



  16. #16
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    Nov. 10, 2010
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    I second soaking whatever hay you have. I had a friend who kept a foundered, Cushings horse for many years by feeding him soaked hay (and keeping him in a dry lot).

    Put hay in a large Rubbermaid container - fill to top with warm water (push all the hay down into the water), and let soak for an hour or more. Pour off the water (it will smell like tea!) and feed!

    When I barn-sat for her, I'd feed him his morning hay (which had been soaking from the night before), and immediately fill the bin for this lunch hay. Once I fed lunch, I'd immediately fill the bin for his dinner hay....etc. Easy peasy...



  17. #17
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    Jan. 24, 2004
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    JB - do you know WHERE in NJ?


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  18. #18
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    Apr. 5, 2003
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    First you can soak your hay, put in a big tub of water and soak and dump out. Second Blue Seal Carb Guard is very good for these horses and Triple Crown Senior. I feed Teff , and prefer 1st cutting over second with the pickers of little pieces of Teff in my clothes.



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