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Feeding 2 year old hay???

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  • Feeding 2 year old hay???

    I tracked down some low sugar hay for my IR guy. Rented a trailer, drove 2 hours each way and picked up 50 bales of an orchard grass blend. It was only on the drive home that I was told it was actually 2 year old hay. It's pretty green inside. I'm annoyed that I paid top price for 2 year old hay however, I'm thinking it might not be a bad thing. If its not dusty, would the only concern be the nutritional loss? Since my gelding is IR and my mare is a major air fern I think it might actually work in my favour as long as they getting all the nutrients they need. I still have some of my higher sugar/newer hay in the shed and I'm thinking I can give a few flakes of the that hay (soaked for a few hours first) to supplement the less nutritious 2 year old hay.

    Is there any reason not to feed 2 year old hay?

  • #2
    Originally posted by bucksnort View Post
    Is there any reason not to feed 2 year old hay?
    Nope, just the nutrient loss that you referred to, which is minimized if it was stored well. As long as it looks and smells good, I'd feed it with no hesitation.
    My last barn was feeding FOUR year old hay due to a storage blunder (and no, it really wasn't good at that point....)
    As Peter, Paul, and Mary say, a dragon lives forever.


    • #3
      As long as it was put up right and stored well, I'd have no problem with older hay like that. I was feeding 2 year old teff to my IR guy and it was fine, as it had been stored well. I had to pay top dollar as well, as it was the last teff from that grower and having known low NSC was worth it.


      • #4
        I've fed 2 year old hay plenty of times. It was baled and stored correctly and still smelled great. I'm sure it lost some nutritional value but I wasn't too worried as at the time my two TB's were very easy keepers .
        "When a horse greets you with a nicker & regards you with a large & liquid eye, the question of where you want to be & what you want to do has been answered." CANTER New England


        • #5
          I'd take 2yo hay that is tested low NSC any day It's not that difficult to add nutrients as necessary, but it can be impossible to find low sugar hay at some point

          Vit E and Vit A are practically, if not totally, gone from the hay, so for sure I'd be adding that. But, E disappears from hay pretty quickly, so horses on hay-only diets should get that anyway.
          The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET


          • #6
            I'm pretty sure I have bales in my loft that are 4 years old and it's impossible to distinguish them from the "fresher" bales other than the color of the hay string. I would feet it without hesitation if it's been stored properly.
            Click here before you buy.


            • Original Poster

              Yessssss!!! (fist pump!!) Thanks guys. I guess I will go back and get the rest of the bales they have once my test confirms it's as low NSC as they claim. He is already on vitamin E so that's good. I'm having the Yahoo Cushings/IR group help me do up a plan for his vitamin/mineral needs once I get the results back from this hay test and his blood workup.

              I think he also has PPID so he is getting tested for everything soon. I also think that when my vet gave me her scratches cream, it has Dex in it, and apparently that can bring on laminitis for an IR horse (just read this last night in the yahoo list of things not to give an IR horse He is starting to walk a little on egg shells so have to nip in the bud asap. Not happy about this!! Is this something most vets would know?? I probably should have started a new thread on this and also I haven't read enough into the Dex issue to know if that's what culprit is, but I have been slathering that cream on. DOH!!!! Read it at 11:30pm in bed and rushed out to catch him and wash all the cream off.... Husband thought I was crazy... So stressed right now


              • #8
                Am I the only one who read the post as feeding a 2 year year old hay? I was just starting to wonder who would ask that question and what they were feeding their 2 yo instead, and then I opened it and went "OHH!"

                Anyways, sorry to be off topic!!


                • #9
                  reay, sadly, no, you are not! But thanks for being the first to mention it, because *I* didn't want to be the crazy one
                  The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET