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Chopped Forage, anyone use it?

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  • Chopped Forage, anyone use it?

    Does anyone here supplement their horse's hay with chopped forage of some sort?

    - What brand do you use, what does it consist of (ie, alf, tim, alf/tim, molasses, no molasses)?
    - How much does it cost per bag?
    - How often do you go throuhg a bag for one horse?
    - What's the consistency of the forage? Super finely chopped, or 3-4 inch long pieces? Or somewhere in between?

    Thanks!
    Tell a Gelding. Ask a Stallion. Discuss it with a Mare... Pray if it's a Pony!

  • #2
    I never understood why people would want to use this. I always thought it was expensive and didn't look very high quality. I can't remember the brand but it was a common one with molasses.

    Comment

    • Original Poster

      #3
      Originally posted by chancellor2 View Post
      I never understood why people would want to use this. I always thought it was expensive and didn't look very high quality. I can't remember the brand but it was a common one with molasses.
      I'm considering it because..

      1. It can go into a slow-fed hay net while cubes cannot
      2. I have no place to store regular bales of hay

      Tell a Gelding. Ask a Stallion. Discuss it with a Mare... Pray if it's a Pony!

      Comment


      • #4
        All of the chopped forages I've ever used have been higher quality than what could be found locally. I like Triple Crown's line as well as Lucrene Farms. I really like Triple Crown's Safe Starch Forage and my horses love it---they nicker for it.

        It is not my horse's sole forage ration. I will add it to their feed as a filler or a treat as my ponies just don't eat much. It is also good in slowing down a bolter.
        Last edited by ponyjumper4; Jun. 9, 2009, 05:09 PM. Reason: .

        Comment

        • Original Poster

          #5
          Originally posted by ponyjumper4 View Post
          All of the chopped forages I've ever used have been higher quality than what could be found locally. I like Triple Crown's line as well as Lucrene Farms. I really like Triple Crown's Safe Starch Forage and my horses love it---they nicker for it.
          Is the safe starch actually chopped forage, as in hay? I swear I heard it was a pelleted complete feed or something!
          Tell a Gelding. Ask a Stallion. Discuss it with a Mare... Pray if it's a Pony!

          Comment


          • #6
            I've used chopped alfalfa for several years. Consistent quality, on average, pieces are about 2".

            Comment


            • #7
              Yes, the Triple Crown Safe Starch Forage is chopped HAY that is in a plastic bag. I think it weighs 40 pounds. It is very compressed, such that you can almost lift it out like a slice of hay. It is low non-structural carbs and also contains the vitamins/minerals to be used as a complete feed. It is expensive. My horses also love it. I can't figure it out. They prefer the safe starch over soft second cutting orchard grass.

              p.s. There are various pelleted grain products with the name low start or safe starch, and that is why you are confused.

              Comment


              • #8
                I used lucerne chopped hay for a brief period when I boarded at a facility that offered really lousy hay and fed very small amounts of it. I hated seeing my horses standing begging for hay in their stalls, but we boarders weren't allowed to touch the barn's hay to feed it liberally.

                I had a tim mix, came in 40# bags. It was a low NSC blend. I forget the name, it was something "gold", it was about $16 a bale. This was a year and a half ago.

                It was non molasses, but sprayed with soy oil. It was not oily or sticky in any way but *very* silky feeling... not dry and crispy like dried hay at all.... visually it had a soft luster to it too, almost metallic, it was odd. It was amazingly dry for being kept in a plastic bag, I always worried about moisture but never found any. It was always consistent and smelled ok, not fresh, but never sour or off either. It wasn't appealing looking, it looked like something you'd stuff a mattress with frankly.

                My horses REALLY liked it, but I was unimpressed from a utility standpoint. Mine was compacted, but not solid, it was like handling handfuls of dried chopped hay. 1-2" pieces. About 15% finer material, but mostly the pieces.

                I couldn't feed it loose in the stall because it would just blend in with the shavings of course. If I put it in the manger, the horses would bury their noses into it and flip it around and it would end up on the floor in the shavings. I never did buy a haybag, but it would have to be one of the solid ones with the small chew hole because the stuff is so fine. I tried feeding some outdoors when they were in large dry paddocks all day but it would quickly just blow away in the wind.

                Again, to my surprise, the horses really liked it. It was good quality and convenient to have a bag of hay around, but at $16 a bale it was beyond silly expensive and I never found a way of feeding it that didn't result in a ton of waste.

                Also, the horses would bolt it because it was so easy to stuff into their faces, and I frequently worried about choke.

                hope this is helpful
                Being terrible at something is the first step to being truly great at it. Struggle is the evidence of progress.

                Comment


                • #9
                  I think Buck is referring to Hi-Fiber Gold. I might be wrong, but thats what it sounds like.

                  I have fed that off and on since they came out with it. Its Lucerne Farms brand. As Buck said, it is made with soybean oil instead of molasses and was formulated for horses that couldn't tolerate the sugar for whatever reason. Its a blend of timothy, alfalfa, and oat hays. I started feeding it because I wanted some extra forage in my horse's diet but I didn't want to add the other types they offered because of all of the molasses. When they came out with the Hi-Fi Gold I jumped on the bandwagon and begged our feed store to order some. Its about 3-4 inches approximately. My horse generally really enjoys it, he stopped eating it the other day but he was just in general protest of his food I think (we switched hay bales from yummy alfalfa mix to grass and he was on strike). I used to fill an 8-quart bucket of it and give him that with his grain in the morning and evening, but now I fill up a 20-quart bucket of it in the evening and let him eat it at night if he chooses. I think so far one bag has lasted me a little over 2 weeks this way (offering the 20-qt bucket at night). If I remember correctly, 2 weeks has generally been the average time period to go through a bag of it. It comes in a 35-lb bag. The bag I bought was purchased for about $11 and change. Which is awesome, because in early 2007 when I started him on it it started at about $11 and by May 2008 the price was around 14$ a bag.
                  The last bags I bought were in May 2008, and I was really impressed with them. Due to unforseen circumstances 2 bags were left outside in the rain for 2 days. I let them dry out and thoroughly checked them before feeding, and there was no moisture in there at all. I thought for sure they would have been ruined.

                  I had horses before on the Totally Timothy, and that was closer to feeding "flaked hay" in the sense that chunks broke off easily. The Gold isn't molasses'd, so it is just loose. I currently have my horse in the regular Hi-Fiber which has molasses, but there were like 3-4 extra bags left over in the barn since one of the other horses wouldn't eat it, so it was given to us. I've found that it too isn't firm chunks though. I don't know the price per bag on this since it was given to me for free.

                  I don't see how this stuff would work in a hay bag though, it is too finely chopped and I think it would end up with a lot of waste.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I used Triple Crown Grass and Alfalfa for several years. At the last boarding barn, they fed very little hay and I had nowhere to store hay bales. This comes in plastic bagged bales like shavings and fits, either still in the bag or loose, in a trash can. A fully packed square Strongid bucket holds about 3 lbs. of the chopped alfalfa. Both have molasses added and I saw great results. After moving to my current place I mixed some in with his grain to try and help ward off ulcers. He's not much on mixing, though, so I stopped and went to straight alfalfa. My boy is picky about hay and he LOVED it. We call it horsey crack.

                    My aunt's 30 yo arab has very few molars left and can not eat regular hay. He was turning nice grass hay into what looked like giant hairballs and colicking. We switched him to the chopped forage, and not another colic yet, knock on wood. He holds his weight great and doesn't waste a piece. It was very nice quality, about 2" long pieces. The grass is very soft.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I feed Triple Crown Safe Starch too... I especially like it for my old guy who is finding it harder and harder to chew his hay... But all of my horses love it and lick their bowls clean.

                      Think I read somewhere (could have been here) that many other countries have fed chopped hay as part of their horses diets for ages... not to mention many of my British horse books mention it in their feeding sections...
                      \"For all those men who say, \"Why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free,\" here\'s an update for you: Nowadays 80% of women are against marriage. Why? Because women realize it\'s not worth buying an entire pig just to get a little sausage.\"-

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I used the Lucerne Farms briefly during the drought. HRH Avery loffed it. But it was more expensive than what ppl are quoting here - ISTR $21 a bag.
                        "The standard you walk by is the standard you accept."--Lt. Gen. David Morrison, Austalian Army Chief

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Is the safe starch actually chopped forage, as in hay? I swear I heard it was a pelleted complete feed or something!
                          Triple Crown Safe Starch Forage, is a chopped forage mix of timothy and orchard grass with added vit/min so it can be used as the horses whole diet, I think the NSC is 9% maybe?. Triple Crown Low Starch is their low starch pelleted feed

                          Comment

                          • Original Poster

                            #14
                            Thanks for all the responses folks!

                            I'm basically considering buying it for the same reasons most posters bought it for; boarding barn doesn't really feed as much hay as I'd prefer. They definitely get in between 1.5-2% of their body weight in forage per day, but in 2 large meals. I really prefer free choice, or hay as many times per day as possible.

                            I was hoping to perhaps do chopped forage of some sort in a small-hole hay net, or a "nibble net", which has apparently 1.5 inch holes in it. Like this:

                            http://www.thinaircanvas.com/nibblen...s/IMG_1503.jpg
                            Tell a Gelding. Ask a Stallion. Discuss it with a Mare... Pray if it's a Pony!

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I have been using Triple Crown Alfalfa forage for a number of years. I started using it when my hay man brought me a load of first cutting timothy/orchard and my horses were just picking at it. It was going to be several weeks before he would have 2nd cutting ready. They both really liked it. I have continued to use it as I'm now at a boarding barn. They feed good quality hay, just not as much as I would prefer(especially in the colder weather). I keep the bag in my trailer and when I bring my mare up to groom, tack up I feed her some. She definitely eats more of it in the colder weather(about 5 lbs). Now that it is warmer, she may eat 1-2lbs.

                              Comment

                              • Original Poster

                                #16
                                Originally posted by Simbalism View Post
                                I have been using Triple Crown Alfalfa forage for a number of years. I started using it when my hay man brought me a load of first cutting timothy/orchard and my horses were just picking at it. It was going to be several weeks before he would have 2nd cutting ready. They both really liked it. I have continued to use it as I'm now at a boarding barn. They feed good quality hay, just not as much as I would prefer(especially in the colder weather). I keep the bag in my trailer and when I bring my mare up to groom, tack up I feed her some. She definitely eats more of it in the colder weather(about 5 lbs). Now that it is warmer, she may eat 1-2lbs.
                                Thanks for the input!
                                Tell a Gelding. Ask a Stallion. Discuss it with a Mare... Pray if it's a Pony!

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by sublimequine View Post
                                  Thanks for all the responses folks!

                                  I'm basically considering buying it for the same reasons most posters bought it for; boarding barn doesn't really feed as much hay as I'd prefer. They definitely get in between 1.5-2% of their body weight in forage per day, but in 2 large meals. I really prefer free choice, or hay as many times per day as possible.

                                  I was hoping to perhaps do chopped forage of some sort in a small-hole hay net, or a "nibble net", which has apparently 1.5 inch holes in it. Like this:

                                  http://www.thinaircanvas.com/nibblen...s/IMG_1503.jpg
                                  My reason for using it: My 32-year old mare has no molars left, she doesn't chew hay anymore. She still gets her flake; it keeps her busy playing and picking. The nutritional value she gets from the chopped alfalfa - which she loves.

                                  Comment

                                  • Original Poster

                                    #18
                                    Originally posted by luvmywalkers View Post
                                    My reason for using it: My 32-year old mare has no molars left, she doesn't chew hay anymore. She still gets her flake; it keeps her busy playing and picking. The nutritional value she gets from the chopped alfalfa - which she loves.
                                    I'm just curious, do you have to soak/wet the chopped stuff? Or can the old lady eat it dry just fine?
                                    Tell a Gelding. Ask a Stallion. Discuss it with a Mare... Pray if it's a Pony!

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by sublimequine View Post
                                      I'm just curious, do you have to soak/wet the chopped stuff? Or can the old lady eat it dry just fine?
                                      No soaking..she handles it just fine. In fact, her favorite is the powdery stuff. She still eats her grain dry - she crumbles it with her front teeth.

                                      But...as an extra, it makes a great cold drink in summer, and gives a warm tummy in winter

                                      Comment

                                      • Original Poster

                                        #20
                                        Originally posted by luvmywalkers View Post
                                        No soaking..she handles it just fine. In fact, her favorite is the powdery stuff. She still eats her grain dry - she crumbles it with her front teeth.

                                        But...as an extra, it makes a great cold drink in summer, and gives a warm tummy in winter
                                        I bet it would make an awesome mash! Good point.
                                        Tell a Gelding. Ask a Stallion. Discuss it with a Mare... Pray if it's a Pony!

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