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Hay Question for any growers or other experts!

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    Hay Question for any growers or other experts!

    My gelding, an older OTTB, is a picky gent. My current hay supplier brings in hay from the Klamath Basin. My old guy LOVES it. If I happen to pick up hay from central or eastern Oregon, he sulks and doesn't really like it.
    I have heard from another person her barn feeds Klamath hay also and the horses seem to eat it better.

    My question is: What's the difference between the hay grown in Klamath vs hay grown in the Eastern side of Oregon?
    This pertains to grass hay varieties, as alfalfa seems to be alfalfa, according to the old man!

    The second part of my question is: Chew hay. Something with lower caloric value, that can be provided more or less free choice. Short of finding tested hay, which with two TB's I don't "have to" have, what grasses are generally most likely to be less caloric? Bluegrass, Meadow grass, timothy, local valley hay (too likely to be super high sugar). I think those are my options around here.

    So, if you're a hay guru, I could use your thoughts.

    Thanks!

    #2
    For what you want to know on free choice hay, you probably want to get it tested for the answers. Way too many variation in soils, fertilized or not, when it was cut in the day hours, which part of the summer season, irrigated?, to generalize on hay.

    Our local hay varies incredibly, even in fields beside each other. Sugar levels can be guessed at, but testing provides the truth.

    Comment


      #3
      This paper from OSU has some interesting info that might answer your questions as to eastern vs. klamath grown hay: http://oregonstate.edu/dept/kbrec/si...ar01chpt10.pdf

      Comment


        #4
        I would feed smaller more frequent meals over feeding crap hay ( what it basically will be) for the " chew value ".

        Comment

          Original Poster

          #5
          Originally posted by Heinz 57 View Post
          This paper from OSU has some interesting info that might answer your questions as to eastern vs. klamath grown hay: http://oregonstate.edu/dept/kbrec/si...ar01chpt10.pdf
          THANK YOU!! That's along the lines of what I'm looking for.

          As far as "where" the hay comes from, I'm mostly just curious is it soil differences, climate, what.... that makes it more appealing?

          candyappy, my horses have hay in front of them 24/7. They get more than enough top quality to eat, I'm just looking for a lesser-class to fill in the time gaps, especially with fall/winter/rain/more stall time approaching. Plus, there's absolutely nothing in the paddocks to nibble on right now. Something I can stuff in a hay bag as needed. My old guy is semi-retired and I notice I need to watch his weight some (while still keeping his ulcers away) and the new girl is needing some weight but I am cautious about feeding "up" and making her 'feed hot' for no reason. She'll get there in time, slow and steady.

          Comment

            Original Poster

            #6
            TEFF. If I can find it, or possibly some 'mature' cut grass. Should serve my needs.

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by Obsidian Fire View Post

              candyappy, my horses have hay in front of them 24/7. They get more than enough top quality to eat, I'm just looking for a lesser-class to fill in the time gaps, especially with fall/winter/rain/more stall time approaching. Plus, there's absolutely nothing in the paddocks to nibble on right now. Something I can stuff in a hay bag as needed. My old guy is semi-retired and I notice I need to watch his weight some (while still keeping his ulcers away) and the new girl is needing some weight but I am cautious about feeding "up" and making her 'feed hot' for no reason. She'll get there in time, slow and steady.
              I guess I would still offer the best quality hay and alter the older guys grain to balance out his needs as my first choice. Same with the mare who needs weight. Hay is always a better alternative than other feeds. That is just me.

              You also run the risk that they may turn their nose up at the lower quality hay. Not eating it, but just pulling it out onto the floor in search of the good stuff they normally get. Defeats the purpose.

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by candyappy View Post
                You also run the risk that they may turn their nose up at the lower quality hay. Not eating it, but just pulling it out onto the floor in search of the good stuff they normally get. Defeats the purpose.
                They learn to eat lower quality hay if that's all that's available. Been there done that they'll eat it if they get hungry enough. Or when they figure out not getting anything better to eat.
                Last edited by tazycat; Sep. 5, 2017, 04:29 PM. Reason: typo

                Comment

                  Original Poster

                  #9
                  Originally posted by candyappy View Post

                  I guess I would still offer the best quality hay and alter the older guys grain to balance out his needs as my first choice. Same with the mare who needs weight. Hay is always a better alternative than other feeds. That is just me.

                  You also run the risk that they may turn their nose up at the lower quality hay. Not eating it, but just pulling it out onto the floor in search of the good stuff they normally get. Defeats the purpose.
                  Yup that's what hay nets are for. And slow feeder boxes. I feed as much top quality hay as I need to in order to maintain or gain weight or meet their performance demands, etc. Diets are well balanced and I feed no grain. I do feed TC Sr. I much believe in hay first, everything else second.
                  Just needing something 'on the side' of the main course! The "lesser" stuff goes in the bags for them to eat at will. No worries!

                  and tazycat is right, they'll eat it when they figure out they aren't getting anything else.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Got a few big round bales of grass hay today. Fed some tonight and horse's are on strike. How dare i feed something other than alfalfa hay. Nice looking hay smells good. Both are locked up in barnyard pasture fence is down.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by Obsidian Fire View Post

                      Yup that's what hay nets are for. And slow feeder boxes. I feed as much top quality hay as I need to in order to maintain or gain weight or meet their performance demands, etc. Diets are well balanced and I feed no grain. I do feed TC Sr. I much believe in hay first, everything else second.
                      Just needing something 'on the side' of the main course! The "lesser" stuff goes in the bags for them to eat at will. No worries!

                      and tazycat is right, they'll eat it when they figure out they aren't getting anything else.
                      Mine could still pull hay out of the nets onto the ground where they preferred to eat it, which is why I went back to feeding on the ground!

                      I would call TC Sr " feeding grain" but I consider any bagged feed like that to be grain . Just different . Hopefully they will eventually eat it and not wait for the good stuff they know is coming. ( mine would).

                      tazycat why not just keep your horses on the alfalfa they are used to eating?

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by candyappy View Post

                        Mine could still pull hay out of the nets onto the ground where they preferred to eat it, which is why I went back to feeding on the ground!

                        I would call TC Sr " feeding grain" but I consider any bagged feed like that to be grain . Just different . Hopefully they will eventually eat it and not wait for the good stuff they know is coming. ( mine would).

                        tazycat why not just keep your horses on the alfalfa they are used to eating?
                        TC Senior has no grain in it so no not a grain,it's 11% NSC it's good feed horses love it.. The alfalfa is making my riding horse a hot jumpy over reactive mess. So grass hay is a better option right now,plus i can get 1,300 lb bales for 25, compared to paying 45 to 50 per bale for a 1000 lbs Alfa.

                        Mine gave up and ate the grass hay,it was gone this morning.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          So many people use "grain" as a generic term for a commercial, bagged feed, or even as any form of concentrates. It does help in a given conversation to define what "I feed no grain" really means. Feeding TC Sr is feeding "a grain" from a generic perspective, but definitely not feeding cereal grains from a well-defined perspective.
                          ______________________________
                          The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET

                          Comment

                            Original Poster

                            #14
                            Originally posted by JB View Post
                            So many people use "grain" as a generic term for a commercial, bagged feed, or even as any form of concentrates. It does help in a given conversation to define what "I feed no grain" really means. Feeding TC Sr is feeding "a grain" from a generic perspective, but definitely not feeding cereal grains from a well-defined perspective.
                            Yeah, they do. My 'well defined' perspective is grain = cereals. Perhaps we should use the term 'bucket feed' instead.......

                            and nobody has really answered my original question anyway.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              The lower sugar in hay has to do with time of day it was cut. Think lower sugar also means lower calories? not sure though. Think the higher sugar makes it higher calories ? Just a guess could be totally wrong. Have no experience with the kinds of hay you're talking about. Only one i familiar with is timothy.

                              Comment

                                Original Poster

                                #16
                                Well it would make sense wouldn't it? I mean high sugar people food = high calories (and not good ones either). Can't fathom why that wouldn't apply to horse hay. Grass hay tho - not alfalfa. That can have tons of calories in it yet it is low sugar.
                                'Sugar' isn't really the right word tho, it's carbohydrates. Alfalfa is low sugar (carbs) high protein.

                                That's as far as my brain is willing to go this morning!

                                Comment


                                  #17
                                  Originally posted by Obsidian Fire View Post
                                  Well it would make sense wouldn't it? I mean high sugar people food = high calories (and not good ones either). Can't fathom why that wouldn't apply to horse hay. Grass hay tho - not alfalfa. That can have tons of calories in it yet it is low sugar.
                                  'Sugar' isn't really the right word tho, it's carbohydrates. Alfalfa is low sugar (carbs) high protein.

                                  That's as far as my brain is willing to go this morning!
                                  Yeah not just sugar it would be low NSC,then hay would be lower calories. No don't want alfalfa that has higher calories. A grass type hay would be best.

                                  Comment


                                    #18
                                    Alfalfa is typically lower NSC than grass hays in general, but contains more calories.

                                    There's more to calories than the sugars. Protein has calories, so higher protein = higher calorie.

                                    There is also the issue of digestbility with NDF and ADF being important numbers. A hay can be high protein, and even high sugar, but also high in indigestible fibers, so the overall caloric value is low(er) because a larger % of it isn't digestible.

                                    In general, native grasses will be the better options. That isn't necessarily the same as "local grass" as sometimes that "local valley hay" or "meadow grass" is just something that was previously cultivated, not native, but then allowed to do its own thing, and have weeds and other things, some of which can be very high in sugar.

                                    I would probably look for something generally pretty low in sugar, as those *tend* to be less palatable and therefore consumed more slowly. That then by default reduces the caloric intake.

                                    Grasses in general are in the 800 cal range, lower closer to 700 (and probably not very nutritious) and higher even into 900 .
                                    ______________________________
                                    The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET

                                    Comment


                                      #19
                                      Doesn't time of day it was cut make a difference in sugar content?? Hardly anyone i know that does hay here is doing just native grasses. Most fields here have been planted with alfalfa /timothy or some kind of grass type that isn't native. Only ditch hay would be native grasses that has lots of weed in it.

                                      Comment


                                        #20
                                        Yes, time of day matters - the later on a sunny day after a cooler night makes for higher sugar levels. Type of hay matters - cool season vs warm season. Whether the grass has been stressed due to high heat or low rainfall or lack of fertilization matters.

                                        Ditch grasses aren't necessarily native. Ditch areas are just uncultivated, and can easily contain non-native species
                                        ______________________________
                                        The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET

                                        Comment

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