Alfalfa Hay and Blister Beetles - The Horse Forum

 
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of 8 Old 10-09-2011, 10:08 PM Thread Starter
Foal
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 9
• Horses: 0
Alfalfa Hay and Blister Beetles

I hope this is the right forum. So I read that article in horse illustrated about the dangers of alfalfa hay. I realized that I feed my horse alfalfa hay. How concerned should I be about feeding my horse this hay.
spikeandshay is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 8 Old 10-09-2011, 11:12 PM
Weanling
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: southern Mississippi
Posts: 591
• Horses: 4
depends on where you get the hay...how it's cut I think

I've fed alfalfa for years and never seen a horse get poisoned by blister beetles. It's my understanding that it has to do with how the hay is cut.
Something about if it's cut long like hay the beetles leave the hay after cutting but if it's mowed or chopped up I think it was and the beetles die before getting a chance to leave the hay then you could have problems. I know that it only takes like 5 beetles to kill a full size horse.

Ask some of the Members that grow hay. I know Production Acres grows and sells some good alfalfa. Give him a PM Im sure he can tell you all about it :)
WAF

"Action cures Fear, take a small risk every day". Jane Savoie
WildAcreFarms is offline  
post #3 of 8 Old 10-10-2011, 12:22 AM
Super Moderator
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Oklahoma
Posts: 5,995
• Horses: 0
When I lived in Colorado, I never heard of blister beetles. When I moved to OK, one of the first things I heard was how 9 horses died at one farm earlier that year. I guess OK is the worst place in the world for them, particularly the Wa****a River Valley.

Ask your hay supplier. They will know if your hay comes from an area known for blister beetles or not.

Mowing with an old fashioned mower helps. It is the crimper on a swather that kills a lot of them in the hay. In order to keep leaves, almost all alfalfa is cut with a crimper. But, when a tractor tire runs over the fresh mowed hay, it can smash enough of them to kill a horse. So, there is no 'safe' alfalfa hay from an area that has them unless it is cut early in the year. Once the daytime temp hits 90 degrees, the beetles hatch out and are there until fall. Hot years are worse than cool, wet years. Around here, the only safe hay is first cutting. It is cut before they hatch out for the year.
Cherie is offline  
post #4 of 8 Old 10-10-2011, 12:35 AM
Trained
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: OK
Posts: 9,751
• Horses: 11
It depends on where you live. When I lived in AZ & CA I never fed anything but alfalfa. It's plentiful there and not conducive to blister beetles. Here in OK I never feed alfalfa at all unless I can certify that it comes from a non-blister beetle state. I'll feed pellets or cubes but not fresh cut local alfalfa.

Dreamcatcher Arabians is online now  
post #5 of 8 Old 10-10-2011, 03:17 PM
Trained
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Palmyra, Wisconsin
Posts: 5,713
• Horses: 4
I believe the beetles like the flowering alfalfa. So hay cut before flowering is safe to feed.
Thankfully we don't have blister beetles in WI.
natisha is online now  
post #6 of 8 Old 10-10-2011, 06:01 PM Thread Starter
Foal
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 9
• Horses: 0
Thanks for the help everyone!
spikeandshay is offline  
post #7 of 8 Old 10-10-2011, 09:40 PM
Weanling
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: southern Mississippi
Posts: 591
• Horses: 4
Quote:
Originally Posted by natisha View Post
I believe the beetles like the flowering alfalfa. So hay cut before flowering is safe to feed.
Thankfully we don't have blister beetles in WI.
ah right something about the flowers, I do remember that. I'm from OK originally and we always fed alfalfa and never had any problems. This is years and years....wed get ours from wherever was cheapest and would give us a cheap price to pick up in the field. Having 3 kids in the family our labor what dirt cheap LOL (read free) never did I even hear of someone else having problems with this....

Coming from a big alfalfa state im assuming that the old time farmers just knew about the beetles. And knew how to avoid poisoning the horses with their hay. Lucky for me casue I didn't have a CLUE as a kid that it was ever a problem. If a bunch of horses dies on one farm I'd have to think they were new to alfalfa and just baled or cut it improperly or at the wrong time and that was that.

"Action cures Fear, take a small risk every day". Jane Savoie
WildAcreFarms is offline  
post #8 of 8 Old 10-10-2011, 10:45 PM
Super Moderator
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Oklahoma
Posts: 5,995
• Horses: 0
It is usually big training barns and breeders that get hit. They have a lot of horses and buy all of their hay. I have known a couple that bought hay that was supposed to come from irrigated fields out in Western OK or West TX, or was supposed to be first cutting, but the hay dealer lied.

You can feed a ton of hay and all of the beetles will be in one or two bales. They go through a field in a swarm. I have found swarms of them in my garden. They will defoliate a path through a field if the swarm is big enough.

There are several kinds of them but the ones we see the most are Long, slender ones that are about 1 inch long and are striped. The ones around here are yellow or creme colored with black or gray stripes running the full length of them. You cannot miss them.
Cherie is offline  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the The Horse Forum forums, you must first register.

Already have a Horse Forum account?
Members are allowed only one account per person at the Horse Forum, so if you've made an account here in the past you'll need to continue using that account. Please do not create a new account or you may lose access to the Horse Forum. If you need help recovering your existing account, please Contact Us. We'll be glad to help!

New to the Horse Forum?
Please choose a username you will be satisfied with using for the duration of your membership at the Horse Forum. We do not change members' usernames upon request because that would make it difficult for everyone to keep track of who is who on the forum. For that reason, please do not incorporate your horse's name into your username so that you are not stuck with a username related to a horse you may no longer have some day, or use any other username you may no longer identify with or care for in the future.



User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in









Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.


Old Thread Warning
This thread is more than 90 days old. When a thread is this old, it is often better to start a new thread rather than post to it. However, If you feel you have something of value to add to this particular thread, you can do so by checking the box below before submitting your post.

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page



Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
How much alfalfa pellets does it take to = 1 alfalfa flake? JumpersRule Horse Health 7 08-23-2011 01:38 PM
Help with dog; blister on leg, limping equiniphile Horse Health 15 05-20-2011 07:23 AM
Does anyone know anything about blister beetles? flytobecat Horse Health 13 03-14-2011 04:05 PM
Blood Blister jljbryant Horse Health 1 11-14-2010 04:23 AM
blood blister brodieluver26 Horse Health 2 10-15-2010 08:04 PM

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome