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Cut Grass

This is a discussion on Cut Grass within the Horse Health forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Horses category
  • Feeding scythed grass to horses
  • Bale grass clippings

 
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    06-03-2009, 02:15 PM
  #11
amy
Foal
^^
Its not the machine, its mostly the plant
     
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    06-03-2009, 03:07 PM
  #12
Showing
Grass cut for hay is different in that it lays and "cures" or drys for days.
Its cut and swathed/raked or sort of rolled into windrows so the air can circulate and dry it. When its dried properly its baled.
Grass that is cut from a mower is left more compact so it pretty much starts to compress and ferment immediately.
Think of the difference in length of the plant cuttings. Grass cut for hay is usually long and easily "fluffed" for drying.
Grass clippings from a mower are short and dense. Its going to just lay there.
I feed some of my grass clippings to my chickens. They eat rotten tomatoes and old lettuce too. I'd never feed that sort of thing to my horses.

ETA I think if you really wanted to give your horse grass clippings, you could immediately after its cut rake and evenly spread it onto a concrete driveway so it could dry properly you could probably feed it to your horse....but who is going to do that?
     
    06-03-2009, 03:25 PM
  #13
Yearling
The first part of a horses digestive system is it's teeth , alfalfa has to be chewed by the horse and can only be consumed slowly . Grass cuttings can be swallowed at a rate faster than the horses stomach can digest it properly . If you are cutting along a fenceline the horse still has to work to get it's food , you are not leaving a pile of grass that it can stuff it's face on.
Also part of your question is answered by yourself - alfalfa is dried and turned.

I would re-iterate that feeding grass cuttings from a mower is extremly dangerous.
     
    06-03-2009, 03:31 PM
  #14
Showing
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nutty Saddler    
The first part of a horses digestive system is it's teeth , alfalfa has to be chewed by the horse and can only be consumed slowly . Grass cuttings can be swallowed at a rate faster than the horses stomach can digest it properly . If you are cutting along a fenceline the horse still has to work to get it's food , you are not leaving a pile of grass that it can stuff it's face on.
Also part of your question is answered by yourself - alfalfa is dried and turned.

I would re-iterate that feeding grass cuttings from a mower is extremly dangerous.
I never thought about them possibly gorging themselves. Never mind about the drying it on your driveway part in my last post
     
    06-03-2009, 05:22 PM
  #15
Foal
I was just talking to somebody the other day about how their neighbors were throwing over the grass clippings to this guys horse without him knowing. His horse ended up colicing and he had to pay thousands of dollars in emergency vet bills to save the horse. Definitely do not feed it to your horses.
     
    06-03-2009, 07:01 PM
  #16
Trained
Grass cut for baling is normally a preselected mixture of specific grasses and other plants. At least it is here in Aus. It doesn’t have as many weeds as normal grass areas, and as Vida mentioned, cutting is timed so that there are at least a few days of hot, dry weather to let it ‘cure’ before baling.

Horses are a lot more ‘delicate’ than say, cows. Cows are fed Silage, which is grass that is put in a pit to ferment and then baled. It stinks to high heaven, but has a lot of nutrients cows can use. However I would NOT feed silage to horses.
     
    06-04-2009, 09:36 PM
  #17
Started
Get one of the old fashioned hand mowers, I have one and they work wonderful!
     
    06-04-2009, 10:03 PM
  #18
Green Broke
It's the way the combine cuts it. It lays it down in "sheaves" which are thin and breathable. If you have long long grass, take an old fashioned scythe to it and THAT grass would be suitable for feeding your horses. The mower clumps and churns grass, and spits it out into little fermenting balls of doom. Because they're so thick, the air can't circulate into them and they immediately begin rotting from all the sugars and juices that have been churned into a pulp within the clumbs. A combine lays the crop down flat and even, without destroying the nutrients.

And again, as already said, almost all hay is very different from the typical grass our horses eat.

But yeah, if you're hand cutting the grass and preventing it from clumping, that is safe. The biggest issue with mowers is how badly they mangle the grass. Think about a cherry - if you live it in the sun intact, off the tree, it fairs a lot longer then a squished cherry which begins decomposing almost immediately due to all the sugars being exposed to the elements.

Hope that helped everyone! Personally, I use my grass clippings as smudge piles, I find it's a fantastic way to get rid of them, and still serves a purpose for the horse. A nifty idea is to take an old freezer and completely strip it of all insulation, etc. and just leave a big metal box. Fill it with old straw, clippings, etc. and just let it smolder with the lid barely cracked. The horses can't get to it, can't lit themselves on fire, and the design of it offers so little oxygen, it will do exactly that - smolder. Our horses love it when mosquotes get crazy bad.
     
    06-05-2009, 07:34 AM
  #19
Showing
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vidaloco    
Grass cut for hay is different in that it lays and "cures" or drys for days.
Its cut and swathed/raked or sort of rolled into windrows so the air can circulate and dry it. When its dried properly its baled.
Grass that is cut from a mower is left more compact so it pretty much starts to compress and ferment immediately.
Think of the difference in length of the plant cuttings. Grass cut for hay is usually long and easily "fluffed" for drying.
Grass clippings from a mower are short and dense. Its going to just lay there.
I feed some of my grass clippings to my chickens. They eat rotten tomatoes and old lettuce too. I'd never feed that sort of thing to my horses.

ETA I think if you really wanted to give your horse grass clippings, you could immediately after its cut rake and evenly spread it onto a concrete driveway so it could dry properly you could probably feed it to your horse....but who is going to do that?
Thanks, Vida! It makes sense. I do NOT feed my horses mower clippings (and don't plan to :) ), but still was wondering...
     
    06-05-2009, 11:03 AM
  #20
Showing
No problem
It helps that I've been baling hay since my legs where long enough to reach the clutch on the tractor
     

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