how do I know if hay is moldy?
   

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how do I know if hay is moldy?

This is a discussion on how do I know if hay is moldy? within the Horse Health forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Horses category
  • How to tell if hay is moldy
  • What to know about moldy hay

 
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    12-21-2012, 06:52 PM
  #1
Yearling
how do I know if hay is moldy?

HI I was wondering if green hay could be moldy? Some of my hay smells strange-a bit 'dusty'. It is nice and green though. Oh and is it safe for horses to eat the grass under the snow?
     
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    12-21-2012, 06:55 PM
  #2
Showing
A good indicator is if it doesn't expand when you cut the strings. Also, moldy hay will smell different from dusty hay. You'll know when it's moldy by smelling it.

Don't depend on the grass as a food source when it's covered with snow, but yes, it's safe for them to eat.
     
    12-21-2012, 06:57 PM
  #3
Yearling
Quote:
Originally Posted by equiniphile    
A good indicator is if it doesn't expand when you cut the strings. Also, moldy hay will smell different from dusty hay. You'll know when it's moldy by smelling it.

Don't depend on the grass as a food source when it's covered with snow, but yes, it's safe for them to eat.
Ok. Can you see mold on hay?
     
    12-21-2012, 07:05 PM
  #4
Started
Yes, you can see mold. Depending on the age and type of mold, you will see either blackish coloured hay with white specks on it to masses of pretty much solid whitish gray mold that keeps the flakes of hay stuck together. Moldy hay, as mentioned by Equiniphile, has a distinctly unpleasant smell. If you've got hay that is on the dusty side, you can alway wet it down to reduce the chances of your horse inhaling the dust.
     
    12-21-2012, 07:09 PM
  #5
Showing
Another way to tell is to cut open a bale and check the feel of the flakes, those sections that naturally come apart. A moldy one is always heavier.
     
    12-21-2012, 07:16 PM
  #6
Yearling
Sooo... Green hay isnt moldy?
     
    12-21-2012, 07:24 PM
  #7
Started
Quote:
Originally Posted by horsecrazygirl13    
Sooo... Green hay isnt moldy?
Generally, green hay is not moldy. It is possible for green hay to be dusty though. All hay has a tendency to be dusty in that it is dried plant material and part of the dust is the plant slowly disintegrating because there is no moisture. Moldy hay is discoloured (depending on the extent of the mold, it may still have a tiny hint of green (not bright but dull) going to brownish then to dark gray/black as the amount of mold present increases).
     

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