How long to keep off pasture after mowing... - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 8 Old 09-03-2012, 05:48 PM Thread Starter
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How long to keep off pasture after mowing...

So the property owner mowed a few of my pastures. Two of them are fine, the grass that was mown was either very thin or in the 'urine spots' and the horses won't eat that anyway. But the other two (usually leaving the gate open to make one large one) had rather thick, tall grass, with some blackberry patches... The grass was not picked up, but left where it lay. So my question is, when is it safe to put horses back on this pasture? I could be wrong, but I thought that downed grass could heat up and cause issues if the horses eat it. The two that would be going on that pasture are hard keepers, but right now I have to have them on their winter pastures, which are supposed to be resting now, because they're the only two pastures where I can plug in a tank heater...
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post #2 of 8 Old 09-03-2012, 07:02 PM
Green Broke
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Grass only poses an issue when put in a pile. If it was left where it fell, after it dries, which around here is about a day or so, it should be fine.
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post #3 of 8 Old 09-03-2012, 07:23 PM
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After a Day or 2 it should be fine =)

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post #4 of 8 Old 09-03-2012, 07:55 PM Thread Starter
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Great, thanks!
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post #5 of 8 Old 09-03-2012, 09:17 PM
Green Broke
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I mow around the horses, sometimes they dont wanna move and dont like th ebig noisy machine eating al the grass. Ive never taken them off mowed fields, much lest waited to put em back on one.
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post #6 of 8 Old 09-03-2012, 09:20 PM
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after mowing, pastures should 'rest' until the grass is about 4-6 inches high before adding animals, anyway, thats how I was taught. this way its not overgrazed in one spot and tall in another. I have one pasture that the horses eat all the edges down first and rarely graze down the center of it.
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post #7 of 8 Old 09-03-2012, 09:28 PM Thread Starter
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The grass is still over 4 inches tall, so no worries there, lol. I do have them on one that was mowed, but the grass was thin, and I didn't feel it would be able to heat. Thanks Joe, that makes me feel much better. Normally by the time he mows, the grass is pretty much gone and its only weeds and blackberries....
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post #8 of 8 Old 09-03-2012, 09:53 PM
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We bushhog at 6" - 8" and always around the horses. Once in a blue moon one of them will dig into a clump of grass but only for a few bites and without any ill effects.

I mow the 3-1/2 acres between the barn and the house with the belly mower and keep it at around 3" because that's our front yard. The horses eat off that every day, as part of their routine. If they didn't have 22 acres of pasture, I wouldn't be so casual about cutting my "front yard" so short.

But to reiterate, we never take the horses off the pasture to bushhog.
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