How picky are you?

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How picky are you?

This is a discussion on How picky are you? within the Horse Health forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Horses category

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    09-25-2012, 11:07 AM
How picky are you?

I am quite fussy about my horses feed, and am curious as to how picky others are about their feed. I know some horse owners that aren' too fussy, and others that are. Many people around here put out a round bale for a few weeks and let their horses pick through the good parts and the bad. Others hand feed off the bale, and others feed squares to have even more control over what their horse ingests.

Let's say you go out to feed some hay to our horse(s). You have spent the big bucks to buy quality square bales. You pull a bale from the bottom or outside of the stack and notice a bit of mould on one side where some moisture has got in the bale. You open the bale and see the mould has penetrated about 2" on one side only. What do you do? Do you...

Throw out the entire bale. After all it is contaminated.
Separate out the moldy bits and feed the section that looks good.
Shake the mould out of the bale, water it down and feed it.
Just feed it and let the horses pick the good stuff.
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    09-25-2012, 11:57 AM
We would feed it anyway, because we also have cattle and the horses won't eat the moldy parts, but the cattle would as they can digest it.

Of course, if our hay and land situation were up to me, the cattle and horses would be seperated through winter and fed different hay.
    09-25-2012, 12:19 PM
I wouldn't feed any part of that bale to my horses. Once it has mold, it will have mold spores all through it. I would be worried about them eating and inhaling the mold. Horse's are too sensitive to risk feeding anything that may be contaminated to.
However, I would offer the hay to my goat. He will pick out what he can eat and use the rest to pee and sleep on. At least the bale wouldn't technically go to waste
    09-25-2012, 12:25 PM
We throw it to the cows.
    09-25-2012, 12:41 PM
Green Broke
I am personally very picky about the feed which I feed my horse. Think of it this way, if I open a loaf of bread and find mold on it, I will not eat it. Therefore, I do the same for my horse. I am aware that horses are entirely different, their bodies can handle different things, etc. But, that was sort of just an example.

Also, just because you can physically see the mold only on the edge, doesn't mean that it is the only place that it is. I would prefer to throw out the feed - no matter how little the amount of mold is, or how expensive the bale was. The vet bill would be so much more.
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    09-25-2012, 12:47 PM
I throw it out.
    09-25-2012, 01:22 PM
Super Moderator
My supplier will take back any mouldy bales. I wouldn't feed it. Horses will avoid the mouldy parts but its spores that you can't see that do the damage as they get into the horses lungs - and they can also be getting into your own - something worth thinking about if you are feeding it to cattle etc or using it as bedding where there is a risk of you breathing in spores as they get loosened by any shaking out process
This is quite a good article which explains risks
QuarterHorseLuv likes this.
    09-25-2012, 06:19 PM
I use it in the dog kennels
Muppetgirl likes this.
    09-25-2012, 06:34 PM
There are a lot of uses for moldy hay, there is no need to feed the moldy parts to your horses. Horses are like humans in that some of them will eat the mold, others won't. Bad hay can ruin a good horse faster then a lot of things.
    09-25-2012, 07:09 PM
Makes awesome compost/mulch!
walkinthewalk likes this.

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