need some advice on grazing time

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need some advice on grazing time

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  • 1 Post By spirit88

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    03-25-2012, 06:43 AM
need some advice on grazing time

I have never had this much green, rank grass as I will have in a couple of days.

We are putting in a three acre pasture, its orchard grass and clover.

How long can they stay on it at first? I was thinking to start with an hour.

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    03-25-2012, 11:00 AM
Green Broke
There can be some problems with feeding clover, whether in pasture or hay. Here is article on such. Grass For Horses|Best Grass Safe Grass Horse Pasture|

Clover can be a desirable feed source for most horses whether used in pasture or in hay because it provides useful energy and acceptable protein and fiber. Clover also is a natural nitrogen builder for soil, eliminating the need for expensive and environmentally detrimental chemical nitrogen fertilizers. Clovers may occasionally be infected with mold, causing slobbers, photosensitivity, and bleeding. Even with these potential problems, clover is still considered a useful forage for horses.
Only moldy clover can cause toxicity problems with horses. In very wet years or periods of high humidity, fencing horses out of clover rich pastures is probably the best control strategy. To decrease the chance of mold, you can increase air movement, by mowing, thinning clover stands, or improving drainage. When using clover for hay, keep in mind that clover, especially red clover, takes longer to dry than other forage species.
For more information and a pictorial view of the different species of clover see this article on feeding horses clover and this article from Penn State on Pasture and Hay For Horses

Another article on Photosensitization related to alsike clover ingestion, which I am now dealing with in my grade Paint.

Alsike Clover Toxicity in Horses - Forage ? British Columbia Ministry of Agriculture

Grazing Dangers | The Chronicle of the Horse

As to hours out? Mid-morning after dew is off grass good, and a couple of hours only. Depending on number of horses it may well be grazed down soon anyway, or even bare lot if horses are left on it too long.

But if you can get the clover out of there before next year and plant it with something different, I sure would.
    03-25-2012, 11:14 AM
Hmmmm, we have baled that field for five years, never had any issue with them eating the hay.
    03-25-2012, 08:30 PM
Originally Posted by Susan Crumrine    
Hmmmm, we have baled that field for five years, never had any issue with them eating the hay.
Yeah, I think it depends on the horses & other factors - eg. If they're getting well balanced nutrition, considering the high protein, nitrogen, etc in clover, if they're in good, not overweight condition, what else/how much they get in their diets, etc, etc. May not be a prob at all. I would still probably be inclined to restrict access to clover(be proactive) if there is a lot of it in the pasture & I guess that depends how many horses 'they' are as to how you'd need to go about it on 3 acres.
    03-25-2012, 10:07 PM
When we re did our pasture 8 years ago we planted clover along with other grasses my horses grazed. Never had any issues they were out there in wet conditions and dry but mostly wet. That year it rained amost every day and sometime 2inchs or more my pasture was 6 to 8 inches tall. We mowed three times that summer every time we mowed the clover came in thicker. Never had a problem and they were out 12 hours a day but to start it was a hour a day.
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    03-25-2012, 10:46 PM
The clover is in the one corner over, I checked today. I think they are probably fine, and it is crimson clover.
And sorry I left out some important information, Loosie, they are four horses and one mini donkey.
    03-25-2012, 10:52 PM
Yeah, just watch the clover. We have some red clover in one front pasture that we just cannot use for turnout. Every time they think they've eradicated it all, the horses come back up with foam at the mouth.

Also, morning grass makes less sugar than afternoon, so morning is safer for turnout on grass.
    03-26-2012, 03:11 AM
Originally Posted by Susan Crumrine    
The clover is in the one corner over, I checked today. I think they are probably fine, and it is crimson clover.
And sorry I left out some important information, Loosie, they are four horses and one mini donkey.
I wouldn't be worried really, esp with that many animals on it, but it's always a good idea to change diets gradually & be conscious of possibilities, to try to avoid rather than treat probs that may appear. Prob be more cautious of the donk tho, as they're more sensitive to rich feed.

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