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This is a discussion on PASTURE GRASS within the Horse Health forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Horses category

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    12-05-2007, 11:44 PM

I was wondering if someone can use just grain to plant a pasutre? Someone I know had done this because he said it was alot cheaper that buying a bag marked horse pasture grass. I have not talked to him for a while to see if he ever put his horses out there but is this okay to plant for a pasture?
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    12-06-2007, 06:26 AM
I guess it depends on what type of grain you are using. I know when they plant wheat here they have to use "seed wheat" and not just wheat from past harvests. I think there is a difference in that it is tested for germination rate and altered in some way. You can see the diffrence in the spring when the wheat is coming up the "planted" wheat will be much stronger taller and have larger heads and the regular wheat that was on the ground from the prior year harvest (called cheat) is sickly looking. Some grains are annuals too so they would have to be overseeded every year.
I'm not sure where you are but if in the US check your with your local USDA. They often have programs for seeding pasture and you can get seed much cheaper than what is in the co-ops or feed stores. Ours even has a grass drill that you can rent to plant your grass. I would also suggest getting your soil tested to see if you need to add anything. Again contact the USDA conservation office they do a soil test for around $20 I think. They are a wealth of information so a good place to start for any pasture questions.
I like to have a variety of grasses in my pasture and have spent the last 6 years getting it just right. Think of your pasture as a salad, its better with a bunch of different flavors in there than just plain old lettuce
    12-13-2007, 10:22 AM
I wouldn't bother with grain to try and reseed a pasture. I don't think it would work right. When yo buy the mixed "horse pasture" bag it's always going to cost more. Look and see what seed is in it and buy the different types of grass seed you want and mix you own. You'd could do that for probably half the cost of the pre mixed bag. It's good to have your soil tested first so you know if you need to lime or fertilize or else you will be throwing out seed and it just won't grow. Believe me I've tried.
    12-13-2007, 11:54 AM
Several years ago, I got the bright idea to plant a "winter" pasture. So's I fence-off a suitable area, buy a bunch of oat and rye seed, till-up, fertilize, plant, water, pet 'n loved it....worked real hard at getting it just right.
After a few months it looked great.
When the time looked right, we turned our (5)horses into it. They all ran around as happy as could be. They sniffed, poked and proded...... but wouldn't eat a single bite. :roll: .
I ended-up using that particular pasture for a place to leave their round-bale hay in untill spring. Then, I had to re-plant it with "regular" grass anyway....YIKES! .

Since that time, I just seperate my pasture and alternate the (2)horses which we have these days onto one or the other. Towards the end of summer....I just let one of them "go to seed" and re-plant itself.
That seems to work best for me.

Hope this helps.
    12-17-2007, 03:45 PM
No. Oat and Barely grass (what is in grain) isn't really the best for horses to eat fresh and doesn't grow well in all areas. Talk to your local cooperative extension service for advice on how to maintain horse pasture. They wil tell you the best types of grass to use in your area, and they will test you soil (for FREE!) to tell you how to fertilize it so your grass will grow best and your horse will get the best nutrition.

Every state has a cooperative extension service and almost every county has a local office. Here is the link for the Wisconsin Cooperative Extension Service:

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