Switching to haylage??

       The Horse Forum > Keeping and Caring for Horses > Horse Health

Switching to haylage??

This is a discussion on Switching to haylage?? within the Horse Health forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Horses category

Like Tree1Likes

LinkBack Thread Tools
    10-11-2012, 12:01 PM
Switching to haylage??

My BO has decided to switch from grass hay to haylage sometime next year. I don't know anything about haylage, and would like everyone's opinions on anything having to due with it. I just want to get as much information on it as possible before my boy starts eating it. Does it have more nutritional value? What are the hazards of feeding it (I've heard of botulism??)? How do you store it? Etc.
Thanks for your help!
Posted via Mobile Device
Sponsored Links
    10-11-2012, 12:19 PM
Haylage is made from the same thing as regular hay, except it's cut and baled without allowing the grass to dry first. Once it's baled, it's wrapped in polythene to keep in the moisture and allow for some fermentation.

If it has mold in it could very well cause botulism, but then, so can regular hay. Rule of thumb is if it looks and smells moldy, don't feed it.
    10-11-2012, 12:39 PM
It is said to have more nutritional value. I used to feed it in Germany because it was easy to find in roundbales straight from the producer.
I also fed the small square bales. It takes some getting used to the smell, tho. Horses love it!
BUT....it needs to be stored right, covered well, so the plastic wrapping doesn't get punctured by birds or the hunting kittie. Once air enters it spoils very rapidly. Means big round bales only when there are several horses who consume a bale in about 4 days. Same for the small bales. The botulism risk is there, sometimes a dead mouse accidently baled in is enough.
It takes a lot of watching when feeding it. Any damaged wrapping or little hole, and that bale is unsafe.
I stay away from it. Unless I have a COPD horse. Im worrying enough as it is. Don't need the extra excitement
Spotted likes this.
    10-11-2012, 12:40 PM
I've never thought to feed it desert, but you make some really good points about the risks if the plastic wrapping gets punctured.

I think it might be easier just to feed regular hay soaked down with water for a COPD horse.
    10-11-2012, 01:07 PM
Super Moderator
We fed it when we lived in one area where darling little vandals used to travel for miles to set fire to hay. We had it made off out own land, it has to be cut higher than for hay to avoid getting soil into the bales and you have to be really careful of the wrapped bales getting punctured and wet, the heat from the bale itself can then set off mould and botulism.
It will get a whiteish substance on it that is part of the natural fermentation process but that's harmless - it shouldn't be grey, black or pink or smell bad
We never had problems feeding it to the brood mares and youngsters or to the horses in hard work but I would advise caution for anything that's either not ridden or in light work especially if they are an easy keeper and/or prone to laminitis - they will gain weight more easily on it and as its higher in sugars than average hay might fizz some horses up too if they are already a bit that way inclined
You could reduce the amount of what I call 'bucket feed' if you feed quality haylage
Its not something I would be feeding the horses I have now as they just don't do enough in the winter months to justify it and I have one that I swear would maintain weight fed on baler twine and the bags the feed come in.
    10-11-2012, 01:09 PM
Originally Posted by jaydee    
I have one that I swear would maintain weight fed on baler twine and the bags the feed come in.

I have one of those myself jaydee, so I hear ya!
    10-11-2012, 02:55 PM
I am blessed with one who looks at anything edible and gains..........just like me
    10-11-2012, 04:47 PM
Super Moderator
We must have crawled out of the same gene pool then as I need someone to invent a food that tastes really good but has all the calories of a cardboard box.
I get these diet sheets and the meals add up to more than I already eat so how does that work?
    10-11-2012, 06:07 PM
I bet we would gain on straight cardboard, too

My mom used to say, gotta live on air and love......if that would work........hmmm
    10-11-2012, 06:11 PM
Thanks for the info everyone. The bale would be split between 5 horses, so it should go pretty quick. Is there a shot to protect against botulism? I love the more nutritional aspect. Our hay here sucks! Tried to buy a bale of alfalfa, and apparently you can't buy it this year around here. He said the guys refuse to ship it in from out of province because gas prices are so high. I hate this hay shortage thing! Its driving the economy way down. My feed alone has gone from $23 this spring to $32 a bag now. It seems to increase in price every week. I shudder to think that its going to cost come winter.
Posted via Mobile Device

Quick Reply
Please help keep the Horse Forum enjoyable by reporting rude posts.

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the The Horse Forum forums, you must first register.

Already have a Horse Forum account?
Members are allowed only one account per person at the Horse Forum, so if you've made an account here in the past you'll need to continue using that account. Please do not create a new account or you may lose access to the Horse Forum. If you need help recovering your existing account, please Contact Us. We'll be glad to help!

New to the Horse Forum?
Please choose a username you will be satisfied with using for the duration of your membership at the Horse Forum. We do not change members' usernames upon request because that would make it difficult for everyone to keep track of who is who on the forum. For that reason, please do not incorporate your horse's name into your username so that you are not stuck with a username related to a horse you may no longer have some day, or use any other username you may no longer identify with or care for in the future.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:


Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.

Old Thread Warning
This thread is more than 90 days old. When a thread is this old, it is often better to start a new thread rather than post to it. However, If you feel you have something of value to add to this particular thread, you can do so by checking the box below before submitting your post.

Thread Tools

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Hay Haylage blingo Horse Talk 0 02-20-2012 06:03 AM
Anyone else have a horse that can't eat haylage? Kay26 Horse Nutrition 1 01-04-2011 12:02 PM
How do I know if my haylage is safe to feed watt20 Horse Nutrition 3 01-03-2011 04:39 PM
Haylage? Lifeofriley Horse Nutrition 3 10-15-2010 09:32 AM
Feeding a foal Haylage bubblegum Horse Health 16 10-15-2009 05:47 PM

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 08:04 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.5
Copyright ©2000 - 2016, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Search Engine Friendly URLs by vBSEO 3.6.0