will your horse eat field/orchard grass hay?

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will your horse eat field/orchard grass hay?

This is a discussion on will your horse eat field/orchard grass hay? within the Horse Health forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Horses category

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    12-28-2011, 03:50 PM
will your horse eat field/orchard grass hay?

Just curious.

We have a problem. Our current hay supplier is out of pure timothy. This last shipment was a field grass/timothy mix. And I KNOW from past experience, that the horses will NOT eat field grass/timothy mix. They are used to pure timothy and will not touch "grass hay". It's lovely quality hay....great color and smell, but...it is GRASS hay...and they just don't "do" grass hay, be it field or orchard.

So, we are looking for any timothy dealers around here, but most sell grass hay....and feed it to their own horses.

But our weirdos wont eat grass hay....so here I sit thinking "they are going to starve themselves to death".....

Anyone had to switch their horse from one type of hay to another and had problems with the horses adjusting?

Do your horses eat field/orchard grass hay??

Beau used to eat grass hay when we first bought him, but then he was starved to a body score 2. He's fat now, and he feels like he can hold out and we will provide the "good" hay. Epona has never known hunger and is going to be a tough cookie when it comes to accepting this new grass hay.
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    12-28-2011, 04:26 PM
My weirdos are opposite of yours.. They eat orchard grass and when the local feed barn was out I ended up getting timothy for a short while.
They horses wouldnt touch the stuff! It was great quality hay but after two or 3 bites they both looked at me like "you really expect me to eat this stuff?"
...well at $22 a bale, you bet I expected them to eat it! It took them 3 times as long to go through the timothy than they would normally take with orchardgrass but when they get hungry enough, they will suck it up and eat whats in front of them.
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    12-28-2011, 05:00 PM
Green Broke
I must say, mine eat what they are given.
    12-28-2011, 05:03 PM
Originally Posted by cakemom    
I must say, mine eat what they are given.

Wanna trade horses???

That would be a dream come true....
    12-28-2011, 05:15 PM
Green Broke
Hmm..I'll take that lovely mare that stares at me when I see your posts...Beau is lovely too, but he'll never be an Epona to me, she just butters my grits!
    12-28-2011, 05:16 PM
They get what they get. I don't like eating ramen because my horse is so expensive, but I do anyways, because I am hungry!
Dressage10135 and Beauseant like this.
    12-28-2011, 05:21 PM
Originally Posted by cakemom    
Hmm..I'll take that lovely mare that stares at me when I see your posts...Beau is lovely too, but he'll never be an Epona to me, she just butters my grits!

Oh no, cakemom....you certainly DO NOT want her!!! She's the worst of the two when it comes to being finicky!!! She acts like she's a hay connesieur (Sp?).... you know, like those wine tasters who take a sip, swish it around to see if the texture and flavor are acceptable??? Well, she's like that with hay....finicky little beastie!!! And the funny part is, you wouldn't know it to look at her.......she looks like she'll eat anything and anyone who comes near her!!!
    12-28-2011, 05:22 PM
Do you have any timothy left? Can you mix the hay they are used to with the new stuff? I would do 1/2 and 1/2 at first, then 2/3 new 1/3 old until they are switched over?
    12-28-2011, 05:26 PM
Green Broke
They're either going to eat it or they won't, it's irrelevant what other people's picky or piggy horses will eat.

If they eat it, great! If they absolutely refuse and start losing weight, buy timothy hay pellets and soak them.

For what it's worth, my horse thinks grass hay is the absolute best stuff ever but I have 16,000lbs of Timothy hay and 200+ bales of alfalfa, so guess what he's eating?
    12-28-2011, 07:05 PM
Green Broke
My horses have also gotten picky. What they won't eat is fescue; doesn't matter if it's "raw" in the pasture or in a hay bale, they won't eat it.

I've been buying from the same Grower for 7 years. This year "my" field ended up full of yellow hop clover. I was a nervous wreck to feed it because:

1. I didn't know anything about it and I have two metabolic horses.

2. I was afraid no one would eat it and I would've just burned a big honkin' amount of money on a year's worth of hay.

Turns out all the horses love it and it seems to be really terrific for the metabolic horses. I have the corer to send out for hay analysis but here it is nearly 2012 and I haven't done that. Probably won't because everyone's doing so well with this hay.

My point is my four eat this grass hay mixed with yellow hop like it's candy. If you can find someone that has some mixed grass with yellow hop in it, buy a bale to see if your horses will eat it. It isn't dusty either.

It looks like weeds in the hay - lollollol So don't get upset if you see this stuff that's bunched together, looking for all the world like ragweed - it isn't - well it might be so look close

Here's some pictures of hop clover pictures of yellow hop clover - Google Search

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