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Encouragement for picky horses

This is a discussion on Encouragement for picky horses within the Horse Nutrition forums, part of the Horse Health category
  • Horses won't eat 2012 hay
  • Septic fertilizing horse hay

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    03-05-2013, 08:37 AM
  #11
Green Broke
Well, something sure is going on with the hay situation.

Along with all the comments on this thread that make sense (try figuring out which one applies to your horse ), I read some other interesting "my horse won't eat this great hay" things on another forum.

Below are some of the reasons these folks have come up with:

1. Using BIOSOLIDS in place of traditional fertilizer on fields

http://www.nebiosolids.org/uploads/NEBRABiosolidsIntroV.05.pdf This link is a 48 page .pdf file; I can't get it to open

However, someone on the other forum (strictly eastern seaboard by the way) commented the bio fertilizer makes grass/hay greener and grows at a quicker rate..so farmers get MORE hay in less time.

2. It may depend on what kind of building they use for storing the hay. It was stated that sometimes horses don't initially like hay which has been stored in a cattle barn.

3. Another person had gotten hay from a different supplier. When the local guy she normally bought from deliver a load, she told him he could have the hay her horse would not eat for his cows. He agreed the hay was beautiful and nothing wrong with it except when he smelled it he could tell it was treated with something to promote drying; something he did not do

4. If you have clover in the hay be sure there is no mildew on the hay leaves. One lady had some hay one year that was very nice hay but the clover flowers ended up not being dry at the time of baling. Over a period of time the leafy hay developed layer of mildew that took a long time to detect. She didn't notice it at first because her loft is dark. Once out in the daylight it could be seen better.


Based on all these comments - buying hay is getting to be tricky business.

I try to buy by the season but I couldn't do that in 2012, due to one of my horse's big founder and injury event.

I also did not buy from my regular hay guy last year because he did something wrong with the weed killer and lost his entire first cut - can you say ~1,000 bales? It was safe to feed to cows but our county Ag person told him not to sell it for horse hay.

The bulk of horse owners on this forum do not have hungry horses, so those same horses all feel they have the right to be picky. It's a good thing none of them have thumbs or they would be wrestling our cell phones from us and calling the Horse Abuse Hotline when we try to feed them something they don't want

Anyway, there's some eye-opening reasons, above, as to why horses may not want to eat their hay.
deserthorsewoman likes this.
     
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    03-05-2013, 08:51 AM
  #12
Showing
If the hay smells of cattle a lot of horses won't touch it unless they've been in with cattle.
     
    03-05-2013, 10:03 AM
  #13
Weanling
My horse is super picky too. He'll even go to the extent of chewing hay and spitting it out if he deems it unacceptable. Sometimes putting a bit of molasses or peppermint oil on the hay will be enough encouragement to get him eating. A little bribery is okay in my book if it's going to keep him healthy. But I'm not a millionaire so he either eats what is bought or he doesn't eat because I don't have the spare money to give away perfectly good hay or order more than what I get. As long as it's not toxic then the horses will eventually eat it. Different smells and seasons of growth could set them off but eventually they're going to have to eat it.
     
    03-05-2013, 12:59 PM
  #14
Weanling
My horses were a little iffy on the last load I got b/c it was stored in the top of a dairy barn. They have never been around cattle, so it took them a few days to decide they were going to eat it. Now, they eat it right up.
     
    03-06-2013, 05:13 PM
  #15
Super Moderator
Assume by bio-solids you mean human excrement waste?
Untreated sewage used to be sprayed on agricultural land all the time in the UK - including root crops, you would see tomatos plants growing amongst potatos where the seeds hadnt been broken down in the digestive system
It was banned for risks of carcinogens, e-coli, salmonella and internal parasite risks but I bet it still gets used by some people who empty septic tank systems
     
    03-06-2013, 08:06 PM
  #16
Green Broke
--

Quote:
Originally Posted by jaydee    
Assume by bio-solids you mean human excrement waste?that and other things
Untreated sewage used to be sprayed on agricultural land all the time in the UK - including root crops, you would see tomatos plants growing amongst potatos where the seeds hadnt been broken down in the digestive system
It was banned for risks of carcinogens, e-coli, salmonella and internal parasite risks but I bet it still gets used by some people who empty septic tank systems
That give me the warm fuzzies -- not
     
    03-13-2013, 11:57 AM
  #17
Weanling
Quote:
Originally Posted by jaydee    
Assume by bio-solids you mean human excrement waste?
Untreated sewage used to be sprayed on agricultural land all the time in the UK - including root crops, you would see tomatos plants growing amongst potatos where the seeds hadnt been broken down in the digestive system
It was banned for risks of carcinogens, e-coli, salmonella and internal parasite risks but I bet it still gets used by some people who empty septic tank systems
I am currently reading a book called "The Omnivores Dilemma" and the author discusses this. It happens in the US as well, and quite often, acutally.

Anywho, my mother has decided to sell the hay to someone else. OR, she said she paid the farrier with this hay last time he came out and that if his horses ate it, she will continue to do that.
deserthorsewoman likes this.
     
    03-13-2013, 12:02 PM
  #18
Weanling
Both my new horses took a good 4 days to adjust, relax and start eating well. This was both "grain" and hay.
     
    03-15-2013, 02:50 PM
  #19
Trained
Quote:
Originally Posted by dashygirl    
So what did you do? Return it? Feed it until they ate it?
I, personally, would return it. Been there, done that. And take from it a valuable lesson: whenever buying from a new source or even a new stand from an old source - buy one bale, inspect it and see how it feeds. An ounce of prevention.
     

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