Grass for grazing??

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Grass for grazing??

This is a discussion on Grass for grazing?? within the Horse Nutrition forums, part of the Horse Health category
  • How to tell if grass is fescue or brome grass
  • Horse nutritional value pasture grass

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  • 1 Post By cakemom

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    06-22-2013, 12:26 PM
Grass for grazing??

I was hoping someone could tell me their preferred type of grass for grazing? We have about 10 horses: 1 stallion, 2 geldings, and 7 mares. The land we just purchased is pretty bare and we're going to buy grass seed soon. I was just wondering if there was a specific type of seed I should look into purchasing? I would really appreciate it!!!
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    06-22-2013, 03:11 PM
A lot of it depends on what part of the country you live in. For us, we planted sprigs several years ago of Bermuda because it does so well here.

Just stay away from Fescue if you plan on breeding, or at least have a Fescue free pasture to move pregnant mare to a few months before foaling.
    06-22-2013, 03:22 PM
You also have to take into account how much rainfall you get, do you have irrigation water, stocking rates, amount of land, soil type..

Depending upon where you are, you might be better off and save alot of work and $$ is you wait to seed until late summer/early fall when temps starts to drop and rain is more predicable.
    06-22-2013, 07:42 PM
Green Broke
I would speak to your local agriculture agent, or county agent they are sometimes called.
My pasture is planted with Bermuda, and I feed Alicia Bermuda hay and alfalfa- we are in Louisiana.
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    06-22-2013, 08:22 PM
^^^ Yes, talk to your ag agent. Around here, it's almost all fescue because it's very hardy. The few folks that grow orchard do so just for pregnant mares, but it's a PITA because you have to reseed it every 3-5 years.
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    06-23-2013, 11:12 AM
Okay thank ya'll so much! I had no idea what to do!
    06-23-2013, 01:27 PM
Are you breeding these mares? If so, you do NOT want fescue in the pasture. Many seed mixes contain fescue because of the its root system and tolerance. However, there are some brands that state they're endophyte free, so you may want to research their safety further.

I also avoid rye grass because in certain conditions it can be toxic.

My pastures are an orchard grass and Timothy mix with some of our native brome grass. The brome is good until it gets too tall. My horses eat around it after it gets taller/more stem, so sometimes it becomes necessary to mow. This would obviously not be mowed if it were a hay field, and if I lived further south, I would probably use a different mix that included Bermuda.

You also won't be able to mix in any legumes such as alfalfa because any broadleaf herbicide you use will kill those plants.
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    06-23-2013, 02:10 PM
A lot of people down here use Bahia. It's hardy, chokes out most weeds and works well. I know people who have used it for 50 years for both horses and cattle.
One blessing or curse is that once it goes to seed it will spread. If it gets into your yard you'll just about have to dig it up by the roots (or just use it for your lawn ). For a pasture grass that makes it great. It's not low or excessively high in nutritional value. You can look it up on line. I know FL did a lot of studies on it and found it to be a good grass for grazing. I imagine it can be found I most Gulf coast states since SC and GA are loaded with it.
I see it when were riding along the roads since you can find it growing along a lot of highway shoulders (it really does spread once it comes to seed).
I even feed Bahia hay, but might have to find something with lower nutritional value since it's a lot of work keeping the weight down on my older mare who is a VERY easy keeper.

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