Grass this time of year?? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 16 Old 12-25-2011, 11:47 AM Thread Starter
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Location: Kansas
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Grass this time of year??

I live in KS.

We haven't had any snow yet this year (knock on wood) and there is still grass on the ground. Some of it is still green.

My question is nutritious could it still be this time of year?

Note, that my boys have access to hay 24/7, but they are out in the pasture grazing like it's summer time. Both are easy keepers and are not losing any weight. They stay mainly in their sacrifice area (when I'm at work, the weather is bad, or it's especially muddy), which doesn't have any grass, but their hay is in there.

Since the weather is pretty niceat the moment and the mud has dried up, so I let them out on the pasture again yesterday.
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post #2 of 16 Old 12-25-2011, 11:59 AM
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Ours still go out to the pasture to pick at the grass but it isn't very green anymore......we always keep hay in the dry lot area, since it is obvious they can't live on the grass in the condition it is in in our area.....

I've been wondering if allowing them to nibble on the grass, which is in hibernation or something....will cause grass growing problems next spring....
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post #3 of 16 Old 12-25-2011, 12:13 PM
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It don't have a whole lot in it right now. It needs some heat. We have grass down here too(East Texas) But I am feeding hay too because they start losing weight if I just keep them out on the grass. However its a good filler, my hay lasts a little longer
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post #4 of 16 Old 12-25-2011, 12:20 PM Thread Starter
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Yes it does make the hay last a bit longer, which is nice.

Do you think it still tastes fairly good - well I guess it must since they're eating it. Just seems kinda wierd for them to still be grazing so late in the year.

Normally we have snow by now. Not that I'm complaining, it has been wonderful!
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post #5 of 16 Old 12-25-2011, 12:24 PM
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Good question, and no, per my observations the grass must not taste nearly as good because Beau and Epona will come back into the dry lot paddock around 1 pm to eat the hay and then they stay there the rest of the day, sleeping and eating the hay. In the spring/summer, when the grass is tastiest, a bulldozer couldn't move them off the pasture!!

Ours here is rather brown now, not completely, but the green parts are less and less....
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post #6 of 16 Old 12-25-2011, 01:34 PM
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I'm snow covered. Only an inch or two and the horses are still poking around to find a few tasty bites. Mine wander 20 acres of fenced area and I haven't noticed any problems with the grass growing back but there isn't really any grazing pressure on it.
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post #7 of 16 Old 12-25-2011, 01:54 PM
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Western ND
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Very interesting. My two are still out eating off the pasture. They only come up to eat the hay when it is raining, snowing, or at night. They seem to be holding their weight, but they are only getting four flakes a day since that is about as much as they will eat and there is still a bit of waste the next morning.

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post #8 of 16 Old 12-25-2011, 03:00 PM
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Dormant grass pasture is basically hay. It can be more tasty than he hay you are offering depending upon the variety and the maturity level of the hay/age. Horses also have an innate requirement to wander around and forage. The problem with grazing dormant pasture is the horses can continually nip the grasses down to the crown stressing the plant resulting in reduced regrowth and or winterkill. When the grass is covered in snow, the horses will paw to uncover the plants and can again do damage to the plants. Having a few inches of growth on the grass will help trap snow and all plants need some water in the winter. Walking on the plants when the ground is muddy can do alot of compaction and root damage as well.
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post #9 of 16 Old 12-25-2011, 03:55 PM
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Casey gets feed virtually no hay throughout the year, except when we go places overnight. The only time we do feed hay is during a grass shortage, when it is just NOT growing. She is a moderately hard keeper, and is feed Rice Bran meal throughout the year, about 1/2 lb in summer/fall, actually none in spring, and about 1-2 lbs in winter along with some beet pulp in winter, along with a local made mineral supplement for horses kept on grass.

“Good things come to those who wait… greater things come to those who get off their ass and do anything to make it happen.” - Unknown
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post #10 of 16 Old 12-25-2011, 04:27 PM
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Our grass is still green. I have thrown hay a couple times for the horses in the morning and they walk right past it.

They might munch on it "just because" when they come up in the evening while they're waiting for the signal to come in the barn for the night. Most likely they just line up at the fence and take a power nap.

I do make everyone eat one or two pounds of hay in the morning before they get their supplements and get turned out. There's generally a 3 hour gap between that hay and turn out time; if there wasn't any grass for them, they would go right to the hay I put out.

They get 4 - 5 pounds apiece when they come in at night; 6 - 7 pounds of hay per day per horse is not hardly enough to sustain them, so that tells me there's still some nutrition in the grass.

The four of them are at good weight. They have 22 acres but I notice they've been spending a lot of time down in the bottomland; the grass has always been exceptionally rich in that area because it's in the section where the overflow from the neighbor's pond is.

There can't be much sugar/starch in it because my two metabolic horses have not worn grazing muzzles since early November and they are both doing very well in that regard.

We've had plenty of rain and just enough warmth to keep the grass from turning brown; some parts of the yard almost look like they could stand to be mowed

This winter started out the complete opposite of last year and I hope it stays "unusually warm" until April
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