Join Date: May 2009
Location: Mid Northern TN
Unless your horse has kidney issues, high protein in hay will not be a problem. If there is more protein than they need in their diet, they will burn the excess for energy. It will, however, result in higher urea levels in their urine, which can make for more ammonia as it breaks down. None of which matters if you're cleaning stalls like you ought to be or they're turned out, but it can make for nasty smells, breathing difficulty, and be worse for hooves if the horses are standing in dirty stalls for a long time. If they hay is high protein, you also don't have to worry about adding any extra in the form of supplements or pelleted feeds. I fed hay that was 16-18% protein for a while, which is quite high, which is nice for older animals that need a little help building or maintaining muscle, or for animals in work for the same reasons. Still quite a bit higher than they need, but not problematic.