Horse quality hay vs. cow quality hay

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Horse quality hay vs. cow quality hay

This is a discussion on Horse quality hay vs. cow quality hay within the Horse Nutrition forums, part of the Horse Health category

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    12-18-2010, 03:32 PM
Horse quality hay vs. cow quality hay

What exactly is the difference between horse quality hay and cow quality hay? I understand that horse quality is obviously the choice for horses.
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    12-18-2010, 03:47 PM
Originally Posted by Puddintat    
What exactly is the difference between horse quality hay and cow quality hay? I understand that horse quality is obviously the choice for horses.
Cows will eat anything. So it is useally poor quality and hay that isn't as sellable.
    12-18-2010, 03:49 PM
Green Broke
In the UK we have a hay shortage, so at the moment if you are on hay then there is no difference.
If you are on haylege then anything half decent is horse quality the rest gets chucked to the cows if the cows are not on silage
    12-18-2010, 07:08 PM
Thanks, I figured horse quality was much better. I guess the only way to be sure is have it analyzed, right? A couple of people that I know of have complained that my BO uses cow hay but it seems like good hay to me.
    12-18-2010, 07:51 PM
Green Broke
If you are experianced enough you can generaly tell just by looking and smelling it.

Horse hay should also be less dusty.
    12-18-2010, 09:15 PM
Depends on your area in my area hay is hay ... it is all bales pretty much the same ... in fact MOST of our hay is baled for cattle. Cattle will eat stemmyier(sp) hay and not have a problem ... just have to watch the quality on what you wanna feed
    12-18-2010, 10:23 PM
Here, cow hay is usually horse hay that has been damaged in some way. Like it got rained on, was at the bottom of the stack and has dirt or mud, some moldy areas, sometimes lots of weeds, etc.

But "cow hay" is also relative to the rest of hay the grower has. For instance, this past summer must have been a good year because my friend was buying "cow hay" in bulk for her horses, and it was GREAT hay, it was just baled a little bit dryer and fell apart easier. But there was nothing wrong with it at all. I was paying twice as much for the same quality because I had no way to buy and store it in bulk. So I can only imagine what "horse hay" for that farmer was like this past year. It must have been really pretty!
    12-21-2010, 02:25 PM
Cow Hay is just a derogitory term used by horse people for hay they personally judge to be unsuitable for THEIR animals. This term has no basis in fact! This term is very subjective! Conversely, many cattle people will not feed hay that is commonly fed to horses as "it isn't anything but straw"

"Horse Hay" is another term that has no real meaning. The term changes from one person to the next and is wholely subjective!

One day people will start looking at hay seriously and will shop for their hay as prudently as they shop for their grain.
    12-21-2010, 02:36 PM
Originally Posted by churumbeque    
Cows will eat anything. So it is useally poor quality and hay that isn't as sellable.
Wow. Then I should be able to feed my cows for nothing as I should be getting my 'cow hay' for free?

Have any of you ever heard of dairy quaility hay? Psst - dairy is a type of cow . . .

Usually - in this area - it means a crop that was rained on while down. POSSIBLE there is some dust in it. POSSIBLE some of the nice color was bleached out by the sun. POSSIBLE some nutrients lost in the extra drying time.

Our cows eat better than a lot of horses I know.
    12-21-2010, 08:57 PM
Mls I have given away hay that got too wet for my horses... 200 bales one year and about 50 this year

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