orchard grass hay - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 5 Old 06-09-2012, 10:05 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Arizona
Posts: 63
• Horses: 1
Smile orchard grass hay

Haven't been on here for a while.

I had a question to people who feed orchard grass hay. I feed Bermuda hay and beet pulp, but a store near me sells compressed bales and I was thinking of trying one of the orchard hay.

I have never tried compress, but from all the reading says the flakes are smaller but still a full flake. I thought I could get one and see if he likes it than start adding it to his diet if he does.

It's a little pricey at 14.99 a bale...I live in Arizona so the price doesn't really surprise me.

I guess I just want some opinions on how they liked that kind of grass. He's not a finicky horse he likes to try different stuff and doesn't get colicky when I change stuff..I usually introduce stuff slow though.

I have never tried it orchard hay before either. I really wish we had more options here in Arizona, but where I live its alfalfa or Bermuda and thats it. Unless its in a bag.
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post #2 of 5 Old 06-10-2012, 05:26 AM
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Utah
Posts: 706
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I've never tried feeding the compressed bales to my horses. The price for those little bales is a little too steep for my pockets. I have fed them to my goat when that was all the hay I could get at the feed store, and that hay was pretty nice quality. That goat is so spoiled!

I would think it should be ok to add a flake or two to your horses daily diet, it is extra roughage after all. I would just add a little of the compressed hay little at a time to your horses current hay to make the adjustment smooth, and not too much of a shock.
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post #3 of 5 Old 06-10-2012, 07:27 AM
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Orange County, NC
Posts: 6,226
• Horses: 5
We don't feed compressed hay, but orchard is a very nice hay for horses....certainly the favorite of our mares.
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post #4 of 5 Old 06-10-2012, 09:00 AM
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Southwest Missouri
Posts: 924
• Horses: 1
Sixteen years ago when I got my mare we bought locally grown Orchard Grass hay, but the quality varied so much and some of it had "junk" in the bales in the form of briars and such. We were fortunate enough to have a wonderful source for high quality Bermuda hay at a very reasonable price per bale literally "fall into our laps". I'd never switch back to Orchard grass hay, but that's just me.
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post #5 of 5 Old 06-10-2012, 09:10 AM
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Middle Tennessee
Posts: 5,932
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It depends who's growing the Orchard grass hay.

When I first moved south, where Orchard grass hay is the norm, my horses wouldn't eat it.

The hay I initially found was on a small farm and they were just looking to get rid of their excess that first year we lived here. It was a long way from quality hay to begin with, so most likely that's why my horses didn't want it

The next year, I had found a guy with brood mares who raised his own hay and sold the excess; top quality mixed grass hay. He still feeds my horses but he lost his first cut this year, so I found myself at the feed store looking at their hay to get me thru to the Grower's second cut.

The feed store got in a load of "professionally grown" orchard grass hay from the north end of my county. When you raise 6,000+ small squares for the purpose of selling, you're in the professional league - lollol

I've never seen or smelled such great hay since I've lived here. My horses don't waste one morsel of it. They ALMOST would rather stay on their hay instead of eating their supplements when I put their feed pans in front of them

Orchard grass is a good hay to feed if it's properly tended to before cutting/baling. I have two metabolic horses and it's also an asset for them.
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