Picky Horses Won't Eat Grass Hay - Help! - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 22 Old 10-29-2011, 06:11 AM
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: southern Mississippi
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it has been my experience that "dusty" hay is almost always moldy.... its the mold spores that you are seeing as "dust".

But I think your problem is not the dusty hay (mold or not) I think it is that your horses are more accustomed to eating the far more palatable Alfalfa and don't want the grass hay. I have had the exacgt same problem many times. I have TBs and it is pretty much custom to give them alfalfa (at 12.00 to 25.00 a bale)
on the occasions when my hay suppliers are out i get them a really nice quality grass hay that is fresh green and beautiful. they wont touch it EXCEPT to sleep on it. they rake it up in a pile and lay down on it!!
I'm with Beausant as far as the "who will cave first " game. its me sadly
So be a good horse mommy and go spend your retirement money on some GOOD horse hay for your babies LOL.

"Action cures Fear, take a small risk every day". Jane Savoie
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post #12 of 22 Old 10-29-2011, 07:42 AM
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When i had this problem , i disguised it as the old grass and they ate it fine, (gave them the same amounts in the same place and didn't stand there watching them eat it)
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post #13 of 22 Old 10-29-2011, 08:08 AM
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Mix some alfalfa with it. Less every other day or so, see if you can wean them to it.
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post #14 of 22 Old 10-29-2011, 09:19 AM
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Lol I love this post I had the same problem my horses are spoiled rotten when it comes to hay. We got this grass/timothy hay mix and it looked fine smelled good and my horses just turned their noses at it. I felt guilty but I knew down deep they were just spoiled for their alfalfa/grass mix and their was no taking this other hay back so they had to suck it up lol They did eat it, thankfully animals live on instinct and starving themselves out of protest wasn't something they could pull off lol
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post #15 of 22 Old 10-29-2011, 09:35 AM
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silly horses

We ended up finding another guy who had ditch hay. He let us take two bales home, one that looked really good and one that was stemmy. The horses ate both of them just fine. We went with the really good stuff and can you guess it? They turned their nose up after we bought 60 bales! In the meantime, my original supplier got another cutting from his meadow, but now we almost have too much. deep sigh. I can't do anything but hope they eventually will eat it. They did at one time and will again IMO. What picky things! The hay smells fine, all three different kinds smell really good. How frustrating and what a waste! If those two animals didn't look so darned fat, I would really be worried! We will be boarding my horse during the really cold months and I can only guess what he will do to that guy's hay! Maybe if he sees other horses eating it, he will get the idea. Personally, I think they are being too picky. And of course, I am letting him.
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post #16 of 22 Old 10-29-2011, 09:38 AM
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One more thing, I forgot to mention that we had straight alfalfa at one time. We only bought 10 bales to mix with the grass. It was brown, very dusty and we ended up sending 8 back because of visable black and white mold! When I reluctantly fed it, I pulled it apart because it was so hard, it hurt my hands to touch it and I couldn't imagine them eating it. You know what?! They cleaned it up, every time! It was like candy! Now, we do not have the funds nor can we find straight alfalfa in our area. What a ride this has been!
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post #17 of 22 Old 10-29-2011, 10:21 AM
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Originally Posted by WildAcreFarms View Post
I'm with Beausant as far as the "who will cave first " game. its me sadly
I feel so much better knowing I'm not the only one.

I KNOW they won't starve to death and that they will eat it eventually....but I am just too overindulgent to play "chicken" with them. You know, where to cars drive straight at each other to see who will turn first?? I am the chicken every time.

....someday I may very well regret not using tough love....like if this hay dealer runs out during the winter.....
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post #18 of 22 Old 10-29-2011, 11:16 AM
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Just got back from the farm. I have not fed anything since yesterday morning. I gave them half a bale of really good looking hay on top of the stemmy stuff they weren't eating. So when I went out there last night, everything was scattered on the ground. So I put it all back in the feeders. So this morning, I got an earful from the donkey, and saw the steemy stuff had been eaten! So I put the grassy stuff back in the feeders and walked away. They ARE being picky, IMO! Good luck with all of you and tough love is the key, as long as there is nothing wrong with the hay!
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post #19 of 22 Old 10-29-2011, 10:39 PM
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It's so hard to read these posts as someone from Texas right now. The drought here has so badly taken it's toll on our access to hay. Roundbales are going for $130 a pop and square bales anywhere from $12-15 and we're talking plain old johnson grass here. I can not even imagine what its like to buy alfalfa right now. Farmers are baling corn husks and selling it to horse and cattle people. I wouldn't stoop to corn husks since they have absolutely no nutritional value, but I'm feeding johnson mix grass (and yes they love it and are doing fine so don't beat me up for feeding them johnson grass). It's either that or starve around here. We planted one of our fields with winter rye and it's coming up OK so this may be their first exposure to green grass since April. Needless to say, my horses are NOT picky. I've seen them eat the heads off sunflowers this summer. Your horses will eat unfamiliar grass eventually when there's nothing else to eat. If you've ever parented a toddler, you should know how that is. ;) I'd mix it and wean them off like someone else suggested. Oh and I wish I lived closer to some of y'all. I'd buy all that unwanted hay off y'all in a heart beat. :)
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post #20 of 22 Old 10-29-2011, 10:43 PM
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I'm having a problem with the term "ditch hay". Here no one bales the ditches because of all the exhaust from vehicles and road spills contaminating the grass. I find my horses won't touch hay that's been stored near cattle or pigs as it picks up their odor.When hay is very expensive, it's ok to feed the equivalent of one flake of hay in corn husks if you hay is of good quality. I had to do this one winter, offering each horse one flake only of oat straw. It reduced my costs a bit and stretched the hay I'd managed to get. We'd had a very wet year and no hay for hundreds of miles.

Last edited by Saddlebag; 10-29-2011 at 10:46 PM.
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