suggestions about switching hay

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suggestions about switching hay

This is a discussion on suggestions about switching hay within the Horse Nutrition forums, part of the Horse Health category

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    12-02-2012, 12:43 AM
suggestions about switching hay

I have been getting 1st cutting from the same guy for 3 years. This year, we had a very dry July so I was feeding hay during the summer (what would have been our hay for the winter). So now its December and he is out of hay. I found another supplier and he delivered hay today. I believe the new hay is second cutting. I didnt ask because when he gave me the price I assumed it was first cut (if that makes sense) The other stuff wasnt great quality hay.. light green/yellowish, a little stalky. The new stuff is a grassy mix, pretty green, soft, smells great :) The horses absolutely love it. My concern is how to switch them over to it without anyone getting sick.

What should I be worried about when switching them? Diarrhea, colic, founder??

I have 5 horses.. 25 yr old appendix QH, 23 yr old TWH, 20 yr old QH(with horrible teeth), 6 yr old belgian/TB (EASY keeper- a little chubby) and 7 yr old TB.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!! Thanks!
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    12-02-2012, 12:54 AM
Generally speaking you'd like to go slow, over a week or so. That said, many horses go from one hay to the next quick as cutting open the next bale so long as it's the same KIND of hay (eg, timothy from one guy to timothy from another, grass to grass, etc) without a problem. If you were going from legume hay to a grass I would take more time.
    12-02-2012, 01:03 AM
Ours get whatever cutting our guy has. It's orchard grass with a touch of alfalfa ( 70/30 80/20) or straight grass. Never been an issue. But that what they have always gotten.
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