What do I seed my land with for feed? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 10 Old 05-26-2012, 09:26 PM Thread Starter
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What do I seed my land with for feed?

I have about an acre that has been levelled with a bobcat for pasture and also the enclosure which is about the same size. The both are almost fresh dirt (with lots of fresh compost).

With two 14 year old mares. What would be a good thing to seed the areas with? I plan to let one grow then move them in and let the other area grow.

We are in northern Alberta Canada where the winters are viscous with several weeks of minus 40 but the summers have up to 18 hours of sunlight.

Thanks for any advice.
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post #2 of 10 Old 05-26-2012, 09:28 PM
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Does Canada have local agriculture departments that can help you choose a grass that will do well in your area?

You just have to see your distance...you don't have to like it.
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post #3 of 10 Old 05-26-2012, 09:33 PM Thread Starter
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I am not sure. I would not even know where to look. I should have mentioned that I am very new to the horse world. I was hoping for an answer like "plant oats" or "plant barley" :)
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post #4 of 10 Old 05-26-2012, 10:15 PM
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two horses on 1 acre in Alberta ? Id say plant a round bale feeder...LOL,,

Where do you buy horse feed ? I would imagine a local feed and sead could tell you what will work th ebest in your area.
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post #5 of 10 Old 05-27-2012, 12:28 AM Thread Starter
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We don't have any farming locally. We are too far north. We have everything shipped in. The horses do fine in the winter with a barn for shelter, although they seem to just get shaggy and not mind temperature us humans can't stand. We have round bales trucked in and the other feed comes from 300 miles south.

The barley we have for feed isn't germinating. I think they may have treated it somehow. I will ask when I get down there again.
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post #6 of 10 Old 05-27-2012, 01:13 AM Thread Starter
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Also it is two horses on two acres. The local bylaw is 1 horse per acre. We have a total of 3.7 acres altogether. I wonder where you get a 0.7, maybe a sheffield pony? Or a big draft horse could be 1.7.
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post #7 of 10 Old 05-27-2012, 08:00 AM
Green Broke
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Try these guys, they are located in western Alberta, have a phone number on the top of the page. Bet they know all their is to know about forage seed for your area. Hannas Seeds - Alfalfa, Clover, Grass Seed & Garden Centre
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post #8 of 10 Old 05-27-2012, 05:41 PM
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This is as close as I could find to an Ag Site for Alberta.

Agri-Environment Services Branch Office Locations - Alberta - Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC)

I am not at all familiar with Alberta; scroll thru the list to find the city nearest you and hope they can help you.

Their first "scripted" answer will most likely be that it's in your best interest to plant grasses native to your area.

That's all well and good as long as they tell you what those native grasses are - lol lol

If you don't feel you've been helped, then I would branch out and call the Ag center that is in the next closest proximity to you.

If you can't get any help this way, there's an off-chance that Admani of Canada (ADM) might be able to help or at least point you somewhere:)


Also, since you're making such a conscious effort, you might want your soil tested for mineral content. The grass is only as good as the soil it's grown in.

I know some states further north of me are high in selenium for example. Where I live that is not an issue but extremely high iron content is. That reflects in my pasture and my hay that is grown five miles away.

Iron depletes copper and zinc; two important minerals horses need.

Especially my two metabolic horses; we are so high in iron, it's probably how they came to be metabolic in the first place. They are most likely genetically predisposed but having high iron and low copper & zinc in both hay and pastures may have sent them over the insulin/glucose edge.

I'm only siting that "for example" to help you understand the importance of testing your soil before you seed so you can have any soil mineral imbalances corrected:)

Hope this helps:)

Last edited by walkinthewalk; 05-27-2012 at 05:47 PM.
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post #9 of 10 Old 05-28-2012, 12:26 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks a lot. I was really looking for a simple answer and now I realize the issue is way more complicated. We ended up having to separate the horses anyway, so now what grows will grow. Hopefully the native grasses will just move in from the reserve next to us.
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post #10 of 10 Old 05-29-2012, 01:59 AM
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While I agree basically that info from local sources would be very helpful, I'll give you the sort of answer you were thinking of... I'd plant a range of native grasses &/or other low sugar varieties. I'd avoid grasses such as rye, cereals and other 'improved' varieties which are high sugar/starch.
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