What do you all think of when you say good pasture??

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What do you all think of when you say good pasture??

This is a discussion on What do you all think of when you say good pasture?? within the Horse Nutrition forums, part of the Horse Health category

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  • 1 Post By Cruiser

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    06-01-2012, 02:04 PM
Green Broke
What do you all think of when you say good pasture??

Just what the title says. What kinds of grasses and such would you consider to be on good (High Quality) pasture?? When shopping or looking at sites where they ask you to list what your horse eats, I will see, hay, good quality or high quality hay, pasture, good quality or high quality pasture. Soooooooooo, I guess I would like to know what you all think the difference is between regular, good and high quality is. Hay or pasture.
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    06-01-2012, 04:47 PM
I would assume it would depend on where you are. We are currently rehabbing our pasture. We planted a mix of rye and winter wheat last fall. The rye is starting to go dormant now, due to the heat. We are keeping our pasture mowed and fertilized to encourage the native grasses that were already there, but shaded out by trees and brush. There is also some bermuda grass back there, and we planted some bermuda grass seed in a few areas.

Our pasture will never be "lush," as we have a sandy clay soil and a hot dry climate. However, with careful managment, we will have plenty of good, nutritious pasture.

The grasses that are in our pasture are indian grass, big and little bluestem, crabgrass, bermuda grass, there is some arrowleaf and crimson clover, and yellow hop clover, and some gramma grass and the like as well. The horses also seem to like the cheat that is growing back there. There is also a LOT of weeds, but they are slowly being choked out as the mowing benefits the growth habit of grasses and allows the grass to choke out the weeds. (Meaning a lot less work de-weeding the pasture for us, even if it takes a bit longer.)
    06-01-2012, 08:11 PM
A pasture that has lots of variety, I over seeded my pasture with a timothy, clover mix (both grow extremely well here), but it already has dozen or so other kinds growing I just need it to fill in more. A good pasture should grow right through the seasons, mine grows starting in March to late October sometimes in November if it is mild. I spread manure in late winter, and lime heavily in the fall (we have really acidic soil here), but only after doing soil testing to make sure I'm not doing to much of one thing.
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    06-02-2012, 02:19 AM
Originally Posted by nvr2many    
Just what the title says. What kinds of grasses and such would you consider to be on good (High Quality) pasture??
Well actually, while I guessed what you meant by it, the initial thought that came to my head in answer to your subject heading was 'fat horses & laminitis'!

So... what do I think of when others say good pasture... aside from the above? Tends to mean rich, high sugar, cattle fattening 'improved' varieties such as rye and clovers. Leafy more than stemmy. Generally(here at least) means grown on well supered paddocks.

In contrast, what I consider good pasture & hay for horses is lower sugar, stemmier varieties and maturity. A wide range of different types on naturally &/or appropriately fertilised land that balances the nutrients available.

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