Hay up! need some advice pretty please on...
whats the best hay to feed? I have always stuck to Timothy with it being safe to feed to my horse Cherry, whom foundered some years ago, but recently seems to show some disinterest in it, was wondering what other 'safe' hay I could feed- some people have told me Timothy is too stalky? help please- have a grand day...and thanks for your time.
I would figure out the reason WHY she is showing disinterest rather then switching hay.
If the hay is suitable and good quality, there should be no reason for her disinterest. Horses never grow tired of grass do they? Not without some sort of problem intervening.
I would ask yourself:
Have I recently purchased my hay from a different source? Has the hay gotten wet and produced mold spores? Is the hay good quality? Is she picking through, only eating the 'good parts?' (Often when they pick, thick pieces or sticks will be left- they do not prefer them.)
If all questions are answered no, then I would examine her physical state. If her appetite has severally or significantly decreased, call a vet.
I have found that the type of grass is much less important than the quality of the hay. This time of year, your supplier may be out of high-quality hay. If your horse is used to the good stuff, he may be unwilling to eat lesser quality forage.
You should definitely examine the hay for obvious problems (mold, dust, over maturity). It should have nice color and a sweet odor. You can also send off a sample to your governement agriculture department for quality testing. Ask around to see where you need to send it. It'll probably cost about $10, but can be well worth it -- especially if they find anything bad.
I know that Onyx gets disinterested in hay very easily. One day she will eat her alfalfa and the next she won't touch it. What horse doesn't like alfalfa? And I know for a fact that there's nothing wrong with it. I like timothy hay. Most horses do really well on it. I also will feed good quality orchard grass or indifite-free fescue. I don't know if its available everywhere, but the barn where I board just recently started feeding Sudan grass. It's higher in protein than the orchard grass and lower than alfalfa. You just have to try some different types and see which works best for you and your horse.
I would love to have timothy hay to feed my horse. Unfortunately, it is not readily available in my area. I am stuck with alfalfa and oat hay. My horse gets oat/alfalfa hay cubes in the morning and oat hay at night. He is supplemented with alfalfa/bermuda hay pellets, rice bran pellets, and carrots. He looks great, so it's working for him, but my preference would be a grass hay. Of course quality is everything!
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