I'm not really clear on this...hay experts out there?
We've been feeding our horses a timothy/grass hay mix. We get it from a dealer who hikes up the price and often brings hay that is below my standard... (ie extremely dusty, tree branches in it, etc)
But we've found a hay dealer closer to us, who sells quality, reasonbly priced hay. It is fresh cut, 100% pure timothy, though No grass
We have an easy keeper, and I am wondering if this 100% pure timothy is a good thing to be feeding an easy keeper.....i.e. is it fattening?
I know next to nothing about hay.
I'm certainly not a hay expert, but I'm pretty sure timothy is a grass hay, not a legume like alfalfa, if that's what you're wondering. That being said, I'm not sure how the nutritional content compares to other types of hay.
Yea, I know timothy is a grass hay. I should have been more specific.
We were feeding timothy/orchard grass mix......now we are feeding 100% timothy.....
and I am wondering how timothy/orchard grass vs. pure timothy could affect an already fat horse.....
Like how does the sugars, nutrition quality of timothy compare to orchard grass affect an easy keeper....
In other words, is timothy more fattening than orchard grass?
This might help:
It's a pdf of a University of Kentucky publication. The chart at the bottom of the first page makes it seem like timothy and orchard grass are extremely similar, so changing the ratio of the two shouldn't have any effect. I'm interested to hear what others have to say, though.
GReat, Thanks. I'll certainly give it a read.....
Our Belgian is so fat, now that we are using 100% timothy, I just want to make sure it won't fatten her up......
She can't afford to gain ONE more ounce!!!:-(
My suggestion would be to just keep a very close eye on her and if she starts gaining, either invest in a grazing muzzle that you can put on her for parts of the day or contain her in a dry lot/pen where you can limit the amount of feed that she gets.
As for the nutritional content of the hay, the only way to say for sure would be to have it tested. I've seen some timothy around here that had the nutritional equivalent of cardboard and others that rivaled good alfalfa on fat and protein content. It all depends on the ground it grows in, whether or not it gets enough water, and several other factors.
Where do I go to get the hay tested? I mean, who do you call to have this done?
That is a darn good question, I honestly have no idea :lol:. I imagine you could maybe call your local feed store or co-op and get a place that will test it for you.
Generally the feed store and/or Co-ops do test hay BUT their labs generally test for cattle not horses. You would have to ask if they know for sure hay can be tested for the things you need to know for a horse.
I bought a core sampler and send samples to Equi-analytical in New York.
You can pick n pay the type of testing you want done, their turn around is fast, and they either e-mail the results or send them thru the mail.
Equi-Analytical Laboratories - Profiling Feed for Better Nutrition
It would be great if your local Ag Center, Co-op, or one of the feed stores had a core sampler they loan out so you don't have to buy one.
This Triple Crown link provides a general idea of the sugar/starch content in some forages. Horse Nutrition: Triple Crown's Carb & Horse Nutrition Recommendations
Not trying to scare the OP but Drafts are on the predisposed list for metabolic issues, so please take your horse's need to lose weight seriously.
The link above also provides sugar/starch content for various types of grains. Please note that oats and corn are the worst things over weight and metabolic horses can have.
That means no bagged feed that has oats and corn in it, unless it specifically says "distillers grain". Distillers Grains means the sugar and starch have been sucked out (for lack of a better word) for use in making whiskey:D
Hope this helps:-)
A forage test for protein measures the protein the same for cattle as it does for horses as it does for alpacas as it does for rabbits. This is an insane argument. The lab tech does not care what the animal using the hay is. The machine doing the NIR test does not care what the intended animal is. Noone cares what the intended animal is. THEY CARE ABOUT THE CHEMICAL ANALYSIS OF THE FORAGE TESTED. That is all. If you want to know the wsc, you ask for that to be tested. However; the test is not altered to report the results differently for cattle or for horses.
Well, I never could get the quote brackets correct.
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