Weed Free Feed - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 12 Old 06-07-2012, 03:36 PM Thread Starter
Weanling
 
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Weed Free Feed

What is certified weed free feed and why does it matter?
Whether we like it or not, having horse and mule feed that is "certified" free of weed seeds is the law in a growing number of riding areas.
And if we fail to abide with these rules our next horse camping trip could become quite costly.




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Last edited by SouthernTrails; 01-07-2013 at 12:31 PM.
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post #2 of 12 Old 06-07-2012, 03:54 PM
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The article was a great read! Tell me this as I am sure you can answer. When one is planning on going up in the mountains for a few days and carrying hay is pretty much impossible... What do you feed during those days?? Do you take grain?
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post #3 of 12 Old 06-07-2012, 04:43 PM
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dry beet pulp and alfalfa pellets. Light weight, just add water. Hopefully you can find grass to go along with it.
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post #4 of 12 Old 06-07-2012, 06:46 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you very much. It depends...

If I'm not expecting good graze and I'm taking pack stock I'll take what I've always referred to as TACO (Which is timothy, alfalfa, corn, and oats ground and formed into a large pellet.) as well as cubed hay. I figure that the cubes will take care of the roughage and the rest will put energy into the horses. Sounds kind of similar to what joe4d does but my setup takes more weight and room (thus the pack critter). I've never been a big fan of the beet pulp but that's just me.

If I can be reasonably assured of good graze I'll take a few pounds per day of a complete feed (generally a senior feed) and use it as essentially catch grain. Of course this scenario has the horses in hobbles and grazing for an hour or so morning, noon, and evening.

If I'm not expecting good graze and a pack animal is out of the question I don't go.

Some of the old timers say that I pamper my beasts but I figure they need to enjoy their trips as much as I do, so I don't mind putting more food into them.

Hope this answers your question.

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post #5 of 12 Old 06-07-2012, 09:11 PM
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I thought the cube and pellett bags had to state Weed Free. If not, how do your prove that is weed free? I have had weed free baled hay, and seen some real crappy looking cubes . So just because its bagged does not necessarily mean it is weed free. I have never seen it printed on bagged feed weed free
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post #6 of 12 Old 06-07-2012, 10:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trails View Post
Thank you very much. It depends...

If I'm not expecting good graze and I'm taking pack stock I'll take what I've always referred to as TACO (Which is timothy, alfalfa, corn, and oats ground and formed into a large pellet.) as well as cubed hay. I figure that the cubes will take care of the roughage and the rest will put energy into the horses. Sounds kind of similar to what joe4d does but my setup takes more weight and room (thus the pack critter). I've never been a big fan of the beet pulp but that's just me.

If I can be reasonably assured of good graze I'll take a few pounds per day of a complete feed (generally a senior feed) and use it as essentially catch grain. Of course this scenario has the horses in hobbles and grazing for an hour or so morning, noon, and evening.

If I'm not expecting good graze and a pack animal is out of the question I don't go.

Some of the old timers say that I pamper my beasts but I figure they need to enjoy their trips as much as I do, so I don't mind putting more food into them.

Hope this answers your question.

What do you pack the feed into? like what kinda container?
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post #7 of 12 Old 06-07-2012, 11:37 PM
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Weed free hay is mostly a gimmick to make people feel better. I grew up on a farm with certified weed free fields for grass seed. It's a very labor intensive operation that can only be partly automated (ie spraying with a swamp buggy). Grass killer kills all grasses so you have to walk the entire field spraying out individual plants that don't belong. Even with all that effort you will still end up with plants you don't want in your field.

Now personally I doubt most hay farmers go to this extent for their fields but even if they did you would still end up with weeds in it.
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post #8 of 12 Old 06-07-2012, 11:49 PM
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forest service says you have to feed weed free hay.. but aren't most meadows full of weeds anyway ? a weed is a plant that is not desired.
I think instead of picking on horses and riders in the mountains, the hikers have to walk over horse poo... oh dear god.. where do they poo at .. in a sack and pack it out !! and where do they pee !! gross hikers need banned !! hahahaaa
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post #9 of 12 Old 06-08-2012, 10:05 AM Thread Starter
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Wallee - On the pack stock I'll just keep the cubes and taco it in the bags it came in (and make sure the weed free tag is still attached to the bag - I was asked once by a back country ranger). Feed it and then burn the bag. The panniers or manties will keep everything dry.

If I'm going in with just riding animals I'll weigh the feed and keep it in baggies inside my nose bags and stash those in saddle bags. Since in this case I'd be taking a complete feed there's no tag required.

Stevenson - "I thought the cube and pellett bags had to state Weed Free. If not, how do your prove that is weed free? I have never seen it printed on bagged feed weed free" - It does. There's a tag that will be on on the bags of cubes and some types of pellets that says it's weed free. You can see what the tag looks like here. I've been asked and had to show the tags before. If I hadn't had the tags I could have been hit with a huge fine. Last time I checked for USFS the fine was $5,000 if you get caught.

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post #10 of 12 Old 06-08-2012, 02:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stevenson View Post
forest service says you have to feed weed free hay.. but aren't most meadows full of weeds anyway ? a weed is a plant that is not desired.
According to my mom's instructions to me as a youngster, a weed is any plant that she didn't put there and I had to yank out!
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