? About grazing/feed? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 8 Old 11-19-2019, 07:14 PM Thread Starter
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? About grazing/feed?

We have quality hay and oat bales. I let horse out in mornings, but paddock is getting overgrazed (about 1/2 acre...horse). In afternoon I'll throw about 3" flake in paddock. Evening maybe that in hay + oat hay. Also 1/2 scoop treats like sweet feed.
I'm getting other pasture fenced about 10 acres total...but today I had a "brainstorm".
I used a clean leaf vac on a mower, cut through some orchard grass then dumped it in paddock. About a wheelbarrow load.
Seems ok to me... is it ok?

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post #2 of 8 Old 11-19-2019, 07:57 PM
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I have read articles that say to feed mown fresh, wet grass is one of the worst things you can do for a horse.
Hay is different...
I truly don't understand that but know fresh mown grass can ferment quickly, and fermented grass is dangerous to feed to horses.
Mown grass also can compact in the intestinal tract to easily because it is small pieces and the horses do not chew but bolt it down...and not drink adequate water amounts.
I do not remember where I've read that, but have read it and read it a few times from different sources.

So, that said...
I mow my yard...blow the grass into piles and keep moving it around so it dries to a hay like consistency...
When it is dry I have pitched it over the paddock fence for my horses to enjoy.
My horses are huge water drinkers normally.
I don't feed so much grass in one place but it is walk and munch time...not much difference to grazing except it was cut.
So far, never a problem have I had...
BUT, it is dried grass not fresh & wet, not heaped amounts and my horses consume it in about 1/2 hour.
It is a treat, not a meal...

I will say use great caution and do the research about mown grass and feeding it to your horses so you can be a informed owner/caregiver.
...
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post #3 of 8 Old 11-19-2019, 08:24 PM
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Scything long grass is usually pretty safe, as long as it's not too lush. Not that we have much lush long grass where we live; it's lush when short and gets drier when it gets taller. Anything you keep in a pile too long will ferment (and the smaller the cut bits, the more moisture and the bigger the pile, the quicker the onset of fermentation), so feed out immediately and well spread out on a clean bit of paddock (not bare soil), and don't give them more than an armful each - or make hay first by spreading it around to dry (also best to do with lush grass).


We've always scythed stuff for horses, not used a lawnmower - it chops the grass up too much (and pollutes it with soot, unless an electrical or push mower). Scything is pretty easy and fun. We have an Austrian scythe (via mail order) - and you can get different sized blades, including really short ones that do the job of a weed-whacker / whippersnipper.

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Last edited by SueC; 11-19-2019 at 08:30 PM.
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post #4 of 8 Old 11-19-2019, 09:02 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks so much!!!!!!
I keep pastures bush hogged since they seem to do much better. I can't scythe as it's too short...about 5"-6".
I thought I was on to something, and hard to understand but I won't do it! Cutting, letting it dry as suggested makes sense.
I do enjoy a lead rope and leading around grazing which I'm sure that's fine!

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post #5 of 8 Old 11-19-2019, 09:04 PM
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I would recommend spreading it around so it dries and not ferment. I think that would be the biggest hazard as fermented grass would make them sick. Cut grass in piles ferments pretty quickly.

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post #6 of 8 Old 11-19-2019, 10:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fuddyduddy1952 View Post
Thanks so much!!!!!!
I keep pastures bush hogged since they seem to do much better. I can't scythe as it's too short...about 5"-6".
You can scythe stuff that length as well, although it will produce less cut material for your effort! Keeps the stem lengths intact. But, hand grazing / making temporary electric yards in your garden is also a possibility.







We have cows as well, so if I don't want to mow, they do a great job - although I only let the smaller ones in. Any stock in our garden just comes to crash graze for a couple of hours when the grass needs attention - you don't want them in there for long because they're heavy and will otherwise quickly damage your turf and compact the underlying soil. I always prefer the animals to get their own feed, rather than me bring it to them!

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post #7 of 8 Old 11-23-2019, 01:37 PM
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We hand graze or fence off and graze short duration for shorter grass and scythe the taller and feed an armload at a time per horse. Haven't done that so much in recent years and this year not at all with all the horses in one place but it was great exercise and the horses loved it. Mowing would make the pieces too small and as said fermentation becomes an issue.
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post #8 of 8 Old 11-23-2019, 08:02 PM
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Hi Fuddy, I'd not feed rich, sugary hay/grass, such as oaten for eg. if I could help it, but orchard/native pasture tends to be good.

Mown grass, as mentioned, as it tends to chop very small, get contaminated with exhaust, can easily ferment, is not a good move to feed horses. Also tending to be short & growing, it tends to be extra sweet. However, if you whippersnipper it (or scythe), it is OK to feed - and will come from longer, less sweet & more fibrous grass, which is better for horses.
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