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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We bought some hay from a new source. The hay smells really good, it's soft, it's green, but there are some bales the horse absolutely refuse to eat. These bales have some timothy, some orchard grass, and some of what you see below.

The middle one isn't orchard grass (the seeds aren't quite right). Does anyone know what these might be? I believe they are 3 different grasses.

 

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I could certainly be wrong, but it still looks like orchard, cut way too late.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I could certainly be wrong, but it still looks like orchard, cut way too late.
I spread out one of the seed heads and it doesn't have the right shape or spread to be orchard (at least I don't think). I'm wondering if it's reed canary grass (at least the one on the right)...
 

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Talk to your county Agriculture agent/Co-Op Extension office. Around here, they are always available to answer questions like yours and our familiar with the local forages.
 

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Looks like older orchard to me. The beginning of hay season at least up here was very wet. Lots of people didn't get to cut until much later in the season. I think that is what you are seeing.

I actually saw people knocking down fields in the end of September and first week of October this year. Something that usually isn't done because of the heavy dew and shorter days but the air was real dry and they pulled it off.

My hay guy was one of those people still cutting late. He said he was real worried early on in the season but the fall weather made up for it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Looks like older orchard to me. The beginning of hay season at least up here was very wet. Lots of people didn't get to cut until much later in the season. I think that is what you are seeing.
Thanks. The one in the middle may be orchard grass... but the one on the right has the seeds much closer to the main stem. I wonder if it could be orchard grass in a less mature stage?

We've had late cut orchard grass before and the horses eventually ate it. They simply won't touch this stuff, even after days. We took it out of their slow feeders and put in out in a pasture feeder rack and they won't even pick through it (and there is definitely timothy in it they could pick out). It seems to be only a few bales here and there, which made me wonder if it was some sort of water way grass. And the grass itself is very soft and has very thin blades more like fescue.

PHM, we've got a good extension office here (PSU).... so I think I'll stop by and see if they can help. Thanks!
 

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One other thing...it could be unrelated to the bales' grasses, too. It could have some smell that they don't like, something from the field (e.g. some critter), barn cat pee, etc, etc. If you get hay that they absolutely won't eat, a good hay farmer will let you tie up the remaining partial bale(s) and exchange them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
One other thing...it could be unrelated to the bales' grasses, too. It could have some smell that they don't like, something from the field (e.g. some critter), barn cat pee, etc, etc. If you get hay that they absolutely won't eat, a good hay farmer will let you tie up the remaining partial bale(s) and exchange them.
We wondered about the smell; he had the hay stored in a loft above a hog pen. But they will eat some of the bales...

I do think I'll give him a call and see if anyone else has reported problems with their horses not eating some bales.
 
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