Hay Horse Feed
Hay horse feed quality and protein information is an important concern. these animals love to eat. They like nothing better than to hang out in the pasture and munch away. They will do so constantly if given the chance.
Our equine friends consume 2-2.5% of their body weight in grasses every day. A 1000 lb. mature animal can be expected to consume 22-24 lb. of it daily on an as fed basis. Assuming that a small square bale weighs 50 lb., this represents about ½ a bale per day per mature 1000 pound horse. (However, there is a a large variation in bale weight from as low as 30 lb. up to 60 lb. Therefore, it is best to weigh a number of bales and get an average.)
When harvested in the early flower stage it contains high protein, but there is a greater chance for it to have been rained upon.
Most horses don't need too high a protein content, so it can be harvested later in the season when the plants are in full flower. It will be lower in protein and energy and hopefully, with less chance of being rained upon. Horse hay must not have been rained upon.
Determining Hay Quality
1. Freedom from dust
2. Green in color
3. Freedom from weeds
Learn the differences between grasses and legumes
Learn which kind should be fed to colts and which could be fed to the adult non-active "lawn ornaments" We have about 9 "lawn ornaments" at our ranch.
Nutrient content is more precisely measured by laboratory analysis. Interpretation of the result can be provided by your veterinarian, feed dealer or agricultural representative. If this sounds like a lot of work...It isn't... Our hay supplier gave us the laboratory analysis information paper. Agribrands Purina Canada did the laboratory analysis of the hay.
If you find this hay horse feed information overwhelming (if you're a newbie) then just ask neighbors, friends, or someone working at your local feed store for recommendations of suppliers. People in the country are on the most part genuinely helpful. Horse people enjoy giving advice! So ask around.
Purina Analysis Information Paper
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