What Is The Best Hay For Older Horses?

What is the best hay to feed older horses?

Alfalfa hayAlfalfa hay and good quality grass hays are preferable to stemmy and mature hays that have tougher fiber to ferment.

The small intestine loses some function – Older horses find it harder to digest protein in the small intestine..

Is alfalfa hay good for older horses?

The digestive system in older horses tends to be less efficient at processing and absorbing nutrients. Older horses often have difficulty eating hay because their teeth are either worn down or missing. … Coleman has found that mixed grass-legume hay, such as orchard-alfalfa or timothy-alfalfa, is often a good choice.

Can a horse have too much alfalfa?

While feeding extra protein is wasteful, a high-protein diet in itself does not hurt a healthy horse. It can be detrimental, however, to horses with impaired kidneys or liver. … Duren also doesn’t recommend feeding straight alfalfa to endurance horses due to its protein and calcium content.

What hay can horses not eat?

Oat hay has thick tougher stalks that some horses will not eat. Oat hay tends to be higher in nitrates and also high in sugar (NSC), so this hay is not an option for insulin resistant horses. Here’s a comparison chart so you can see the differences between alfalfa hay, timothy (grass) hay and oat hay.

How can you tell good quality hay?

Look for the following characteristics:Maturity – High quality hay will have a high proportion of leaves in the bale, with few or no coarse stems or seed heads.Condition – High quality hay will contain little dust or mold.Color & odor – High quality hay generally has a bright green color and a sweet, fresh odor.More items…•

Can horses eat any hay?

Horses typically eat hay that’s grown locally, which means their options are often restricted to what grows best in their area. While alfalfa is considered an ideal hay, horses can also eat timothy, clover and tall fescue hays as well as mixtures of these hays.

What type of hay is best for miniature horses?

grass hayAlfalfa hay is too energy-dense for most Miniature Horses; grass hay is a better choice, fed at the rate of about 1.5% of their body weight in hay daily. Some Miniature Horses are used for driving, breeding, or showing in hand, and these animals may have higher caloric demands than their idle cousins.

Are Oats good for older horses?

Yes – if your horse needs them! … If your horse has nutrient requirements that are higher than what is being met with hay alone – particularly energy (calories), oats can be an excellent option. Oats are, however, low in calcium and high in phosphorus, and lack several vital nutrients for the horses.

Is timothy hay or alfalfa better for horses?

While other feeds such as Alfalfa hay can meet energy requirements of horses in high levels of products, low nutritional concentrations of Timothy hay are ideal for many life stages. For racehorses, fiber is a good cornerstone for any feeding program.

Is Timothy grass the same as Timothy hay?

They are not different products; it’s all the same Timothy grass hay. The reason the term “grass hay” is used is to distinguish it from legume hay, such as alfalfa or peanut, which is richer. There are a lot of different types of hay, so often you see them labeled as “Teff grass hay” or “rye grass hay” or whatever.

How much does a bale of hay cost for horses?

Keep in mind that grass hay bales are usually lighter than alfalfa bales. The Internet Hay Exchange lists average prices of $121 a ton for grass hay and $165 for alfalfa.

Can a horse live on hay alone?

Hay alone, without at least 2-3 hours of grazing time daily, may not be enough. However, you do not need to feed her senior feed or any other horse feeds.

How old is a 28 year old horse in human years?

Here is a horse years into human years:Horse YearsHuman Years27782880.529833085.536 more rows

Is timothy or orchard grass better for horses?

Orchard Grass is higher in protein (10-12%), higher in calorie content and contains the same balanced levels of calcium and phosphorus as Timothy grass. … The high nutrient intake delivered by Orchard Grass hay translates into potentially less grain the horse would need to eat to satisfy energy and protein requirements.

What can kill a horse quickly?

The most common acute toxins that kill horses in a few hours to 36 hours include:Botulism – often associated with haylage feeding.Ionophore toxicity – associated with feed contamination.Yew toxicity – associated with horses consuming clippings from this common ornamental shrub.Poison-hemlock – found in swampy areas.More items…•

What kind of hay is bad for horses?

Downsides: Grass hay alone may not be enough to sustain a hard-keeping horse, a growing horse or a pregnant or lactating mare. Additionally, horses in heavy work will need more energy and nutrients than can be found in grass hay alone.

Why is alfalfa bad for horses?

It can be detrimental, however, to horses with impaired kidneys or liver. These individuals have problems processing and excreting protein and should be kept on a very low-protein diet. Duren also doesn’t recommend feeding straight alfalfa to endurance horses due to its protein and calcium content.

What cutting of hay is best for horses?

Mid- to late-maturity hays are best for horses with low nutrient requirements, because the horses can eat more to satisfy their appetites without overeating and becoming fat. Horse owners also ask whether first or second-cut hay is better. There is more variation within a cutting than between cuttings.