Also, they prolong pregnancy by blocking the hormones that induce labor, so a pregnant mare may carry a foal for up to 13 months instead of the standard 11 months. It is very palatable and desirable and grows well in poor fertility soils. Benefits: Grass hay is lower in protein and energy than legume hay — but it’s also higher in fiber, which can make it a good choice for many horses. The stems are thin and flexible, and it has a high fibre content. Before banishing tall fescue from your operation, consider the following facts: “Be aware, however, that endophyte-free fescue is not as persistent or hardy as the infected varieties. Raise the cutting height to 3 inches. Nos partenaires et nous-mêmes stockerons et/ou utiliserons des informations concernant votre appareil, par l’intermédiaire de cookies et de technologies similaires, afin d’afficher des annonces et des contenus personnalisés, de mesurer les audiences et les contenus, d’obtenir des informations sur les audiences et à des fins de développement de produit. Horses that eat kleingrass will develop liver disease and photosensitization around the coronary band. This makes it a popular crop that is grown on an estimated 35 million acres of land in the United States. Fescue has gained much attention over the last couple decades for its sometimes detrimental effects on pregnant mares when it is infected with an endophyte fungus. Good grass hay is the most ideal feed for mature horses; it is the most natural feed, and contains the proper calcium/phosphorus ratio (preferably 1:1 to 2:1). All Rights Reserved. Not all fescue is infected with endophyte. I'm feeding Fescue right now to 10 horses and they are all eating it quite well (as in none being trashed). Consider that the bulk of our horses are only on light work, or less—a good quality mix hay would likely meet the primary needs of the horse at maintenance.” Given this reality, feeding both grasses and legumes is important in order to provide the right balance of nutrients and high-quality protein. Legume hay is also ideal for goats and lambs. Here are a few practices that can be used to lower the alkaloid level in tall fescue hay. Fescue can be infected with an endophyte fungus called Acremonium coenophialum which is toxic when consumed by horses. Musty hay or other indications of mold or heating, and dust, weeds and other foreign material in hay can be unhealthy for an animal. It looks pretty and has much higher levels of proteins and fats and is, unfortunately, low in fibre. At the same time, poorly managed pastures supply little or no feed and frequently are the sourc… Q: Can horses eat freshly baled hay? Fescue is fine for horses with the exception of pregnant broodmares. Fescue is a hardy grass that is easily established, tolerates close grazing, stands up to heavy horse traffic, survives drought conditions and is resistant to weeds, insects and diseases. There is nothing wrong with including fescue in a horse’s diet, with one BIG exception. The hay is a late-maturing high fiber bunchgrass with a relatively low protein content. In horses, fescue toxicity can cause reproductive problems. For horses, grass hay or a legume/grass hay mix is the best choice. Fescue toxicity has long been an issue for horses, sheep and cattle. It should never be fed to breeding mares. All horses need fiber in their diet and some of it must be the form of long hay. That being said, it's not my first choice for horse hay but I was able to purchase some from a neighbor who is well known for producing nice hay - the quality was good and the price was good, not to mention the close proximity. Bluestem hay is fine for horses. Both of these are heavily influenced by the stage of maturity of the forage plant. “Endophyte-infected tall fescue, especially the seeds, contains specific chemicals called ergot alkaloids produced by the fungus,” explained Kathleen Crandell, Ph.D., a nutritionist with. Additionally. But there’s another good reason to keep cutterbars above 3 inches. Clover can be a good feed source for most horses because it provides useful energy and adequate protein and fiber. We never gave our horses this and I'm getting different feedbacks as good horse hay, except for broodmares, and others saying horses colic or … Management recommendations for horses currently suggest either using an endophyte-free tall fescue or removing pregnant mares from endophyte-infected tall fescue pasture and/or hay prior to the last trimester of pregnancy (see Current Report CR-3917, Fescue Toxicity and Horses). For a 1,200 pound animal that is equivalent to 12 pounds. Written by the AAEP High-quality hay can be an important source of essential nutrients in your horse’s diet. All horses need fiber in their diet and some of it must be the form of long hay. Fescue is the grass/hay that has the most serious problem as a horse feed. Vous pouvez modifier vos choix à tout moment dans vos paramètres de vie privée. Many horse owners select hay for their horses based on what they think looks good or on what they have been told is good. Raise the cutting height to 3 inches. Though it is considered a cool-season grass, it thrives in extreme conditions, including cold, heat, drought, and shade. Some people are recommending that insulin resistant horses not … To access member-exclusive content on our website, you must login. Opinions vary all the way from believing that timothy is an essential part of every horse ration to that which insists on alfalfa for all horses. Your horse is in good body condition; she is doing well on the grass/alfalfa-mix hay you are currently feeding. High endophyte fescue pastures are tough on grazing cattle during late spring/early summer. Almost all fescue has an undetectable fungus (endophyte) living in it … When ingested in large quantities, this fungus often causes reproductive health issues in horses. Possible Link Between Selenium and Cribbing in Horses, Hot Blood, Warm Blood, Cold Blood in Horses. It grows together with tall fescue and has a positive influence on fescue growth including defending the plant from pests. Some people are recommending that insulin resistant horses not … Fescue alkaloids can delay a mare's estrus cycle. Fescue has several characteristics which make it an excellent forage for a horse grazing management system. Clover can be a good feed source for most horses because it provides useful energy and adequate protein and fiber. Horses readily consume good hay, which is rich in energy, protein, minerals, and vitamins. Endophyte-free varieties of Tall Fescue Grass were developed, but they suffered from reduced plant hardiness and survival. We never gave our horses this and I'm getting different feedbacks as good horse hay, except for broodmares, and others saying horses colic or … MaxQ Tall Fescue Grass - Safe For Horse Pastures & Hay. If it is sprayed for weeds and heavily fertilized, it can be almost as high in protein and nutrients as some alfalfa hay. Découvrez comment nous utilisons vos informations dans notre Politique relative à la vie privée et notre Politique relative aux cookies. Tall fescue is an extremely hardy, well-adapted grass species used for hay and pasture in the central and eastern United States and the Pacific Northwest. best hay for horses First Cut Hay. A horse’s protein and energy requirements depend on age, stage of development, metabolism and workload. She is getting no grain, and she has never developed laminitis, inflammation of the soft connective tissues within the foot that can result from a variety … Horses need long-stem fiber to remain healthy - in a perfect situation horses will graze for approximately 18 hours per day. Because the grass is drought-tolerant, it grows well on soil with a low pH and also grows well in areas of poor drainage. Hay should not be packaged when moisture content is greater than 20 percent and an effective preservative is not used. Welcome to the AAEP! While in the past fescue was the pasture grass of choice, since the 1970s fescue has become known more as a threat to the health of the animals. I would feed anything else first. When we use it with horses, however, we must be very careful to use the right kind. First, cut hay also has a lower fat and protein content. What to do:No treatment has been noted. Fescue can be tested for infection, and multiple strategies can be put in place to choke out or dilute infected fescue. Therefore, the nutrient rich and highl… Not all fescue is infected with endophyte. In fact, a steady diet of legume hay can lead to excessive weight gain. What many owners may not realize is that there are some significant health risks associated with horses eating endophyte fungus-infected (El) tall fescue. Fescue is used as a foraging crop because it stands up to repeated close grazing and grows vigorously at low temperatures. Grass hay is also a good hay choice for “easy keepers”, meaning horses that easily gain weight or struggle to keep their weight down, especially ponies or miniature horses. For alternate feeding strategies, contact a Kentucky Equine Research nutrition advisor.”, Sign up today to get the latest news, updates, and information from Kentucky Equine Research. She is getting no grain, and she has never developed laminitis, inflammation of the soft connective tissues within the foot that can result from a variety … Tall fescue is a durable, high yielding cool-season grass with many desirable characteristics for a pasture grass. Fescue infected with the endophyte Neotyphodium coenophialum produces chemicals toxic to horses. Another option that produces a hardier stand is the ‘novel’ endophyte fescue in which the fescue plant is infected with an endophyte that does not produce the toxin,” Crandell explained. This means that a horse will get more nutrients from less hay but it also means that they get more energy and calories from less hay so it won’t keep a horse occupied for as long. Because fescue is primarily a cool-season crop, its quality goes down in summer, when the grasses mature. Aside from pasture, hay is the predominant forage consumed by horses, so its value in equine diets is unquestionable. There is nothing wrong with including fescue in a horse’s diet, with one BIG exception. Horses and tall fescue pasture can be good, bad, or just plain ugly. They have not been selected for traits that promote rapid weight gain and milk production. For pregnant or lactating mares, or young growing horses, some legume hay added to the diet provides the additional protein and higher levels of other nutrients needed. Hay that is that rich may not be suitable for feeding 'free choice'. But, knowing how to feed hay is more complicated than you might think. High-quality, properly fenced pastures are one of the best and least expensive sources of summer feed for a horse. Fescue is the grass/hay that has the most serious problem as a horse feed. One nutrient of particular concern is carotene, the precursor to vitamin A. Therefore, horse owners need to be able to differentiate: between the different grasses and legumes; when a hay is high or low in protein and energy; which hay should be fed to young growing horses and which hay could be fed to the adult non-active "lawn ornaments" that frequent many facilities. They tend to grow more slowly than ‘high production’ rye-grasses/tall fescues for example. Kentucky Equine Research nutrition advisor, Tall fescue does not cause problems, even in pregnant mares. Two primary factors that influence forage quality are nutrient concentration and nutrient digestibility. Horses should be removed from the kleingrass source, put on good-quality hay, and kept out of the sunlight. What to do:No treatment has been noted. A good rule of thumb for horse owners is that your horse should consume at least one percent of its body weight in hay or pasture daily. Cutting tall fescue hay to leave a 3-inch stubble has long been recommended to help improve the persistence of a hayfield stand. Informations sur votre appareil et sur votre connexion Internet, y compris votre adresse IP, Navigation et recherche lors de l’utilisation des sites Web et applications Verizon Media. Tall fescue provides plentiful yields and is low maintenance, flourishing under a range of management systems. Unless you have lots of well-maintained quality pasture, odds are your horse (s) would benefit from having a ration balancer in addition to hay. To access member-exclusive content on our website, you must login. This is a very common grass especially in dry areas and is great for horses. A well-kept pasture also is the most natural and healthy environment for exercise and rest. Squirreltail Grass Written by the AAEP High-quality hay can be an important source of essential nutrients in your horse’s diet. Tall fescue provides plentiful yields and is low maintenance, flourishing under a range of management systems. Pour autoriser Verizon Media et nos partenaires à traiter vos données personnelles, sélectionnez 'J'accepte' ou 'Gérer les paramètres' pour obtenir plus d’informations et pour gérer vos choix. Fescue can be fed to horses, but avoid this hay for pregnant mares. Bluegrass - is very nutritious perennial. The culprit is a fungus – known as an endophyte – that has been found to harm cattle, and while for the longest time there was no proof that it harmed horses, it has now been shown to cause serious health issues in the equine communities. Foaling after such as prolonged First time logging in? Note: Some horses find it palatable, but others would “rather starve.” Return to our list of hay types for more details. 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