Hay. Fescue ok for horses?

Hay. Fescue ok for horses?

Post by Barbara The » Tue, 27 Jun 1995 04:00:00


I'd like info on types of grass hay that is good for horses.  I have access to
low cost Fescue, or a combination of oats and rye grass.  Is either of these
choices acceptable for horses?   Or should I look for something else.  This
will be in addition to alfalfa as explained below.

I have a gelding that I have always fed 100% alfalfa plus whatever he gets
from the pasture.  He is very healthy.  Could stand to gain a few pounds.
He is now 7 years old.

Late last winter I acquired a second gelding (now a 4 year old) that I also
fed 100% alfalfa.  Again, per the vet, both are VERY healthy.

My problem is budget.  These guys compete with each other and end up eating
four times what either ate when alone.  I'm considering giving a mix of hay
and alfalfa next winter.  Alfalfa for calories and grass hay so they have
something to do.

Comments?
-Barbara

 
 
 

Hay. Fescue ok for horses?

Post by Martha Selle » Tue, 27 Jun 1995 04:00:00

Quote:

>I have a gelding that I have always fed 100% alfalfa plus whatever he gets
>from the pasture.  He is very healthy.  Could stand to gain a few pounds.
>He is now 7 years old.

>Late last winter I acquired a second gelding (now a 4 year old) that I also
>fed 100% alfalfa.

You don't note your location, but if you are on the west
coast, you should avoid alfalfa or at most limit it to 50%
of the hay ration.  It has been implicated in horses who
develope enteroliths (intestinal stones).  We beed 50% oat
hay but I have also fed oat/wheat and oat/barley.  Don't
know about fescue.

For more on enteroliths, contact UC Davis.

Martha

--
Martha Sellers
Oakland, California


 
 
 

Hay. Fescue ok for horses?

Post by Lizannhi » Tue, 27 Jun 1995 04:00:00

Fescue hay is ok for non pregnant horses, but if you are having problems
with  keeping weight on with alfalfa, fescue isn't going to help.  Grass
hay in general has fewer calories than alfalfa and there might be a
palatability problem with switching to fescue.  You may have to keep
feeding alfalfa, but supplement with the grass hay to make up the
difference.  Is coastal bermuda, timothy, or orchard grass available in
your area?  All are more palatable than fescue, so even if it is a little
more expensive, you may end up wasting less.  My horses tend to waste alot
of the fescue hay I feed them-I give it in the winter just so they have
something to pick at during the day.  Its a trial and error
situation-fescue may work fine for you!

Liz Hillebrand

 
 
 

Hay. Fescue ok for horses?

Post by Jan Bue » Wed, 28 Jun 1995 04:00:00



Quote:
>I'd like info on types of grass hay that is good for horses.  I have access to
>low cost Fescue, or a combination of oats and rye grass.  Is either of these
>choices acceptable for horses?   Or should I look for something else.  This
>will be in addition to alfalfa as explained below.

>I have a gelding that I have always fed 100% alfalfa plus whatever he gets
>from the pasture.  He is very healthy.  Could stand to gain a few pounds.
>He is now 7 years old.

>Late last winter I acquired a second gelding (now a 4 year old) that I also
>fed 100% alfalfa.  Again, per the vet, both are VERY healthy.

>My problem is budget.  These guys compete with each other and end up eating
>four times what either ate when alone.  I'm considering giving a mix of hay
>and alfalfa next winter.  Alfalfa for calories and grass hay so they have
>something to do.

>Comments?
>-Barbara

You could always separate the "boys" to ensure they do not hog the food from
the other. I do: my gelding does not care if my mare ever eats or not...so I
separated their paddocks and stalls for the winter. The gelding gets fat
just breathing air, while my mare stays thin with a full feeder. I only give
them a flake or two alfalfa and about 7-8 lbs of grass hay. I have fed them
bluegrass, brome and other grasses and they do just dandy. (In our area,
100% alfalfa can cause founder and colic, so I balk from that recipe.)
Jan