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Timothy and Alfalfa Hay Blog

    Forage Nutrition 101: Acid Detergent Fiber & Neutral Detergent Fiber

    Posted on Jul 1, 2021

    Success in the agriculture industry starts with the quality of your forages. They need to deliver optimal levels of protein, minerals, fiber, and other essentials to establish the most accurate measurement of feed quality: animal productivity. Many factors weigh into whether forages are good, better or best – such as climate, soil conditions, and the harvesting process. Consider all of these aspects when choosing a supplier to ensure that you receive the highest quality forage possible.

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    Topics: Alfalfa Hay, Timothy, Horse Nutrition

    Flakes of hay: How much to feed your horse?

    Posted on Jun 10, 2021

    How Do Horses Digestion Systems Work?

    Horses are non-ruminant herbivores, meaning they have a single stomach digestive system, and can eat and utilize roughages much like cattle or sheep.  However, unlike cattle, horses have stomachs that function similarly to human stomachs, where feed particles are mixed with pepsin, an enzyme that breaks down proteins, and hydrochloric acid, which breaks down solid particles.  But, a horse stomach is quite small in comparison to the stomachs of other livestock animals and can only contain about 10% of the total capacity of the digestive system. 

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    Topics: Alfalfa Hay, Hay for Horses, Timothy Hay, Race Horse Hay, Timothy

    Forage Nutrition 101: Crude Protein

    Posted on May 11, 2021

    High-quality forages are essential for livestock, as premium products provide the optimal amounts of energy, protein, minerals, fiber and other essential nutrients. Forage quality relies upon many factors, including:

    • Climate
    • Soil fertility
    • Harvesting technique

    Production of premium forages is extremely complex. One of the top and most widely recognized measures of forage quality is the amount of crude protein it contains. Crude protein has a large impact on animal digestive health and productivity. Read on for more information on crude protein, why it’s important and what percentages are ideal in different types of forages.

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    Topics: Alfalfa Hay, Timothy Hay, Quality of Forage, Horse Nutrition

    Forage Nutrition 101: Phosphorus

    Posted on May 26, 2016

    In the agriculture industry, the quality of forages is measured by the levels of energy, fiber, and other essential nutrients they provide. Growing environment, soil conditions, and harvesting technique all impact forage quality. The physical attributes of forages (smell, color, leafiness) are not as specific indicators of quality as chemical analysis.

    One factor to consider when looking at you forage options is the concentration of phosphorus (P) as different levels affect digestion and animal productivity.

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    Topics: Alfalfa Hay, Timothy Hay, Quality of Forage, Timothy

    Forage Nutrition 101: Nitrates

    Posted on May 19, 2016

    Quality forages are vital to the livestock industry, as only the top quality options provide crude protein, acid detergen/neutral detergent fiber, minerals, and other nutrients essential to animal health. Forage quality depends on a variety of conditions, such as the harvesting process, soil, fertilization, maturity – factors that impact both the physical characteristics and chemical makeup of the final product. Premium forages aren’t developed overnight; they are the result of extensive expertise and years of experience.

    When assessing forage options, one measurement commonly used to measure quality is the percentage

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    Topics: Alfalfa Hay, Quality of Forage, Timothy, Horse Nutrition, Export Hay

    Composting for your Horse's Health

    Posted on Feb 13, 2014

    Key Factors for a Successful Compost Pile

    Composting horse manure is beneficial to your horse’s health. A properly managed compost pile will reach temperatures that are high enough to kill fly larvae, which reduces the fly population in the area, and also destroys weed seeds. The high temperature in the compost pile will also wipe out parasites and pathogens, such as viruses and bacteria that could cause diseases in horses.

    There are several things to consider in creating and managing a successful compost pile.

    Pile size. A compost pile that is about seven square feet at the base and at least three feet high will result in the best heating. Heat is generated when organic material decomposes. However, if the pile is too short, the heat will quickly dissipate and will not reach temperatures that are high enough to kill parasites, bacteria, viruses, and weed seeds.

    Airflow. It is important to keep air in the compost pile to minimize odors and achieve high temperatures. Proper airflow will also speed up the decomposition process. Turning the pile at regular intervals (especially during the first few weeks) speeds up decomposition. Turning ensures that air reaches all areas of the pile and thoroughly mixes particles.

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    Topics: Alfalfa Hay, Hay for Horses, Timothy Hay, Blue Grass Hay, Quality of Forage, Timothy, Horse Health

    Along with quality forage, hoof care important in winter

    Posted on Jan 6, 2014

    As outside temperatures plummet and precipitation becomes increasingly frozen, horse owners may opt to stay inside more often than not. Horses are well cared for – they get fed plenty of high quality hay, have fresh and unfrozen water, get regular turnout, and have access to shelter.

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    Topics: Alfalfa Hay, Timothy Hay, Quality of Forage, Timothy, Horse Health, Horse Nutrition

    Horses Need More Hay in Cold Weather

    Posted on Dec 13, 2013

    Horses Require Additional Energy in Winter

    Cold temperatures, rain, wind, and snow….no doubt about it…winter is here. Are you prepared to feed your horse to keep him warm? Don’t just throw a blanket on your horse when the weather turns nasty. Increasing your horse’s daily calorie (or energy) intake is more important than a blanket at maintaining core body temperature.

    Mature horses that are at maintenance (i.e., healthy and not growing, working, gestating, or lactating) should be fed a good quality forage at the rate of at least 1.5 to 2% of their body weight each day. In other words, daily forage intake for a 1000 pound horse should be between 15 and 20 pounds.

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    Topics: Alfalfa Hay, Hay for Horses, Timothy Hay, Timothy, Horse Health, Horse Nutrition

    Is your hay high in moisture? Find out with appliances in you home!

    Posted on Nov 15, 2013

    Determining Moisture in Feeds is as easy as Using a Microwave

    Did you know that you can determine the moisture content of your animal feeds with a microwave? It’s true, and is in fact, quite easy to do. But, why is it important to know how much moisture a feed component contains? To put it simply – moisture essentially dilutes nutrients in a feedstuff. The amount of water, or moisture, in a feed contributes to its weight, but does not provide any nutrients. When moisture is removed, dry matter remains. The dry matter contains the nutrients that an animal needs for maintenance, growth, pregnancy, and lactation. Cows and horses must be fed diets that are balanced to meet their nutritional requirements and diets must be balanced on a dry matter basis.

    Moisture contents vary widely by type of feed. Fresh pasture grass contains a lot more moisture than hay. Conceivably, a horse or cow would have to eat a lot more pasture grass than hay to meet its nutrient requirements. Moisture content of feeds can also be affected by timing and method of harvest.

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    Topics: Alfalfa Hay, Hay for Horses, Quality of Forage, Timothy, Horse Nutrition

    Alfalfa is an Ideal Hay for Horses

    Posted on Oct 25, 2013

    Don’t Believe the Myths – Alfalfa is an Ideal Hay for Horses

    Alfalfa hay is the most important legume forage crop grown in the United States. Alfalfa hay is readily available - it is grown and sold in every state in the U.S. The high feeding value of alfalfa hay makes it an ideal feed for horses and livestock. It also improves the soil and alfalfa sprouts can even be used as a food source for human consumption.

    Normally, alfalfa hay is fed as baled hay. However, it can also be fed as chopped hay, cubes, or pellets. Alfalfa hay is a very digestible feed source that is high in protein, energy, vitamins and minerals. It is clear that the nutritional value of quality alfalfa hay make it a valuable addition to equine diets. And, let’s face it - horses love the taste of alfalfa hay!

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    Topics: Alfalfa Hay, Hay for Horses, Horse Health, Horse Nutrition