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Timothy and Alfalfa Hay Blog

    Dubai World Cup 2018

    Posted on Apr 13, 2018

    Horse racing is one of the most popular sports in Dubai, and the Dubai World Cup is the one of the premiere events in the United Arab Emirates. Held annually at the Meydan Racecourse since 1996, this race boasts a purse of $10 mil USD and hosts more than 50,000 spectators a year. Horses travel from around the world to compete in this high profile event and competition is fierce for the first place finish.

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    Topics: News, Horse Health, Race Horse Hay

    Grass Clippings Unsafe for Horses, Stick to Pasture and Hay

    Posted on May 23, 2014

    Resist the Urge to Feed Lawn Clippings to Horses

    Ah…spring! The weather is getting warmer and your lawn is a beautiful, green carpet. At this time of the year, you have to mow the lawn at least once a week, sometimes more frequently, and you generate an immense pile of grass clippings with every cutting. You think – wouldn’t those nice, green, sweet smelling clippings be a wonderful treat for your horse? He eats grass, so why wouldn’t they be good for him? Therefore, when the lawnmower bag is full, you head down to the barn to spoil your horse with a delicious indulgence.

    Stop! Before you dump those bags of clippings into a pile at the barn for your horse to eat, consider the dangers that it poses. Grass clippings are the last thing you want to feed to your horse.

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    Topics: Hay for Horses, Horse Health, Horse Nutrition

    Moving Horses from Hay to Fresh Forage Can Pose Some Risks

    Posted on May 7, 2014

    Is There Danger Lurking for Horses in Lush Spring Pastures?

    Did you know that those lush, early spring pastures can be dangerous for horses?  Over the years, grass breeders have developed cultivars, or types, that rapidly accumulate high levels of sugar, starch, and fructans (together referred to as nonstructural carbohydrates, or NSC). Grasses that have higher NSC are more drought resistant and have faster regrowth after grazing or harvesting. Furthermore, grasses that store more NSC have more calories, stimulate microbial fermentation, and improve nitrogen utilization in the rumens of cattle. Animals prefer forages with higher levels of NSC, which subsequently leads to greater intake and better performance by meat and milk producing animals. While cattle benefit from forages with high NSC, these types of grasses are not necessary good for horses.pastures can be dangerous for horses? Abrupt dietary changes, from hay to fresh forage 

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

    Does Vitamin E Help Keep Aging Horses Healthy?

    Posted on Apr 4, 2014

    Vitamin E Supplementation May Improve Immune Response in Older Horses

    Horses are living longer than ever these days. Roughly 15% of horses in the United States are over the age of 20. Because immune function tends to decrease with advanced age, these horses are more susceptible to disease and infection. Vitamin E is a potent antioxidant that plays an important role in ensuring normal function of immune cells. Research suggests that vitamin E supplementation may enhance immune function in aged humans, including antibody production after vaccination (1).

    There is not a lot of research available regarding the effects of vitamin E supplementation on equine immune function. Therefore, a group of researchers from the University of Rhode Island and Virginia Tech University designed a study to examine immune function in horses that received a vitamin E supplement.

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    Topics: Horse Health, Horse Nutrition

    Steamed Hay for Horses

    Posted on Mar 21, 2014

    Does Steaming Make Hay Healthier and Safer for Horses?

    Soaking hay in water for 30 minutes or less is a good way to reduce airborne particles such as dust and mold, making it an effective management strategy for horses with respiratory problems. Soaking also reduces levels of nonstructural carbohydrates in hay, which is essential for horses with metabolic issues. However, soaking also leaches other essential nutrients from hay.

    Steaming hay before feeding is commonly practiced in Europe and is becoming more popular in the U.S. But, not much is known about the effects of steaming on the nutritional quality of forage and if it effectively reduces dust and mold in hay. Fortunately, a study to examine the effects of steaming on hay quality was recently conducted by a team of researchers based in the Department of Animal Science at the University of Minnesota.

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    Topics: Hay for Horses, Quality of Forage, Race Horse Hay, Horse Health, Horse Nutrition

    Timothy Hay: What Cutting is Better for Horses?

    Posted on Feb 19, 2014

    Timothy hay is an excellent source of roughage for equine diets. Horsemen often have to decide if they should purchase the first or second cutting of timothy hay for their horses. Many believe that the nutritional quality of first-cutting timothy hay is inferior to the second cutting. While this may be true in some cases, this assumption is really erroneous if first-cutting hay is harvested from a weed-free field at an early stage of growth before the stem becomes larger and coarser.

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

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

    Horse Behavior Significantly Affected by Lack of Hay

    Posted on Nov 5, 2013

    The horse is naturally a grazing animal. As such, horses spend 16 to 18 hours grazing each day. This type of diet is generally high in fiber and low in calories. Current trends in domestic horse keeping, especially for performance horses, include stabling and feeding diets that are low in fiber and high in energy or calories. Unfortunately, when horses cannot graze they often develop stereotypic behavioral problems such as wood chewing or cribbing, stall circling, and weaving. In addition, feeding low forage diets have been linked to gastric ulcer formation in horses.

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