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Timothy and Alfalfa Hay Blog

    Justify Becomes the 13th Triple Crown Winner

    Posted on Jun 12, 2018

    Saturday was a historic day as Justify became the 13th Triple Crown winner with his victory in the Belmont Stakes in Elmont, NY. Conditions were perfect and the track was fast on Saturday as Justify became the second Bob Baffert-trained triple crown winner since American Pharoah ended the 37-year drought in 2015.

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    Topics: Hay for Horses, Timothy Hay, Race Horse Hay, Horse Nutrition, News

    Justify Wins the 2018 Preakness Stakes

    Posted on May 22, 2018

    The second of three races that comprise the Triple Crown ended in another win for Justify this weekend. Conditions at Pimlico Race Course were strikingly similar to those at Churchill Downs earlier this month, with rains leading up to the race, a muddy track, and the addition of heavy fog that made the 9.5 furlongs that much more exciting.

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    Topics: Hay for Horses, Timothy Hay, Race Horse Hay, Horse Nutrition, News

    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

    Forage Nutrition 101: Acid Detergent Fiber & Neutral Detergent Fiber

    Posted on May 12, 2016

    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

    Forage Nutrition 101: Crude Protein

    Posted on May 5, 2016

    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 and 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 (CP) it contains. CP has a large impact on animal digestive health and productivity. This post provides some general information on CP, 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

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