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Timothy and Alfalfa Hay Blog

    Where Does Timothy Hay Grow?

    Posted on Jul 15, 2021

    Timothy hay (phleum pratense) also known as meadow cat's-tail, is a perennial grass hay used as feed for many animals from small pets to Triple Crown-winning racehorses. Native to much of Europe, an American colonial farmer is credited with being the first to cultivate the grass in North America in 1720. By 1747, the grass first farmed by Timothy Hanson was known as “timothy” and has since earned a reputation for being the finest forage produced in the world.

    Ideal Climate Conditions for Timothy Hay

    Growing high quality Timothy hay requires a number of very specific climate conditions. Most regions known for producing this cool-season grass grow are at high altitudes, have harsh winters, and summers with long warm days and cool nights.

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    Topics: Timothy Hay, Timothy, Etymology Timothy Hay

    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: 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

    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

    Timothy and Grass Hay Requirements of Small Animals

    Posted on Mar 7, 2014

    Nutritional Needs of Small Herbivores

    Guinea pigs, chinchillas, and rabbits are small herbivores, or plant-eating animals, that are commonly kept as companion animals. They have been bred in captivity for years and their quiet natures, ease of handling, and relatively simple housing requirements make them ideal pets, especially for owners that do not have a lot of room for four-legged friends. Feeding these small mammals is an important part of their daily care and each species has specific nutritional needs.

    Clean water must be accessible to all species at all times. A sipper water bottle is the best method to provide water because it is less likely to be contaminated with bedding, food, feces, and urine. Animals that are unfamiliar with sipper water bottles may require some training to use them properly. Water bottles and bowls should be emptied and filled with fresh water daily to encourage water intake and to prevent overgrowth of bacteria.

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    Topics: Timothy Hay, Quality of Forage, Timothy

    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

    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