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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

    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

    What is Timothy Hay?

    Posted on Jun 2, 2021

    Not all hay is created equal. In fact, it varies greatly according to plant type, quality, growing region, and intended use. Timothy hay is more than just forage and has specific qualities that make it a premium feed option for a variety of feed programs.

    Types of Hay for Livestock

    The two most popular types of hay used as feed for livestock are legumes and grass hay. Alfalfa hay is the most well-known and widely fed legume (called “lucerne” in many parts of the world), and clovers are
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    Topics: Timothy Hay, Etymology Timothy Hay

    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

    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: 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

    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