Clover Hay

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by siroiszoo, Aug 7, 2009.

  1. siroiszoo

    siroiszoo Songster

    242
    1
    131
    Apr 30, 2009
    Waller, TX
    Does anyone feed this? The drought is making hay expensive when it is available. Mostly, hay is scarce these days.

    Came across someone growing red clover mixed with rye. I have never fed it before or know anyone who has.

    Anyone with knowledge or experience in this area?
     
  2. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    12,520
    175
    341
    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    What do you want to feed it *to*? All I can speak to is horses -- clover hay is certainly ok if you are low on choices, but make real sure it is not moldy (clover hay is much more apt to mold than most others).

    Also do some googling and learn to recognize Alsike clover, which can be poisonous even when dried into hay. You have to look at the *combination* of what the leaves/stems/flowers look like, and then inspect the bales CAREFULLY (a few sample bales, and then run your eye thoroughly over the visible parts of flakes you are feeding each day -- alsike can easily be in one part of a field and not other parts)

    Good luck,

    Pat
     
  3. bkreugar

    bkreugar Songster

    524
    2
    151
    Jun 18, 2008
    Asheboro NC
    Hi there.I will tell you what i was TOLD by someone who grows hay.Red clover is very palatable.I have a VERY finicky 21 yr old mare and she would eat fescue with red clover.In fact she LOVED it.But when inquiring about it and geting more of it, I was told it is hard to find because farmers do NOT generally add it in because it can take over a hay field.

    I got it from a guy who mows severeal different fields and only ONE field had the red clover in it.My mare would ONLY eat fescue hay WITH the red clover.

    Now I live in NC and 3 years ago we had a SEVERE drought shortage with awful hay getting $7 a bale. I fed some baled hay but also fed beet pulp, alfalfa cubes and Hay extender pellets.Because I could not get enough hay (nor could I afford what they wanted).

    My horses did just fine on that for a season.I gave them a 3qt scoop of alfalfa cubes (soaked for at least 2 hours) and a 3qt scoop of beet pulp and a 3qt scoop of the hay extender pellets. The extender pellets if you read the ingredients are probably the sweepings of the feed room floor with mollases added in but they do have decent roughage.

    Many people look down on the hay extender pellets but they DO work and I have yet to have a horse turn their nose up at them,Even my 21 yr old mare will eat them.

    Tractor supply AND southern styates carry all 3 of these items.The hay extender pellets were about $8 for a 50# bag. I THINK a 50# bag lasted me a week with 2 horses.Don't completely remember.

    You got to do what you got to do.Get the best hay you can afford and if it is not enough fill in with 1 or more of these.You may want to talk to your vet but ny vet was okay with me using them.Again my horses were fine on this for a season.
     
  4. siroiszoo

    siroiszoo Songster

    242
    1
    131
    Apr 30, 2009
    Waller, TX
    Yes, I'm feeding it to horses (2 quarters and 2 minis). Just a little nervous about the red clover hay but bales are getting outragous around these parts and hard to find. Most of the clover bales are already spoken for but the guy would hold some of the next cutting for me if I want. So, trying to figure out if I want him to or not.
     
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2009
  5. ducks4you

    ducks4you Songster

    1,538
    30
    206
    Jan 20, 2009
    East Central Illinois
    So sorry about your drought--honestly, I'd LOVE to send you our rain surplus--we're drowning, here, which you will probably be next year, when all of our prayers are answered. [​IMG]

    ANYWAY, my 'used to be cornfield' on my four acres has grown back red clover. My farrier recently suggested that next spring, when it's growing fast, I should hire out and have it baled. (He could tell that's what they were eating since they're SO drooley.) He's an Amish guy, so I figure he probably knows. My horses have been on this field for several years now, with no ill effects.
     
  6. seymore0626

    seymore0626 In the Brooder

    72
    0
    28
    Oct 10, 2008
    Red clover is very appealing to horses. I have seen Kentucky Derby winners that had a flake of alfalfa, a hay bag of timothy, and a flake of red clover in their stall, free coice, and they would always go for the red clover first.Put up well, it is awesome hay!!!! It must be well cured before baling because the clover head will retain moisture. If you have a chance to use good red clover hay, you should, this coming from someone who feeds 100 plus bales of hay/week.
     
  7. siroiszoo

    siroiszoo Songster

    242
    1
    131
    Apr 30, 2009
    Waller, TX
    Quote:Wow! That's a lot of hay! Thanks for the good word on the clover. Guess I need to quiz the producer to make sure it's safe before agreements are made. Right now, we are in a drought which makes it a lot safer since all cut hay is drying too fast for the baling process. HOwever, we do get very wet seasons, too. That's when I will be most worried about it.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: