Question about Timothy Hay & Horses

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by Coco, Mar 10, 2009.

  1. Coco

    Coco In the Brooder

    Apr 18, 2008
    We ran out of our round baled hay for our 4 horses and since it's the middle of the week, we will be unable to get more until this weekend. Which means we had to buy some expensive square baled hay from the local farm was about 3 or 4 times more expensive than what we typically pay for square bales.

    My question is this. It is Timothy hay and is suppose to be "weed free"....which I would hope for the price I paid it would be! I delivered it to the horses and opened the bales up, it was VERY green first quesion, Is that ok that it's so green? Will that be bad for the horses at all?

    Second question....the horses seemed not to like it at all. They turned their noses up to it almost instantly....I'll have to go see how much they have ate, if any, in the morning. So is it ok to be feeding this to them? And why wouldn't they like it? The people at the store said this was ok to give to them.

    Also, how many 65 lb square bales should I put out per day for 4 adult horses? 2 are Morgans, 1 is a small Quarter and 1 is a Arabian.

  2. scbatz33

    scbatz33 No Vacancy, Belfry Full

    Jan 23, 2009
    South GA
    I'm not sure why your horse wouldn't like it. Good Timothy like good Alflafa should be green. Not wet mind you but a good green color. It should also smell slightly sweet. It is a common hay to feed horses, at least where I have worked in central KY. Most of the horse farms there feed either Timothy or Orchard grass and of course Alfalfa in some combination.

    As far as how much, that really depends on the horse and the size of the flakes. I have seen people feed 2-3 flakes twice to 3 times a day to stalled horses. In the turn out situation, they will forage more and so not eat as much. I believe the standard is 15 pounds of hay a day for an "average" sized horse that is on grain feed and pasture.

    I could be wrong...please don't anyone send hate mail. This is based on my experience in the race horse industry.
  3. bheila

    bheila Songster

    Feb 8, 2008
    Kent, Wa
    Green hay is good as long as there is no mold. It shouldn't smell dusty or off. Sometimes you can't smell mold though.
    A lot of times when you switch from your normal hay your horses will turn their noses up at it. Especially when you are feeding alfalfa and then switch to another type of hay. Alfalfa is like feeding candy to animals.
    What type of grass was in the round bale you were feeding?
  4. Coco

    Coco In the Brooder

    Apr 18, 2008
    We were previously feeding a mixed grass round bale, I think mainly brome...but I wasn't happy with it at all. Had Fox Tail in it...caused one of my mares to have an outbreak of sores in her mouth and she had to go on antibiotics to get rid of them...this is the second time this has happened w/her from eating hay of this provider. So not going back to him anymore!

    I wondered if they were just being picky and that's why they weren't eating the Timothy hay. I guess I'll see in the morning by how much is gone! Just wanted to check and make sure!
  5. Depending on where you got your T-hay, the horses may be reacting to the presence of blister beetles.

    Please do not hold me to this, but i have heard over the years that Timothy hay has a greater occurrence of this deadly beetle (to horses) than any other type of hay.
  6. Coco

    Coco In the Brooder

    Apr 18, 2008
    I doubt that about the Blister Beetles because they literally took one bite about and then just kind of walked away, like they weren't interested. And the hay was very expensive at the store, kept in a dry location and didn't appear to have any problems. They are a big store, they sell a lot of this I doubt they'd still continue to be selling it if anyone had reported any problems. But thank you for the insight! I appreciate it [​IMG]
  7. Florida chick

    Florida chick Songster

    Jan 19, 2008
    It sounds like your down south? THey are probably not used to the Timothy... Make sure its not moldy.
    You could have a problem though you can't just switch horses diets. Seeing you have so many horses you should know they are sensitive to colic and or laminitis changing to a richer hay. You def want to buy "horse hay" if the cheap round bales your getting has toxic weeds in it then it is for cows!
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2009
  8. jvls1942

    jvls1942 Free Ranging

    Oct 16, 2008
    up here is wisc, timothy is considered horse hay.. clover is a no/no..

    if they actually took a bite, they might adjust to it in a day or so..

    my Dad used to tell the story about when he worked building the Alcan highway.. their horses were fed only corn and hay.. one day some oats got shipped in but the horses would not have anything to do with THAT strange stuff..
  9. Coco

    Coco In the Brooder

    Apr 18, 2008
    Florida Chick,

    No actually we are right in middle of the country, KC Missouri to be exact. The hay is definitely not moldy...and I had no other choice but to buy the Timothy hay. Without getting into it, it's a long story...I just had a baby, had a c section and therefore have had to rely on my brother to care/feed the horses...we do not live on the land where they are brother is a college student and not expereinced w/horses. I went out yesterday myself, noticed the horses had no hay...they had ran out in the last 24 hours. We live in the city...not the country. Finding hay...especially at the last minute...isn't easy. Especially at the end of winter, it can get to be pretty scarce around here for horse people. So it was either not feed the horses, which we were obvioulsy not going to do...or buy this very expensive Timothy hay from the only Farm store in the general area, to help us get buy until my husband and brother can go drive the 30-45 minutes to the guy we are buying the round bales from. I was told by the people at the store it was fine for the horses to eat....but when we gave it to them, they weren't interested. So that's why I was curious and asked the question.
  10. Ang

    Ang Songster

    Jan 2, 2008
    West Central Illinois
    Timothy is considered really good horse hay. That being said, my horse doesn't like it either. I have always chalked it up to him being fed alfalfa his whole life. The several times we have had to feed timothy he has lost a lot of weight because he would not eat enough. It could just be a change in hay that has them not eating.

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