When you look at your hay stock, all of last year’s feed is nearly depleted. But since farmers never stopped producing a new crop, new hay is almost here -- before you start seeing the last of the current stock of hay bales, fresh ones will have arrived.
Indeed, it is a beautiful sight to see those new green bales stacked in your loft. But hey, what danger do they pose to your horse if you started feeding him right away in their current green and fresh state? Can they really lead your equine partner to suffer from colic and founder like you have heard some horse owners across the valley say?
From time to time, you will hear people warn you not to feed your horses with green grass clippings or hay that has just been mown. However, experts say that as long as your hay has been cured properly, then there is no problem in feeding it to your horse.
In order to be able to identify the new hay in your loft clearly, it is imperative that you open one bale and observe it well. If it smells good and feels dry, then it is fine. But if it is wet and/or smells nasty, then it hasn’t been cured properly and could be unsafe for your horse to feed on it.
Another important thing to keep in mind is that you should always try as much as possible to introduce the new hay to your equine friend slowly. With new hay having proteins and other nutrients in full unlike the older hay, introduce the new hay to the horse little by little mixing with the older hay until your horse gets used to it as newer bales replace the older ones in your hay loft. That way, your horse will be gradually adjusted to the new fresh hay.
As I conclude, all we are saying is that don’t really fear using new hay as feed for your horse. Only make sure that it is dry and doesn’t have any dust or mold in it. Finally, don’t forget that introducing your equine servant to it gradually is also the key!
Image source: flickr.com