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FORAGES FOR HORSES

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Lower digestion efficiency, so forage quality must be higher than with cattle ... Mares & dairy cattle 10% infestation. MAX-Q. with 'Friendly Fungus' ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: FORAGES FOR HORSES


1
FORAGES FOR HORSES
  • Pastures and Hays
  • Forage Crops 4310
  • Lecture 21

2
Cecal Anatomy Makes a Difference
  • Lower digestion efficiency, so forage quality
    must be higher than with cattle
  • Smaller stomach and rumen on wrong end means
    more frequent meals
  • Horses can exist on forage alone, but if forage
    quality is low or nutrient requirement is
    increased, be ready to use concentrate supplements

3
Relative Grazing Times
HOURS SPENT GRAZING PER DAY
C Cattle S Sheep G Goats H Horses
4
Grazing Habits of Horses
  • Biting grazer enables close grazing
  • Spot grazing tendencies
  • Spot voiding tendencies
  • Concentrated trailing, trampling, loafing
  • Cutting action of hoofs

5
Check Understanding Horse Behavior PB1654
  • Has section on Feeding / Grazing
  • Available under Publications in UT Extension
    Home Page http//www.utextension.utk.edu/publicat
    ions/pbfiles/PB1654.pdf

6
Primary Purpose of Pasture
  • Quality, nutritious forage?
  • Exercise and riding area?
  • Multi-purpose both of above?
  • Esthetic

7
Good Horse Pastures
  • Size quantity quality of forage
  • Safety
  • Fences and cross-fences!
  • Absence of obstructions hazards
  • Dense, smooth, persistent turf
  • Palatable, digestible, nutritious forage
  • Long grazing season
  • Fresh water, shelter, mineral supplement

8
Permanent Forages
  • Cool Season
  • Tall fescue
  • Orchardgrass?
  • Timothy
  • Ladino clover
  • Red clover
  • Alfalfa (hay)
  • Warm Season
  • Bermudagrass
  • Lespedeza

9
Grass Pastures Alone?
  • Broad adaptation
  • Soil depth, drainage
  • Soil acidity and fertility
  • More convenient to manage
  • Maintenance fertilization
  • Drought and temperature tolerance
  • Grazing and traffic tolerance
  • Lower nutritional quality than legumes

10
Grass Legume Mixtures
  • More nutritious than grasses alone
  • Digestibility
  • Energy and protein content
  • Mineral and vitamin concentrations
  • Improved conception, foaling, weaning
  • Nitrogen fertilizer eliminated (or reduced)
  • Seasonal distribution of forage improved
  • Require more management than grasses!

11
Steps to Improve Pastures
  • Fertilize by soil test
  • Control weeds
  • Use clovers
  • Stockpile tall fescue in fall
  • Use proper grazing management

12
Grazing management
  • minimize overgrazing
  • minimize wasted forage
  • reduce spot grazing

13
Horse Ailments on Pasture
  • Colic
  • Founder
  • Diarrhea
  • Slobbers
  • All are more likely to occur when first grazing
    lush, abundant forage!

14
Pasture Species to avoid
  • Sorghum, sudangrass, johnsongrass and esp.
    Sorghum-Sudan hybrids cystitis in grazing
    situations
  • German or Foxtail millet kidney and joint
    problems
  • Kentucky 31 Fescue????

15
Avoid Health Problems
  • Introduce diet changes gradually!
  • Feed hay before first grazing
  • Graze lush pastures 30 min./half day
  • Gradually increase grazing each day
  • Several days --gt 2 weeks for change
  • Gradual transition avoids most problem

16
Rotational Grazing (Give it a rest!)
  • Perimeter fences and cross-fences
  • Sub-pastures grazed in sequence
  • When A grazed down, animals ? B
  • A mowed (if needed), regrows
  • Re-graze A when growth adequate
  • Enables higher level of management
  • Maintain quality, nutritious forage
  • Minimize spot- and over-grazing

17
Management Fescue/Clover
  • Maintain growth in 2 5 range
  • Graze intensively in spring
  • Clover cannot tolerate shading
  • Quality declines after boot stage
  • Use excess forage for hay
  • Mow at 2 3 to stimulate regrowth
  • Rotational grazing reduces spot grazing
  • Avoid overgrazing, especially in summer

18
Bermudagrass Varieties
  • Common plant seed or sprigs
  • Low productivity, high traffic areas
  • Grazing - usually not hay production
  • Improved hybrids sprigs
  • Tifton 44
  • Vaughns Hybrid
  • Others good
  • Improved varieties mostly for hay

19
Endophyte (E) Effects
  • Prolonged gestation, difficult foaling
  • Abortion often near term
  • Agalactia (no milk) in mares
  • Stillbirth or weak foal
  • Abnormally thick placenta
  • Reduced conception rate

20
Mares Grazing E Fescue
  • Remove mares 60- 90 days before foaling
  • Feed non-fescue hay
  • Monitor udder development
  • Monitor foaling
  • Make sure foal nurses

21
Minimizing E Effects
  • Maintain 30 or more legume in pastures (horse
    owners ???)
  • Graze E with less-susceptible animals
  • Avoid grazing E during hot weather
  • Graze or clip to maintain leafy growth
  • Cut fescue for hay at boot early head
  • Stockpile for fall winter grazing

22
Replace E Fescue?
  • Endophyte improves stress tolerance
  • Drought
  • Grazing
  • Insects
  • E- requires better management!
  • Maintenance fertilization
  • Avoid overgrazing
  • Mares dairy cattle 10 infestation

23
MAX-Q with Friendly Fungus
  • Research positive fewer foaling problems, mares
    have normal lactation
  • Expensive seed

24
Domperidone
  • Expensive
  • Vet Only
  • Effective

25
Hay for Horses
  • Typically provide 1 2 lbs of hay per hundred
    lbs of horse body weight
  • Common legumes Alfalfa, Sericea Lespedeza, Red
    Clover
  • 2nd cut Red Clover may cause slobbers if black
    mold is present

26
Grass hays
  • Timothy
  • Orchardgrass
  • Max-Q Fescue
  • Bermudagrass
  • Ryegrass or other small grains

27
Problems
  • Mold
  • Dust and other contaminants
  • Hay belly

28
Round Hay Around Horses
  • Not preferred
  • Allowed
  • Some problems
  • Better for hay to not be fed on ground

29
Problems Intake, Contaminants, Transport, Quality
30
Advantages Price and Labor
31
Hay feeders are available which are designed for
horses.
  • Tend to have fewer sharp corners to rub off mane
    or catch on halters

32
Summary
  • Horses can have pasture, but may take management
  • Hay management is also critical for good health
    and performance
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