meadow vs oaten hay

Discussion in 'Feeding Horses' started by snoopydoo, Jan 11, 2009.

  1. Big Bay Booga

    Big Bay Booga Well-known Member

    I feed the BBB oaten hay but only because I get it for free and I know exactly what has been done to it from seed to baling.

    BEB, maybe your hay was baled when it was still a bit too moist hence the mould?

    If I had to pay for hay I really don't think I would have a horse. In the summer when feed gets low I will buy the occasional bale of meadow hay a just put it in the paddock. BBB chucks it about and eats it then the sheep come in and clean up the rest.
  2. horseychic

    horseychic Well-known Member

    I had always been an oaten hay feeder but with fatty little minis i have found meadow hay to be better for them, they dont get fat on it but still get the roughage they need. I only buy mine from sellers they can prove they have had it tested for Rye Grass Toxicity. Smells lovely and they dont leave any behind. I am converted now and that is the only hay i feed now even my big horses love it. I found they dont seem to waste as much as the did with the oaten before.
  3. jodles

    jodles Well-known Member

    OK after reading about the rye toxicity I have switched to oaten/lucerne a 50% mix and his Lucerne in the morning :) Meadow hay is hard to find and I do think it is a pommy thing :)
  4. Holmwood Trickster

    Holmwood Trickster New Member

    i have a fat pony and he gets 1 biscuit in the morning and 1 at night, but my other horse has 2 in mourning and 2 at night they both have meadow hay.
    But on top of this they have ther vitamins and that stuff:)
    As long as the meadow hay is good not shit!
  5. murphy

    murphy New Member

    i have a thoroughbred who once was very hippy and once we gave him meadow hay he started to fill in so i personally agree on meadow hay. but i agist and the owner doesnt much like the old meadow hay rolls because he says it brings weeds into his paddocks lol. so we put the hay in feed bins
  6. madison

    madison Well-known Member

    Can anyone please PM me the contact details for a good Meadow Hay supplier in the Serpentine area. My horse is very fussy so needs lots of good stuff in it and it needs to be tested for Rye Grass. Thanks in advance
  7. Golden Biscuit

    Golden Biscuit Well-known Member

    Same, if anyone knows where i can get a good roll?? There impossible to find! Needing one asap :D
  8. murphy

    murphy New Member

    well in yarloop( very rich lush grass) theirs an italian guy who sells great ones that i buy and their MASSIVE. and do people get their meadow hay tested for rye grass? is it bad? i never though of it as toxic??
  9. murphy

    murphy New Member

    meadow hay is deffinately NOT a pommy thing ;)
  10. tiamo

    tiamo New Member

    I agree, Murphy, feeding meadow hay is not a pommy thing!

    This is a great topic!

    I prefer meadow hay as it provides a range of species which is a more balanced and natural diet for a horse (provided it is grown specifically for hay and the paddocks are seeded as such) as rye grass seed that is grown for hay will be innoculated for toxicity. It also depends how and when it is baled as to it's protein percentage as some meadow hay is as high in protein as lucerne (around 20%).

    In saying that, the south west grows much better meadow hay in general than the warmer northern areas, but they do grow lovely oaten hay. I think the general rule is to feed what you can get easily and that is the best quality. If your horse is blooming on whatever hay it is getting, then keep giving it (and in large quantities) as they are designed to be eating roughage 22 hours of everyday(jeez wish I could do that!).

    I have heard of some horror stories about ryegrass toxicity but having farmed for a lot of years, only feed being bought from people who had a paddock of grass and decided to have it baled, have had problems. Buy from knowledgable farmers or consistent hay growers and you will be fine!
  11. Angimac

    Angimac Well-known Member

    In 2007 the Ag Dept WA recorded 20 cases of argt poisoning from Esperance to Geraldton a couple of these horses died. I think from reading the forum this had gone up in 2008. Be very careful when buying meadow hay, you cant tell by just looking at it.
  12. Sancho

    Sancho New Member

    As has already been said, meadow hay can be very good but it can also be very bad. It all depends whats in it. Unless you see the paddock before it is cut for hay you don't know what weeds you may be bringing on to your property and it's not only rye grass toxicity you need to worry about. I've seen alot of paddock cut and baled that had patterson curse on them. Once it's dried and baled it's hard to see what it contains salso hard to know it's nutritional content.
  13. GarrynGirl

    GarrynGirl New Member

    Hello everyone. This is my first post so be gentle with me :)

    I have recently discovered that my beautiful anglo 8yo Casper is highly sensitive to the toxins in rye grass and also paspalum. Speaking from experience I would never use meadow hay if it contained even a whiff of rye grass. The toxin is called mycotoxin and there are 100s of different ones but as a whole they are referred to as mycotoxins. Before I discovered this was the reason for Casper's odd behaviour (his nervous system was being affected) I never gave what grasses he was eating a second thought. Apparantly his sire is also very sensitive to the toxins and has suffered from the rye grass staggers (he now lives in New Zealand where this is a HUGE problem). So if you suspect rye grass is in your meadow hay I personally wouldn't feed it. Some horses are not bothered by it such as my other horse, same pasture/diet not problems. It really is what is best for your horse.

    I now feed only oaten hay. Lucerne is ok but the potassium can fizz some horses up. I soak my oaten hay to reduce the sugar content and yes it is a pain in the butt but it is worth the extra effort for my wonderful lad.

    Just briefly Casper for the past 4 years has been biting at his shoulder when being ridden this graduated to head flicking, bucking into the canter, spooking at the strangest things like the feed shed, his paddock mate etc. Since putting him on a toxin binder and into a restricted grazing program he has had a 180 degree turn around.
  14. jodles

    jodles Well-known Member

    I asked my feed guy and he said that rye is a winter grass and not available in summer................mmmm what about shedded meadow? Am wondering which to feed my horse now. How can you tell good from bad?

    Reason I said pommy thing was that my instructor is a pom and said it was that :)
  15. Angimac

    Angimac Well-known Member

    Jobles the only way you can tell if rye grass has argt is testing.
    A micro worm (nematode(sp?) sort of thing climbs into the seed head and infects it. (This is from my old grey matters memory.)
    The toxicity is also accumulative (this goes for Patersons Curse, not sure about Tall Fescue) in the horse, so it depends on how badly the hay is infested with argt and at what rate the horse is eating the hay.

    Maybe someone might know, if I am remembering correctly and it is the seed head that is only infested, maybe it could be cut before the majority of the hay seeds (I have read about this with oaten hay overseas to cut some nutrient down??) or is there too much moisture and it will go rancid.
  16. GarrynGirl

    GarrynGirl New Member

    Angimac, not sure if you were refering to the micro-worm infecting all the plant or other toxicities. With other toxicities the mould/fungus can also be present in the base of the plant so getting rid of the seed head doesn't eliminate the toxicity.
  17. Angimac

    Angimac Well-known Member

    I have checked the Ag Dept web site and they advise to heavily graze infected paddocks before rye grass matures, so its quite confusing. Is there anyone based in this area on here?
    Also if any livestock show symtoms if its possible more stock to an infected area slowly and quietly so they are not stressed as this will make it worse, providing plenty of shade and water.
  18. Bon & Ted

    Bon & Ted Guest

    If you feed meadow and see the slightest neurological change in your horse I would strongly advise to take them off it straight away and confine them in a cool dark place.

    Unfortunately, if they have consumed enough of it this won't always work.

    You don't need to see a change in temperament or personality for them to be affected. Ted just went straight to staggering and hypersensitivity with no change in temperament.

    Be VERY VERY careful!!!!
  19. norrishbex

    norrishbex Well-known Member

    Rye is a great feed for horses, so long as it hasn't gone toxic. There are a couple of signs of toxicity in rye grass, the most obvious is that it twists, so when you look at it, the blades are twisted. The other, which is more difficult to spot, is that it gets a slightly whitish slimy substance on it, but it is only when you pick it that you can tell. This time of year is very difficult to pick it being toxic, as the majority of the grasses are dead.

    From experience, when sheep and cattle get ryegrass tox, even if they are moved as soon as the staggers are noticable, there isn't much you can do about it, just wait and see if the animal survives or not.

    In saying that, the majority of farmers I know have tested for ryegrass tox, and where it is prevalant they have planted resistant strains to cross pollinate to erradicate the toxic plants, however, there is no short term fix when it comes to getting rid of the toxic plants.

    Anyway, back to the hay question... I used to feed meadow hay, which we cut ourselves, but now that I am in Perth, I feed oaten hay, but it is hard to tell which one Donny did better on, as he had just finished racing when he was on the meadow hay, so it isn't really comparable. He does love the oaten hay I get though.
  20. GarrynGirl

    GarrynGirl New Member

    I feed Casper oaten hay but have noticed that if I don't soak it he has sloppy poo the next day due to the high sugar content. Meadow hay is almost impossible to get here in Sydney but even if I could get it unless I could see where it was cut from I wouldn't trust it.

    Casper is extremely sensitive to the toxins....kind of like a person with a peanut allergy!

    Just be very careful if you feed meadow hay and know your sources well. Soaked oaten is the way to go in my world. soaking is a pain in the butt but the effects of not doing this are clearly not good for Casper. Only the best for may be different in yours, whatever works best for you and your horse.

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