Rye Grass & Horses

Discussion in 'Feeding Horses' started by bscards, Jun 29, 2010.

  1. bscards

    bscards New Member

    Wondering if someone could help...can horses eat rye grass? I am looking at round bales (friend has 1000 acres and bales there own) that is meadow/clover/rye, just wondering if its any good for horses or not as I remember reading about toxicity somewhere. IF horses can eat it, is it heating at all?

    Thanks in advance :))
  2. Lacey

    Lacey Well-known Member

    Yes horses can eat ryegrass. With regards to ryegrass toxicity it depends on at what stage the hay was cut and if there is toxicity in there. I'm pretty sure you can get hay tested for tox as well

  3. Sugar's Mum

    Sugar's Mum Gold Member

  4. Bon & Ted

    Bon & Ted Guest


    Ring the Department for Agriculture and Food - they will tell you what you need to do to get it tested.

    It is not worth feeding it untested - this is coming from someone who's horse died from eating RGT affected Meadow Hay - which looked lovely.
  5. Angimac

    Angimac Well-known Member

    Yes you can feed it to horses, but as others have said be careful. You cannot tell by looking at bales unless they have black slimey stuff if they are bad.

    For people growing rye grasses in pasture, horses can also get perennial rye grass staggers as well. (RIRDC Plants Poisonous to Horses) Horse numbers affected are low.
  6. bscards

    bscards New Member

    Thanks for all your comments, I think ill take the safe option and stick with export oaten. Im sure it can be fine but im just a bit nervous about it !
  7. nklpark

    nklpark Well-known Member

    Yes you can feed ryegrass to horses and livestock....most meadow hay is made up largely of ryegrass and clover....

    if you are really concerned and using large amounts of hay i woud as the person growing the hay to have it tested. They will need to test for Bacteria and seed gall nematodes you could also contact the ag dept and ask if there have been cases of ARGT in the area where they grow hay

    Annual ryegrass toxicity [ARGT] is the poisoning of livestock by toxins contained in bacterially infected annual ryegrass. The toxins are produced by bacteria, which is carried into the ryegrass by a seed gall nematode.

    the majority of infected seed heads show no visible signs
    but some signs of infection include
    * Moist yellow slime at seed-head emergence
    * Dried slime is translucent, crystalline and a darker yellow
    * Affected spikets often glued to stalk
    * Some normal spikets can occur in affected heads
    * Occassional head distortion
    * Affected tillers sometimes stunted

    Hope that some help

    We grow our our meadow hay - mostly ryegrass and clover and have never had a problem:)
  8. bscards

    bscards New Member

    Thanks, property where its grown is Waroona, is there much known problems around this area do you know?
  9. Anna E

    Anna E Guest

    Hi Bscards
    ARGT started in the Northern and Eastern Wheatbelt but has =been steadily moving West and South since. DAFWA (Google their external website) should have the latest map or REPORTED distribution but that's just based on cases diagnosed. Couldn't rely on it - it may very well be present around Waroona.
    BTW even oaten hay should still be tested as even quite small amounts of rye grass contamination can cause toxicity if you're unlucky. Export hay should have been tested for ARGT but REJECTED oaten hay may have been rejected for that very reason!
    Short answer -yes horses can happily eat rye grass but no one should buy ANY hay without an ARGT testing certificate.
  10. marinochkawe

    marinochkawe Guest

    Thank you for the*informative*posts.

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