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Is Rye Grass hay ok to feed to horses?


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#1 oregoncwgrl

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Posted 25 September 2006 - 04:05 AM

Does anyone feed rye grass hay to your horses?

#2 barrellracin

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Posted 25 September 2006 - 06:32 AM

Rye grass hay is awsome.
I have fed it to my horses and they love it, they will eat it before any other hay.
It is very filling and alot more nutricious than coastal or bermuda or even bahaia grass hay.
If you got it, feed it.
They may turn their nose up at it at first but once they start they won't like anything alse as much..

#3 Chocomare

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Posted 25 September 2006 - 07:02 AM

Rye grass is one of the highest in sugar and Non Structural Carbs ("NSCs"). Therefore, it would not be recommended for the IR, Cushings or laminitic horse/pony. It is gobbled up because it's so tasty, yet it can lead to all sorts of metabolic troubles later in life.

Quoted from Katy Watts of www.safergrass.org:

Species like orchard, timothy, fescue, Kentucky bluegrass and perennial ryegrass have the highest genetic potential for NSC. These grasses are generally consider 'best' due to their relatively higher nutrient content, and palatability. They are prized by horse farms raising 16 hand 2 YO TB's ready for racing, and cattle producers. I have frequently found these to be 25+% under worst case environmental conditions. This is about twice the NSC that an insulin resistant horse should get. No wonder our horses like them! Perennial ryegrass is usually the highest in studies comparing NSC content of grasses in studies done all around the world. I'm calling it the Quintessential Founder Fodder.

[ 09-25-2006, 07:02 AM: Message edited by: Chocomare ]

#4 Cheri Wolfe

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Posted 25 September 2006 - 07:25 AM

We love it. We have never had a horse founder or have any problems associated with it. We always add annual Rye grass seed to our wheat seed that we plant for winter pasture. It extends the grazing season on the wheat by about 2 months. By that time we have Bermuda and Blue Stem. It gives us nearly year 'round pasture for 60 head (when we have rain).

If you have a healthy horse, I cannot imagine having any trouble feeding it.

#5 oregoncwgrl

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Posted 26 September 2006 - 03:21 PM

Bump...... anyone else??? [Smile]

#6 Cactus Rose

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Posted 26 September 2006 - 03:59 PM

Cheri......are you saying you graze your horses on wheat?

[Question]

#7 ..::Felda::..

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Posted 26 September 2006 - 05:43 PM

That stuff is wonderful. For all those who don't buy all their hay for the winter, the rye crop usally saves them. You can cut it before your Coastal Bermuda crop and horses will eat it readily. One thing that we have always watched for is the seed head content. Usually, we back our horses off of the grain during this time to avoid calorie/glucose/protein overload.

#8 Quincy's Keeper

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Posted 26 September 2006 - 05:55 PM

I have found some beardless wheat, rye, oat mix hay and my horses love it!! I usually go with straight rye but this stuff was too good to pass up. This is the first year I have had to supliment my old horses with alfalfa. Usually everyone gets rye grass.

#9 LICowgirl8

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Posted 26 September 2006 - 06:38 PM

I can honestly say, I've never even heard of it? [Confused] Is it like the stuff that's in hay cubes or high fiber dry hay?? I feed regular timothy mix to my guys, but there is an older horse with cushins who doesn't get hay. Just curious....

#10 Cheri Wolfe

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Posted 27 September 2006 - 08:07 AM

C R --

We have turned out horses on wheat pasture for winter pasture ever since I have lived in Oklahoma (27 years). They have done great on it every year except last year when we did not have enough rain to even bring it up. Husband is drilling wheat this week. It should have been put in 2 or 3 weeks ago.

We disk up some ground and drill it and we boradcast wheat and ryegrass seed over our established pastures.

We graze it heavily enough that usually only the ryegrass heads out. If we do have the wheat head out, we take the horses off of it when it is in the milk to dough stage or clip it so the grain in the heads cannot mature. It would be too 'hot' and I am sure it would cause problems.

The mares on the wheat get slick and fat and are shed out by the first of March. They breed (and breed back) really good. Older mares stay in great shape with NO grain or supplements. Weanlings out grow their lotted counterparts and have no leg problems if they are kept on a high calcium mineral. We use a mineral that is high in Calcium and Magnesium that is called an "Unmedicated Wheat Pasture Mineral".

We have never had one colic or founder on wheat, but I have taken a few previously foundered mares off of it when they got real fat and I worried about them. I would just turn them out for 3 or 4 hours a day and put them up.

Dr. Bailey, from the Royal Vista Embryo Transfer facility at Purcell, OK., leases wheat pasture for 1000 head of recipient mares. He just brings them to his barn as he needs them. They are all cycling normally in February when they are coming off of wheat.

[ 09-27-2006, 08:08 AM: Message edited by: Cheri Wolfe ]

#11 hot shot

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Posted 27 September 2006 - 11:53 AM

I feed it all the time and my horses eat their hay before their sweet feed [Smile]

#12 Cactus Rose

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Posted 27 September 2006 - 03:33 PM

....sounds like the timing for taking them off it is important.

We use fall rye as a quick cover crop up here too.

I can't say as I've ever seen horses out on it....certainly cattle.....and it's mostly put up into green feed, with the stubble there as a snow catch and then the field re-drilled in the spring.

I guess cause wheat and rye are used for green feed - I just ***-u-me(ed) it would not be suitable for horses.

Learned something again today....

[Wink]

#13 RixKatToy

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Posted 27 September 2006 - 05:24 PM

My old guy is allergic to rye grass so it's a no no for him but the others do fine on it. Wheat grass is like candy to them. They snarf that stuff right up.....

#14 oregoncwgrl

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Posted 25 September 2006 - 04:05 AM

Does anyone feed rye grass hay to your horses?

#15 barrellracin

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Posted 25 September 2006 - 06:32 AM

Rye grass hay is awsome.
I have fed it to my horses and they love it, they will eat it before any other hay.
It is very filling and alot more nutricious than coastal or bermuda or even bahaia grass hay.
If you got it, feed it.
They may turn their nose up at it at first but once they start they won't like anything alse as much..

#16 Chocomare

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Posted 25 September 2006 - 07:02 AM

Rye grass is one of the highest in sugar and Non Structural Carbs ("NSCs"). Therefore, it would not be recommended for the IR, Cushings or laminitic horse/pony. It is gobbled up because it's so tasty, yet it can lead to all sorts of metabolic troubles later in life.

Quoted from Katy Watts of www.safergrass.org:

Species like orchard, timothy, fescue, Kentucky bluegrass and perennial ryegrass have the highest genetic potential for NSC. These grasses are generally consider 'best' due to their relatively higher nutrient content, and palatability. They are prized by horse farms raising 16 hand 2 YO TB's ready for racing, and cattle producers. I have frequently found these to be 25+% under worst case environmental conditions. This is about twice the NSC that an insulin resistant horse should get. No wonder our horses like them! Perennial ryegrass is usually the highest in studies comparing NSC content of grasses in studies done all around the world. I'm calling it the Quintessential Founder Fodder.

[ 09-25-2006, 07:02 AM: Message edited by: Chocomare ]

#17 Cheri Wolfe

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Posted 25 September 2006 - 07:25 AM

We love it. We have never had a horse founder or have any problems associated with it. We always add annual Rye grass seed to our wheat seed that we plant for winter pasture. It extends the grazing season on the wheat by about 2 months. By that time we have Bermuda and Blue Stem. It gives us nearly year 'round pasture for 60 head (when we have rain).

If you have a healthy horse, I cannot imagine having any trouble feeding it.

#18 oregoncwgrl

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Posted 26 September 2006 - 03:21 PM

Bump...... anyone else??? [Smile]

#19 Cactus Rose

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Posted 26 September 2006 - 03:59 PM

Cheri......are you saying you graze your horses on wheat?

[Question]

#20 ..::Felda::..

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Posted 26 September 2006 - 05:43 PM

That stuff is wonderful. For all those who don't buy all their hay for the winter, the rye crop usally saves them. You can cut it before your Coastal Bermuda crop and horses will eat it readily. One thing that we have always watched for is the seed head content. Usually, we back our horses off of the grain during this time to avoid calorie/glucose/protein overload.

#21 Quincy's Keeper

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Posted 26 September 2006 - 05:55 PM

I have found some beardless wheat, rye, oat mix hay and my horses love it!! I usually go with straight rye but this stuff was too good to pass up. This is the first year I have had to supliment my old horses with alfalfa. Usually everyone gets rye grass.

#22 LICowgirl8

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Posted 26 September 2006 - 06:38 PM

I can honestly say, I've never even heard of it? [Confused] Is it like the stuff that's in hay cubes or high fiber dry hay?? I feed regular timothy mix to my guys, but there is an older horse with cushins who doesn't get hay. Just curious....

#23 Cheri Wolfe

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Posted 27 September 2006 - 08:07 AM

C R --

We have turned out horses on wheat pasture for winter pasture ever since I have lived in Oklahoma (27 years). They have done great on it every year except last year when we did not have enough rain to even bring it up. Husband is drilling wheat this week. It should have been put in 2 or 3 weeks ago.

We disk up some ground and drill it and we boradcast wheat and ryegrass seed over our established pastures.

We graze it heavily enough that usually only the ryegrass heads out. If we do have the wheat head out, we take the horses off of it when it is in the milk to dough stage or clip it so the grain in the heads cannot mature. It would be too 'hot' and I am sure it would cause problems.

The mares on the wheat get slick and fat and are shed out by the first of March. They breed (and breed back) really good. Older mares stay in great shape with NO grain or supplements. Weanlings out grow their lotted counterparts and have no leg problems if they are kept on a high calcium mineral. We use a mineral that is high in Calcium and Magnesium that is called an "Unmedicated Wheat Pasture Mineral".

We have never had one colic or founder on wheat, but I have taken a few previously foundered mares off of it when they got real fat and I worried about them. I would just turn them out for 3 or 4 hours a day and put them up.

Dr. Bailey, from the Royal Vista Embryo Transfer facility at Purcell, OK., leases wheat pasture for 1000 head of recipient mares. He just brings them to his barn as he needs them. They are all cycling normally in February when they are coming off of wheat.

[ 09-27-2006, 08:08 AM: Message edited by: Cheri Wolfe ]

#24 hot shot

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Posted 27 September 2006 - 11:53 AM

I feed it all the time and my horses eat their hay before their sweet feed [Smile]

#25 Cactus Rose

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Posted 27 September 2006 - 03:33 PM

....sounds like the timing for taking them off it is important.

We use fall rye as a quick cover crop up here too.

I can't say as I've ever seen horses out on it....certainly cattle.....and it's mostly put up into green feed, with the stubble there as a snow catch and then the field re-drilled in the spring.

I guess cause wheat and rye are used for green feed - I just ***-u-me(ed) it would not be suitable for horses.

Learned something again today....

[Wink]

#26 RixKatToy

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Posted 27 September 2006 - 05:24 PM

My old guy is allergic to rye grass so it's a no no for him but the others do fine on it. Wheat grass is like candy to them. They snarf that stuff right up.....