Can horses eat hay that has been rained on

Rained-on hay can be a suitable forage, especially for horses prone to laminitis. Forage quality tends to be retained if: The rain occurs soon after cutting when the forage has had little time to dry.


What happens if a horse eats wet hay?

Wet hay typically goes through a fermentative state, of sorts, and it would not be good for the horse to eat it while this was happening,” she continued. Caution should be used in purchasing hay that was wet when baled. Too much moisture affects the quality of baled hay.

Is hay still good if it gets rained on?

If rained-on hay is not again dried fully, mold and mycotoxin growth can occur which can put livestock health at risk. Furthermore, baled wet hay can combust due to the temperature increase caused by microbial growth – putting a producer at risk of barn fire.

What do you do with hay that got rained on?

If the hay was almost dry when it rained, he says to use a hay preservative and bale it a little on the wet side. However, if hay bales are too wet, mold can grow and give off heat, creating a fire hazard. You can reduce this risk by not stacking the bales.

Does hay get ruined in the rain?

The majority of the damage from untimely rains is the loss of soluble nutrients from the hay (the sugars). Even before rain damage, we lose some sugar during plant respiration that occurs from the time forage is cut until it reaches about 50% moisture content.

Will rain ruin hay bales?

Unfortunately, rain can damage hay in several ways. Rain leaches soluble nutrients and keeps the moisture level high, thus increasing the likelihood of decay and mold. Hay rained on during field drying of course damages legume hay more than grass hay and the drier the hay when rain occurs, the greater the damage.

How do you save hay bales that has been rained on?

Use net wrap or plastic twine spaced no more than 4 in. apart on round bales to maintain bale shape and provide a smooth surface that encourages water runoff.” Anderson recommends storing hay on elevated, well-drained spots that will prevent the bales from soaking up moisture from wet soil or standing water.

How long does it take hay to dry after rain?

Quality and Quantity Research at Iowa State University found that fresh-cut hay with less than 1 inch of rain took a few more hours to dry, but didn’t suffer much, if any, quality or quantity loss. A light rain on nearly dry hay, though, caused significant losses.

How soon can you cut hay after a rain?

I would wait a day or so for the ground to dry. If the ground is dry then the hay will dry faster.

How do you dry rain on hay?


With severely rain damaged hay, it may better to leave it on the field, chop it up with a rotary mower to speed decomposition and minimize shading of the next crop.

Is wet hay good for horses?

Wet hay typically goes through a fermentative state, of sorts, and it would not be good for the horse to eat it while this was happening,” she continued. Caution should be used in purchasing hay that was wet when baled. Too much moisture affects the quality of baled hay.

Can you over dry hay?

When hay doesn’t have enough moisture When hay is too dry before baling, the leaves of the forage become stiff and brittle, making them much more likely to fall off. In many cases, a significant portion of hay’s nutritive value lies in the leafy portions of the herbs used to make the hay.

How do I know if my hay is dry enough to bale?

Breaking stems in half or twisting them in a circular motion to see if the stems break cleanly will give farmers the go-ahead to bale. “If all the stems break and crack that’s an indication that the hay is cured and then you can rely on the moisture test that you’re getting from the probe,” Yaremcio said.

How long do you leave hay to dry?

It basically takes about three days of good weather to cure hay. This can be a challenge in late May or early June. A good strategy is to mow just before or right after a rain, because of the likelihood of good weather for the next few days.

At what temperature does hay mold?

“Hay bale temperatures of 120°F to 130°F will likely result in mold growth and will make the protein in the hay less available to animals,” Hartschuh says. While these temperatures will not cause fires, continued mold growth can raise temperatures to dangerous levels.

Can hay dry in two days?

Subject: RE: How long does your hay lay to bale dry? Alfalfa swath and bale 4-5 days later depending on weather, sometimes 3 days sometimes 8 just depends. Grass swath 1 day bale the next, sometimes 2 days but not real often.

Can you cut and bale hay the same day?

In a trial at the University of Wisconsin Arlington Research Station (Figure 2) where alfalfa was put into a wide swath it reached 65 percent moisture in about eight hours and could be harvested for haylage the same day as cutting.

Can hay get too dry to bale?

Our best hay is dried the quickest so as to not sacrifice a loss in color. However, if the hay is too dry when baled, it can become dusty. Dry hay also loses an excessive amount of leaves which contain most of the nutrients. Hay that was baled too wet can mold and can actually combust spontaneously in the barn.

Can you cut wet hay?

if there’s water standing or the ground is very saturated (to where the ground has standing water,, nope your not missing anything. That aside,, wet hay will dry quicker cut, than standing.

When should hay be cut?

On average the entire process of mowing, raking and baling hay takes 3 days—in good weather. Therefore, pastures should be cut when a window of at least 3 days of sunny, dry, hot weather can be expected. Some farmers cut on the last day of a rainy spell in order to maximize the number of hours of drying time.

Is tedding hay necessary?

Tedding hay is an essential part of the hay making process as it speeds up the drying of the hay, this in turn reduces moisture rot once hay is baled and eliminates the possibility of spontaneous combustion of bales due to bacterial decomposition of grass.

Will horses eat moldy hay?

Quick facts. Don’t feed moldy hay to horses. Most moldy hay problems are from mold spores, which can produce respiratory disease in horses. Many of the common mold toxins develop in the field during a delayed harvest.

Will wet hay mold?

Even in bales that are not at risk for fire, wet bales will continue to decrease in quality. Mold will often occur, which uses plant tissues as an energy and protein source for growth, resulting in decreased quality.

Is wet hay a fire hazard?

“Excessive moisture is the most common cause of hay fires,” Schroeder says.” Odd as it might seem, wet hay is more likely to lead to a spontaneous-combustion fire than dry hay.” High-moisture haystacks and bales can catch on fire because they have chemical reactions that build heat.

Can you bale hay on a cloudy day?

Changing weather conditions are always a source of stress for farmers and ranchers. As many of you know, this is particularly true in hay making, where you need several consecutive days of warm, dry weather to mow, ted, rake and bale.

How do you Tedder hay?

Why do farmers cut hay at night?

Though starches and simple sugars accumulate during the day, a substantial amount of these carbohydrates are used up during the night for growth and maintenance (via the processes of respiration). Therefore, cutting the crop at night will likely maximize the sugar in the crop, at least at the time of cutting.

Why do farmers leave hay bales in the field?


Of course, the most obvious reason why farmers leave bales of hay out for a bit (though no more than a few days) is to let the bales dry. Stacking wet hay poses the risk of it becoming moldy or catching on fire.

How long is stored hay good for?

If the hay was of good-quality when harvested and stored in a dry place with sufficient airflow, hay is likely suitable for consumption for two to three years. Keep in mind that hay, even premium forage, loses much of its vitamin content in the first few months of storage.

How long will a bale of hay last?

Without a net, a bale lasts approximately 5-6 days and half of it is wasted. Once the hay hits the ground, it gets urinated and defecated on or they use it as a bed and refuse to eat it.

Can you mow hay with dew on the grass?

First the old wives tell us to cut after the dew to prevent the spread of fungal diseases. Hay that is spread out full width behind the machine, will dry faster than hay that is dropped into a windrow. .. Hay that has 5 hours of direct sunshine will be dried where the leaves are drier than 42% Moisture.

Is it better to cut hay in the morning or afternoon?

Even though sugars are at their minimum when cut in the morning, losses of these sugars to respiration are also minimized with rapid wilting and no overnight respiration losses. Similarly when making dry hay, cutting with a wide swath likely does more than cutting in the afternoon to improve forage digestible energy.

How soon can you bale hay after cutting?

As a rule of thumb, wait to rake hay until after the dew has dried and the sun nears its peak, around 11 a.m. If possible, let the raked hay sit for an hour or two before baling to allow more drying time. Haymakers have several types of rakes available.

Can you bale hay without a tedder?

“In warmer, dryer parts of the country, hay producers can get by without owning a tedder. The ground is dryer, so the crop on the bottom of the windrow typically isn’t being exposed to additional moisture,” Vrieze said.

Why is it called a tedder?

A horse-drawn implement for fluffing hay after it was cut, and primarily after windrowing. It was intended to stir up and turn over extra heavy hay to help the part near the ground to dry, or to help the drying of cut grass that had been dampened by an unexpected rain.

Can you tedder alfalfa?

To dry quickly, alfalfa should be laid in as wide a swath as possible, Undersander says, and tedders will do that. Tedding alfalfa shortly after cutting, when the crop is typically about 75% water, helps minimize leaf loss. Once that level drops below 65%, leaves are too likely to shatter if tedded.

What is the difference between dusty hay and moldy hay?

Senior Member. Depends on what you can dusty too, any hay short of silage will produce dust but abnormal dust is usually mold spores from wet hay. A very slight pat with your hand on a moldy bale sends up a cloud of spores that is what we call dusty hay.

What kind of mold grows on hay?

Molds commonly found in hay include Alternaria, Aspergillus, Cladosporum, Fusarium, Mucor, Penicillium, and Rhizopus. These molds can produce spores that cause respiratory problems, especially in horses and, under some conditions, will produce mycotoxins.

What does mold look like on hay?

Look for Mold Moldy hay generally presents as darker areas which are grey or black. If you find mold, refuse the bale – mold indicates that the hay was baled when it was too wet. Feeding moldy hay to horses can result in serious problems, such as colic.

How long does it take for wet hay to combust?

When the internal temperature of hay rises above 130 degrees Fahrenheit (55 degrees C) it provokes a chemical reaction producing flammable gases that can ignite. Most hay fires occur within 6-weeks of baling.

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