When good pasture grass is not available, hay is the single most important source of nutrition for your horse, pony, donkey or mule. Horse owners must be particular about the type and quality of the hay they feed.
- What is hay? In its most basic form, hay is dried grasses and plants. Learn about what goes into good horse hay, how it is baled and how it can be offered to horses.
- Why is hay important? Hay allows us to keep horses in climates and conditions not natural to horses. When grass is not available, hay may make up the largest part of a horse's diet.
- What alternatives to hay are available? When hay is in short supply, owners may have to resort to alternatives. Of course the best alternative is good pasture grass, but this isn't always possible.
- Can a horse live on hay only? Can a horse live on hay, without pasture or any other concentrates such as grain or pellets? Find out if your horse can live on hay alone.
- What should I look for when buying hay? Buying hay can be tricky. Many farmers bale their hay for cattle and don't need to be as particular about the quality as horse owners need to be. Here is what you need to look for to select the best hay for your horse.
- My hay is only a bit dusty or moldy-is it okay to feed? If hay isn't baled properly, molds can grow causing dusty hay. Is it okay to feed your horse dusty hay? Here's the answer.
- How much hay should I feed my horse or pony? This is one of the most common questions about feeding hay. How much should you feed your horse? Here's how to determine if you are feeding your horse the right amount.
- Is it safe to feed newly baled hay? It's long been thought that it isn't a good idea to feed hay that is freshly baled. The main fear is that freshly baled hay could cause colic. But is this true, or is it an old 'wives tale'.
- How long does hay keep? There are no 'best before' dates on hay. But here is a 'rule of thumb' regarding how long hay is good after it is baled.