Re: Requesting advice for adjusting diets and balancing according to new hay analyses in Idaho

Kirsten Rasmussen

Hi Nancy, it might be worth having it balanced.  We generally say 3 months of hay is worth testing and balancing.  You've already tested you are halfway there.  If you are planning to feed, say, 50:50 of each hay a day your balancer can take that into account and give you an averaged recommendation.  It might be fairly simple to adjust the amount of Cal Trace you are feeding, and add in a little more of what is low.  Because the calcium is so high in the hay, you may need more magnesium than they are getting.

Both hays are high in calcium, so there is a significant amount of legumes in them.  Some EMS horses do not tolerate legumes well, we don't really know why though.  If you can source 100% grass hay going forward, it could help.  The high protein is also a bit worrying.   Some of that could be from the legumes, but the 17% in "Cindy's" hay seems excessively high.  This hay especially might be high in nitrates (EA can add that test for you if you want).  It is also higher in sugar.  Soaking it will help remove some of the sugar, and nitrates if they are present. The mixed grass hay is lower in sugar so it may be fine without soaking, but if your horses are still sore then I would continue to soak it.  I have a horse eating 7% sugar+starch hay and have found that he needs it soaked, as have many other members here.  You have to see for yourself whether they can tolerate that level of sugar and starch.

Kirsten and Shaku (IR) - 2019
Kitimat, BC, Canada
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