Mixing hay


Lamourah Perron
 

Hello all
I bought some grass hay that I have not had analyzed yes,  will soon . Last year, this hay came in at 11.3 percent sugar, I did not buy it. 
This year there is a hay shortage  so I have to get hay from a few sources. 
I have a hay that is low sugar (6.7) and protein but high iron (267  ppm). Another one that is more balanced from last year that is low sugar.
I am wondering if I can mix the higher sugar one with a lower sugar one to reduce the sugar amount? Or, is the only way to reduce the sugar is to soak it.
We are heading into winter soon, with freezing temperatures and I cannot soak it then.
I can always save it till spring and soak it, if that is my only option.

Thank you 
--
Lamourah Perron 
Queens Bay British Columbia 
Hoof pictures Sept 2021


Lavinia Fiscaletti
 

Hi Lamourah,

Yes, you can mix two hays and average the ESC+starch numbers as long as it's done at each meal. You can't feed one hay at one time and the other one at another time. The other thing you need to do is make sure the horse is actually eating both hays, not picking thru and only eating the (usually) higher sugar one. The only way to actually reduce the sugar (not starch, as it won't lower with soaking) is to soak.

Iron at 267ppm is higher than needed but is a number that can be balanced to. Part of the higher iron may be on the surface of the hay, which can be lowered by shaking out the hay before feeding it. To know how much that may help, you'd need to test some of it after shaking. Surface iron will also rinse off (not soak) but that means you will need to rinse all of it before feeding then retest after the rinsing to see what the new result would be.

Although it's a pain, hay can be soaked in freezing temperatures if needed - many of us have done it at one time or another. Horses generally don't mind haysicles.

--
Lavinia, George Too, Calvin (PPID) and Dinky (PPID/IR)
Nappi, George and Dante Over the Bridge
Jan 05, RI
Moderator ECIR


Lamourah Perron
 

Hi Lavinia
Thanks for this info! The starch is low, below 1 percent on all of my hay.
I feed in hay nets,  so I can mix the 2 kinds in a big garbage can and the net it.
 Would 50/50 work? 
--
Lamourah Perron 
Queens Bay British Columbia 
Hoof pictures Sept 2021


Lavinia Fiscaletti
 

Yes, you can do 50/50. All depends on how much you need to lower the overall ESC+starch total.

--
Lavinia, George Too, Calvin (PPID) and Dinky (PPID/IR)
Nappi, George and Dante Over the Bridge
Jan 05, RI
Moderator ECIR


Lamourah Perron
 

How do you figure that out? 
--
Lamourah Perron 
Queens Bay British Columbia 
Hoof pictures Sept 2021


Kirsten Rasmussen
 

The overall ESC and starch should be below 10% for a horse that has EMS or PPID.  Some horses need it to be less than that, and you figure that out by bloodwork and looking at physical signs that suggest their insulin is still high (ie, hard crest, fat pads, swollen sheath, sore hooves, shortened stride, etc).  If you are mixing 50:50, then the average ESC and starch need to be 10% or less.  If you want to bring it down more, you might want to mix 60:40 or 70:30...it depends on how sensitive your horse is to ESC and starch.

--
Kirsten and Shaku (IR + PPID) - 2019
Kitimat, BC, Canada
ECIR Group Moderator
 
Shaku's Case History
Shaku's Photo Album


Kandace Krause
 

Hi Lamourah,
I also, living near Banff, have soaking hay in winter issues.  I did do it for a while into freeze by hanging one flake per net in a shed with a space heater drying it a bit.  I also used an empty stall space in my run in shed with matting on the floor to shake and mix hay varieties.  As the others have mentioned this brought the overall percentages down.
I also laid some soaked hay out over snow fencing and saw horses to dry a bit longer and in our dry air it did, not sure if that wouldwork for you but your cold shouldn't be as deep as our minus 30 either.
I was, possibly over careful on mixing, but I did want to make sure that the high sugar starch hay was well mixed in hoping this would help keep spikes down and encourage the eating of all the hay, not just going after the "candy" first.
--
Kandace K
Rocky Mountains, Alberta, Oct 2020
https://ecir.groups.io/g/CaseHistory/files/Kandace%20J%20and%20K
https://ecir.groups.io/g/CaseHistory/album?id=259062