Topics

Moderately high nitrates in hay. What to do...


coffincomplex@...
 

Hi everyone,

I moved to Southern CA in August and my horses have been doing well (knock on wood). My barn is large and goes through hay quickly, so testing the barn's hay to see if it was safe to feed Buster wasn't feasible. I found a hay grower about 70 miles south of me that grows bermuda and Teff that are tested. I'd prefer to avoid the potential impaction problems of bermuda, so I went with the Teff. This time around he sent me the test results before I decided to buy it and the ESC and starch were OK, but the protein was suspiciously high (17+%). I knew nitrates were a concern, but only had one opportunity to pick the hay up, which was before I could get the nitrates run myself. Well, the result is back and they are indeed high (d'oh!!!) 2301 ppm on a dry matter basis. Lab report says feed at 40% or less of dry matter intake. So, does anyone have suggestions or further interpretation of this information? I either have to try and exchange this for bermuda (which hasn't had the nitrates tested either, but the protein isn't suspicious at least), or mix this with something else. He won't eat the Timothy Balance cubes. Most non-hay options (thinking Triple Crown Safe Starch, LMF Low Carb Complete or similar) are pricey to feed as a significant portion of his diet. Also, if I continue to feed this as a part of his diet, is there anything else I can do to offset the effects if the high nitrates?


Thanks for any input.
--
Alanna
May 2018
Los Angeles, CA
Buster's case history: https://ecir.groups.io/g/CaseHistory/files/Alanna%20and%20Buster  .


Eleanor Kellon, VMD
 

You can soak a sample and recheck nitrate levels before and after soaking (dried after soaking).
--
Eleanor in PA

www.drkellon.com 
EC Owner 2001


coffincomplex@...
 

Unfortunately I don't think soaking is a viable option. I'm only at the barn once a day, usually for less than an hour on weekdays, and occasionally I'm not out at all, and it's still in the 70s here (not complaining) so I couldn't really soak hay much ahead of time without it getting funky. It's a lot to ask the barn staff to soak hay for me because they already do a lot of special requirements for many horses and it gets very time consuming.
--
Alanna
May 2018
Los Angeles, CA
Buster's case history: https://ecir.groups.io/g/CaseHistory/files/Alanna%20and%20Buster  .


LJ Friedman
 

I don’t like the Bermuda option. I’ve read that switching to Bermuda can cause colic and impaction problems.
--
LJ Friedman  Nov 2014 Vista,   Northern  San Diego, CA

Jesse and majestic ‘s Case History 
Jesse's Photos

 


Eleanor Kellon, VMD
 


Eleanor Kellon, VMD
 
Edited

That 40% guideline is for cattle, which are more sensitive to nitrate poisoning than horses. However, potential non-fatal effects from lower levels like yours include interference with thyroid function, hoof pain and reduced exercise tolerance. You can protect the thyroid by doubling or tripling iodine intake but iodine won't influence the other problems.  Your easiest solution may be to see if the dealer will exchange half of it for Bermuda. Ask him what strain of Bermuda it is. If not coastal, there's no link to impaction.
--
Eleanor in PA

www.drkellon.com 
EC Owner 2001


coffincomplex@...
 

Thanks. It sounds like that may be the most straightforward solution.
--
Alanna
May 2018
Los Angeles, CA
Buster's case history: https://ecir.groups.io/g/CaseHistory/files/Alanna%20and%20Buster  .