Haylage for horse
Haylage appeared on the feed market in the 80s of the 20th century, and since then its popularity as feed for horses has been growing.
In the photo: horses eat haylage
Haylage, hay and silage
Haylage is a cross between silage and hay. This is forage harvested in a special way.
Haylage has several advantages over hay:
- Often, the nutritional value of haylage is much higher than the nutritional value of hay.
- Horses are very fond of haylage, eat it with pleasure and gain weight faster.
- Haylage is convenient for competitors, because small bales can be carried with you.
- Haylage, which is packed in polyethylene, is well stored outdoors.
Grass for haylage is grown and mowed in the same way as for harvesting hay, but the grass is laid in bales before it dries. Therefore, in the haylage contains 30 - 40% moisture.
Haylage may be moldy. To avoid this, the bales are sealed as a silo to prevent air from entering.
Haylage is much easier to harvest than hay, because it does not need to be dried in the field for several days, and hermetic packaging protects haylage from dust and mold.
In the photo: haylage in a package
Hay feeding a horse
There are nuances in feeding a horse with haylage.
- The haylage is given 1.5 times more than hay, because the haylage contains more water. So in equal amounts haylage does not replace hay. Sometimes it seems that the haylage goes too much, but remember that since it contains less fiber, it can prevent digestive disorders.
- The quality of sealed packaging is crucial. If there is air access, mold forms inside the package and the feed becomes unsuitable for the horse. Check that the bales are tight. Large bales should be covered with 8 layers of polyethylene (minimum) so that grass stems do not pierce the casing. Once again check the tightness before feeding: if there were holes made by rodents or birds.
- Senage is worth buying only from a trusted manufacturer. This will increase the likelihood of acquiring a quality product.
- Opened packaging must be used for a maximum of 4 days (faster in summer), since immediately after opening the packaging, mold begins to form in the hay.
- Even if the haylage packaging was sealed, in case of mold, do not feed the horse with such a product. It is also necessary to avoid haylage that looks contaminated with soil or dusty.
- You should not be afraid of botulism, since the bacteria that cause it do not survive in the haylage. But colic after feeding with haylage, unfortunately, does happen. Therefore, if your horse is not accustomed to such a feed, carefully monitor its condition.
In the photo: the horse eats haylage