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Country Discussion Topics
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Will a little mold hurt my horses
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Ronda    Posted 10-08-2003 at 08:14:32       [Reply]  [Send Email]
I'v aways heard that you should never feed moldy hay to horses. Well I recently bought some brumuda hay and it seems like its trying to mold a little. I have it in a well vented barn. I talked to the guy I bought the hay from and he dosent think it will hurt my hosrses.Ive also read that it can cause breathing problems for horses. I dont want my horses getting sick from this but, I've spent quite a bit of money on the hay so cant really afford to buy new hay. I read somewhere that I can wet the hay and that might help. What I would like to find out is if there could be other problems feeding it to my horses? IS there other options for me?Thanks Ronda

Ronda    Posted 10-10-2003 at 19:19:21       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Thanks for everyone info. I was having the same feelings about the matter, but I was feeling a little uncertin about wetting the hay as a fix to the problem. I have talked to the guy and he looked at my hay and he seems to think because my barn is very open that the dew and fog have helped to make it mold and that it could be my faultor the barns fault. But I think that if the hay was dry enough when baled that it wouldnt mold. We have put hay in tha barn and didnt have a problem with it before. He is a little unhappy about it but has agreed to replace the hay. I just hate to complain. Thanks again. Ronda

Short Round    Posted 10-08-2003 at 16:43:45       [Reply]  [No Email]
Dont feed the moldy hay, have the guy you bought it from replace it. My daughter is spending mega bucks in vet bills treating her barrel racing horse who can down with COPD from being fed moldy hay at the place we boarded him. He is now here in our barn, but must have medicine on a daily basis and the medicine is extremely expensive.

Paula    Posted 10-09-2003 at 06:54:52       [Reply]  [Send Email]
My trainer got a Dutch Warmblood with COPD donated
to her school last year. We went through inhalers,
expensive mollases hay, meds, etc - and he was
outside most of the time. Then she went to a show and
got in contact with a person selling herbal remedies
and its like we have a different horse. No inhalers, no
meds, no wheezing, etc. The vet says, "tell me exactly
what you did!" because she's so impressed. If you'd
like, I'll find out what she's using.

CountryMaritimer    Posted 10-09-2003 at 06:30:33       [Reply]  [No Email]
What kind of medicine to you give your horse? Ours has chronic lung disease or something. We water down the hay (dusty or moldy)and leave them outside all year except for when the farrier is coming. So dusty in the barn. Much better outside in the fresh air.

Hay for horses    Posted 10-08-2003 at 16:04:00       [Reply]  [No Email]
If your hay supplier is worth dealing with he will replace any questionable bales, if not get another supplier and spread the word. My hay supplier doesn't even want me to bring back the bad hay, just tell him about it and he will replace it!! So when hay gets plentiful I stay with him and when it's scarce he takes care of me. Bottom line: find a good supplier and stay with him.

In a word - Yes.    Posted 10-08-2003 at 12:24:43       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Don't feed your horses moldy hay. I know you're
concerned about all the hay you bought and the money
you'll waste - think of the money you'll burn fixing a sick

As for the watering the hay thing. That's to keep dust
down not to get rid of mold (think of it, how could wet
make mold better?). Watering down hay is something
you do when dust is an issue for a horse - like a horse
with heaves or COPD or horses that are stalled (horses
kept inside have a much higher chance of getting sick).


BattleBorn    Posted 10-08-2003 at 09:44:35       [Reply]  [No Email]
Wetting down hay just prior to feeding is good for dusty hay, not moldy hay. Feed it to your cows if you have any, or have it replaced. If the bales are moldy on the inside, then they were bailed too wet. It is a faulty product, and should be replaced. Don't ever feed moldy hay to horses.

toolman    Posted 10-08-2003 at 10:09:22       [Reply]  [No Email]
what the others said ,horses shouldn,t have moldy hay , your supplier knows that or he would have told you to bring it back an exchange it, i have about 80 bales and burnt or threw away that much again, sitting in a barn from last year right now that i can,t feed to my horses,waiting to give the hay to a guy for his cows, i paid 188.00 a ton for it,but i wouldn,t risk giving it to my horses, sometimes you just have to accept the loss and find the funds to get some more good hay for them .

screaminghollow    Posted 10-08-2003 at 09:16:46       [Reply]  [No Email]
You have how much invested in purchasing, training, shoeing these horses, and you want to take a chance on losing them over $3.00 bale of hay? Horses and mold don't go together at all. Always, always tell the supplier that it is for horses and you can't have any mold. Make sure they will replace moldy bales.
Some times hays is dusty, rather than moldy, but that is rare.
I once fed some ever so slightly molded hay to our horses and one got a bad case of the craps which lasted for a month. Horse lost all kinds of weight and wasn't fit to ride for a couple months. He came around, but I've heard of horses colicing from moldy hay. Nasty problems, you don't need a vet bill.

hay    Posted 10-08-2003 at 08:46:34       [Reply]  [No Email]
it would be best NOT to feed moldy hay to horses. cattle can tolerate it a lot better because of their different digestive system.

Dave 2N    Posted 10-08-2003 at 08:41:42       [Reply]  [Send Email]
The horses might not eat it if it is moldy but horses and mold have traditionally been bad for each other.

ATW/WA    Posted 10-08-2003 at 08:38:42       [Reply]  [Send Email]
I am not familiar with Bermuda grass hay, but any mold is bad news. Not all mold is bad, it is just the analytical proceedures and equipment necessary to identify your particular mold is beyond the means of the average person.

So I would not chance it. The people I buy hay from realize it is for horses and willingly replace any moldy bales. Cattle seem to tolerate the moldy hay much better. I know people with cattle who will take hay showing signs of mold, so I can get rid of mine through them.

Ask your supplier to replace it if in doubt.


julie    Posted 01-05-2006 at 17:42:47       [Reply]  [Send Email]
I am wondering about feeding moldy hay to cows that are going to calf. I have heard they will slip there calves. Is this true? thanks julie

ALEX    Posted 01-10-2006 at 16:26:27       [Reply]  [Send Email]

I would have to error on the side of safety and say that you should not feed moldy hay to any livestock. My neighbor who takes my spoiled hay swears he has never had a cow suffer any bad effects from moldy hay, he also winter ranges bred cattle on standing corn fields and topping sugar beets. I have noticed he will remove any visible signs of moldy hay ( visible growth of mold), for horses if I smell it or suspect anything I will set it aside, not just a partial bale but the whole bale.

I do know that many feedstocks are improved in feed quality by selectively introducing fungi, which will breakdown the feed to make it more readily usable for digestion.

The most logical approach would be to approach a local county extension agent and ask if there are any concerns with your "regional area". I do know that some grasses raised in the southern USA will harbor harmful microorganisms (fungi, bacteria) that will not occur in the northern areas due to climatic conditions.

Look around at what other farmers are doing in your area, seek knowlegable sources for information.

Lastly any mycologist will tell you "when in doubt, throw it out".

I realize I did not provide a difinative answer. Not knowing more background info, it's the best I can do for you.


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