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Discussion on Wheat Hay

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Marti Thompson
Member
Username: marti

Post Number: 18
Registered: 4-2004
Posted on Wednesday, Jun 13, 2007 - 9:27 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

I live in central Florida and we are unable to obtain coastal hay in our area. The feed stores now have wheat hay in place of the coastal. I had never heard of feeding it to horses before. They for sure do like it better than coastal. I am wondering what the actual protein % is. Should it be feed the same way as alfalfa (using less) or the same as coastal? I have a mare that needs low energy building content to maintain her sanity and she now seems to be getting much more energy and less able to be quiet and calm. Another concern is that I read in wheat hay for cows, it seems to indicate it is good hay if cut prior to the wheat being on the stalk. What I am buying has the wheat bloom in tact. Does anyone have any knowledge about the wheat hay that they can pass on to me?
Thanks
Marti
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Erika L
Member
Username: erika

Post Number: 888
Registered: 10-2002
Posted on Wednesday, Jun 13, 2007 - 6:01 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

According to the "Beef" website:
http://beef-mag.com/mag/beef_wheat_hay_cattle/

The average crude protein for the various forages include alfalfa at 18%; wheat hay 8-9%; red clover 15%; sudangrass 10%; fescue 7.5%; milo stubble 6%; prairie hay 5.8%; and corn stover 5.2%.
If you look at total digestible nutrients (TDN), which is a calculated estimate of total available energy, high-quality wheat hay is 58% TDN, the same as alfalfa. Sudangrass is 56%, fescue 53%, prairie 51%, baled milo stubble 49%, and baled corn stover 49%.

Here's another site that addresses horses:
http://hayandforage.com/mag/farming_wheat_hay_solid/

Sounds to me like decent hay.
Take a look at the cutting stage, however, they say it depends a lot on when it's cut.
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Robert N. Oglesby DVM
Moderator
Username: dro

Post Number: 18684
Registered: 1-1997
Posted on Thursday, Jun 14, 2007 - 6:43 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hello Marti,
As with all hays the nutrient profile is very dependent on the stage of growth when it was cut and how it is handled after being cut.

Wheat hay is covered in the article associated with this discussion area, just click on Nutritional Content of Common Feedstuffs for Horses off the navigation bar above. The table is arranged alphabetically. See the article on forages for evaluating the quality and stage of growth of the hay.
DrO
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Marti Thompson
Member
Username: marti

Post Number: 19
Registered: 4-2004
Posted on Friday, Jun 15, 2007 - 9:05 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Thank you Erika and Dr. O. All most helpful.
Marti
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