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Discussion on Grazing after mowing

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leslie christian
Member
Username: leslie1

Post Number: 279
Registered: 8-2006
Posted on Sunday, Aug 10, 2008 - 10:32 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Is it safe to turn out horses after mowing? Re grass clippings.

thanks
L
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leslie christian
Member
Username: leslie1

Post Number: 280
Registered: 8-2006
Posted on Sunday, Aug 10, 2008 - 10:38 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

oooops,
I just found the thread..so nevermind.

I mowed with a lawn tractor but cant bag or pile the clippings, so I guess i will leave them off it for a couple of days.
L
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Imogen Bertin
Member
Username: imogen

Post Number: 1157
Registered: 4-2003
Posted on Monday, Aug 11, 2008 - 7:02 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Leslie

Earlier this year I was at Kildalton College where they train Irish agricultural students in horse care including breeding. I was surprised to see that they happily mow the paddocks and leave the horses, including mares and foals, straight back on to the clippings, just like cattle.

I didn't get a chance to ask anyone at the college why they weren't leaving them to dry, but I meant to ask Dr O at the time if there was any new research on possible colic risk from mowed clippings.

Imogen
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Nadia F
Member
Username: nadia

Post Number: 146
Registered: 6-2003
Posted on Monday, Aug 11, 2008 - 7:55 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

My horses are at boarding facility. We have had a very wet summer and the pastures have been overgrown this year (past years, it was so dry, mowing wasn't needed as the horses ate it down faster than it could grow).

They just mowed the pastures (3+ acres each) Saturday, leaving the horses in them as they mowed. I know there was hoary alyssum in the fields as my horse has had reactions to it a few years ago.

Mowing was necessary, but I am concerned that the chopped up hoary alyssum is now something my horse cannot avoid. He obviously was doing it on his own in the pasture when the weed was intact. I checked his legs last night and I saw a small amount of swelling on his front legs. I am hoping that this will be the extent of it, but I told them to check his legs this morning and to call me if he is swollen.

Questions:
1) If you have overgrown pastures with weeds that seem to affect only a small percentage of your herd, what would you do? Mow the pastures (chopping up the weed) or leave as is?

2) On the just mowed pastures:
a) Isn't there a concern for laminitis (some kind of sugar change in cut grass), choke and colic?
b) Should clippings always be bagged? If not, how long do they need to be off the grass?

I realize there would be a large cost in trying to kill the hoary alyssum in the pastures (too late for right now, can only plan for next year).

Thanks.
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Diane E.
Member
Username: scooter

Post Number: 2632
Registered: 9-2000
Posted on Monday, Aug 11, 2008 - 8:03 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

When I mow my pasture I let it dry for a few days, the horses don't seem to like the dried grass and leave it alone.(mine will eat just about anything) I have seen quite a few horses choke on fresh mowed grass, I think they eat it too fast and it balls up.

I believe I have read also it is not good because of the grease ect. can get on the mowed grass from the mower.
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Robert N. Oglesby DVM
Moderator
Username: dro

Post Number: 21187
Registered: 1-1997
Posted on Monday, Aug 11, 2008 - 8:22 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

I think much depends on the length of the grass, the fineness of the clippings, and how large the clumps are on the ground. Pastures that are clipped with a tractor (PTO) run pasture mower are not likely to cause any problems because of the long pieces. I have seen horses choke on finely chopped grass like you get with a lawn mower when thrown in and piled up. I have even seen two horses choked at one time on such grass clippings.

If your pasture clipper is shedding grease at a prodigious rate, that needs to be addressed not because the grease is likely to be that dangerous but because your pasture clipper is at risk of falling apart.
DrO
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Angie J.
Member
Username: ajudson1

Post Number: 1879
Registered: 6-2003
Posted on Monday, Aug 11, 2008 - 9:21 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

I let the horses graze, then mow with the garden tractor. I have 4 seperate grazing areas, so 5-7 days before the horses would be back on the mowed part. I was told to mow at 3 1/2 inches, and mow before weeds go to seed, and never, ever let horses eat the fresh clippings.
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Imogen Bertin
Member
Username: imogen

Post Number: 1159
Registered: 4-2003
Posted on Monday, Aug 11, 2008 - 4:17 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

I agree with Dr O that the clippings from a topper (tractor PTO mower) are a lot longer and less gungy than those from a lawnmower.

Imogen
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Diane E.
Member
Username: scooter

Post Number: 2634
Registered: 9-2000
Posted on Monday, Aug 11, 2008 - 4:39 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Yes when we us the "brush hog" I don't worry to much, but I usually do the horse pasture with the riding lawn mower and have caused choke twice.....learned my lesson.
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