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Old 08-20-2012, 02:24 PM  
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Bermuda/Clover Hay-Would you use this hay?

Hay is very scarce in my area. There is some weedy cow hay, but very, very little horse hay. My normal supplier has decided that he is not baling any grass hay at all now, only alfalfa. I found some Bermuda/Clover for $80/round bale that is fairly close. He said that the last person who bought some is using it for horses.
I asked about weeds, and he replied:
"The only weeds were a few sour dock plants in the drainages. Not many at all."
I also asked what variety of clover, and how much clover, and he replied:
"The varieties are arrow leaf and yellow hop. I would say each bale will vary from 25-50% clover vs. Bermuda."

Based on this information, would you consider using this for your horses?
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Old 08-20-2012, 02:31 PM  
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I've fed straight clover hay, and I've fed callie bermuda hay, but never a mix.

Clover toxicity comes from aslike clover, and that doesn't seem to be one of the varieties you are dealing with here.

If my horses were starving, if I were desperate for hay, and I'd have to be to spend 80 dollars on a round bale, I'd buy it and try it, starting in small doses, no free choice.
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Old 08-20-2012, 02:36 PM  
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I've used Bermuda before, and Carlie and Jones eat that with no problem at all. Carlie loves the clover in my yard, but I've never used clover hay. I know that it is a legume, like alfalfa. Does that mean there is a higher chance of causing laminitis with it?
I don't free feed. I have slow feed hay nets and they get a set portion each day. Increased if it is extremely cold or if they are dropping weight. I'm hoping this winter is mild like last!
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Old 08-20-2012, 02:49 PM  
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Buyer beware

We harvest about 100 acres of Bermuda Grass. There is about 5-10% clover in it. Most horses love clover and will pig out on it.

It's very starchy. Clover is harder to cure. It is more prone to mold so check the bales carefully.

I would not feed hay with clover to easy keepers, insulin resistants, Cushings, or any horse with similar health problems.

It's hard to monitor how much each horse, in a herd, is eating when it's in a round bale. Also there will be more waste as they will pick out the clover first.

The Sour Dock concerns me more. It is poisonous. Since it's really bitter most horses won't eat much of it however.

This will be an awful year for hay. If this is the only hay you can get you'll have to use it. Just be aware of the potential problems.
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Old 08-20-2012, 03:04 PM  
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Carlie and Jones eat a certain amount out of a slow feed hay net. I measure it each day. The net also makes it harder to pick through since they only get a tiny bit each time.

I can't seem to find much information about Sour Dock...is this the same as Curly Dock? Is it something I could pick out?
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Old 08-20-2012, 04:01 PM  
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I don't know much about clover hays, just wanted to say I am certainly like you, worried about the hay situation. My hay man says he will have enough hay to cover me for the winter, his hay is mostly grass/timothy. Not the best hay but clean and my horses are easy keepers. (Except for my daughters horse who is eating hay at the boarding barn where he is. But soon all my horses will be there and I am going to supply hay also. I have also just started feeding hay pellets (timothy) thought I'd start them on that and use that to stretch my hay.
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Old 08-20-2012, 04:11 PM  
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FYI

A little info about Sour Dock.

http://www.mountlehmanllamas.com/sourdock.html
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Old 08-21-2012, 09:17 AM  
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After doing some research, I am getting conflicting information on the Sour Dock. Some sites say that it is only harmful in large amounts, others say any amount is bad...some even say you can use it to make tea!
How am I supposed to know what is right? Guess I will be calling my vet at lunch.
But, aside from the Sour Dock, would you use a bermuda/clover mix?
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Old 08-21-2012, 02:55 PM  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dunamovin View Post
We harvest about 100 acres of Bermuda Grass. There is about 5-10% clover in it. Most horses love clover and will pig out on it.

It's very starchy. Clover is harder to cure. It is more prone to mold so check the bales carefully.

I would not feed hay with clover to easy keepers, insulin resistants, Cushings, or any horse with similar health problems.

It's hard to monitor how much each horse, in a herd, is eating when it's in a round bale. Also there will be more waste as they will pick out the clover first.

The Sour Dock concerns me more. It is poisonous. Since it's really bitter most horses won't eat much of it however.

This will be an awful year for hay. If this is the only hay you can get you'll have to use it. Just be aware of the potential problems.
I agree with this
However, You are in a tough situation, so if you do not have IR horses, do not feed free choice, and check diligently for mold, it might work for you. Not familiar with sour dock. Can you pick it out?
I feel for those of you south of the boarder, facing this tough situation> I have not had to face it for about 8 years ago, when we also had several years of drought and infestation of grasshoppers. I got impaction colic in three horses, not realizing that the 'brome haY, I got in exchange for the green feed we had that year, was actually combined brome-ie grass straw!
Too bad you are so far away from us. Hay here is cheap. Our own round bales of good mixed hay are selling for $35. I just got back from the auction mart, where I bought hay for my IR horse . Good grass hay and one pile of square timophy baled hay. I paid from $3.00 to $1.85. Now I must haul home 90 bales of hay before we have our almost daily thunderstorm
A trainer that comes up here for the summer, is considering buying an entire field of standing hay and taking it south
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Old 08-21-2012, 03:11 PM  
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I was paying $35 a bale two years ago...and my supplier down the road let me pay for a bale at a time. Made things so much easier! Coming up with several hundred dollars at once is harder.
I do not have any IR horses. Carlie has a club hoof, but never had any issues with it. Jones is an easy keeper mini mule, but doesn't eat nearly as much with the slow feed net.
I have a call in to the vet about the sour dock, but I haven't heard a definitive answer yet. I printed off a couple of other ads and sent a few emails about some other hay, but I haven't received any replies yet. They are all quite a bit further away though, and I don't know that the quality would be any better.
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