Haylage help

Lexi 123

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Sep 9, 2019
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The person who owns the yard is now refusing to sell haulage to any of the Dly in the yard. I can’t do anything about that but I have a few questions. I bought bagged haulage 4 bags. My friend told me that bagged haylage is a lot richer than the round bales is that true would my horse put on a lot of weight since she is a good doer. How much bags do I need a week . Also should I switch to hay instead . Sorry for all the questions I had never done this before. To be honest I don’t now were to start .
 

Jessey

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Dec 20, 2004
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Big bale haylage and small haylage doesn't give enough info to know if one is higher energy than the other, many farms bale in big bales then repackage it into the small bales, so it's unlikely to be much difference if it were from the same farm/field but the only way you would really know would be to test both.
Haylage is generally better in terms of nutrients than hay, because of the way it is preserved, but hay is only 10% water where haylage is 60% so weight for weight it's not easy to compare, feeding by volume is a better guide, I'd feed the same as you have been on the big bale stuff then tweak it once you see how well she does on it. You can also buy different types of haylage, made from different grass types or cut and baled at different stages of growth to effect the 'richness' of it, so if your girl is a good doer then a timothy or high fiber blend might be the best option as they are lower 'calorie' choices.
My greedy mare will eat a small bag (20kg) a day if she has no grazing, I get 2-3 decent size nets out of a bag, if on a bit of grass a bale will last 2-3 days.
 
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carthorse

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If you're buying branded haylage specifically made for horses (eg HorseHage, Devon Haylage etc) then you can usually pick a high fibre option which is lower energy & if you do that I've found it often is lower calorie than big bale haylage made by local farmers. As @Jessey says it's got a higher water content so you do need to feed more by weight, and I find the feed guide on the side of bags would probably only work if you don't mind your horse being stood with nothing for a long time.

Is there a reason you use haylage instead of hay? My preference is to feed hay where possible.
 
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Trewsers

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Bagged hayledge like Horsehage isn't necessarily richer than farmers hayledge. I buy the blue one for ours when we run short on hay (and sometimes for them as a treat) which is not as calorific as the locally made stuff.
There is another variety - a green one which is richer, but if you haven't got a good doer then it's fine.
I know there are some other bagged varieties Silvermoor? I think is one. Not sure how rich that is though.
 

Trewsers

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Just wanted to add; we bought small bale hayledge because we couldn't get good quality hay. It was not rich at all and was made locally just for horses. Like carthorse says, hay is probably the preference - so long as not dusty.
 

Lexi 123

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Sep 9, 2019
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If you're buying branded haylage specifically made for horses (eg HorseHage, Devon Haylage etc) then you can usually pick a high fibre option which is lower energy & if you do that I've found it often is lower calorie than big bale haylage made by local farmers. As @Jessey says it's got a higher water content so you do need to feed more by weight, and I find the feed guide on the side of bags would probably only work if you don't mind your horse being stood with nothing for a long time.

Is there a reason you use haylage instead of hay? My preference is to feed hay where possible.
My yard only offered haylage but now that I have to get my own feed I am considering changing to hay since is cheaper in my area .
 

carthorse

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If he's fine on hay that's what I'd use, even if you have to soak it for dust sensitivity. Soaking also means you can give more to a good doer, though you will have to soak it for a few hours if that's the case.
 

chunky monkey

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May 2, 2007
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Is there a reason theyve stopped offering it. Are they allowing you room for storage if you are buying it in. The horsehage is compressed so you dont need to feed as much. Years ago i used it on the goats and they went mad for it. Due to the expense of it we only gave as a treat. They emptied there hayracks in minutes. So we had to mix with hay to make it last, otherwise they would then not have anything left quite quickly.
It also goes off quite quickly once opened, but so does the farm wrapped hayledge. If you only have one horse its unlikely you will get through the farm wrapped bale quick enough before it goes off. Or buy a bale and share with another livery.
So your safer bet is hay as it keeps better, then maybe buy some horsehage to add to the haynet for added flavour/treat.