Horses

Can Horses Eat Hay That Has Been Rained On?

/

by Heather Byron

/

No Comments

There’s nothing like the smell of fresh hay, and horses certainly love to eat it. But what if it’s been raining and your hay is wet? Can horses eat hay that has been rained on? And if so, is there any risk involved?

Rained-on hay can be a suitable forage, especially for horses prone to laminitis. Forage quality tends to be retained if: The rain occurs soon after cutting when the forage has had little time to dry. If the rain is heavy, it will leach out much of the water-soluble carbohydrates (WSC). In addition, rain can cause physical damage to the forage, reducing its nutrient value. 

Let’s take a detailed look at what you can do with hay that has been rained on? Along with a few additional tips. So, let’s get started.

What To Do With Hay That Has Been Rained On?

The first thing you should do is assess the quality of the hay. If it is still in good condition, then it can be used as normal. However, if it is in poor condition, then it should be discarded.

To test the quality of the hay, take a small handful and squeeze it tightly. If water drips out, then the hay is too wet and should not be used. If the hay is still in good condition, then it can be fed as normal.

Tips: Can You Feed Wet Hay to Horses?

Here are a few tips for using rained-on hay:

  1. Make sure that the hay is dry before feeding it to your horse. If the hay is even slightly damp, it can cause colic.
  2. Feed smaller amounts of hay than usual, as wet hay is more difficult to digest.
  3. If possible, soak the hay in water for a few hours before feeding it to your horse. This will help to rehydrate the hay and make it easier to digest.
  4. Be sure to provide plenty of fresh water, as wet hay can cause dehydration.
  5. Monitor your horse closely after feeding wet hay, as it may be more likely to colic.

While there is no need to panic if your hay becomes rained on, it is important to take some precautions. By following the tips above, you can help to ensure that your horse stays healthy and happy.

How do you save hay bales that have been rained on?

Ideally, you should feed wet hay to your horse as soon as possible after it has been rained on. If this is not possible, then there are a few things you can do to try and salvage the hay:

  1. Spread the bales out in a well-ventilated area and allow them to dry.
  2. If the weather is warm, you can place the bales in the sun to help speed up the drying process.
  3. Once the bales are dry, they can be stored in a dry location until they are needed.
  4. Be sure to check the hay regularly, as it may start to spoil if it is not used within a few days of being dried.
  5. If the hay is in poor condition, it should be discarded.

By taking these steps, you can help to ensure that your horse has access to dry hay, even if it has been rained on.

How do you feed a horse soaked hay?

If the hay is soaked, you should not feed it to your horse. Soaked hay can be difficult to digest and may cause colic.

If possible, you should spread the bales out in a well-ventilated area and allow them to dry. Once they are dry, they can be stored in a dry location until they are needed.

Be sure to check the hay regularly, as it may start to spoil if it is not used within a few days of being dried. If the hay is in poor condition, it should be discarded.

Conclusion:

While there is no need to panic if your hay becomes rained on, it is important to take some precautions. By following the tips above, you can help to ensure that your horse stays healthy and happy. So, if you find yourself in this situation, don’t worry – just follow these simple steps and you’ll be good to go!

About
Heather Byron
I've been an animal lover for all my life. I'm currently showing that by managing a life-saving center for A New Leash on Life in Huntsville, AL. I love helping dogs and cats in finding their new fur-ever homes. If you are in the area please stop by any one of the 3 locations we have.
Photo of author

Leave a Comment

Item added to cart.
0 items - $0.00