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Hay and feed articles
Common Alabama Hay Varieties
Smooth brome does well in average growing conditions.
Smooth brome is a tall, soft leafy-stemmed grass that
horses find very palatable. It is reasonably easy to cure
and makes dark brown-green hay.
Orchard grass makes very palatable soft hay that is a
bright green in color. It is a leafy plant with few stems.
It is does well in the moister areas and is generally used
as pasture grass. It combines well with alfalfa and is
often grown in a mixture.
Meadow Brome is generally used as a
pasture grass as it has many basal leaves, few stems and
good re-growth capabilities. However, it is often used as
a hay grass as it combines well with alfalfa, not being as
aggressive as smooth brome. Meadow brome cures into soft
medium green leafy hay that horses find very palatable.
Intermediate wheat grass is a tall growing forage with
medium coarse leafy stems. It cures into medium green,
dust free hay. It is palatable to horses and when
harvested at later maturity PMU operators favor it.
Timothy has long been a favorite hay for horses. It is
easily cured into bright lime-green colored hay that is
dust free. It’s nutrient content is well suited as a
mature horse diet. Stems and leaves are large but soft.
Horses find the hay very palatable.
Crested Wheatgrass is a fine stemmed, leafy grass. It
is easily cured into medium green colored hay that is dust
free. When harvested in early head it is comparable in
quality to other grass hays. Harvested after heading the
quality declines and makes it a hay favored by PMU
(Pregnant Mares Urine) operators. Horses like crested
wheatgrass but if harvested at late maturity the stems
tend to be stiff and the hay is less palatable.
Alfalfa does well in average growing conditions.
Alfalfa is very palatable and horses love it. It is
reasonable easy to cure and makes a rich dark green
Alfalfa is generally higher in nutrients and energy
than grass hay which makes it an ideal choice for horse
owners with mares in late gestation, lactation, or growing
foals. However, horses with lower nutritional needs may
get fat on alfalfa and grass hay may be a better choice.