Hay, soaked hay, oat straw nutritional info

MiniMilton

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Can anyone give me the nutritional variations of hay, soaked hay and oat straw please?
And can you soak oat straw and does it reduce sugar content too?
My hay supplier changes so there is no point in getting a proper nutritional analysis done, so I'll have to try figure this out with average values.

I don't like soaking hay so I use a 70:30 mix of hay and oat straw. Just want to figure out if I'm reducing the sugar/cal content enough by doing this in comparison to feeding soaked hay.

Soaking the hay first and then mixing with straw sounds like a nightmare, but I guess mixing it dry first in a Haynet then soaking the lot would be easier, can you soak straw?

My horses are good doers and/or Lami prone.

thanks in advance!
 

Nugget La Poneh

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I soak oak straw, as it is mixed with the hay (mine is 50/50 mix, soon to go 70/30 straw to hay). Seems to be eaten more readily by the haffalump but you can't re-use it if it gets left (if there was dry left, I would mix in with new batch) as it goes quite manky.

I can't help you with the nutritional values though :(
 

Polos Mum

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It's an almost impossible question becase there is so much variation - nutritional quality of hay will depend on, time of cut (early cut much higher energy than cut post going to seed), weather running up to cutting (rain/ sunshine etc) (over dry hay can go almost straw like), drying time, species of grass, fertilised or not. Hay from the same field could vary massively from one year to the next.
I'd imagine straw is a bit more uniform but still some variation from weather
 

amandap

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Found this, not sure if useful or not, but interesting reading about the loss of meaning meaning high calcium/phosphorus ratio, which makes me think soaking hay is just moving one issue to another (possibly):

http://www.extension.umn.edu/agriculture/horse/nutrition/hay-soaking/

http://www.thehorse.com/articles/28322/soaking-hay-how-much-sugar-is-actually-removed
Getting hay tested is obviously the best way to go but unless producers are going to do it, those of us who have to buy small quantities at a time, that are often from various sources, are stuffed if you have a sensitive laminitic.

ps. I can't get my head round the dry matter argument.
 
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MiniMilton

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Thanks for all the replies! Can you soak hay then let it dry out again for a day or two before mixing it again with straw? Mixing wet and dry just sounds messy. And wet!

Nugget, I don't think I could ever get to a 70:30 straw hay mix! I almost got to a 50:50 last summer but my horses were not impressed. I'll try increasing it again and see how many dirty looks I get from them
 

amandap

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MiniMilton, my thoughts are, if you are going to soak hay I wouldn't bother with the straw. If its for weight loss switch to soaked hay if other measures such as mixing straw, increased exercize etc. are not working.
 

MiniMilton

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I would prefer not to soak at all. The dry straw hay mix is nice and easy for me. I'm just starting to doubt that mixing the straw is reducing the sugar enough. It's for more of a preventative measure as I have 2 with a history of laminitis. I guess if it worked for me last summer then I'm just overthinking it?
 

Polos Mum

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I saw a vet recommend soaked straw for a really nasty lami case so I can only assume straw can contain as much sugar as hay
 

amandap

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I would prefer not to soak at all. The dry straw hay mix is nice and easy for me. I'm just starting to doubt that mixing the straw is reducing the sugar enough. It's for more of a preventative measure as I have 2 with a history of laminitis. I guess if it worked for me last summer then I'm just overthinking it?
Without testing you are left with just careful observation. If it worked last year then perhaps use the same approach but keep a close eye on any changes to hooves, getting fat pads, crest/stiff crest, general stiffness or difficulty turning circles etc. and if any negative changes switch to soaking and see if that helps. Sadly it's so individual and a shame your track can't be used now. The colder nights increase risk in grazing especially if the days are sunny.
 
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Nugget La Poneh

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Nugget, I don't think I could ever get to a 70:30 straw hay mix! I almost got to a 50:50 last summer but my horses were not impressed. I'll try increasing it again and see how many dirty looks I get from them

Nugz is not overly impressed with being on rations, but the current batch of hay looks and smells to have been flash dried so is really very rich in comparison to normal so I am having to reduce the quantity of hay, and soak it as well.
 

MiniMilton

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Sadly it's so individual and a shame your track can't be used now. The colder nights increase risk in grazing especially if the days are sunny.
Thanks for the reminder about the weather! Its so easy to forget when the fields still look so wintery. I just did a patch up job on the fence and they are back on the track. Being 8 months pregnant its probably not the best patch up job!
 

HappyHooves

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do not reuse soaked hay even if it has dried out - the moulds run rife in wet/damp hay and you wouldn't want to feed that - liver problems etc etc. That's one of the downsides of soaking hay. Do you give a bucket feed? if so you can control the sugar intake in that and give an oat straw chaff - Honey chop sell one that is nothing more than straw and of course un-molassed - looks like a square bale of chippings - not the one in the yellow pack which they describe as 'plain' but is molassed.
 

Rosie'smum

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Might sound dumb but how would you go about mixing hay and straw together I just seem to end up with layers
 
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