Hay vs Haylage

Ginn

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I have always feed good quality hay and pay between £3.50 and £3.75 for the normal (small) bales. In the winter I can easily get through 1/2 a bale a day.

Noticed the post further down on haylage and wondered what the benifits are? Till's while not a poor doer isn't a good doer either but provided she has plenty of bulk she holds her weight reasonalbly well but I wondered, now she's in light work, whether it would be worth say feeding haylage overnight while she's in and hay in the field for example?

How much should you feed a day (weight wise) in haylege so its comparable to half a bale of hay?

Does anyone know where I can get it delivered in the Dursley (glos) area?
 

Caty_A

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Jen

There are a few different types of haylage but I go for horsehage blue the high fibre one which I don't think you can go wrong with. I feed as much as you during the winter but you can't use this much haylage. They say the little 20kg bale is to last 3 to 4 days and you must use within 7 days once open. My boys love it so I now give them one slice with their hay each night. I put the haylage on top in the haybar and they see it as a treat! This year because the hay isn't as good I am mixing a slice of haylage with my hay and it's working a treat. I love haylage as they don't waste any but because you shouldn't feed as much or so is recommended they would stand about all day as they eat it quicker. xx
 

ihatework

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Difficult to give you a direct weight comparison as it really depends on the water content of the haylage but as a rough guide I feed approx 10kg overnight.
You really want to be feeding as much haylage by volume as you would feed hay, this would probably have a higher nutritional value though.
Keep in mind that a haylage bale is often more tighly compressed than a hay bale.

In broad terms for a single horse owner, feeding small bale haylage can work out a fair bit more expensive than feeding hay.

You have 2 options
1) horsehage sized bale (about 20/22kg). Horsehage itself costs about £5.50 a bale although you do find regional equivalents for about £4.50 a bale. Fed adlib overnight my horse will eat 1/2 a bale
2) larger small bale, approx 30/35kg(essentially similar size to a bale of hay, compressed). I can get this for £6 a bale and my horse will consume 1/3 a bale overnight.
 

SpottedCat

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Also do not forget that haylage contains more water than hay, so although you will get told to feed less, in fact you need to feed more to get the same nutritional value (I have an article on this somewhere, might be on eww?).

Horsehage is IMO v expensive and the amounts they recommend feeding of it mean you cannot feed it adlib.

I fed ad lib haylage last year - two big nets a night, which is that same as he was on when he had hay. I would be inclined to try haylage on Tils, and as for small bales, if you go past the turning to our place, there is a farm on the left with small bales and a stone mounting block outside it - they sell it! Think the quality was good last year! Just knock on the door I think...
 

Ginn

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Caty that was my thinking too, sort of mix the 2 up a bit so she has the bulk and the higher nutritional content of the haylage but in moderation, especially as this years hay seems much poorer than previous years.
 

Ginn

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Ohh thats worth knowing! Do you know roughly what they sell it for?

If you can think of anyone with really good quality hay this year then I may just stick to that but the stuff up my way is shocking - Im having to soak stuff only cut earlier this year as its awful
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Hence thinking that haylage my have a better nutritional content, especially if mixed with the hay
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Caty_A

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Yes they love haylage but I have friends that say too much haylage makes them a) full of energy b) too fat.

Mine are so fussy about the quality of the hay and have turned their noses up this year but I am told I am lucky to have it as good as I have (try telling that to my boys!) so mixing it really has worked and one slice each is all they need. I would need 2 bales a day if I only gave haylage which is way over the recommended amount and very expensive too. I think a bit of each is a perfect solution.
 

SpottedCat

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[ QUOTE ]
Yes they love haylage but I have friends that say too much haylage makes them a) full of energy b) too fat.

Mine are so fussy about the quality of the hay and have turned their noses up this year but I am told I am lucky to have it as good as I have (try telling that to my boys!) so mixing it really has worked and one slice each is all they need. I would need 2 bales a day if I only gave haylage which is way over the recommended amount and very expensive too. I think a bit of each is a perfect solution.

[/ QUOTE ]

That's exactly why I don't like horsehage! 'Normal' haylage you can feed ad lib quite happily. I guess it's personal preference though - never had any 'too much energy' issues, and I like mine to have ad lib forage and less ahrd feed. My TB competition horse overwintered last year on ad lib haylage and a few pony nuts.
 

Caty_A

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I agree totally but for me horsehage is readily available and at the quantity I give it I'm not too bothered anything to help them eat the hay this year is a blessing to me. I agree too I feed the hay adlib as I'd rather the natural fibre and as long as I am exercising them daily I don't worry that they are having too much. Plus i hate to see them looking bored (which my friends laugh at!) I personally do not have energy issues my friends again being a bit precious me thinks xx
 

SpottedCat

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That's true - the quality is at least consistent as well.

I have been told that energy thing by so many people but am yet to find it is true with any horse - me thinks some people feed too much hard feed then blame the haylage...
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Caty_A

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quite, my warmblood tb eventer is a only on 1.5 kilo maintenance portion of Re-Leve a day and loses no condition and has plenty of energy (and then some) and it is a tiny amount in fairness. Spread over 3 meals a day it looks like nothing and yet he looks like he must eat loads at 16.3 being so well built. I am lucky to have saracen on my doorstep whose nutritionalist if fab!! I mustn't change the subject!
 

Nickijem

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I started feeding my horse haylage 2 years ago as the other horse at the yard had COPD and was advised to swap from hay to haylage. Since then, we have had no problems with coughs and runny noses. It is more expensive though - a small round bale lasts one horse about 4- 5 days and costs about £6.50 - £7.50. The added expense is worth it imo.
 

HenryandPeta

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Henry gets adlib hay in the field and then a large haylage net at night when he comes in, and that seems to keep his condition ticking over nicely. He's a 17hh half shire and weighs 1600lbs, so I feed him a large net of haylage (I guess it takes about a third of a bale of the green haylage - fluffed up).
 
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