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Putting Horses On New Rye/oat Grass Pasture


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#1 Guest_cbj_*

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Posted 10 November 2006 - 01:20 PM

What are some suggestions for putting horses on a winter pasture of rye and oat grass. They are curently on a bermuda/hay grass mix right now but it is just about finished growing this year. Our winter pasture is just about ready (this is the first year we have done this) and I would like suggestions for changing over to something that is so much richer.
CBJ

#2 msfarab

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Posted 10 November 2006 - 03:05 PM

Hi,
You do not mention what part of the world you are liing in.

We are on the east coast (PA central mountains), and also plant winter wheat and Rye and pasture it in winter and spring.

I know some parts of the USA feed OAT HAY, made before the grain is fully developed. It was interesting hay, and our first exposure was in AZ.

Because you mention Bermuda, I am thinking you are in the south ?

How many horses and how is the winter grass planted?

Here we have strips because we are in steeper terrain, which are about 80 feet wide and 1000' long. Not all of it is planted each year as we rotate.

I would suggest turnout like you would do in spring on fresh grass. We feed hay first, and then turn out on fresh grass in spring so they have already eaten dry hay, before going on the rich grass.

If you can use electric fencing on part of the planted fields they will not graze it all at one time.

We found it to work well in Spring planting, or frost seeding as well as winter feeding, and then turn out on limited basis on only part of a day. Our horses will always run for grain and come back in from the fields.

msfarab

#3 msfarab

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Posted 10 November 2006 - 03:09 PM

Hi,
You do not mention what part of the world you are liing in.

We are on the east coast (PA central mountains), and also plant winter wheat and Rye and pasture it in winter and spring.

I know some parts of the USA feed OAT HAY, made before the grain is fully developed. It was interesting hay, and our first exposure was in AZ.

Because you mention Bermuda, I am thinking you are in the south ?

How many horses and how is the winter grass planted?

Here we have strips because we are in steeper terrain, which are about 80 feet wide and 1000' long. Not all of it is planted each year as we rotate.

I would suggest turnout like you would do in spring on fresh grass. We feed hay first, and then turn out on fresh grass in spring so they have already eaten dry hay, before going on the rich grass.

If you can use electric fencing on part of the planted fields they will not graze it all at one time.

We found it to work well in Spring planting, or frost seeding as well as winter feeding, and then turn out on limited basis on only part of a day. Our horses will always run for grain and come back in from the fields.

msfarab

#4 Guest_cbj_*

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Posted 10 November 2006 - 03:54 PM

I am in the South. Our pastures usually stay pretty good year round, so we don't have to worry about keeping our mares up in the winter. We don't HAVE a winter!! LOL
It is about 5 acres (fully planted, no strips and fairly flat) and we will have 3 on it during the day. Our girls come in at night and get hay and grain morning and evening, then back out for the day. Hay is not rich and we feed limited SafeChoice. Nobody is FAT!! We may cut back on hay and/or grain if we see a weight problem.
We started the rye and oats from seed and fertilized lightly about 2 weeks ago. It will be ready to eat probably around T'giving.
What I am wondering is how much to let them graze at a time in order to build up to all day grazing? I have heard not to let them eat rye grass that heads out. Well what about oats? I am just nervous about making a change in their diet and know I have to do it gradually. Just would like to hear from someone that does this on a regular basis.
Carole

#5 Suzy

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  • Interests:Have been with horses my whole life, Arabs and a Paint. Showed and rode till I broke my neck in 02. Can't ride any more but have to have the girls in the pasture so I can get that horse scent in my lungs. Breed Pembroke Welsh Corgi's. Also. Nigerian Dwarf, Alpine and Toggenburg Dairy Goats.

Posted 10 November 2006 - 04:33 PM

cbj,

I'm in TX and have planted oats/vetch. They will be going on it about the same time you plan on letting your girls on it. I also have the 3. I feed coastal, Burmuda grass, hay. I will be filling them up on the coastal and start letting them out a half hour to start with for a few days then up to an hour for a few days and then up it to 3 and jump to 5 and then all day, as the hours of daylight are shorter. Mine also come in at night. Each day they will have to eat there fill of the hay first. As they get to the point where they are on it all day I wil be cutting back on their grain and the hay is 16% so I will also be cutting that back. I don't let the oats head out either. The vetch is sort of like clover that spreads out but viney. If it works out right they will be coming off of it come March and if we get the rains I will be able to hay it but let it go to seed for next falls grazing.
I did do rye one year but I just like the oats better as I also have a herd of goats and some rabbits that love the vetch and it's fine for the horses.
Hope that helped some.




#6 Guest_cbj_*

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Posted 14 November 2006 - 05:02 PM

QUOTE(Suzy @ Nov 10 2006, 03:33 PM) View Post

cbj,

I'm in TX and have planted oats/vetch. They will be going on it about the same time you plan on letting your girls on it. I also have the 3. I feed coastal, Burmuda grass, hay. I will be filling them up on the coastal and start letting them out a half hour to start with for a few days then up to an hour for a few days and then up it to 3 and jump to 5 and then all day, as the hours of daylight are shorter. Mine also come in at night. Each day they will have to eat there fill of the hay first. As they get to the point where they are on it all day I wil be cutting back on their grain and the hay is 16% so I will also be cutting that back. I don't let the oats head out either. The vetch is sort of like clover that spreads out but viney. If it works out right they will be coming off of it come March and if we get the rains I will be able to hay it but let it go to seed for next falls grazing.
I did do rye one year but I just like the oats better as I also have a herd of goats and some rabbits that love the vetch and it's fine for the horses.
Hope that helped some.



Yes it does help!! We just didn't want to start them out too much at first. 30 minutes at a time sounds good and I can do that in the evenings before I put them up to feed. It will be nice to get to the point of having them on it all day. They look over the fence at it EVERY day! VD04.gif
CBJ




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