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Hubbard Life Blog

Your resource for advice from Hubbard® Life experts.


Having Trouble Finding Hay for Your Horses? Here are drought management tips to help YOU!

With a huge portion of the country dealing with a drought; hay has become a premium if you can find it.  Horses are quite flexible in the quantity and quality of hay that they need in their diet.  First let’s talk about minimum hay quality and quantity. 1) Mold Free.  Hay that has molded when wet and then dried will have a dry powder of mold on the leave and stems.  The powder will vary in color from a dull white to black.  Do not feed moldy hay to your horse. 2) Minimal Dust.  When hay is short and conditions are dry it is virtually impossible to find dust-free hay.  The less dust the better for your horse. It is okay to apply water to dusty hay before feeding; application can be by soaking or spraying thoroughly.  This reduces the dust becoming airborne which is the problem as it is inhaled through the nose and irritates the upper respiratory area.  3) Quantity Fed.  Mature 1100 pound horses can be fed as little as 5 to 6 pounds of hay provided adequate nutrition is provided from other sources.  This is about 50% of the hay in the recommended guidelines in the Hubbard Life Horse Feed Product Guide. This can be done for an extended period of time.  The quantity can be adjusted proportionately to the horse’s size. 4) Hay Cubes.  Although usually more expensive than regular long hay, cubes are often available as they are made from hay grown on irrigated fields.  They can be fed in combination with long hay or alone.  The minimum on hay cubes would be in the 4 to 5 pound range.

Now let’s talk about balancing the horse’s ration when hay is not available. Hubbard Life Horse Feed products, fed at about 50% more than recommended in the Hubbard Life Horse Feed Product Guide, will provide the balanced ration needed to keep your horse in proper condition.  Find more information at www.hubbardlife.com or ask a Hubbard Life nutritionist by responding to this blog.

Posted on 9/26/2012 by Dr. Dave Whittington  |  Category: Equine
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The Goat: A Land Clearing Machine

Goats are notorious for eating odd and various things.  It is great to be able to use this tendency of goats to prefer and be able to succeed on a wide assortment of browse and forbs.  Browse refers to the edible parts of woody vegetation, such as leaves, stems, and twigs from branches.  Forbs refers to nongrasslike range herbs (aka weeds). 

Mohair and meat-type goats have been used extensively to graze unimproved pastures and range areas where vegetation is generally of low quality.  In fact, there are dedicated websites even today where you can “Hire-a-Goat” to help take care of your land (www.brushgoats4hire.com for example)!  Because goats are good browsers, they can be used to control brush and undergrowth.  Numerous types of shrubs and woody plants can be utilized as feed for goats with varying degrees of success.  The following chart shows some common brush of the south and how efficiently goats can utilize them. 

TYPES OF BRUSH UTILIZED BY GOATS1

 

Common Name

Scientific Name

Efficiency of Utilization2

Black Persimmon

Discaria spp

--

Catclaw

Acacia gregii

+ +

Cedar

Juniper ashei; J penchoti

+

Coral Bean

Erythrina corrallodendron

+

Elm

Ulmus spp

+ +

Guajillo

Acacia berlandieri

+ + +

Ill-scented sumac

Rhus spp

+ +

Mesquite

Prosopis

--

Oak, Live

Quercus virginicus

+ + +

Post oak

Quercus stellata

+ +

Shin oak

Quercus harvardii

+ +

Small leaved sumac

Rhus glabra

+ +

White brush

Lippia liguestrina

--

Wild Plum

Prunus spp

+

Yaupon

llex vomitoria

+ +

1Adapted from Texas Angora Production, Tex. Ag. Exp. Sta. Bull., B-926
2Excellent = + + +; Good = + +; Fair = +; Poor = --.

 

While goats may enjoy access to having browse and forbs available, it is important to note that we need to be aware of and avoid poisonous plants in our pastures and rangeland.  Also, many of the tastiest plants goats enjoy are limited in nutritional value because of a couple different inhibitors.  The first is high levels of lignin in woody twigs, which is essentially indigestible.  Another would be essential oils that may be present in the plant that could affect the rumen bacteria. 

While these forages can provide a vast amount of the nutrients goats require for maintenance, a goat owner should be aware of what forages the goats are utilizing, and be sure to also provide a balanced goat feed such as Hubbard® Life Goat Feeds to be sure your goats are getting a complete diet. 

Reference:  Feeds & Nutrition by Ensminger, Oldfield, and Heinemann.  2nd Edition

 

 

 

 

Posted on 9/12/2012 by Sharon Kill  |  Category: Goat
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