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Old 01-22-2011 08:35 PM   #1
dreaming_luke
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Default Sun Bleached Hay

Some of the boarders at our barn went together and got a delivery of some local cut hay at a place that I have used in the past with good hay. When the delivery arrived I was working so I didnt see the hay until I came to the barn later in the evening. I was a bit shocked to see a lot of it was sun bleached. I opened up a bale of it last night, thinking that it was probably only on the outside, but it is bleached straight through. I found their poo to be off color this morning. Some of the other barn members said that color of the hay doesnt matter, but I have always been told to go for green, nice smell, fine stalks, etc. I would think that the nutritional content would be lower ....I dont know.... I have some hay left over from our barns fields so Im going to use it and thinking about taking back the 8 or so bales that are bleached out.
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Old 01-23-2011 01:25 AM   #2
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the bleached out stuff will be lacking nutrients - take it back if you paid a premium price for it - if you got it really cheap then use it for filler hay for the day when ponies are bored.
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Old 01-23-2011 04:29 PM   #3
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Personally speaking, I'd not be concerned at all about hay that had been sun-bleached.

Then you need to know that colour isn't necessarily a hugely significant issue at all anyway. Appreciate that it's merely a very rough indicator and often hay that's "off-colour" say because it's early cut and had been rain damaged prior to cutting would have higher nutritional value.

Did the horses eat it?

I ask because the only real thing that sun bleaching does is it can alter the palatability. If they ate it though then clearly it didn't and that's not an issue. It can also affect the content of carotene but I'd personally not be concerned about that at all. Especially as that's the thing that's lost anyway with storage and it's ordinarily wayyyyy higher than any horse needs for it's daily requirement.

Are you sure it is sun-bleached though? I ask because you say it's right through. That might well indicate that it's just been made into hay when it's a little too mature. Again not particularly problematic though the nutritional values might be slightly reduced because if that's the case then it might have already have shed the grass seed heads.
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Old 01-23-2011 05:23 PM   #4
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Luke...do you have a co-op or anything like that you can take some of that hay in to be analyzed? We have done that before and it eases your mind as to what the mineral and nutritional content of the hay is. And, because you paid top dollar for it, call the man who delivered it and voice your concern and ask about it. Wouldn't hurt. Good luck.

But, if you are unhappy with it, then if you feel it necessary, ask for a refund or better hay.
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Old 01-23-2011 06:42 PM   #5
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Ok thanks everyone. I talked to the guy and it was an early cut, then it rained and it sat out before he could bail it. My real concern is the sugar content for my two and one of our boarders horse is diabetic, and apparently he has been devouring it the last two days. Hes checking to see what he can replace it with, its about 80 bales I think. I have quite a few bales left from our barns field to get me through for a few months, this stuff was just to top me up until our fields are cut this summer.
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Old 01-24-2011 12:12 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by dreaming_luke View Post
Ok thanks everyone. I talked to the guy and it was an early cut, then it rained and it sat out before he could bail it. My real concern is the sugar content for my two and one of our boarders horse is diabetic, and apparently he has been devouring it the last two days. Hes checking to see what he can replace it with, its about 80 bales I think. I have quite a few bales left from our barns field to get me through for a few months, this stuff was just to top me up until our fields are cut this summer.
Sounds perfectly logical and if it were me then I'd not be bothered at all by that. Indeed it's going to have a higher nutritional value and I'd be inclined to keep it for that reason.

All you need to do for the fatty/insulin resistent one is soak it's hay or spread it about a bit or mix it with some barley straw.
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Old 01-24-2011 08:33 PM   #7
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Sounds perfectly logical and if it were me then I'd not be bothered at all by that. Indeed it's going to have a higher nutritional value and I'd be inclined to keep it for that reason.
Are you saying that hay that has been rained on and dried has a higher nutritional value?
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Old 01-24-2011 08:41 PM   #8
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Yes I said that in post 3 before the OP said that's what it was.
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Old 01-24-2011 11:05 PM   #9
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No it won't, Tom - not here - its been proven with tests here in the Fraser Valley - Okanagan. The rain will leach some of the nutrients out and if you paid a nice premium price for good quality hay, then rained-on hay is a rip off!!
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Old 01-24-2011 11:45 PM   #10
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lol Starr, you on a roll today! Agree. If hay is the only feed provided then the sunbleached, rained on stuff isn't good enough. I didn't necessarily count on top quality hay because I fed grain too (and whatever supplements required). The hay kept them busy.
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