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  1. #1
    Veteran floradora09's Avatar
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    Default Horses eating cut grass...?

    I know that feeding lawn clippings is a big no no, but we have far too much grass and the landowner wants fields grazed evenly, so has offered to cut the long grass in the other side of the field, so we can put ponies in there to graze it. However, I think his mower thing will leave cut grass, won't be hot and fermented, but is this safe? My gut feeling says no!

    This spring has been a logistical nightmare... Three summer paddocks, four horses- a TB gelding, fat cushings pony and another gelding. Then a mare. Had hoped geldings could be together but they fight, so have had to use all three fields but can't get them grazed enough as have to section off... Even my TB nicknamed 'lawnmower' does not need any more grass now

    Thankies

  2. #2
    Veteran floradora09's Avatar
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    Default Re: Horses eating cut grass...?

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  3. #3
    Old nag quirky's Avatar
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    Default Re: Horses eating cut grass...?

    Is he actually going to cut it short, or top it?

    I have had my previous horse on topped fields before with no adverse affects.
    Life is ten percent what happens to you and ninety percent how you respond to it.

  4. #4
    Schoolmaster
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    Default Re: Horses eating cut grass...?

    If it was me I would want the cut grass picked up - but that may not be easy if the field is very large. Could you borrow some sheep to put on the field to eat the grass down rather than cutting it before putting your horses in there?

    I know what you mean about grass being a nightmare - we have so much and it is growing as fast as they are eating it. Today I have halved the size of my cobs starvation paddock, because by no means is he starving! We've also moved a friends fat pony in there with him so hopefully they will eat it down - or the sheep will be moving back in!!

  5. #5
    Veteran appylass's Avatar
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    Default Re: Horses eating cut grass...?

    Ask him what sort of topper he'll use, if he uses one that cuts the grass up into tiny pieces and flings it everywhere (technical term then I'd wait a few days then they'll be fine on it. If the topper leaves long swathes of cut grass you'd need to rake it up and move it to be safe.

  6. #6
    Old nag
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    Default Re: Horses eating cut grass...?

    My horses go out on our topped fields every year and are totally fine. OH even tops the fields while they are in them if im out which I do not agree with! But definitely wont do them any harm, unless it's not topping and it's a ride on mower or something!

    Be pleased he's looking after the fields, you'll get better grass coming through after they've been topped

  7. #7

    Default Re: Horses eating cut grass...?

    In the distant past, when we had too much long grass, we used to have it topped with a proper topper. As it cut, it left long swathes of long grass that had to be gathered up before we allowed the horses on it. Then, we bought a flail mower. When it cuts it actually cuts the grass twice and then shoots it out in two directions. If the grass is particularly thick, I still try and pick up as much as possible before letting the horses eat it. I always worry that if it rains and then becomes warm and sunny, the grass clumps might start to ferment. Better safe than sorry.

  8. #8
    Old nag Miss L Toe's Avatar
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    Default Re: Horses eating cut grass...?

    A lot depends on the thickness and stemminess of the grass, what you need to avoid is a similar situation to grass cuttings, ie short sweet grass which can ferment in the tummy.
    Usually a field is topped later in the year to level out the height of grass, and remove tussocks.
    You need to be sure the cuttings are not warming up as this indicates it is fermenting, if the cuttings dry out and are like a thin spread of hay, there is no need to worry.
    Sheep are dual purpose, they eat sweet grass and help de-worming.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Horses eating cut grass...?

    Quote Originally Posted by Miss L Toe View Post
    A lot depends on the thickness and stemminess of the grass, what you need to avoid is a similar situation to grass cuttings, ie short sweet grass which can ferment in the tummy.
    Usually a field is topped later in the year to level out the height of grass, and remove tussocks.
    You need to be sure the cuttings are not warming up as this indicates it is fermenting, if the cuttings dry out and are like a thin spread of hay, there is no need to worry.
    Sheep are dual purpose, they eat sweet grass and help de-worming.
    I agree with this, its the fermentation that is the problem and it happens quickly. We had a horse colic badly, vet etc etc and he was lucky, he had eaten a load of fresh cuttings. Personally I wouldnt graze a horse on a topped field unless all the cuttings were collected.

  10. #10
    Old nag Tnavas's Avatar
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    Default Re: Horses eating cut grass...?

    If the paddock is being topped - just cuts like a hay cutting blade then it will be fine. if you leave for a few days and it dries ff it will blow away.

    If it is going to cut 'mulch' style then you need to leave long enough for the grass to dry up, its the still damp fermenting stuff that's notgood for them.

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