Forage Options During Drought Conditions

Forage Options During Drought ConditionsStampede Premium: Forage Options During Drought Conditions

Fiber is an essential part of every horse’s diet. Feeding a minimum of 1 percent body weight in forage per day (dry matter basis) is recommended to supply adequate levels of fiber required for proper gut function. Horses grazing good-quality pasture and/or provided ample access to hay generally have no problem meeting this minimum requirement. However, there are times when good hay is hard to find due to severe drought or other weather patterns. Where do you turn for forage options during drought?

During a hay shortage, hay quality tends to decline along with supply. If affordable, good-quality hay cannot be found locally, it may be possible to source it from outside the region. Another option is to use forage alternatives, which are high-fiber feeds that can safely be substituted for the forage component of a horse’s diet. These feeds can be used to either stretch the available hay supply or completely replace it if necessary.

Several StampedePremium products are forage alternatives that can be used either as a partial or complete replacement for hay. Stampede Premium Alfalfa Cubes or Timothy/Alfalfa Cubes can be supplemented or can replace some or all of your current forage. Replacement should be on a 1-to-1 basis, and total forage intake should be at a MINIMUM of 1.5% to 2% of body weight per day. As much as 3% per day can be safely consumed, especially by horses needing to gain weight.

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