Difference between hay and haylage

Discussion in 'General' started by Mary Poppins, Feb 6, 2005.

  1. Mary Poppins

    Mary Poppins Well-Known Member

    Please can someone tell me what exactly the difference is between hay and haylage (i think that is how it is spelt!) and which is better to be fed to certain horses?

    I understand that haylage is better for horses with dust allergies and coughs, but are there any other benefits to feeding it? Also, should haylage be fed in smaller quantities or can I give my horse as much as he can eat?

  2. Kerry Claire

    Kerry Claire New Member

    Haylage has more energy in it than hay so I think consumption should be limited.

    Other than that I couldn't really tell you but I know someone can - I think there was a similar thread on here not that long ago. I think haylage is treated diffreently and is kept bailed in plastic for longer keeping it moist - something along those lines!
  3. eeyore

    eeyore New Member

    we feed hay and apparantly they can eat and eat and not put much weight on at all!
    hay is usually more dusty for some reason..

    haylage is more nutricious and therefore horses have it limited.
    it's also good for horses with dust allergies as it is dust free!
    i think it's more expensive than hay though.

    err..... how they make them different in the first place is beyond me lol!
    they put haylage in a pale green bag and hay in a black one...
    .. that must be it. lmao!
  4. Wally

    Wally Well-Known Member

    What we make is a big bale haylage. It is like a damp hay when you open the bale.

    We cut it, let it wilt for a day or so to reduce the moisture then those nice men come and bale it for us.

    You can have the option of chopping or just baling. One cutter chops it up into small grass lenghts, this is no good for horses as it is a bit too wet and can give them belly ache.

    The stuff we are using at the moment is almost good enough to eat yourself. It was specially seeded and is full of Timothy seed heads....smells lovelly.

    Silage to my mind is a much shorter staple length of grass and is much wetter.

    We don;t get a choice og bale colour....it's all black here....in Icelnd it's green or white.
  5. Little welsh

    Little welsh New Member

    haylage vs hay

    The difference between haylage and hay is - haylage is moist, has a sweet smell and has been wrapped up once cut. It is better quality then hay, has far more nutrients and has the near enough the same goodness as grass. You can even get away with feeding no hard feed when feeding hayage. It does however have a higher water content then hay and therefore you need to feed MORE haylage then hay to get the same amount of fibre which is essential for keeping them balanced. Hay is dry and depending on the quality contains very little goodness which is ideal for horses or ponies which are prone to weight gain. Remember that a horse needs to eat for on average 16 hours a day, so if your horse or pony is fat or prone to weight gain I would feeding hay, but if your hay is very dry or dusty, soak or steam it first and put one haylage net inside another so the holes are smaller to make them work harder for their food and so it lasts longer. Hope this helps!
  6. Lucyad

    Lucyad New Member

    On the hay quantitly vs haylage discussion, remeber that you feed more haylage than hay on a weight by weight basis, as haylage has more water, but haylage is much heavier, so on a volumn basis usually less haylage than hay - try picking up an equaly sized leaf of both!
  7. rinzarider

    rinzarider New Member

    IMO GOOD quality hay is a better ad lib feed than haylage--but if you can't GET good quality hay, haylage is better than poor quality dusty poorly made hay. I would be very wary of feeding ad lib haylage though, to most horses as they will-most of them anyway--scoff it greedily. Sometimes this can not only disrupt their digestive systems but also their 'manners and morals'.

    I have fed-and will feed- both as necessary.

    Hot-head Rusty did his full seasons hunting (twice a week) on horse-hage a vitamin/mineral licky thing and very little else. He was turned out during the day with no extra forage (there was plenty in the field) and stabled overnight with 12 kilos of hage.

    Red gets hay. HE is a very good do-er and eats MUCH more than Rusty ever did and (so far) has had absolutely NO health issues with our hay--so ad-lib hay he gets. (Even now, when he has access to very good summer grazing he will scoff 10kgs of hay in his horse-horse-as well as taking a good nosh at his bedding (wheat straw).
  8. Trewsers

    Trewsers Well-Known Member

    Good quality haylage looks and smells lovely:D If I were a hoss a know which I'd prefer to eat between hay and haylage - hay is horrid, like us being forced to eat dry shredded wheat:p :D Some horses can't have haylage - each to their own I guess. Our yard hasn't any haylage at the mo so am having to buy Horsehage for madam (she WILLNOT eat hay) and his Lordship is having wet / soaked hay - which he eats begrudgingly (spelt wrong). It gives him a dreadful cough otherwise, and I hate filling haynets cos I get a terrible chest off the dust. Bring back haylage please.......:D :D
  9. teabiscuit

    teabiscuit Moooo

    mine get ad lib haylage
    they're fine on it
    we can't get good clean hay round here so haylage it is, and i feed ad lib to prevent other digestive probs

    whatever works :)

    i must add, i seem to have remarkably sane horses anyway.:)rolleyes: slightly tongue in cheek )for the most part :)
  10. capalldubh

    capalldubh New Member

    Share mare Shannon has had hay, haylage and ad-lib haylage. We had been giving her Horsehage last winter, purely because of convenience (not much storage space, so we bought small bales - always available and fresh, as well as easily transportable).

    She has a touch of COPD/RAO (whatever it's being called today), so tended to wheeze on dry hay, and soaking was removing calories she needed.

    For various reasons, mid winter we switched to ad lib haylage in her field. We were a bit worried she would binge and grow huge (she has a rather complicated relationship with her food). However it worked absolutely fine - didn't eat any more than she would have normally and was much happier as free to choose when to eat and when to have a little rest.

    However, I think if asked to choose between haylage and Lucyad's meadow hay, she might find it difficult!
  11. c2b

    c2b New Member

    Are you all mad? :eek: I can't stand the smell of haylage ergh yuck yuck yuck but love the smell of hay. Ok so maybe it's me that's gone off my trolley. (OH has thought so for a long time).
    My friends horse goes wappy on haylage and behaves like some horses do on fresh spring grass.
    As I (novice owner) understand it haylage has more sugars and protein in it.
    I have a native who gets fat on fresh air... she loved haylage when she had a few bits added to her hay net over the winter. So she obviously thinks it's nicer....
  12. Harleyhorse

    Harleyhorse Hunter/jumper rider!

    We feed both hay and haylage. We feed my to show horses haylage(as it give them more energy! and one of them has heaves so he can't have anything dusty) All the others just get hay! In the winter here we sometimes feed haylage as it keeps the weight on in the freezing cold months!
  13. teabiscuit

    teabiscuit Moooo

    i think there must be something wrong with my lot, they're just the same (sane or insane) on hay or haylage :)

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