With all the rain we have been getting this spring/summer, you can literally almost see the grass growing in front of your eyes.

Lots of grass, means lots of mowing. Then what ... what to do with all that thick green grass?

Rake it into soft, fragrant, tasty piles of clippings for your horse to nibble on, you say?

Actually, this should be the last thing you encourage your horse to eat.

It has to do with that extra step: raking.

Grass clippings that stay on the pasture after mowing, where they can dry in small amounts, are generally not a problem.

But never gather them into piles to feed them to your horse.

Why? - you say - when they eat green grass anyway? Because when animals graze, they have to tear off the blades of grass and chew them. With a pile of grass clippings, they simply gorge themselves, and eating large amounts at one time can lead to excess fermentation in the hind gut, potentially causing colic and laminitis.

Piles of clippings can also rapidly invite mold to form (especially prevalent in hot, humid environments), which can lead to colic.

Lastly, because there is no air inside a dense pile, botulism can develop, which turns this “treat” absolutely deadly.

If you want to "treat" your horse to some fresh green grass, tear-off a few handfuls and hand feed it to them ... or turn your horse out and let them mow-the-grass themselves for a half-hour , or so,  before you take the mower to it.


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date Wednesday, June 22, 2011

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