Ask the Vet: How’s the Hay?

Q: Do horses know not to eat bad hay?

A: Horses will generally avoid any feed that is spoiled or moldy unless they have nothing else to eat. This is also true for poisonous plants, which may be growing in your horse’s field. If there is good food to eat, horses won’t go foraging for bad things.

Always make sure you throw out any bad hay or moldy grain and walk your fields to check for poisonous weeds. Make sure your hay supply is covered and that no water is leaking on it. Your horse needs your help to stay healthy.

Read more about choosing the right hay or other forage for your horse >>

This article originally appeared in the March/April 2017 issue of Young Rider magazine. Click here to subscribe!

Courtney S. Diehl, DVM

Courtney S. Diehl, DVM, has been an equine veterinarian since 2000. She is the author of Horse Vet: Chronicles of a Mobile Veterinarian and Stories of Eric the Fox, first place winner of the CIA EVVY award. She is currently working on her third book.

Recent Posts

The Morgan Horse

Imagine Vermont in the late 1700s, where farming and logging provided sustenance to the first Americans. Horses were essential to…

2 days ago

Ride Like a Mother

Jessica Holub Rumbaugh is a realtor and also manages the marketing side of her and husband Ben’s grass-fed beef business.…

3 days ago

4 Tips for Balancing Horses and Parenthood

Riding with kids can be fun—the key is to plan ahead to enjoy your saddle time. Jessica Holub Rumbaugh shares…

3 days ago

How to Fit an English Saddle

There are so many things to think about when you’re riding. Is my position correct? Is my horse moving right?…

4 days ago

IRL: Archery on Horseback

Imagine galloping across an open field on an energetic horse, taking your hands off the reins and guiding him with…

4 days ago

Basic Training for Your Horse’s Future

After a family crisis, Ken Chin became the owner of a dozen high-profile Arabian performance horses. At the time, Chin…

5 days ago