We have just taken delivery of a load of newly cut hay. It’s fairly green but smells lovely. We are about to run out of last year’s stock and was wondering whether it would be OK to feed it to my pony? Someone told me that the golden rule is not to feed new hay until after Christmas – but is that just an old wives tale?
It’s really tempting to feed this lovely new hay – but we would urge some caution on it.
To start with – the hay will be heavily laden with sugars and starches which – apart from being far from ideal for those prone to laminitis, can also cause horses to scour with an upset tummy. In the worst case scenario it could also cause colic, especially if they bolt it and it impacts in their gut.
There are some things you can do if you really have to use it such as soaking it to remove some of the sugars, or mixing it with some older hay, but best practice would be to leave it untouched for a few weeks until it has had time to settle and dry out.