Pasture has the potential to provide
1. The horses nutrition
2. A Safe exercise area
Potentials rarely achieved, often neglected

All information given here is believed to be correct but the author cannot be responsible for any consequences of it's use.

Pasture Management
for
Horses

by Denis Lindsell
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Haylage

HAYLAGE -no exact definition - part way between silage and hay.

Horse owners may consider it to be more like hay as its appearance is closer to hay than silage. I would consider it to be more closely related to silage as it relies on similar fermentation processes to make it safe from spoilage organisms and can suffer from some of the same problems. The moisture content is not low enough to preserve the plant material - anaerobic conditions and a reduced pH are required.


Important points

As there is no exact definition of haylage, do not assume there to be a set quality standard for this product.
Haylage has the potential to be a high quality feed.

Beware of the situation where someone has tried to make hay, then possibly after some weeks of failing to get it dry enough bales it, wraps it, and calls it haylage. This material will be practically dead when it is wrapped and there will be little respiration taking place. Concequently there will be a risk of aerobic conditions existing for some time, during which the material may deteriate, and moulds will grow.

The graph below shows typical simulated results obtained in a laboratory experiment of oxygen depletion inside a sealed container of material that has been drying in natural conditions for two days to obtain a Dry Matter content of 50-55%.
It should be noted that the meterial is effectively anaerobic and safe from mould growth within 8 hours.

Graph showing oxygen depletion over time of haylage

The experiment was then repeated having simulated the situation where grass material has laid on the field for some time, with some wetting and drying before being sealed.
In this situation, after 24 hours, conditions had not been created that are suitable for the required fermentation bacteria and it was not safe from mould growth.

Graph showing oxygen depletion in simulation of an attempt to make haylage from damp hay