Results 1 to 10 of 10

Discuss Feeding Timothy to Laminitic/Foundered horses?? at the Horse Health forum - Horse Forums.

Can horses with laminitis and/or founder be fed Timothy hay? I have recently begun feeding ...
  1. #1
    Senior Member ChaseroftheCans's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Peoria, Arizona
    Posts
    767

    Feeding Timothy to Laminitic/Foundered horses??

    Can horses with laminitis and/or founder be fed Timothy hay?

    I have recently begun feeding one of my mare's timothy hay. I wanted to spoil her a bit, and she doesn't seem to like alfalfa hay (she actually steals the yucky bermuda grass hay from the other horses). She loves the timothy. I'm gradually getting up to feeding it to her free choice.

    NOW, I want to give it to my other horses. One has metabolic laminitis (no coffin rotation, he's not lame, perfectly fine) and eats bermuda grass hay right now. The other foundered a few years back (reaction to West Nile Vaccine), some rotation in one foot, but is very sound. She eats bermuda grass hay and a smidge of alfalfa hay right now.

    Can they have Timothy hay? It's just a grass hay, isn't it? Or would it be bad to feed to them? Thanks
    Proud owner of Fancy Bar RX (aka Little). Little's Pedigree

    Proud owner of Chaotic Turn On (aka Chaos). Chaos's Pedigree

  2. #2
    Senior Member+
    3WishesDun's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    At My Wit's End
    Posts
    18,133
    Blog Entries
    27
    Only way to know for sure, is to have your hay tested.
    It is impossible to gauge just given the 'type' of hay how it was grown/harvested. And that will have the biggest impact on how acceptable it is to feed to these types of horses. Some cuts of alfalfa can be lower in NSC than grass hays. You could also soak it 30 minutes in hot water or 1 hour in cold water to remove some of the sugars. But to be absolutely sure, you would have to test.
    Madness takes its toll.
    Please have exact change.

    The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
    But I have promises to keep,
    And miles to go before I sleep.
    -Frost
    I've Been Snowballed!

  3. #3
    Senior Member+ BluEyedCowgurl's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    MT
    Posts
    746
    I would probably have it tested as well.
    I worked at an equine hospital in California for a while and the only thing they would feed founder/laminitic cases was Timothy. The veterinarian who owned the place had his wifes horse there, and she had gotten laminitis, and they were adamant about that horse getting nothing past its mouth but Timothy. We had to make sure our wheelbarrows were free of any type of alfalfa before we cleaned her stall...so I dunno, but since they were so big on it and people came from all over the Western U.S. with laminitic horses and such, I would say they seemed to know something about it. BUT, if you have a horse that is really on a restriction, get it tested. It's your best and safest bet.
    Everytime you ride, you're either teaching or un-teaching your horse.


  4. #4
    Senior Member+
    JBandRio's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    NC
    Posts
    63,867
    Blog Entries
    12
    All else being equal, Timothy is the safest hay for a metabolic horse. BUT, since any given Timothy can be higher in NSC than any given, say, fescue, any hay for a metabolic horse needs to be either tested and only fed if low in NSC, or soaked (or both). Some metabolic horses can deal with 12% NSC, some need less than 10, some need more like 8% if they are to be on it free choice.
    He who thinks he can do everything or knows everything has already reached the beginning of the end.
    -- The Rothenberger Family


    Barn Swallow Jewelry on Artfire!

  5. #5
    Senior Member+
    sorrell's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Posts
    4,122
    Blog Entries
    7
    I would mix it with the coastal. We had a laminitic pony and he could eat grass hay and timothy in moderation.

  6. #6
    Senior Member+
    Sue B's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Posts
    3,825
    According to Safer Grass - A Resource for Equine Forage Nutrition bermuda is the safest grass to feed laminitic horses as it has the most consistently low NSC of all the common hays. Timothy and orchard have the most consistently high NSC. However, from my experience, timothy works well also for metabolic cases. What I have come to discover and fruther explore is that when the hay is low in NSC, it is often of poor quality. Feeding poor quality hay to horses is not beneficial in any way. It reduces the amount of digestable energy they can get out of it...thus requiring that they be supplemented with other feedstuff that may not be benefical to them. Low quality hay also has high amounts of lignin in it....this unfermentable fiber just sits in the gut with no benefits and creats lactic acid...resulting in more helath issues. So, yes, in theory so far...IMO...timothy (properly harvested) provides a better quality...therefore more beneficial...hay over others.

    But, as others suggested....testing will help you determine the best approahc and if this is a decent hay to feed. The final test will be how your horses respond to it.
    Save a Horse - www.saveahorse.org
    December 13th - National Day of the Horse
    September 19th - International Talk Like a Pirate Day
    www.talklikeapirate.com

  7. #7
    Senior Member+
    JBandRio's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    NC
    Posts
    63,867
    Blog Entries
    12
    Wow, how did I get that backwards? I could have sworn I had heard that T was a very low NSC hay in general
    He who thinks he can do everything or knows everything has already reached the beginning of the end.
    -- The Rothenberger Family


    Barn Swallow Jewelry on Artfire!

  8. #8
    Senior Member+
    Sue B's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Posts
    3,825
    It probably would be if it were harvested full bloom. But since it becomes stalky and of poor quality when harvested too late, it has to be harvested "pre" bloom. When the plant is in that state, it is exceptionally high in sugars preparing for the role of "mommy" to feed the bloomin kids!
    Save a Horse - www.saveahorse.org
    December 13th - National Day of the Horse
    September 19th - International Talk Like a Pirate Day
    www.talklikeapirate.com

  9. #9
    Senior Member+ WildHorseSpirit's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Posts
    1,474
    That's the grass I wondered if I should plant Bermuda. How well does that grow in MO anyone know?

  10. #10
    Senior Member+
    Haas Horse Farm's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Dixon, MO
    Posts
    14,180
    That is what we feed... but the bermuda we feed is the world feeder variety that is spriged in. Not sure about these newer types that are seeded. I am also in MO so if you want information on growing it... send me a PM amd I can get you in touch with others who are doing it now and have been for seven or eight years now. They call tell you all there is to know about it and then some.
    Quote Originally Posted by Circle C View Post
    If you can't take ALL the replies...good bad or neutral, then dont post or you will end up ****** off.

Similar Threads

  1. *More Pics #30* Feeding the Laminitic Horse
    By ChaseroftheCans in forum Horse Health
    Replies: 36
    Last Post: 07-09-2007, 10:04 AM
  2. flax seed for foundered horses????
    By James Robert in forum Horse Health
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 01-30-2007, 10:38 PM
  3. Feeding a foundered donkey??
    By Stormyheart6160 in forum Horse Health
    Replies: 10
    Last Post: 11-11-2006, 04:20 PM
  4. Laminitic Diet??
    By spyro1 in forum Horse Health
    Replies: 12
    Last Post: 08-19-2005, 05:10 PM
  5. Help! Question about feeding foundered horse
    By Appylvr in forum Horse Health
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: 04-16-2005, 01:44 AM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •