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Having had a few horses in my lifetime, I'm aware that equine stomachs can not tolerate moldy hay, so all the excess hay was given to the many cattle at the farm when my horses were boarded. is this an acceptable practice?
 

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Yes, it is general practise around us. Our suckler herd is largely fed on reject horse bales because they are cheap. However, it depends on just how mouldy the fodder is and I usually pour molasses all over the bales to improve ME value and palatability. Anything that is proper rank gets dropped straight on the midden.
 

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NC State has done repeated studies on Montmorillonite Clay products that bind with aflotoxins & mycotoxins to push them through the animal as a natural cleansing agent. Redmond Conditioner is a brand of clay product that helps with that. Dr. Mike Hutjens at university of Illinois has done similar studies as well. You need to feed a minimum of 4 oz. Per day for the "binding effect" as he states in his book. You can feed more. However, I personally wouldn't exceed a daily dose of 6-8 oz. Unless an animal was ill... then I would force feed up to but not more than a pound for a day or two then back off to the daily dosage. This dosage is for a 1000 pound steer or dairy cow. Smaller animals need less.

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How moldy is TOO moldy? I do NOT give hay that even has the slightest hint of smelling moldy to my horses OR dairy goats, & was told that slightly moldy hay was okay for sheep so was letting them have some that I could smell mold but I picked off the parts that I could see mold- one day we were in a hurry & just tossed the hay to the sheep without picking the mold out (each flake had about as much mold as I could fit my opened, fingers outstretched hand over) & we came home to a sick, dying sheep. Only one died, which was the only one not vaccinated for CDT, but ever since then we don't let the sheep eat any moldy hay.
 

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I am NOT advocating feeding cattle moldy hay...however in the instance that it occurs...PROTECT YOUR CATTLE!! Conditioner does 3 things...aiding the passage of those toxins & bufferring & mineral support. Even if it's in bedding
 

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Around here they feed baleage which is first cuttings of the year which is usually still green when its wrapped in white plastic to cure out and when plastic is removed it smells awful
 

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Horses will colic on moldy hay and its not good for the goats either could kill both. A cows stomach is made a lot different than other animals
 

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Most of the time if you got hay feeders or wagons they'll "nite-pick" it per say and use the rest for a warm spot when it's cold or bedding down hay.
 

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Moldy hay has been fed to cattle for years. Depends on how moldy as to how much they eat. As stated above they will pick threw it, eat what they want and leave the rest or use it to lay in.
Hay brokers and feed stores discount moldy hay for cattle only quite often around here.
 
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