I bought some grass hay today that has some Fescue in it. I am not too worried, as I will stop feeding it within 90 days of my mares foaling. Or should I be worried?
How does one know if there is Fescue grass in the "grass hay" mixes that are so common? If Fescue is as common as it appears, from research I've done, couldn't we be feeding it more often than we think?
Can the cut grass be tested for the fungus that causes the problems, or does the sample have to come from the root of the plant?
Finally, has anyone had a problem with mares fed Fescue, up to 90 days prior to foaling, but taken off within 90 days of foaling?
Cj, I feed fescue in the grass mix I buy every year. It's not a bad thing. What you want to do is make sure it's endophyte free. The man who bales our hay puts alot of money into fertilizing, treating, and testing his pastures. He has independent testing done on it twice a year to be able to give his clients a "report" on what is in his hay, and the nutritional value of each grass in it. He's quite amazing. It is also tested for endophyte, which is quite nice too!! I found this site, and they're in Oregon....maybe close to you and quite helpful http://oregonstate.edu/endophyte-lab/public/howTo
Be aware that endophytes have been associated with not only foaling issues, but also with reduced pregnancy establishment rates. Later onset of cyclicity in the spring, irregular estrus, and higher rates of EED have all been associated with endophytes, so you may also want to take your mares off the endophyte source 90 days before, and during the process of breeding, as well as perhaps 60-90 days after pregnancy establishment.
Thanks Jos. I appreciate your response. I was afraid it might also affect mares earlier in pregnancy. Glad it is not the case. Still, I will be looking for non-infected grass and most certainly Not feeding any Fescue that is not certified fungus free, 90 days before foaling and at least until 90 days after having having had a viable pregnancy confirmed. Thanks again!
Diana, thanks for the site. I am also feeding forage hay, just to give my horses something to nibble on in-between feedings. I suppose it too, may have fescue in it. I've given grass mix before and asked what was in it, but didn't ask specifically if it had untested fescue in it. Now I am on the hunt, so to speak.
Too bad I don't live closer to your supplier. They sound wonderful! If I have trouble finding grass hay around here, I'll contact you for the name of your supplier, if you don't mind, and my husband and l will go get our winter hay from them. Nothing like planning ahead, LOL.
IT'S quite a long drive for hay from California to Oklahoma....but he's really cheap and it might be worth getting it shipped. He sells to me at $4 in the field,and $5 in the barn. I have never seen such awesome quality hay so cheap. He's a "good ol' boy" and is clearly more interested in pleasing people than he is making a buck. I love him to death!!
Please note that opinions, product information, advice or suggestions posted on this bulletin board are not necessarily those of the management at Equine-Reproduction.com nor does the maintenance of the post position indicate an implicit or any endorsement of that information, opinion or product.
Further, although we have the greatest respect for the posters offering assistance here, you are advised to seek a consultation with your veterinarian prior to using information obtained from this board if it is of a veterinary nature.Proud to be sponsored and supported by: