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Grass clippings, feeding corn

From: Sue

Your website is very resourceful. Thank You

I have two questions in reference to feeding. One, Is it okay to feed horses grass that has been cut (by the lawn mower and bagged)?

Second, When I was younger I remember feeding our horses corn in the winter. I don't hear of this anymore. Should you feed them corn in the winter? Does it provide warmth for them?

Thank You

Sue


Hi Sue! In answer to your first question, NO. NEVER.

If your lawn has not been treated with any chemicals that could harm horses (not just this year or last, but for the past three or four years), it MAY be safe to let your horse graze on the lawn, but it is never safe to feed bagged grass clippings. Here are two reasons:

One: when you mow the lawn, the mower creates short strands of cut grass that are easily compacted into wads. These can choke a horse.

Two: when grass clippings are bagged, they begin to ferment -- and this is not something you want your horse to eat.

So no matter how attractive those clippings look, get rid of them somewhere that won't allow your horse access to them -- for the sake of your horse's health and life.

In answer to your second question, NO. Winter warmth DOES come, for the most part, from inside, but from HAY rather than corn. It's the process of digesting roughage (i.e., hay) that creates the extra heat that helps your horse stay warm on cold winter days and nights. Corn will add calories, but if you want a reliable source of HEAT for your horses in winter, add more good hay to their diets instead.

Jessica

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