If you have several old alfalfa hay bales in your barn, you may be reluctant to feed it to your horses, especially if they have turned moldy. Besides a strong, musty smell, you should also look for the following signs that your bales are moldy and not safe for your horses to eat:
Gray or Black Patches on the Outside
If your hay bales are moldy, you will most likely see is the presence of gray or black patches on the outside. The color of the patches will indicate where the moisture that is feeding the mold is coming from.
If you see gray patches, the mold is being fed from the inside. This is typically caused by the bales being bound without fully drying out the hay. As the spores push up and out of the bales, they leave a gray residue.
However, if you see black patches, these are caused when the bales are exposed to outside water, such as sitting in puddles or water leaking into your barn. With these colored spots, it is possible that the hay is only contaminated on the outside, and the outer layers can be removed before feeding your horses.
However, you should make sure the interior is not moldy before putting out the hay for your horses. Even if the mold is from outside water, the spores may have spread to the insides of the bales and contaminated them all the way through.
White or Green Dust When Pulled Apart
Another sign to look for when determining whether your hay bales are safe to give to your horses is the presence of white or green dust that flies through the air when you pull the hay apart. This dust is caused by the mold spores that have accumulated in the spaces. When disturbed, they break loose and spread out into the air.
Before you start pulling apart the hay, wear a mask and make sure your horses are not in the barn with you. Since spores could make them very sick if the animals inhale it, you do not want to risk exposure.
Although most horses will usually stay away from moldy hay, if you suspect that your bales are contaminated, you should get rid of the old hay and replace it with new. Contact an agricultural supply company that offers alfalfa hay for sale to discuss your options for purchasing and having new hay delivered.
Click here for info on choosing the best hay in your area.
Getting into the agricultural business can be a profitable one, but you need the right tools and equipment put into place in order to ensure your success. There is no reason to create your business by hand when so many awesome options are available on the market to help you. Whether it comes to watering your plots or keeping pests at bay, there is machinery and accessories available to get the job done with less manpower, electricity, and money. On this blog you'll learn about the best pesticides, fertilizers, and weeders to use on your farm. You'll also gain some insight into the best machinery to use depending on your specific type of agricultural endeavor. And once in awhile you may even gain some insight into the best times of year to grow particular types of crops.