Production and management of hay and haylage

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Hay is the most common form of nutrition for horses in North America after pasture. Hay is beneficial as a source of nutrients, and its long fiber aids in digestive function. High-quality hay is that which will meet the nutritional needs of the horse, is free from dust or mold, is leafy and soft in texture and is free from toxins. Quality hay can be produced from a variety of grass and legume species, and the choice is often geographic. Hay can be produced in a variety of bale packages, with the traditional small rectangular bales being most useful for small to mid-sized hay operations. Horse operations should use some type of bale feeder to avoid excess waste and loss of quality. Baled silage offers a convenient and inexpensive way to produce silage with present haymaking equipment capable of handling high-moisture forage. The benefits of making baled silage come from more timely harvest, lower dry matter losses during curing and storage, less chance for rain damage, and better retention of leaves in high-quality forage crops like red clover and alfalfa. Disadvantages include handling heavy bales, difficulty in excluding oxygen during storage, danger of botulism toxin production in poorly ensiled forages, adapting baling equipment to handle wet forage, and plastic disposal.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHorse Pasture Management
Number of pages32
ISBN (Electronic)9780128129197
StatePublished - Jan 1 2018

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


  • Baleage
  • Baling
  • Crude protein
  • Digestible energy
  • Hay
  • Hay feeding
  • Hay preservatives
  • Hay production
  • Hay quality
  • Hay storage
  • Haylage
  • Raking
  • Stage of maturity
  • Swath
  • Tedding
  • Windrow

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences


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