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Ask the Nutritionist: Dr. Getty's Forum for Equine Nutrition

   Welcome to my forum. 

Here you will find more than 6 years of questions and my answers. It is searchable and offers a great deal of information. 

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 Dr. Getty 


Ask the Nutritionist: Dr. Getty's Forum for Equine Nutrition
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Moldy Hay

I have a question regarding moldy hay. This year the hay crop in our area wasn't that great. I got in some hay and a few bales were moldy. I told my hay guy and he basically said, well that is what happened to a lot of hay this year and people are pulling out the moldy parts and feeding the hay. I have put the moldy bales aside. If the mold is only on the outside, is it ok to feed the hay if you get rid of the moldy section or is the hay pretty much junk? I've honestly not had to deal with moldy hay in the past.

Don't want to hurt my "children" by feeding bad hay.

Where are you from? NH

How did you locate this forum? web

Re: Moldy Hay

Hi JS:

Under NO circumstances do you ever feed moldy hay to horses! It is toxic and can make them very ill, or be fatal. I would not trust a bale to "take the moldy parts out, and feed the rest" is not a good idea. If there is mold on one flake, you can be sure the spores are through the whole bale. Some horses can tolerate a small amount, and most horses won't eat moldy hay anyway...but do you want to take that chance with your 'children'?

If your hay guy is any kind of businessman, it is common practice, and understood (in my area anyway), that hay bought for horses should be absolutely mold free and relatively dust free. It does not matter how the "year" was...he should replace any moldy bales with good ones. His explanation sounds like an excuse to not replace the bad hay. Stand up for your rights as a consumer, and the health of your horses. Too many people feed their horses hay that only cows should eat. Tell your hay guy you want the moldy bales replaced with fresh ones. You paid good money for should get your money's worth. If he refuses, I would be finding a new source of hay, and I wouldn't be recommending him to my friends.

Hope this helps...


Where are you from? Ontario, Canada

How did you locate this forum? Favourites

Re: Moldy Hay

Thanks for the input WR. I have no intentions of feeding the moldy hay to my girls, but I wondered if you could indeed pick out the moldy parts and feed the rest of the hay.

I am too much of a push over, I need to learn to stand up for myself...

Where are you from? NH

How did you locate this forum? web

Re: Moldy Hay

Hello JS,

Willowrider said it well -- I agree 100%. Moldy hay is dangerous and while most horses won't eat it, some will if there is little choice. The parts that look ok, are not -- they contain mold spores, and in time, would fill the entire bale with mold.

Most reputable hay suppliers will throw in a few extra bales to cover for the possibility of one or two moldy ones. So, I hope this supplier has some integrity. But, if not -- just start looking elsewhere.

Good luck!

Dr. Getty

Where are you from? Bayfield, CO