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

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

I reckon this is a bit of a silly question but I just thought I'd check - When I open a few of my alfalfa/grass hay mix bales there is a lot of dusty sort of particles which comes out, on closer inspection I find what I imagine is mold spores.

Do I throw away these bales? I found my horses on my much heap trying eating the bale I threw away yesterday!

Where are you from? SA

Re: Mold

Hi, when I buy bales and the slightest chance that there might be mold I take it back and the dealer will exchange it,no questions asked.

Re: Mold

Hi Christine and Gladys,

It is best to discard the entire bale or ask your dealer for a refund.

Having said this, your horses may decide to eat the portions of the bale that are not moldy, if you throw the bale out in the pasture, for example. Most horses will not eat moldy hay, when given the choice. So, as long as they have clean hay to eat, they will stay away from the discarded hay.

However, if you find that they are eating some of it anyway, even though good quality hay is available, I wouldn't be overly concerned since they can sense which hay is tasty and therefore, free of mold. Stomach acid will kill mold spores if they were to eat a small amount. But, the best thing to do is to get rid of the whole bale, in order to remove the risk of colic.

Happy New Year!

Dr. Getty

Where are you from? Bayfield, CO