Agroscope Liebefeld-Posieux Research Station ALP, rte de la Tioleyre 4, 1725 Posieux

Stability of silages for horses during feeding

Since some years, hay in horse diets has been partly replaced by silage with high dry matter contents, also known as haylage. There remain still some questions concerning the stability of haylage as well as the conditions during storage. In this context, the influence of dry matter (DM)-content and the addition of (oder a) silage additives on the stability during the feed-out was investigated in two tests. In this study a part of the forage of a big bale was aerated after opening the bale while the remaining part was compactly stored. The results showed that the DM-content of the silages does influence the intensity of the fermentation and the reduction of the pH-value. The measurement of the temperature is a good indicator for the deterioration of the silage. Silages with DM-contents over 60 %, which are aerated after opening of the bales, dry better during the feed-out period than compactly stored forage and thereby moulds develop less. The application of a silage additive partly prevented the silages from a rapid deterioration. It is recommended to feed the opened bales within one week. The aeration of forage with DM-contents higher than 60 % leads to an improvement of its quality. On the other hand, it is the compact storage which improves the quality in forages with lower DM-contents.

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