Agroscope, Institute for Livestock Sciences ILS, 1725 Posieux, Switzerland

Hay or haylage production from two grass mixtures

For some time now, special grass mixtures have been available for the production of hay and haylage for horses. Field-dried hay is widely produced because many horse owners prefer this roughage to haylage. The aim of the trial was to study the nutrient contents – in particular, the sugar and fructan contents – of two mixtures available on the market. We also investigated the influence of a preservative on feed quality in haylage and hay production. Ryegrasses dominated in both mixtures, having high sugar and fructan contents in the first and second growth. Owing to the fermentation process, the sugar and fructan were more thoroughly broken down in haylage preparation than in hay preparation. The addition of the preservative led to lower pH values in the haylage and the hay. Although the hay had higher counts of aerobic mesophilic bacteria, moulds, and yeasts than the haylage, the said counts were not significantly affected by the preservative.

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