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    [RC] Pasture - GarnerT

    I don't have pasture, but I recently had a problem with alfalfa I purchased.
    I had the hay for a while & had been feeding it.  I wasn't thrilled with the
    quality, but it was what was available at the time.  I noticed my endurance
    horse had a little blood on his mouth after a ride.  I checked, but couldn't
    see anything.  He was about due for a vet check, so I thought maybe his
    teeth needed floating again.
    We got our shots, sheath cleaned, & I mentioned the blood.  Well, after the
    vet had him sedated & his head cranked up, we could see all kinds of sores
    in his mouth.  The vet knew immediately that it was a contaminate in the
    hay.  Something called California Foxtail ...something.  It wasn't a typical
    foxtail, it was very small  - shaped like a bottle brush.  He said to check
    for it on the ground by the feeders.  Sure enough, there it was.  I was able
    to pry my other horse's mouths open & see some sores.  I had about 30 bales
    left, but had ordered some 3-way.  I had asked about selling it for cattle &
    he said that would be ok.
    I am now feeding the 3-way with good results.  All the sores have cleared up
    nicely with no treatment other than switching hay.  I was told it primarily
    infests alfalfa & is seldom found in other hay.  Has anyone else had this
    problem?  Luckily I found someone to take the other hay off my hands (but
    for half what I paid).  It just shows you have to watch all your feed, not
    just your pasture.
    Kathy Garner
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