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University of Minnesota Extension

Don’t feed your horse moldy hay

Quick facts

close-up of hay with mold on it.
Moldy hay
  • Don’t feed moldy hay to horses.
  • Most moldy hay problems are from mold spores, which can produce respiratory disease in horses.
  • Many of the common mold toxins develop in the field during a delayed harvest.
  • If you suspect a mold toxin problem, review your horse’s nutrition and health. It’s hard to pinpoint a mold toxin problem because there are many factors. What may seem like a mold toxin problem could be another disorder or nutritional issue.
  • To reduce the dust problems from moldy forage (will not reduce mold toxins)
    • Feed in an area with good airflow
    • Mix with a high moisture feed
    • Wet the hay

Authors: Krishona Martinson, University of Minnesota; Marvin Hall, The Pennsylvania State University; Richard Leep, Michigan State University; J. Liv. Sandberg, University of Wisconsin; Glenn Shewmaker, University of Idaho; Dan Undersander, University of Wisconsin; Don Westerhaus, Kemin AgriFoods North America; Lon Whitlow, North Carolina State University

Reviewed in 2021

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