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  1. #1
    Super Member tcreeley's Avatar
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    Default Don't fertilize that hay field with sludge.

    Years ago I bought some excellent mixed hay, leafy and green, full bales. It was dry, dust free perfectly conditioned. The farmer told me he was putting sludge on his fields and the hay was really growing thick and tall. I was impressed.
    That winter my 2 horses and pony colliced. We almost lost our Morgan-he was cast and had not been able to roll. He was broken out in a sweat- 15 degrees outside. The other two had diarrhea. The vet came- tubed him with mineral oil and we walked for hours to keep him from going down to roll. He finally passed the crap out- but not until He'd had an IV when it was 4 degrees- one cold horse as the fluid went in. He recovered. We thought it was the grain- and cut all of them off it. The diarrhea persisted. We narrowed it to the hay, cut that out and replaced it with other hay- everything cleared up.
    That spring we lost our 15 year old saddlebred- a few of the bad bales got mixed in. He twisted his gut rolling, the vet put him down. A year and 2 months later our Morgan was fed from a bale that been pushed aside. Within a few days he died- twisted gut- the vet was out- and put him down. For 26 years he had been a member of our family. He was 28, our trusted friend. I have never bought sludge hay again- and I have had no problems. I'd rather feed weed filled hay than sludge hay. Stay away from sludge.
    2003 NH TC30, 5' International Agritech Bushog, Hiller/Bedder, + miscellaneous and sundry items of use.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Don't fertilize that hay field with sludge.

    Don't feed horses high protein hay if they normally get a diet of low grade stuff. They seem to colic on anything if their diet changes rapidly. My sisters horses never change diet and they still colic once in a while. Once they get old like that too they seem to be particularly bad.

  3. #3
    Veteran Member Rustyiron's Avatar
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    Default Re: Don't fertilize that hay field with sludge.

    What a bummer! Sorry to hear that you lost your good buds. Did the vet have any comment on the sludge hay? Has he heard about that or seen it before?
    ]We need more people to WORK for a living and less people to VOTE for a living!
    (proven on 11/6/12)

  4. #4
    Veteran Member
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    PT 422

    Default Re: Don't fertilize that hay field with sludge.

    Sorry to hear about your horses.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Don't fertilize that hay field with sludge.

    sludge fertilized hay has not hurt my horses. but they have only been eating it for over 15 years.

  6. #6
    Epic Contributor Soundguy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Don't fertilize that hay field with sludge.

    Quote Originally Posted by slowzuki View Post
    Don't feed horses high protein hay if they normally get a diet of low grade stuff. They seem to colic on anything if their diet changes rapidly. My sisters horses never change diet and they still colic once in a while. Once they get old like that too they seem to be particularly bad.
    i think that may have been the key partially.

    the very different fertalized hay had a different and richer nutrient makeup..

    I've seen horses colic on new green grass after a early spring rain, when they've been eating hay all winter.

    they are worse than dogs about stomache sensitivity.

    If I switch grains or feeds or hay.. I always do it by gradually mixing int he new while I still have some of the old left in the barn..

  7. #7
    Super Member tcreeley's Avatar
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    Default Re: Don't fertilize that hay field with sludge.

    We are always gradual on any switch over. I've often wondered if they had any extra sludge from the teeth of the baler or rake grabbing some of that sludge dirt along with the grass hay. Over the years I've seen stems grayed with dirt. We are in a clay area and it would be easy to do. Also where the sludge comes from I suspect matters. There is septic tank sludge spread around here, and sludge from the local papermill and incinerator. When putting horses on fresh grass- a good rule is 15 minutes 1st time, 30min, hr for a couple days, then up to 2 hours- then you decide by the quality of the grass- too much grass, (and in the fall apples) = colic and in Morgans and arabians- possibility of founder.
    I is always best to be cautious.
    2003 NH TC30, 5' International Agritech Bushog, Hiller/Bedder, + miscellaneous and sundry items of use.

  8. #8
    Epic Contributor Soundguy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Don't fertilize that hay field with sludge.

    yep.. horses have some picky digestive systems...

  9. #9
    Elite Member
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    Default Re: Don't fertilize that hay field with sludge.

    Oh I had assumed the sludge you meant was municipal solid waste "cake", definitely need to know what you are spreading, its not all the same. Wet ash vs MSW vs food production waste vs biodigester solids etc, all different nutrient and pollution package. I would be very wary about incinerator ash, you can accumulate heavy metals in a hurry. Wood ash can be a good option in some areas depending what your soil test says.

  10. #10
    Veteran Member D7E's Avatar
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    Default Re: Don't fertilize that hay field with sludge.

    I drove for a company injecting human sludge on grassland once . I would not have it on my own land , definateley problems with heavy metals . Good old pig or poultry is best

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