Timothy hay and orchard grass hay are both types of forage commonly fed to horses as part of their diet especially in the midwestern and eastern US. Timothy hay is a popular hay for horses as it is palatable and easy to digest.
Timothy hay is known for its soft, fine texture and is high in fiber, making it a good choice for horses that need a lot of roughage in their diet. Orchard grass hay is a high-quality hay known for its sweet flavor and tender texture. Orchard grass hay is commonly used as a supplement to other types of hay, as it is often rich in vitamins and minerals, including magnesium, potassium, and phosphorus.
Both timothy hay and orchard grass hay are good options for horses and there is little difference in their nutrient content if timothy and orchard grass hay are cut at the same maturity and harvested under the same conditions, although orchard grass has a tendency to be slightly higher in protein.
Timothy is very low-yielding when cut at a young age, so it is rare to see pure timothy hay that is without seed heads. However, orchard grass can be cut before the seed heads emerge, producing a leafy, non-stemmy hay.
Both timothy hay and orchard grass hay are high-quality hays that can provide horses with the fiber and nutrients they need. Dr. Worth demonstrates how to tell the difference between orchard grass and timothy grass hays.