Sherrill Farms Hay: Equine

Sherrill Farms hay works with your feeding program to give your horse the kind of forage that maintains optimal digestive health. Every crop is weed-controlled, fertilized and tested to optimize quality and reduce waste. Our Jiggs Bermudagrass (a cousin to Coastal) makes a fine, palatable hay that can appeal to the pickiest eaters.

Sherrill Farms offers hay in small square bales or large rounds. Contact Ed Sherrill via email at or call 979.217.1673 for questions and information about Sherrill Farms hay products for horses.

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Depending on the use or the classification of the horse, 50 percent to 100 percent of the horse's nutrients can be supplied by hay. Horse rations are usually calculated on the basic fact that they will eat only about 2.5 percent of their body weight everyday in dry matter. This depends on the forage quality fed. Mature forages with high NDF values limit intake and require that more nutrients be provided in the form of concentrate supplements. There are five nutritional classifications of horses.

Maintenance. This class of horse is mature, is maintaining its body weight, and is not pregnant, lactating, breeding nor being exercised. This class of horse can often meet all of its requirements with forage. Minimum requirements are 10 percent Crude Protein, .3 percent Calcium, .2 percent Phosphorus, and 1 Mcal of Digestible Energy per pound of the total ration.

Work. The level of exercise or work the horse is doing determines the amount of nutrients needed. Energy is the fuel for work, and as the intensity or duration of the work increases from light to moderate to intense, the requirement for energy increases 25 percent, 50 percent and 100 percent above maintenance, respectively. Minimum requirements for a mature horse doing moderate work are 11 percent Crude Protein, .35 percent Calcium, .25 percent Phosphorus, and 1.2 Mcal of Digestible Energy/lb. of total ration.

Pregnancy. The nutritional requirements during the first eight months of pregnancy are the same as for a mare being maintained. During the ninth, tenth, and eleventh months of pregnancy, the energy requirements increase 11 percent, 13 percent, and 20 percent respectively. Minimum requirements in the last month of pregnancy are 11 percent Crude Protein, .5 percent Calcium, .4 percent Phosphorus, and 1.1 Mcal of Digestible Energy per pound of the total ration.

Lactation. During the first three months after foaling, mares can produce milk equivalent to 3 percent of their body weight per day and 2 percent per day during months four to six. The requirements for energy are about 80 percent above maintenance for the first three months and 50 percent above maintenance for the next three months of lactation. Minimum requirements during the first three months of lactation are 14 percent Crude Protein, .6 percent Calcium, .4 percent Phosphorus, and 1.2 Mcal of Digestible Energy/lb. of total ration.

Growth. Growing foals require feeds of higher quality than what mature horses require. The age of the foal and the average daily gain determine the requirements. Horses are still growing past 24 months of age, and longer in the slower maturing breeds. The optimum growth rate has not been established, but overfeeding can cause developmental orthopedic diseases and underfeeding can cause permanent stunting. Minimum requirements for a six month old, moderately growing foal are 15 percent Crude Protein, .7 percent Calcium, .4 percent Phosphorus, and 1.4 Mcal of Digestible Energy/lb. in the total ration. These decrease as the foal ages and the rate of gain decreases.

Russell, Mark A. & Johnson, Keith D. (93) Selecting Quality Hay for Horses

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The nutrient analysis from the June 2020 cutting is back. Crude Protein and TDN requirements are different between horses and cattle and also differ according to the age, size, activity, and lactation situation of the animal. Crude Protein is an easy marker to check:

Horses -

  • Mature: 7.2-10%
  • Growing: 12-18%
  • Broodmare: 12-16%
source: Picking, Elizabeth Five Horse Nutrition Misconceptions, University of Missouri Extension, January 2019

Cow - 1000 lbs., 20 lbs. peak milk production
  • 1-4 months since calving: 10-11%
  • 5-11 months since calving: 8-9%
source: Hersom, Matt Basic Nutrition Requirements of Beef Cows, University of Florida IFAS Extension, January 2017

See the full sample result sheet here.

horse photo

The nutrient analysis from the May 2019 cutting is back. We'll be sending off a sample from the second cutting soon.

See the full sample result sheet here.


View Larger Map

Sherrill Farms is located 65 miles southwest of Houston.

Drive southwest on I-59 S, exit at Wharton, and head south on FM 1301 for 16 miles until you reach Pledger.

Delivery options are available; call for a quote.


We love to hear from our customers! Review us on Facebook, Yelp or Google+.

Ed is awesome to work with and from what I've seen wants to have satisfied customers. Double Bar R Cutting Horses has been purchasing hay from Sherrill Farms for about Four years now. The hay is top quality.

Posted by Raymond Richardson on Saturday, June 14, 2014

Equine Nutrition
Equine Nutrition

Equine diets start with forage. Whether it's pasture or hay, horses' digestive systems are built to absorb nutrients from daily grazing activity. Along with plenty of water, good, leafy hay that is free of dust and mold should make up the largest part of a horse's diet.

Hybrid Jiggs bermudagrass makes an excellent source of structural fiber in an equine diet. It's soft and leafy enough to tempt the pickiest eaters. Like all grass hay (i.e. timothy, tall fescue, etc.) Bermudagrass hay is naturally low in sugar and starch.

Here are some handy links for information on nutrition requirements for horses:

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