LOW CARB HORSE HAY PROJECT & CERTIFICATION FOR GROWERS

Bridging the communication gap between horse owners and forage growers since 2017.

The goal of LCHH is to make more high quality, low carb forages available to horse owners in the United States. We are doing that by standardizing what is "low carb", providing research data, and providing a platform for crowd sourcing. We will expand resources as interest grows.

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LCHH CERTIFICATION LEVELS

*As analyzed on dry matter basis (NIR or wet chemistry) by a qualified forage laboratory.

Low Carb Horse Hay (LCHH) was created to help build a steady supply of verified low carbohydrate hay products and meet the emerging demand. LCHH specifies 1 of 3 carbohydrate levels based on peer-reviewed research, so the horse owner can make the best decisions for their horse's needs.

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LEVEL 1: LOWEST CARBOHYDRATE FORAGES

NSC < 10%

Water Soluble Carbohydrates (WSC%) + Starch (%) on a dry matter basis is less than 10%. These are the lowest non-structural carbohydrate (NSC%) forages available. These coveted products are the most appropriate for horses suffering from severe disease.

LEVEL 2: LOW CARBOHYDRATE FORAGES

NSC < 13%

Water Soluble Carbohydrates (WSC%) + Starch (%) on a dry matter basis is between 10% to 13% total non-structural carbohydrates. These forages are below the national average and appropriate for some sugar-starch sensitive horses at low to moderate risk for disease.

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LEVEL 3: MODERATE CARBOHYDRATE FORAGES

NSC < 16%

Water Soluble Carbohydrates (WSC%) + Starch (%) on a dry matter basis is between 13.0% and 16% NSC. These forages may be appropriate for some horses at low risk for disease. Forages above 16% NSC are not recommended for any sugar-starch sensitive horse.

SERVICES

Discover the Expertise Behind LCHH

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LCHH CONSULTING FOR FORAGE GROWERS AND RETAILERS

Learn how to make the lowest carbohydrate forage possible and then how to market that forage to the equine industry.

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FORAGE ANALYSIS INTERPRETATION FOR HORSE OWNERS

You've taken the first big step and done a forage analysis. Well done! Now, what do all of those numbers mean? More importantly, what do they mean for YOUR horse? Schedule a forage consultation with OCEN's nutritionist to find out.

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VIDEOS & ARTICLES BY LCHH

Presentation for Western States Alfalfa & Forage Symposium | November 2019

TEFF AS A FORAGE CROP: ADVANTAGES TO AGRICULTURAL AND EQUESTRIAN COMMUNITIES

Teff grass is an emerging livestock forage crop with several economic, environmental, and rotational advantages to growers. Learn how to make high quality, low carb teff grass hay for the horse industry by understand our research results.

Hay & Forage Grower | April/May 2020

HORSES ARE GETTING FAT- HAY GROWERS CAN HELP

Most forages produced for horse are not analyzed for nutrients, and it's understandable. For starters, most growers and distributors will not have the same lot and/or field available long enough to warrant the hassle. It may be the extra time and expense, but also horse owners don't often ask for or are interested in seeing a forage test. So, why test your forages?

Progressive Forage | Issue 4 April 1, 2018

THE GROWING DEMAND FOR LOW-CARB HORSE HAY

The forage needs of the equine industry are changing, presenting forage growers an opportunity to adapt operation to profit from an emerging niche market.

Flying Changes Magazine | 2017

TEFF AS A VIABLE FORAGE SOURCE FOR HORSES

Let me tell you a story. A story about my friend Nancy and her horse Marquee. One day Marquee, an arabian-morgan cross, showed up lame and a trip to the veterinary clinic was made. The veterinarian diagnosed Marquee with a severe case of laminitis as a possible result of insulin resistance. Find out what helped Marquee recover.

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10 Reasons to Feed Teff Hay

Teff hay is not just for carb sensitive, easy keepers! Yes, it’s most often recommended as an ideal forage for horses at risk for laminitis (when grown and harvested under the right conditions), but all horse owners can and should consider teff hay as a primary forage.

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Three keys to making low carb teff grass hay

Hay & Forage Grower

Teff grass is a warm-season annual that has thin stems and shallow roots with an open seed panicle. It’s very sensitive to frost. In the Pacific Northwest, it’s planted late May to early June and then harvested about 45 days later. Generally, two cuttings are taken, although some years allow for three. Click the link below to read more.

LCHH VIDEO SERIES: CARBOHYDRATES IN HORSE HAY & FEED

Carbohydrates explained in 1,2, 3 parts! Videos are only accessible for OCEN Community Members, Farm Plan Members, and Veterinary Plan Members.

Carbs? Sugar? Starch? NSC, WSC, ESC? The jargon of carbohydrates is massively confusing. Understand the difference between these numbers in simple, meaningful terms and know what to look for when shopping for low carb horse hay.  
Natalie Sullivan, the nutritionist behind On Course Equine Nutrition, spent over five years researching HOW to produce high quality, low carb teff hay. She is dedicated to making low carb horse hay available to more owners by closing the communication gap between the horse and forage industries. Today, she consults with forage growers around the country to make low carb horse hay and how to market it to equestrians and equine professionals. Her lectures will focus on carbohydrates in horse hay, forage analysis interpretation, and growing and harvesting factors that influence carbohydrates. She hopes that these lectures will remove some of the stress and frustration of sourcing good quality, low carb forages. She will also share her research story of teff grass and how to encourage local hay growers to produce more. If you have metabolic horses that require very low NSC forages, then this lecture series is for you!

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