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Brohme Hay or Brome Hay for Horses
By The Rock Depot

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Hay is the most important dietary component for horses and ponies.  Brohme hay, commonly spelled as Brome hay, is very palatable to horses and useful for sedentary horses.   Waiting lists for Brohme/Brome hays are not uncommon as it is general practice for many buyers to purchase ahead of harvest.

Brohme or Brome hay best suits older horses and lightly worked horses, horses kept in stalls and dry lots, and horses who benefit from slow, all-day feeding.  

A common North American grass, Brohme hay and Brome hay for horses features plentiful basal leaves and few stems.  The hay is a pioneering root-and-seed grass that beats out weeds and repels blister beetles.  It has a high leaf-to-stem ratio. 

Large fluffy seeds make Brome difficult to plant but it readily grows on well-drained soils.  When the stem is tender and the flower is in the boot stage, Brohme/Brome hay is usually harvested in full leaf.  Brohme hay bales into compact bales that weigh about 20 pounds more than alfalfa bales. 

Common varieties include Smooth Brome grass and Meadow Brome, which mixes well with alfalfa in pastures.  Smooth Brome grass is dark brown-greenhay.  Its grass grows tall with soft leafy stems.  Meadow Brome cures into soft medium-green leafy hay.  It mixes well with alfalfa in pastures so some baled varieties include alfalfa.

Horses prefer Brohme grass over prairie grass.  However, if not restricted, horses ingest too many nutrients or calories if allowed unlimited access to richer grasses such as orchard grass or alfalfa.  That is the beauty of the Brohme hay, which allows them plenty of nutrition.

The cost of Brohme is similar to alfalfa when nutrient values are compared.  Brohme hay offers the additional fiber that less-active horses need for chewing and weight management.

Lifestyle of horses determines dietary needs

Less-active horses daily consume 2 to 2.5 percent of their weight.  Hay and hay cubes will constitute a half to the entire requirement.  On the other hand, young horses and sport horses consume about 1 percent of body weight in dry matter and receive the remaining nutrients from grain, fat, and commercially prepared feeds.

Where to buy Brohme or Brome hay

Rock Depot in Castle Rock recently expanded services to offer agricultural hay for horses.  Our helpful staff will guide buyers to hay for horses in Colorado.  For more information, contact Rock Depot of Castle Rock at 303-660-2444. 

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