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I opened a new round bale recently and the hay was so dry it had a straw-like texture and quality to it. It was also very dusty and I found myself frequently coughing/sneezing while filling the hay nets.

It sounds silly as I imagine it will but does anyone know if this will definitely have a negative affect on my horses? Respiratory issues maybe? Higher risk of choke?

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I would imagine that the nutrients in the hay would be quite poor in dried up, dusty, moldy hay. Generally speaking, the more color a plant has, the more nutrients it has. From the perspective of nutrients, yes, hay quality can affect a horse. I used to have to call several feed stores to get the best hay for my horses. Colic in a horse is very serious; it's cheaper to buy quality hay than the vet bills from colic.

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