Good quality hay should be bright green in color with little fading. A bleached, yellow, brown or black color may indicate aged hay, mold or poor storage conditions. Storage condition and age have a significant effect on vitamin content of hays.
How do you pick good hay for horses?
- It’s what’s inside that counts. …
- Choose hay that is as fine-stemmed, green and leafy as possible, and is soft to the touch.
- Avoid hay that is overcured, excessively sun-bleached, or smells moldy, musty, dusty or fermented.
How can you tell good quality hay?
Evaluating hay quality
- Maturity – High quality hay will have a high proportion of leaves in the bale, with few or no coarse stems or seed heads.
- Condition – High quality hay will contain little dust or mold.
- Color & odor – High quality hay generally has a bright green color and a sweet, fresh odor.
How do you know if horse hay is bad?
Signs that your horse hay may be bad include a lack of color or dried-out appearance, a moldy smell, excessive dust, visible mold, or excessive heat towards the center of the hay bale. Because hay provides your horse with so many essential nutrients, you must provide your horse with the best quality hay available.
What is considered horse quality hay?
Horse hay should be bright green, leafy and fine textured, with a fresh, pleasant aroma. Musty hay or other indications of mold or heating, and dust, weeds and other foreign material in hay can be unhealthy for an animal. Color is an indicator of quality and nutrient content; good hay is a bright green.
What cutting of hay is best for horses?
The most common choice of hay is second cutting, but first cutting is also good for horses, plus it is usually cheaper than the other two. Choose hay that is soft, green, and leafy, with thin stems, so it is easier for horses to eat.
Which is better 1st or 2nd cut hay?
First cut hay is grass heavy and doesn’t have a lot of legumes, such as alfalfa or cover. … Second cut hay has a finer texture and usually, a greener color and heavier leaves. It is more dense, the leaves are more tender and healthier, especially in protein.
What is poor quality hay?
Poor-quality hay may be damp and moldy with a musty or fermented smell. Hay that appears weathered, straw-like, or brown is likely low in nutritional value. If hay has been cut late in maturity, seed heads will be apparent in grass hay and blooms will be evident in alfalfa hay.
Is year old hay still good?
Generally, hay that is two to three years old is still acceptable given the right storage conditions. So before you go tossing last year’s hay, give it a check over and feel confident feeding it if everything looks good.
What does Mouldy hay look like?
Look for Mold
Moldy hay generally presents as darker areas which are grey or black. If you find mold, refuse the bale – mold indicates that the hay was baled when it was too wet. Feeding moldy hay to horses can result in serious problems, such as colic.
How long is hay good for horses?
You can store hay indefinitely if the stack is managed correctly; although, in humid climates, using hay within three years of harvest is ideal. Hay growers need to bale it at correct moisture levels because if it’s baled too damp the hay will generate heat, which leads to molding.