Question: How Do You Know If Horse Hayis Bad?

How can you tell if lucerne hay is fresh?

Lucerne tends to lose both colour and aroma as it loses freshness. As it loses freshness, its vitamin concentration depletes, as does its palatability. A well-conditioned and baled Lucerne hay will give off a fresh, pleasant, slightly sweet, grassy odour, which should be easy to distinguish before you buy.

How do you know if alfalfa is good?

When looking for good-quality alfalfa, be sure it’s clean with no dust or mold—just as you would with any hay. Also aim for a good leaf-to-stem ratio (most of the nutrients are in the leaves; the stems are more fibrous).

How can you tell if hay is good or bad?

Evaluating hay quality

  1. Maturity – High quality hay will have a high proportion of leaves in the bale, with few or no coarse stems or seed heads.
  2. Condition – High quality hay will contain little dust or mold.
  3. Color & odor – High quality hay generally has a bright green color and a sweet, fresh odor.
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What does bad alfalfa hay look like?

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.

Which cut of Lucerne is best?

RE: Lucerne Second cut is considered the best. The hay has most protein if cut just before it flowers, so look for nice, green hay that hasn’t been left out too long in the sun, losing nutritional value, with plenty of flower heads.

What is the difference between 1st 2nd and 3rd cut hay?

To begin with, 1st cutting is the first hay cut from that field for the year. It tends to be more coarse and have more grasses in it. 2nd cutting is usually greener in color and has a sweeter smell. And lastly, 3rd cutting is very thick and rich.

How can you tell the difference between alfalfa and grass hay?

One of the biggest differences between alfalfa hay and grass hay is the protein content. On average, alfalfa hay has much higher levels of protein, ranging from 15% to 21% depending on when the alfalfa was cut. This is much higher than the protein levels of grass hay, which typically contains 10% or less protein.

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What does good grass hay look like?

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 long is hay good for?

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.

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.

Is 3 year old hay still good?

If the hay was of good-quality when harvested and stored in a dry place with sufficient airflow, hay is likely suitable for consumption for two to three years. Keep in mind that hay, even premium forage, loses much of its vitamin content in the first few months of storage.

How do you know if hay is Mouldy?

Smells Like Mold or Mildew Unlike the sweet smell of fresh, high-quality hay, hay that is going bad may smell like mold or mildew. Even if there is no visible mold, steer clear of any hay that hints of mold! Additionally, if the hay lacks smell or smells stale, it is likely not as fresh as you may have been told.

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What kind of hay is bad for horses?

Hoffman said there are a few grasses to avoid in hay or forage if you are feeding horses. They include: Perennial ryegrass and rye. This quick-growing grass is popular in dairy pastures.

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