I heard 1st one has more nutritions in it. Quality really depends on kind and year. I got 1st cut 2 years back and it was like straw. 1st cut last year from same place was GREAT: lots of leaves and looked more like 2nd cut.
First cut tends to have more weeds in it and can be higher in sugars. Think spring grass versus summer grass. It really depends on where you live. Here on the west coast, due to the amount of rain in the spring, the 2nd cuts are usually better than the first cuts.
If you have a long growing season 3rd cuts can still be good, but again our season can be short here so the 3rd cuts tend to be cut while the grass is short.
LOL... I guess this is one of those things I had never really thought about before. We always get 2nd cut but I never concidered why it was called that. :roll: Just never put any thought into it I guess. But yeah... 2nd is better.
Our hay guys only do one cutting so don't have a choice. I think 1st cutting on alfalfa is best since the likelyhood of blister beetles is less. Later cuttings may have them in it and they are toxic to horses.
We get brome and prairie grass hay in this part of the country.