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Hay quality, testing, truth vs feelings

This is a discussion on Hay quality, testing, truth vs feelings within the Horse Nutrition forums, part of the Horse Health category
  • What to look for hay quality
  • Quality horse hay test numbers

 
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    02-06-2011, 01:25 PM
  #11
Green Broke
To me it looks like filler, and not much more. And the test pretty much confirms that, correct? I thought it was going to be a trick post where it looks poor but tests really high. But it doesn't.

I don't know much about hay, but 5.9% protein sounds awfully low to me.

This seems like something where I would give my horse a flake of alfalfa, and then throw some of this in so they would have something to nibble on throughout the day. (Which is exactly what I do with the bermuda here in AZ). But to give them this and nothing else? I dunno. I don't think you could get by giving this to foals and broodmares, could you? As the only hay I mean?

It looks like lower quality bermuda, but I am thinking what I call lower quality bermuda would test higher than this. At least in protein.

(Again, I will be the first to admit I don't know a thing about growing hay. I'm just giving you my impression as a horse owner.)

So yeah, I guess I am an Arizona girl, and we all feed alfalfa (because it's hard to get anything else but alfalfa and bermuda) and this doesn't look like something I would feed unless it was cheap and I could mix it with my alfalfa.

(But grass hay is the most expensive hay to get in Arizona.)
     
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    02-06-2011, 02:27 PM
  #12
Started
Trail rider, your situation where you are providing a lesser quality hay to provide bulk and chew time while getting the most out of your alfalfa (say 18% pro and 125 RFV) is exactly what this type of hay if perfect for. If you feed 1/2 and 1/2, your overall protein will be 12% or 2.4# on 20# of forage (slightly on the high side) and your RFV would be 100 (perfect). Mature Bermuda is going to test out very close to the sample hay. It can never provide enough calories or nutrients for a broodmare or weanling but a mature idle horse will do fine on it with a good protein and vit/mineral package. The hay would be priceless for someone with a horse prone to laminitis.
     
    02-07-2011, 07:28 AM
  #13
Weanling
Quote:
Originally Posted by trailhorserider    
I don't know much about hay, but 5.9% protein sounds awfully low to me.

A lot of your comments are spot on; however, this comment is typical of the industry and is partly the reason I included a protein result as well. 40-50 years ago, protein was one of the main and almost only numbers we had to go by. It is still one of the main numbers used in feed - cheap feed is 10%, better is 12%, performance is 14%, broodmare feed is 16%. These numbers are useless and the hay industry is in the same boat due to old traditions. What good is protein if it is not useable. Too often the protein is tied up in the woody biomass and will never be digested. We desperatly need to be buying hay on its RFV(relative feed value), its TDN(total digestible nutrients), or the RFQ(relative feed quality).

Yes, this is a good filler hay!
     
    02-07-2011, 09:18 PM
  #14
Green Broke
Good to see I wasn't totally off the mark. I was kind of going out on a limb there! Although I've often heard that mixing 1/2 alfalfa, 1/2 grass hay is a good way to go.
     
    02-08-2011, 10:59 AM
  #15
Started
PA we also need to know what the numbers of the actual nutritiets are as well. We can't build a balanced diet off of the numbers you are giving us.

Horses are disgined to eat low to meduim quality forages not high quality yes we want it digestable forage but it doesn't have to be super high quality

We also need to try and balance the diet as well. You can have high quality hay but if it isn't balanced you will still run into problems
     
    02-08-2011, 02:48 PM
  #16
Weanling
Here is the full analysis.

CP 5.9
AVAIL P 5.1
SOUL P 25
ADF 39.3
NDF 69.3
LIGNIN 5.3
NFC 16.2
STARCH 1.8
WSC 8.6
ESC 5.1
FAT 2.2
ASH 8.91
TDN 54
RFV 78
CALCIUM .53
PHOSP .12
MAGN .16
POTAS .80
SULF .11
CHLORIDE .24

LYSINE .20
METHION .08

HORSE DE Mcal/LB .84
     
    02-08-2011, 04:33 PM
  #17
Started
Thank you now off to work some numbers :)

Are all your numbers %'s??
     
    02-10-2011, 04:16 PM
  #18
Weanling
Everything is % except the RFV which is a stand alone number
     
    02-10-2011, 07:37 PM
  #19
Yearling
When I look for hay, I look for first off for overall quality. Is it stemmy? Does it have a lot of hard stuff, weeds, etc.? Second is smell, does it smell old and dusty or fresh and tasty? Third is color, does it look a hundred years old on the inside or does it look edible?

Horses are always happy with what I bring home. Nice 'n fat too
     
    02-10-2011, 07:52 PM
  #20
Started
K I thought so but didn't want to ASSuME :)

I will work the numbers tomorrow for 20lbs so people can see
     

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