Hay and test result - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 5 Old 12-31-2011, 01:50 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Ohio
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Hay and test result

Ok so I'm considering ordering some hay. It's about an hour and a half away so I was going to have it delivered. The guy says he has square bales of alphalfa/orchard grass mix hay which tested 15%. Does anyone know what these tests mean? Is 15% good? Years ago we never used testing. If it was green, no dust, no mold and smelled good it was good.

Just curious. thanks
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post #2 of 5 Old 12-31-2011, 02:22 PM
Join Date: May 2009
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I would think that that means it tested at 15% protein, which is a fairly high level, plenty for most horses. I think straight alfalfa tends to be something like 18% protein? Straight grass hays can have low levels of protein, sometimes low enough that horses need supplemental feeding with high protein feeds to make up for it.
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post #3 of 5 Old 12-31-2011, 02:41 PM
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Location: alaska
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Horses only require 7% to maintain..15% is what I call dairy quality...horses will need less of it to maintain, but since they are grazers and you will be feeding less..causes anxiety if they have nothing to do all but but wait for that little flake.. without the roughage a horse requires from lower protien hays, you stand of chance of colic since the gut isn't full.

If the horse is stalled, you will also get a higher usage of your bedding since alfalfa makes them urinate more... good source of hay for a working horse though.. I would get some of his and mix it wil a lower quality hay if you could...

Green don't mean good quality nowadays..especially with the high use of drying agents.. Horses find it bitter to eat and will actually go off their feed to avoid eating it. It can cause ulcers.. when you chew hay it should taste sweet..

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post #4 of 5 Old 12-31-2011, 03:05 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Ohio
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Thank you very much for your help. I knew this would be the place to go to find out. Yeah...I'm going to order it and mix it with some of my other grass hay I already have.

Thanks again!~
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post #5 of 5 Old 01-06-2012, 11:27 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Ohio
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Oh and by the way...I don't think I will ever order hay again from Craigslist without seeing it first. The ad description said 2nd and 3rd cutting alphalfa, orchard grass mix. When I asked if it was good quality, he said yes and it tested 15%. It looks like maybe 2nd 3rd cutting from 2 years ago. I checked out a couple bales to make sure it wasn't dusty or moldy. Seems to be ok. Just looks a little old. I'm hoping its ok and I don't see much alphalfa in there but I need hay so I took it.

Lesson learned. Buyer beware.
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