So I am thinking about testing my hay, but I have never done it before, so I need the complete 411. lol
I have heard that Equi-Analytical
is good for those in the U.S. They say that you need a hay probe. I checked out the one from their website but it says that are all sold out. So, what should I do?
Do you need a hay probe or can you just grab a fistful of hay from the center? Hay probes seems kind of pricey, about $150 +, including shipping. :( Is there another way to test hay (or from another company) or get a hay probe (like, borrowing it)? I know that some test every season or cutting, but I do not know how often I am going to test.
So, let's say that by some miracle, I find $150 in couch change. What should I test for? I am really wanting to test the NSC and CP, but what else is good? My horse is an easy keeper, so all I really need is a ration balancer or supplement(s) to fill in the gaps. I am not such which minerals to test for? I know that iron (iron overload is common and bad) and selenium (frequently over or under supplemented). What about the Ca:P ratio? I know that is important, but I also heard that most grass hays have the "correct" Ca:P ratio. Should I test just in case or is that redundant?
Should I test the ADF and the NDF?
Although my horse does not have Cushings, IR, PSSM, (etc.), I really want to feed a low-sugar, low-starch hay (because her breed is very pre-disposed to those conditions). Besides NSC, what are the carbs and sugars to test for? They offer ESC, WSC, NFC. I do not know how those metabolize...