How much hay to feed a horse

It is up lớn you to inspect the hay or get a guaranteed analysis khổng lồ ensure the giỏi is of sufficient chất lượng lớn feed your horses.

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Availability—determined by weather during harvest—affects hay prices, as does unique. And chất lượng affects nutrition. Maybe in a good hay-growing year you can pay $3 a bale for grass tuyệt, or you could be looking at paying higher prices because of demand by local sources.

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Hay is big business, the third-largest crop in harvested acres. Cattle are the primary market, and alfalfa is the largest tuyệt crop.

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When you are purchasing tuyệt, you often pay by the bale or ton. Following are averages if you are buying by weight:

2-wire small square 50-70 pounds3-wire square 100-125 poundsRound bale 1,000-2,000 pounds

Keep in mind that grass hay bales are usually lighter than alfalfa bales.

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The Internet Hay Exchange lists average prices of $121 a ton for grass tuyệt & $165 for alfalfa. Save money by buying in bulk, as in a semi-truckload, or buying bales still in the field.

Is Better Hay More Expensive?

Hay cuttings differ in unique, & dem& for the best can boost cost. Dr. Dan Putnam giới, University of California Extension Speciadanh mục & Forage Specialist, noted, “Last year Supreme alfalfa was $350 a ton—this year it’s $240.”


The time of cutting influences quality. Dr. S. Ray Smith, a state Forage Extension Speciadanh sách at the University of Kentucky, recommended purchasing the later harvest. “The third, fourth, or fifth cuttings are typically the highest quality because they are leafier & cut with better drying conditions," he said. "There’s a better chance it’s cured well and leafy, with not as many stems. First & second cutting can be just as good for unique, based more on the giỏi itself and the unique analysis. If buying local hay in the Eastern United States with the problems curing xuất xắc in the early spring, later cuttings are safer.”

Sources

Check current regional prices at these online publications:

The USDA’s National Hay, Feed & Seed Weekly Summary, a report of tuyệt prices, by ton or bale, can be obtained online as a PDF if you search for the title given above sầu.

Don't forget, it is up khổng lồ you lớn inspect the tốt or get a guaranteed analysis to ensure the xuất xắc is of sufficient quality to feed to your horses.