High quality hay VS Low quality hay
High quality hay is essential for any horse. Now that you are aware of how important hay is for a horse’s healthy feeding, how can you know if the hay you’re feeding your horse is actually high quality?
There are many benefits to feeding hay to horses, however, this is only the case if you are offering them good quality hay to begin with. To avoid feeding your horses poor quality, look out for these characteristics in your hay:
Just like horses, hay can vary in colors a lot! You should aim for hay that is brown, golden brown or even of a greenish color.
It’s better to stay away from very bright green hay as it is still too new to feed to your horses and can often cause digestive problems. Dark brown or black hay as well as hay with white areas must also be avoided. These colors indicate that the hay has been overheated and it has been bailed before the stems are fully dry.
Hay of good quality should be crispy and dry to the touch; it should feel fresh in your hands. Unlike this, bad quality hay can often be limp of tender when you touch it since it is usually damp or wet. Some very low quality hay can even feel slimy to the touch!
Moreover, good quality hay will be as free of dust as it can possibly be whereas bad quality hay will almost always be pretty dusty and powdery.
Good quality hay has a very pleasant smell to it. It should smell clean and pretty sweet. Meanwhile, bad quality hay has often a must smell, sometimes even damp or mouldy.
Of course, we are not going to suggest trying the hay yourself to test its quality! However, observing your horses’ reaction to the hay can say a lot about this. Good quality hay should have a chewy texture and because of its sweet taste, your horses will love it.
Meantime, most horses will stay away from low quality hay due to its bitter, sour and even musty taste.
As you can see there are many things to look out for here and it should be quite easy now you have this information to be able to successfully identify good and bad hay.
Pay attention to these details to make sure you feed only high quality hay to your horses!