Question: How Long Is Hay Good For?

Is hay yellow or green?

Hay that was cured quickly and stored properly is usually a bright green color while hay that was cured slowly or damaged by rain after partial drying may be pale yellow or brown because of bleaching and/or leaching.

Visual evaluation of hay is very important first step in assessing forage quality..

How long can Hay be kept?

Beyond that time frame, further losses of dry matter, protein and energy are negligible, so hay that is 12 to 24 months old will have nearly the same protein and energy value as hay that is six to eight months old. One nutrient of particular concern is carotene, the precursor to vitamin A.

Can horses eat this years hay?

The good news is that as long as it’s been properly cured, your new hay should be fine to feed. To check that new hay in your loft, simply open a bale and take a look at it, smell it, and feel it. If it is dry and smells good, you’re fine.

What can I do with old hay bales?

Donate to a plant nursery – Even if you don’t have your own garden, donating your leftover hay bales to a local plant nursery is a great way to get rid of them. Also, most places are happy to accept your donations free of charge.

What kind of hay is bad for horses?

Some hay types are particularly prone to high nitrate levels and should be avoided if there are options. These include: Sorghum, Sudan, Johnsongrass and Pearl Millet. High levels of simple carbohydrate (sugars, starch) are an issue for horses with insulin resistance and can occur in virtually any type of hay.

Is it OK to feed horses fresh cut hay?

Any hay that has been properly cured and dried before being baled should be stable and can be fed as soon as needed. There are no nutritional advantages to storing hay for weeks or months prior to use.

How can you tell good quality hay?

Look for the following characteristics:Maturity – High quality hay will have a high proportion of leaves in the bale, with few or no coarse stems or seed heads.Condition – High quality hay will contain little dust or mold.Color & odor – High quality hay generally has a bright green color and a sweet, fresh odor.More items…•

What should good hay look like?

Good quality hay should be bright green in color with little fading. A bleached, yellow, brown or black color may indicate aged hay, mold or poor storage conditions. Storage condition and age have a significant effect on vitamin content of hays.

Is year old hay still good?

Generally, hay that is two to three years old is still acceptable given the right storage conditions. So before you go tossing last year’s hay, give it a check over and feel confident feeding it if everything looks good.

How do you know if hay is bad?

Look for Mold Cut open a bale of hay and separate the flakes. Look for the presence of mold in any of the flakes. Moldy hay generally presents as darker areas which are grey or black. If you find mold, refuse the bale – mold indicates that the hay was baled when it was too wet.

Does Hay get stale?

You can store hay indefinitely if the stack is managed correctly; although, in humid climates, using hay within three years of harvest is ideal. Hay growers need to bale it at correct moisture levels because if it’s baled too damp the hay will generate heat, which leads to molding.

How do I know if my hay is dry enough to bale?

Hay will not have completely cured in that time. He said many producers are using moisture probes to decide if hay is dry enough to bale, but probes measure the moisture only on the outside of the stem. Hay that measures 13 percent moisture can jump to 25 or 30 percent a few days after it’s put up.

What can I do with moldy hay?

Soaking the hay in a water trough before feeding will reduce the “dust” (which is usually mostly mold), but it will also leach out soluble sugars and lower forage quality. This may not reduce the risk of mycotoxins (and yes, hay can have mycotoxins in it just like moldy grain, peanuts, or oilseeds can have in them).

Can I use old hay for bedding?

Using hay as bedding is an option, not an ideal option, just an option. If your normal bedding material is not available or you just mess up and forget to keep enough of the normal stuff on hand, old hay can substitute.

Can you burn old hay bales?

If you really want to get rid of it quickly you need to burn it while it is still dry. The problem I found with burning it is you must be prepared for a fair amount of fly ash and the problems that creates.