Re: Deciphering hay analsis


Hi Donna,
Orchard grass can be fine.  The sugars and starch numbers are determined by several factors.  Time of day when it's mowed - The earlier the better.   "Sugars" retreat down into the roots when it's dark and then rise back up the blades of grass as the sun comes out.  So the later in the day, if it's sunny, the higher the s/s will be.
Also, grass that is stressed by lack of rain or cold nights, will be pushing a lot of sugar in an attempt to stay alive.   
2nd cutting is frequently lower in sugars because the grass gets established and stable.  
2nd cutting is also usually softer.  
1st cutting is often higher in s/s because the grass is working hard to get going in the spring.  Once it produces seed heads, the s/s can be lower, but then when it's very mature, the s/s can come back up.   
Yes, we all start to learn more about grass than we ever thought we'd need to.  And farmers can give you some quizzical looks.   (I smile, get a little "girly", and say things like, "I never knew there was so much to learn about grass!"  😉. And I've only had one farmer say I should send my boys to slaughter and get good, normal horses!   All I could do was laugh charmingly.)
Around here, we usually deal with farmers who make hay as an extra income crop, not big hay businesses.  So when I go to look at hay with my long laundry list of requirements, I'll pull samples from as many bales as I can access, in different areas of the stack, and I also buy several bales. I've found that farmers are more likely to hold onto the hay until I get results back, if I buy several.  It shows my intentions are serious.   
And even if the hay comes back too high in s/s, the few sample bales can be soaked or added in small amounts to the safe hay I'm feeding at the time.  
Sadly, around here, most grassy fields are full of headed out foxtail grass by the 2nd cutting, so I'm limited to 1st cutting hay. 
This is also alfalfa country, so getting straight grass often means hay from old pastures, etc.   not many hay fields dedicated to straight grass.  

Good luck with your ongoing hay search.  Hopefully you'll connect with a couple of sources that will be good suppliers thru the years.  
Laura K Chappie & Beau over the bridge
N IL 2011

On Sep 19, 2018, at 8:51 AM, DBellusci via Groups.Io <DBellusci@...> wrote:

Hello all,

I am sorry to bother you folks with this but I am getting anxious about finding hay and what I was about to go pick up looks like this. I am not used to reading an analysis in this format and to me this hay looks unsuitable from a fiber standpoint.  We have finally fixed the loose poop issue (years) by accidentally getting some soft 2nd cut. Caz is so much happier without the messy butt and tummy discomfort. I don't want to go back to stemmy hay.  There is a lot of orchardgrass available here where I recently moved. I am not familiar with it but this guy said orchardgrass is too high in sugar and I want Timothy. 

1) Is this hay safe  s/s  and are the fiber fractions as bad as I think?

2) Is orchardgrass usually high s/s? Someone sent me an analysis of "German" orchardgrass that is ridiculously low. 

3) Am I dreaming when I think I can find second cut anything that Caz can safely tolerate? 

The hay I show here is expensive but very local and I wanted it as a backup in case I can't find anything. I thought I knew what I was doing (took NRC Plus) but this is confusing me. Thank you in advance, I so appreciate what I learn from you people.

I have it in my photos as the very last picture.....sorry I couldn't figure out how to attach it more conveniently.

Donna and Caz


Nov 8, 2016

Chesterfield, NJ

Caz Case History.pdf


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