Soaking hay


Hello to anyone who has to soak their hay.    I'm doing it for the first time and wondering  if it's normal for the water to be like a rust/pinky color after the hay has been soaked?   Is that the sugar leaching out or something else?

Thank you,

Susan in CT

Lavinia Fiscaletti

Hi Susan,

Yes, that is normal. Sugar is colorless but dirt on the hay is not and that is what you are seeing. If the water turns really dark, you might consider giving the hay a rinse before submerging it to soak so that you start the soak in clean rather than iron-rich water.

Lavinia, Dante, George Too and Peanut

Jan 05, RI

EC Support Team

Sheri Becker

Also other than dirt,you have to remember, if you make tea for yourself it is usually yellow or darker and many of those leaves are green .You are essentially making 'hay tea' when you soak .
Sheri in PA

Deborah Ide

Does that mean that when you see brown or dark "post soak" water, the hay had iron on it and that 's why the water is brown or (looking at the next post about "hay tea" does it just mean that that is the natural color that occurs when grass is soaked? Deborah
November 2012


Hi -
Some people think it's iron, but iron is red/orange.  Most is simply plant pigments.  If you have any sun bleached hay and soak it, you'll find the water a very light color.

EC Primary Response
West Coast
May 2004