Testing hay vs. bagged forage

DEBBIE GIRARD <dgwof@...>

Hello, I realize that some bagged chopped hays are not on the acceptable list of food because their sugar/ starch levels are not guaranteed but rather based on an average taken of samples…..having our own hay tested is highly recommended but isn’t that test based on a average of multiple samples.?  Taking a plug from many bales and sending them in to be tested seems to be the same procedure that the chopped hay bags use?.   Some bales could be 14% and others 6 or 7% and there’s no way of knowing unless every bale was tested…but the overall results might be within acceptable ranges.  Am I missing something in understanding because it looks like the same process to me.  Thank you.
Debbie Girard/Massachusetts/2021

Kirsten Rasmussen

Hi Debbie,

There is definitely the possibility of variation.  You need to ask the hay supplier if the bales all came from the same field, are they the same grass species, were they cut around the same time of day, etc.  Also look at the bales and judge how similar they are.  For example, are some bales really stemmy or alfalfa rich, and others more leafy and alfalfa poor?   In that case you may want to test both types of bales separately, or when you feed mix the 2 hays together.

Kirsten and Shaku (IR + PPID) - 2019
Kitimat, BC, Canada
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