7 tips for buying good hay
Buying good quality hay can be a fraught business.
Words: Nadene Hall
It’s important to think of it as an investment in your stock’s health which is why you need to break open at least a couple of bales chosen at random before buying.
A good bale should:
• look slightly green
• have a high leaf content, and no sign of thistle, dock, barley grass or other weeds
• fall apart rather than stick together
• smell sweet
• buy mouldy, dusty or musty smelling hay
• buy hay from the bottom of the stack where it has been subject to damp
• ignore a heavy bale – it’s possibly a bale is heavy due to tight packing, but more often it’s because it’s wet
Dry, low-nutrient hay will still smell sweet – don’t use smell as your one judge of hay quality.