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.


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NZ Lifestyle Block This article first appeared in NZ Lifestyle Block Magazine.
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