Hay differences

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Can someone tell me the diffence between rye hay, grass hay and pea hay? Realizing that there are differenes between the same types of hays. i'm looking for general differences. I have beef cows, sheep and a dairy cow. Seattle, Wa area. Thank-you M Marker

-- Mike Marker (mjmarker@aol.com), December 28, 2001


Mike, grass hay is a general term used for timothy, fescue, brome etc. all being grasses. Your rye would be a grass hay if cut when it is not seeded out. if it goes to seed and then is put up it is still grass hay but it has more protein in it. That can be good or bad depending on what you feed it to. I would definitely not feed rye hay that has seeded out to sheep and be careful feeding it to cattle. Too much grain can cause bloat. The pea hay you mentioned is a legume. So is clover, alflafa, lespedesia, soybean hay and others. Legume hay has more nutrition than grass hay and is good to feed cattle. You need to be careful feeding legume hay to sheep or horses. A good hay for sheep is a mix of grass and legume. Hope this helps, Dave

-- Dave (drcomer@rr1.net), December 28, 2001.

Both rye and grass hay have lower calorie's and protein. They run about 1,000 calories per pound and 8% protein . The pea hay should be running about 1200 calories per pound and 14% protein. You get more bang for your buck with the pea hay. I am not familiar with feeding cattle but I wouldn't feed pea hay free choice to horses.

-- Stacia in OK (OneClassyCowgirl@aol.com), December 29, 2001.

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