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The Importance of Testing Your Hay

Horses were created to consume a forage-based diet. Your horse’s pasture and hay should generally make up the majority of his diet.

When it comes to selecting hay, most horse owners know that quality hay is soft, has more leaves then stems, and smells good.

But this visual once-over does not guarantee that the hay contains the nutrients your horse needs. To be sure, you need to take a sample of the hay and submit it for analysis.

Sampling and testing your hay will inform you of any missing essential vitamins, minerals, and nutrients in your hay. This allows you to easily supplement for missing nutrients to keep your horse healthy and in her best condition.

Most horse owners don’t have the tools necessary to take a hay sample. Also, understanding the hay analysis can be tricky. The results are full of abbreviations and numbers and percents. A horse owner can be left wondering what “good” and “bad” numbers are and just what their next steps should be.

Dells Equine Veterinary Service recently purchased a hay sampling tool, and we’d be happy to take a sample of your hay when we do your herd’s Spring Wellness Check or at your next appointment. We can also provide information on where to send the sample for analysis. We even have a handout which will help you decipher the analysis when it’s sent to you.

Reach out to us at 608-844-9833 for more info or to add hay sampling to your next appointment!

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