14 Facts About Hay


Hay is grass, legumes, or other herbaceous plants that have been cut and dried to be stored for use as animal fodder, either for large grazing animals raised as livestock, such as cattle, horses, goats, and sheep, or for smaller domesticated animals such as rabbits and guinea pigs.

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Hay can be used as animal fodder when or where there is not enough pasture or rangeland on which to graze an animal, when grazing is not feasible due to weather, or when lush pasture by itself would be too rich for the health of the animal.

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Hay is very sensitive to weather conditions, especially when it is harvested.

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Hay is usually fed to an animal during times when winter, drought, or other conditions make pasture unavailable.

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Hay can be soaked in water, sprinkled with water or subjected to steaming to reduce dust.

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Hay can be raked into rows as it is cut, then turned periodically to dry, particularly if a modern swather is used.

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Hay must be fully dried when baled and kept dry in storage.

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Hay stored outside must be stacked in such a way that moisture contact is minimal.

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Hay could be stored in a specially designed barn with little internal structure to allow more room for the hay loft.

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Hay baling began with the invention of the first hay press in about 1850.

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Hay was baled for easier handling and to reduce space required for storage and shipment.

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Hay stored in this fashion must remain completely sealed in plastic, as any holes or tears will allow the entrance of oxygen and can stop the preservation properties of fermentation and lead to spoilage.

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Hay baled before it is fully dry can produce enough heat to start a fire.

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Hay is generally one of the safest feeds to provide to domesticated grazing herbivores.

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