Horse Hay Sales

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"Better hay takes your dollars further in tough times"

We have become one of the Upper Southland's largest farm for hay/forage supplies and unmatched in customer service with one of the only refund/replace guarentees offered for hay. We are one of Tennessee's largest family hay farms, farming the same land for seven successive generations.

All our hay is sold by the ton, weighed at time of sale on one of three TN state certified trade scales and not by the bale unit unless specified.Fire Ant Compliant Facility. Insured.Delivery available at additional freight charge. In state checks preferred !

Mon-Fri 8am - 4:00 pm eastern

Saturdays Appt Only

No Sunday Business

423.346.7909 barn office

cdhoward@highland.net

 

The science that takes the guesswork out of hay.

Livestock producers have known for many decades that hay MUST have certain qualities to be fed to certain livestock types.Bred cows need different hay from milking cows .Fattened cattle need a different hay than open heifers and so on. Horse people have fallen behind on much of this science, as horses moved from working livestock in the 1950's to big,hairy pets of the modern age. :) Horsemen have thought for too long that the color alone for horse hay (based in the old northeast draft horse mythology that timothy alone was suitable to feed horse).Color really indicates nothing in the science of hay and this is what we have tried to educate horse people in since 1997.

To determine the chemical composition of hay it is forage tested in a lab. These tests can tell everything about a hay type.For us there are only few numbers we use to determine a hay worth for horses.(your mileage and opinion may vary)

RFV is used to compare quality of forage to its nutritional worth, based on the maturity of the plant when harvested. Notice how much less the horse/cow can eat per day, as a percent of their body weight, as the forage matures. This is because, as the non-digestible fiber (ADF & NDF) increases, the palatability is lower and the rate of passage through the intestinal tract slows due to its poor fermenting quality.

Crude Protein is the building block of life,muscle and milk.It is tied into the overall RFV and RFQ numbers but in some tests RFV and RFQ are not available.All classes of horses require different protein levels! This is why so much grain is fed to horses to make up the difference in the protein levels. I have yet to see a feed that was fed to decrease a protein level intentionally,however some feeds with a low feed value actually dilute the hay and it's ability to nurture some classes of horses.

Lignin is the internal fiber of a hay.You can have a lignin number so terrible that the hay passes thru the horses gut not unlike a big SOS cleaning pad. While horses need <x> level of fiber there is actually a level that is injurious to them and prevents absorption of any nutrients. Horse people see this effect too late in the the so called "hay belly".Dobbin simply cannot put more in his system,what is there in the gut however,is a wad of basically cardboard and he draws on his internal fats to stay alive.

What all this means for our customers.

Our hay is graded based on the RFV system. This will be very helpful to you the consumer as this will give you several objective numbers to base your hay selection on. Notice also from the chart below the DMI is based on the RFV. Example: A 1000 lb. horse eating a #4 hay can only consume 15 lbs. of that hay per day. A #4 grass hay will have about .77 Mcal. DE/lb. A 1000lb. Lactating mare in the first 3 months after foaling would need about 25MCal per day.

That would mean that she would have to consume 32 lb of #4 hay a day; but, this is impossible due to the high NDF. Thus you have 3 options, 1. Feed her grain to supplement the hay. 2. Feed her better hay. Or 3. Let her lose weight! Conversely, a #1 hay would have upwards of 1.10 Mcal and you would only need to feed 23lbs. Per day. This is very doable as the mare could consume 26lb of this type of hay.

may  hay field

Meadow Grass hay still growing in early May.

 

The table below is the standard grading system for hay.In large alfalfa markets it is actually sold for <x> dollars per protein or RFV point.So the higher that number, the more that a dairy is willing to pay as that is returned to them in pounds of milk.

An RFV of 100 is the value of a full bloom alfalfa,so all hay is plus or minus that starting point on this table.

The upper two numbers (prime and number 1) are of no real value to horse owners except as reference points.(however we do have clients that win the world barrel horse titles feeding this sparingly)

Starting at quality standard 2 however,begins the numbers needed for good growing colts,milking mares and horses in HEAVY work.(Feeding hay at this level is an art form)

Quality standard 3 and 4 are the more typical horse needs in American today.Pet geldings fed grain and ridden less than 5 hours a week do fine in these grades.

Quality standard 5 is a standard filler grade hay and is fed safely as a base feed to all horse grades.As a reference,pure timothy hay,on it's BEST day can never be over about 10% crude protein.

 

Quality Standards for Legume, Grass, or Grass-Legume Hay.

Source: Hay Market Task Force, American Forage and Grassland Council.

Quality Standard

Crude Protein

Acid Detergent Fiber

Neutral Detergent Fiber

Digestible Dry Matter

Dry Matter Intake as % of Body Weight

Relative Feed Value

Prime

>19%

<31%

<40%

>65%

>3.0%

>151

1

17-19

31-35

40-46

62-65

2.9-2.6

151-125

2

14-16

36-40

47-53

58-61

2.5-2.1

124-103

3

11-13

41-42

54-60

56-57

2.0-1.7

102-87

4

8-10

43-45

61-65

53-55

1.6-1.3

86-75

5

<8

>45

>65

<53

<1.2

<75

 

 

Finally a word about "sugar" in hay.

Many horse people are now very worried about the "sugar" levels in their hay. Many internet gurus have emerged on the matter as a result. Until all the gurus agree on what levels cause damage and what levels are safe, we will have the numbers available for you but will make no opinion on them :) The numbers that appear on our standard tests are starch,WSC,NFC and ESC.

 

Please call 423.346.7909 for prices.Lve msg after hours.

if you require more than what we offer, you are welcome to pull samples and test them at your cost

36 bales +/- per ton depends on hay type

Delivery fees are extra to hay ton prices.

 

 

Available Hay
Hay Type

Status

Test results

2014 Alfalfa - very leafy, premium horse hay

CP 23% RFV 123

 

here in barn

yes

2014 Bluestem prairie

CP 5.5% RFV 77

 

bluestem14

here in barn

yes

email for better image

 

second cutting timothy orchard grass

(coming soon)

 

 

 

 

 

Great wrapped haylage,alf.orch/ mmg/ rye wheat

 

call

3000 bales

 

alfalfa and orchardgrass

Alfalfa and Orchardgrass home farm in May.