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The ABCs of Quality Hay The ABCs of Quality Hay

Many people grow their own hay. If you, like most horse owners, cannot grow and harvest your own hay, how do you ensure that the hay you are buying is of good quality with the proper nutrition for your animals?

Traditionally good hay is green and leafy, smells and tastes sweet and should be without mold, dust, weeds, bugs or rain damage.

Looks can be deceiving! A proven method of evaluating forages without an agronomy degree is to obtain the RFV number. RFV (relative Feed Value) measures digestibility and the amount of energy potential available to the animal.

RFV is measured in a six tiered scale with a range between zero and 150. A value of 100 represents average good quality hay. The tiers are as follows: Prime over 150; Premium-125-150; Good-103-124; Fair-87-102; Poor-75-86; Reject-under 74. The higher the RFV the better the digestibility of whichever hay you purchase.

Knowing the RFV number is a good indication of the quality of the hay. Your hay supplier should provide you with this number. If not you can have a sample tested by an approved testing center. RFV will ensure good quality forage and keep it as simple as ABC. (By Luis Valdes, Aiken Hay Farms, Aiken, SC)

This tip was brought to you by KAM Animal Services, now offering the Cookies with a Clue Holiday Gift Bucket, the perfect gift for anyone that loves horses. These all natural treats can be ordered from now until the end of December by going to www.kamanimalservices.com  or by calling 519‐463‐9640. Itís only $29.95 and the cute bucket is loaded with wonderfully wrapped baggies of delicious, all organic, sugar‐free supplement cookies.