Best Type of Hay to Buy Depends on the Animals Being Fed

Dan Beef, Cattle, Dairy, Equine, Livestock, Pasture, Sheep-Goats, This Land of Ours

The best type of hay to buy depending on the animals your feeding. That’s coming up on This Land of Ours.


Animals can tolerate different types of hay. For example, Cattle vary a bit in what kind of hay they tolerate depending on their age. Lactating cows require high-protein hay. Younger calves might have a tough time with coarser hays, like alfalfa and grass, while older beef cattle can eat just about any kind of hay – even if it’s a bit dusty or moldy. And, dairy cows require the most nutritious hay – and lots of it. You may also want to invest in hay feeders to make it easier for your cattle to feed.

Horses are quite particular, too. Mature horses need far less calcium and protein than younger horses or mares that are nursing their foals. Alfalfa or grass is usually fine as long as it has been stored appropriately but any mold or dust can cause serious health problems for your horse.


Goats are known to eat just about anything while they’re out grazing in the pasture.

Some sheep breeds prefer finer, leafier grasses and alfalfa compared to coarser options, though some, like Icelandic sheep, couldn’t care less about how coarse the hay is. For lambs, you’ll tend to choose legume hay that was harvested while still growing. The stems will be easier for your lambs to eat.

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Best Type of Hay to Buy Depends on the Animals Being Fed