When shopping for hay for your grazing animals, you may have seen alfalfa hay for sale and wondered if it would be a good choice for your herd. Alfalfa hay is a type of forage that is high in protein and fiber, making it a good option for many grazing animals. Here are some things to consider if you are thinking of adding alfalfa hay to your herd’s diet.
Alfalfa hay is a legume hay, meaning that it is in the same family as peas, beans, and lentils. Alfalfa is a deep-rooted crop, which gives it some advantages over other types of forage. One advantage is that, Alfalfa is able to access nutrients that other plants cannot, making it a more nutrient-dense forage. It is also a nitrogen-fixing plant, meaning that it can help to increase the nitrogen levels in the soil. This can be beneficial if your pasture is lacking in nitrogen.
It is also high in calcium, which is important for the health of grazing animals. Calcium is needed for strong bones and teeth, and it is also essential for proper muscle function. It can also help to prevent problems such as milk fever and displaced abomasums in cows. Sheep and goats can also benefit from the high calcium levels in alfalfa, as they are susceptible to issues such as urinary calculi and mastitis.
The high protein content of alfalfa hay is another reason why it is a good choice for grazing animals. Protein is essential for proper muscle development and growth, and it is also necessary for the production of milk in dairy animals.