At Old Manor Farm we cut the same hay fields year after year and have a built
up a great deal of experience over the years of how to get the best quality hay
from different types of grasses.
Of course the weather has a huge impact on the hay quality and so we have a
large range of modern machinery to help us get the hay in the barn quickly when it is ready.
We aim to cut the meadow hay as early in June as the weather permits. This is when
the grass is at its best and most nutritious. Some of the meadows have been established
since World War I and have a diverse range of grass species. These include
Cocksfoot, Timothy, Crested Dogs Tail and Sweet Vernal. We bale
into conventional bales bundled into packs of 21 bales for easy handling by
machine or in big bales weighing in the region of 380kg.
Timothy is a sweet grass species and is usually found in traditional meadows. Whenever
we re-seed long term grass leys, a timothy and ryegrass mixture is often used as it
is particularly palatable to horses.
This is usually from the second or third cut from the same fields as
our ryegrass haylage. Cut in July and August, the crops are usually
thinner and take less time to dry than a thick first cut in June. Ryegrass
hay is high in energy and protein and is a favoured forage for performance and hard work.
Alfalfa or Lucerne as it is also known in Europe is a leafy legume plant grown in
drought prone areas due to its deep roots. Traditionally Alfalfa hay is imported
into the UK from the USA and Canada where it is more commonly grown. Here in the
UK it is often grown and barn dried for use in products such as Alfa A. We have
recently sown down a small area of Alfalfa for making hay. It is difficult to
make on a large scale as the leaves are very delicate and are easily knocked
off the stem of the hay is handled too aggressively before it is baled. Alfalfa hay is high in protein,
typically 15-18% compared to 8-10% for meadow hay. It is also low in sugar and is
regularly used for racehorses, pregnant and lactating mares and youngstock.
Haylage based diets for all horses in average to heavy work
will have an overall lower cost than hay. This is because haylage can provide
much of the nutritional needs of your horse without the addition of lots of
cereal based feed.
We source all our bedding from established suppliers in the UK and
northern Europe and only supply shavings sourced from renewable forests.
All are dust extracted and are available in quantities of 10
bales to 960 bale loads.
MEADOW & SEED HAY
At Old Manor Farm we cut the same hay fields year after year and have a built up a
great deal of experience over the years of how to get the best quality hay
from different types of grasses including Meadow, Timothy & Ryegrass Read More...