Welcome to our annual Harvest Report of Alfalfa Hay!
Within this Harvest Report you'll discover the answer to question:
What is AlfalfaHay?
Additionally, our report will provide our warehouse's initial analysis of the year's new harvest. This analysis is based on factors such as the year's weather conditions and climate, giving us an early glimpse into the anticipated quality for the year.
But that's not all - keep scrolling to discover exciting news about our "Fresh From The Hopper" updates.
Alfalfa Hay is not a grass like many of the other hays that we sell. It is instead a legume. Legumes are the species of plants that grow beans. Because of this the hay has much higher content of Protein. Which can be great for Rabbits, Guinea Pigs and or Chinchillas in certain circumstances. Alfalfa is used to help transition kits from their Mother’s milk to grass hays, it is very palatable to them, during this time the additional protein helps them to gain weight rapidly and stay healthy during this time of their growth. Once they reach about 7 months, however, they should be transitioned off of Alfalfa to Grass Hays, which are lower in Protein and higher in Fiber. If your pet is low weight for some reason feeding Alfalfa can be helpful in helping them regain weight.
Alfalfa Hay should have these qualities:
Harvest: We tend to select 2nd, 3rd or even 4th cuttings for our hays
Location: Mountain Grown
Color: Dark Forest Green
Stems/Stalks: Thin abundant stems, (Alfalfa is a vine)
Leaves: Small elliptical leaves, should be maintaining attachment to the stem.
Seed Heads/Flowers: Can be nonexistent, especially in later harvests. Flowers should have purple petals.
Leaf Crush: Minimal, however because of the hay conditioning process some leaf loss is normal.
Weeds: No weeds, this is usually very easy for us to obtain.
Dust: No Dust (as in dirt or debris)
Our goal is to offer the highest quality hay, however, all naturally grown and harvested hay holds minor imperfections such as dust, weeds, leaf crush, and brown leaf. The ideal version of Alfalfa Hay would have none of these.
Alfalfa Hay: 2023 Harvest Report
The 2023 Ultra Premium Alfalfa we have in stock is currently a second cut that is grown at high altitudes. This keeps the stem structure thin and helps the leaves to remain attached. This year is a great example of mountain-grown Alfalfa, it has been kept indoors and so has an absolutely beautiful color.
Here is the report on what we have in stock:
Overall Rating: 9/10
Harvest: Second cut of mountain-grown Alfalfa, it was harvested in August of 2023.
Location: Northern California
Color: Deep green
Stems/Stalks: Alfalfa is a legume rather than grass hay, which is why it is higher in protein than your typical grass hay. The stalks of this are nice and thin and have been run through a conditioner that helps them to release their moisture.
Leaves: Leaves are plentiful and most are holding to the stems nicely.
Seed Heads/Flowers: Almost none.
Leaf Crush: Typical of an Alfalfa.
Brown Leaf: None.
Initial Analysis Summary: This year's Alfalfa is a great example of what Alfalfa Hay should be with long stems and a generous amount of leaves.
Important to Know About Harvest Reports
Our Harvest Reports update yearly, and are a first glance and analysis of the newly harvested hay. This is what we are hoping (and anticipating) the rest of the year's hay will look like. Yet, nature's quirks make hay-growing and harvesting unique and can lead to a bit of unpredictability with every new batch of hay we receive. As new hay batches from this harvest comes in, typically every 4 to 6 weeks, we'll update you on any changes through our Fresh From The Hopper.