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Hay Alternatives

Hay Alternatives

With today’s high hay prices, a lack of hay, and the possibility of needing to feed a lower quality hay; many people have asked us about hay alternatives. Below are some pelleted sources of fiber that could replace about half the hay. For example if you were feeding 4# hay to gestating ewes – you should still fed 2# of hay, plus 2# of a pelleted fiber source.

Your farm’s situation of hay cost, hay quality, and availability of hay will determine if any of the pelleted fiber sources are an economical advantage to you. Some advantages of our pelleted fiber sources are consistency and the zero waste of product. Even the best hay has a percentage of waste, which increases its true cost.

All three of the products below are on inventory now. At this time we want to let everyone know of these options and are seeking input from producers. All three of these pellets can be bagged or bulk, bulk would be a larger minimum production run. The pellets are basic fiber source pellets. You still need to feed your grain mixes with these pellets and some long stemmed hay. Feeding some long stemmed hay is essential to prevent acidosis in ruminants and colic in horses.

Pelleted Product
$/50# bag % Protein % Fat % Fiber % Ca % P
Soy Hull Pellet $call 12.80% 2.76% 34.00% 0.45% 0.10%
Hay Saver Pellet $call 16.00% 2.66% 28.56% 1.10% 0.19%
Alfalfa Pellet $call 16.80% 2.73% 29.75% 1.29% 0.23%

The Soy Hull Pellet is basically pelleted soybean hulls. Soy Hulls are the outer coating of the soybean and this hull is re-moved when soybeans are processed into soybean meal. Soy hulls are a highly digestible fiber source. They can replace both the fiber and can replace some of the grain portion of the diet due to their energy level and digestibility.

Hay Saver Pellet is a combination of soy hulls, soybean meal, alfalfa meal and some added minerals to make Hay Saver Pellet a hay replacement. Hay Saver Pellet is a Hunter Nutrition formulation which is fed to replace good quality hay and/or supplement poorer quality hay. Its protein is almost as high as alfalfa pellets, but the ingredient combination allows for a lower price.

Alfalfa Pellets are made from alfalfa meal only. Alfalfa meal like alfalfa hay is very expensive so alfalfa pellets may or may not be an economical option for alfalfa hay in your feeding situation.

Hay Saver Pellets, Soy Hull Pellets, and Alfalfa Pellets should replace about 50% of your normal hay use. You still need to feed some long stemmed hay with these hay alternatives. You can go up to a maximum of a 60% replacement rate with these pellets.

All prices above are Retail 50# bag prices, FOB Brookston, Indiana. Bagged Pellets may be floor stock if there is enough demand. Bulk Pellets are $30.00 off per ton; minimum of 2-4 ton order on bulk depending upon product and situation. Let us know if you have an interest in these products.