Nutrition: Hay Analysis Case Study Elegance CF 2001gm

By Jeannie Lieb

Posted on October 9th, 2015 in General

Now that we know Elegance has metabolic imbalances, as well as toxicities, the question becomes how best to supplement her to detox the toxic level of Aluminum and the overload of Iron?

The first step is to have either hay and/or pasture tested for what the horse is consuming as the bulk of their diet.  In Elegance’s case, it is definitely hay.  And it just so happens I received 6 ton of hay a couple of days ago which will last until next summer.  Therefore I will describe the  process of testing your hay and where to get it analyzed.

I use Equi-Analytical for analysis.  They are a leader in testing hay, first for dairy cattle and now for horses too. Therefore they have analysis packages geared toward what the horse owner needs to know. In addition they offer free postage paid mailers for your sample.

The test I use is 601 – Equi Tech.  It gives a great comprehensive package of information at a great price.  What it doesn’t test, by default, is Selenium for example.  To add that particular result to your report is an additional dollars. I don’t normally add Se because I know, here in the Northeast, we have selenium deficient soils.  I added it for the sample I sent off today to see what this load of hay looks like, it is from New Brunswick,  Canada.

There are basically 2 ways to gather your hay sample.  The first is by hand and is called the reach and grab method.  The second is using a hay corer device which is attached to a drill.  I used the first method for years and then finally broke down and bought a hay corer and a drill powerful enough to do the job.


In both cases your hands need to be clean.  For the reach and grab method you want to select bales scattered among the load.  You stick your hand and forearm into the center of the bale between the flakes (you can’t use this method for round bales!) and grab a handful of hay and pull it out.  Put it in a brown paper bag.  Once you have collected your hay you use stainless steel scissors to cut it into 1/4″ pieces OR pay a fee and have Equi-Analytical chop it up for you.

If you use a hay corer you sample through the middle of the bale entering from either end. Do this while the baling twine or wire is still on the bale holding the flakes together.

The reason for stainless steel is so you don’t contaminate the sample with particles off the scissors.

You need to provide a sample of 3-4 oz or 80-100g of dry hay. I usually have to sample at least 10 bales.  Once your sampling is complete, shake up the contents of the paper bag well then transfer the contents to the plastic sample bag provided by Equi-Analytical.  Label your bag, fill out their form, put it all in the pre-paid envelope they provide and that is all there is to it.  Now you wait for your results.




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