What is hay?
Hay is prepared from grasses of different kinds and crops like barley, oats, alfalfa, and berseem. In our country, alfalfa and berseem are abundantly availed- able during the winter season. The farmers, with a little planning, can make hay of the excessive fodder which can be easily used when needed.
The following points must be kept in view during haymaking:
- The weather must be dry; there should be no chance of rain and
- Keep in view the maturity of the crop; the crop should be neither of the start nor the end of the
- Alfalfa and berseem should be harvested at the start of blooming stage, which means 10% blossoming in the
- Harvest the fodder and arrange it in
- Nutrients are more in the leaves than in the stems. Leaves dry more quickly than the stems during the drying process. Shedding of leaves occurs when they are dried in a very hot season, thus causing the loss of nutritious value of the So, do not leave the harvested crops in the sun for a long time; otherwise, both the leaves and the stem turn into bales.
- If there is high moisture in the harvested field then spread the fodder on a clean and dry
- The fodder dries in 2-3 days during the summer season and in 5-6 days in the winter
- If the process of drying the fodder is done carefully and without delay, the possibility of the loss of any sort would be the
- The moisture in the hay should be 10-12
Storage of hay:
After preparing the hay, store it in the form of bales in a shady and well-ventilated place. Earlier bales of the hay were prepared with hand, but now bales of different sizes are made with the help of machines in developed countries, and it is easy to protect these bales from water and rain.
Feeding Hay:The prepared hay can be fed immediately. It can also be mixed with green fodder. For an adult animal, according to weight, 10-15 kilograms of hay can be fed daily.
Precautions during haymaking:
During hay making rain can deteriorate its quality; therefore, hay should be prepared when the weather is favorable.Keep in view the intensity of the weather because the nutritious value of the hay is lost if it is prepared during a very cold or a very hot weather. The place where hay is stored should be neat, clean and dry because the risk of fungal growth is higher if it is stored in a damp place.Store the heaps or bales of the hay in a shady, open and well-ventilated place and protect it from rainwater.In many countries, artificial temperature and fans are used to make hay.
Advantages of Hay:
Unlike fallen crops, hay is a fungus-free fodder because crops are usually raked during the process of preparing the hay so that air should pass through the fodder and it should dry equally.The hay-making process reduces the harmful effects of pesticides sprayed on green fodder.Fodder full of nutrition is available the whole year-round.The availability of fodder/hay for the whole year makes the farmer tension-free and mentally comfortable.