Hay: How old is too old?

I have some (lots) of second cutting hay from last year…

It is not dusty or moldy. Looks good, just been in the hayloft for a year already…

Would you feed it?

Any ideas what happens to the nutritional value over a year?

Thanks in advance!

Last years hay that is not moldy or dusty is fine to feed.

I always have some hay left over from the previous year, and as long as its not dusty or moldy (it never is, its in my hay loft) it gets fed out first in the fall before the hay that I put in this summer.

Its fine to feed. I’m sure nutritionally it drops in value some, but my horses are on ration balancers anyways so I’m not too concerned.

Last year’s hay is still good, no problem whatsoever as long as it was put up well and properly stored. I’ve fed 2-3 year old alfalfa mix hay that was excellent; maybe bleached and cobwebby on the outside, but clean and green on the inside of the bale. The horses loved it.

Hay loses much of its vitamin A (carotene, associated with green color) within the first 6 months. So whether you feed it 1 year or 3 years later, the nutrition is about the same. Other nutrients (protein, minerals, etc) are pretty stable over time.

As long as it is stored properly, I have no problem feeding year (or two year!) old hay. IIRC, the nutritional value doesn’t change that much.

I asked my hay guy this very question this past weekend. He confirms what others have said as well…even after a year or two, the hay if well-prepared and well-stored would be fine to feed.

We are still feeding last year’s hay.

I hope it lasts awhile… it’s been impossible to get hay in this year and it’s hard to find.

I’ve fed hay that was two years old with NO issues. My hay guy knows how to correctly bale hay and I’ve stored it properly.