How Can You Tell if Alfalfa Hay Is Good?

White horse eating hay in the stable

If you’re in the market for alfalfa hay, you want to make sure you’re getting a good quality product for your livestock. Alfalfa hay is popular with many farmers and ranchers due to its high protein content and nutritional value. However, not all alfalfa hay is created equal. So, how can you tell if alfalfa hay is good?

Color and Smell

One of the first things to look for when assessing alfalfa hay is the color and smell. Good quality alfalfa hay should have a bright green color. If the hay is dull or brown in color, it may be old or have been improperly stored. Additionally, take a whiff of the hay. It should have a fresh, sweet smell. If the hay smells musty or moldy, it could indicate that it has started to spoil.


Another important factor to consider when evaluating alfalfa hay is the leafiness of the hay. The alfalfa plant leaves contain most of the nutrients, so you want to see a high leaf-to-stem ratio in the hay. Look for hay that is packed with leaves and has minimal stems. Leafy alfalfa hay is not only more nutritious for your livestock but also tends to be more palatable, leading to less waste.


The texture of alfalfa hay can also give you clues about its quality. Good quality alfalfa hay should feel soft and pliable to the touch. If the hay feels rough, brittle, or crunchy, it may have lost its nutritional value or been exposed to harsh weather conditions. You want your alfalfa hay to be easy for your livestock to eat and digest, so a soft texture is key.


The maturity of the alfalfa plant at the time of harvest can significantly impact the quality of the hay. Alfalfa plants that are harvested at a younger age tend to be more nutrient-dense and have a higher protein content. On the other hand, alfalfa that has been allowed to mature too much before harvesting can be lower in quality and less palatable for your livestock. Look for alfalfa hay harvested at the optimal growth stage for the best nutritional value.

Floral Buds

When examining alfalfa hay, be on the lookout for floral buds. These are small purple or blue flowers that indicate the alfalfa plant was allowed to grow too long before being cut for hay. Alfalfa, with a high presence of floral buds, is likely to be lower in quality and nutritional value. Ideally, you want to see minimal to no floral buds in your alfalfa hay.

Weed Content

Lastly, be sure to check the hay for any weed content. While finding alfalfa hay completely free of weeds is nearly impossible, you want to keep the weed content to a minimum. Weeds not only reduce the hay’s nutritional value but can also be harmful to your livestock if ingested. Check for any foreign plants or seeds in the hay and avoid purchasing bales with excessive weed content.

Why Choose David Woods Hay Service for Your Alfalfa Hay Needs

When it comes to purchasing high-quality alfalfa hay, look no further than David Woods Hay Service. We are dedicated to providing top-quality alfalfa hay for sale at the best price and with unbeatable service. Our large square bales are carefully harvested and stored to ensure maximum freshness and nutritional value. Whether you need hay delivered to your location or loaded onto your trucks for pickup, we’ve got you covered.

Our David Woods Hay Service team is committed to meeting all of your hay products and service needs. We understand the importance of feeding your livestock the best quality hay to keep them healthy and thriving. With our superior alfalfa hay, you can rest assured that your animals get the optimal nutrition they need to perform at their best.

So, if you’re in the market for alfalfa hay, trust David Woods Hay Service to provide you with top-quality hay that meets all the criteria for good hay. Contact us today to place your order and experience the difference that quality alfalfa hay can make for your livestock. Your livestock will thank you for choosing David Woods Hay Service!