We pulled hay samples this weekend from the alfalfa and the alfalfa/grass mix. I should have taken pictures but there was so much dust and hay chaff -- not sure that is so good for a digital camera.
Here is what a hay probe looks like (pictures courtesy of Dairy One Forage Lab) ... the metal tube is hollow, you attach it to your drill and push it into your hay bale like the next picture. The white thing goes in the hollow tube to push the hay sample out. Do this for 11-20 bales of hay, put the samples in a baggie and voila! You have your sample to submit to the forage lab.
The lab tests for EVERYTHING... minerals, protein, carbohydrates, vitamins, ash, digestible energy etc. etc. etc.
Our horses got the alfalfa/grass mix until our hay supplier lost her 2nd cutting of hay. We bought the straight alfalfa hay from a hay broker. It will be really interesting to see the differences in the two samples.
The two ziplock bags I used to hold the hay samples looked like they were full to the brim o' pot. Nice. I had to take them to a post office and suffer the weird looks... "psst! Hey lady - what's the goin' rate for your weed?"
Both bags had scotch tape all over them because Itty Bitty Opal Kitty decided baggies full of hay look mighty, mighty tasty! Furry Husband laughed watching me tape up all the tooth holes. He wondered why I didn't put the samples in different bags. Silly Furry Husband! I like to provide entertainment.... the lab will get these baggies full of kitten tooth holes that are taped up. What conclusion or theory will they have?
Probably nothing - they'll dump the hay into whatever tester beaker they have and toss the baggie without another thought!
Wow. I really DO have a low entertainment threshold don't I?