Although the term hay has a general signification as being. grass which has undergone the process of drying, it really includes several varieties of fodder which have different degrees of feeding value.

The best hay, it is allowed, is that which is grown in the uplands. There is, besides, the ordinary meadow hay, and the hay from water meadows, and there is also hay which is made from various artificial grasses, such as the different varieties of clovers, vetches, lucerne, and sainfoin, all of which have a highly nutritive value.

Different specimens of hay vary considerably in their nutritive value, according to the character of the soil in which the crop is grown, the time of mowing, and the care which is taken in making it. It is hardly necessary to add that a very great deal depends upon the state of the weather during haymaking time. Hay of good quality should not be less than one year old, should retain some of its greenish tint and be perfectly sweet in smell. The slightest trace of mouldy odour should lead to its rejection. Burned hay has a dark colour, powerful odour, and pungent taste, rather suggestive of tobacco, and, as a rule, horses, unless forced by hunger, object to eat it. It is said, however, that some horses will eat burned hay, when it is not too much damaged, with avidity, for a time, and after a while reject it. It is, however, always injurious to the animals which partake of it for any length of time, causing excessive thirst and serious loss of condition. The following table shows the constituents of hay according to the different authorities named:-

Boussingault.

Sanson.

Grandeau.

Garola.

Wolff.

Voelcker.

American Farming.

Full Bloom.

After Bloom.

Before Bloom.

Albuminoids

7.20

8.50

1011

8.40

9.5

9.88

8.63

9.44

11.63

Carbohydrates

44.20

38.30

40.90

41.00

41.7

4809

3611

41.40

36.01

Lignin and Cellulose

24.20

29.30

25.52

26.80

28.7

31.80

31.21

24.18

20.10

Fat

3.80

3.00

2.34

2.90

2.6

2.99

4.22

4.55

4.31

Salts.........

7.60

6.02

6.54

6.70

5.8

7.24

4.66

619

5.30

Water

13.00

14.30

14.59

14.20

14.3

14.30

7.45

7.13

7.79

Hay which is made from artificial grasses may be looked upon as an altogether more concentrated food than any kind of meadow hay, as the following table will indicate: .

Red Clover, full bloom.

White Clover in bloom.

Crimson Clover.

Hop Trefoil.

Lucerne just in bloom.

Sainfoin just in bloom.

Vetches in bloom.

Furze.

Water ...

80.4

80.5

81.5

80.0

74.0

81.4

82.0

48.7

Proteids

3.0

3 5

2.7

3 5

4.5

4.2

3.5

5.3

Carbohydrates

8.9

72

73

8.2

9.2

73

66

18.1

Fat

0.6

0.8

0.7

0.8

0.8

0.7

0.6

11

Cellulose

5.8

6 0

6 2

6 0

9.5

5.2

5.5

24.0

Salts

1.3

2 0

1.6

1.5

2.0

1.2

1.8

2.8

Red Clover Hay.

White Clover.

Swedish Clover.

Italian Clover.

Yellow Clover.

Vetches.

Lucerne.

Sainfoin.

Water ...

16.7

16.7

16.7

16.7

16.7

16.7

167

14.2

Albuminoids ...

13.4

14.9

15.3

12.2

14.6

14.2

19.7

14.8

Carbohydrates

29.9

34.3

29.2

30.1

36.5

35.3

32.9

35.7

Fat

3.2

35

3.3

3 0

3.3

2.5

3.3

3.3

Cellulose

35.8

25.6

30.5

33.8

26.2

25.5

22.0

26.4

Salts

6.2

8.5

8.3

7.2

6.0

8.3

8.7

6.2

The second table shows the composition of hay made from various artificial grasses; the high proportion of albuminoids brings their nutritive value nearly up to that of oats. All the artificial kinds of hay, therefore, require care in their use. Various disturbances of the digestive system are attributed to excessive indulgence in them. In its ordinary use as fodder, hay is given both long and chaffed. It has already been stated that hay, when used as chaff, is mixed with sweet straw, as a rule, but chaff of good quality should have at least a double proportion of hay to straw, and hay is sometimes passed through the chaff machine and used alone.

Long hay is placed in the rack which is generally above the horse's head, and it may be looked upon as absolutely essential for animals which stand much in the stable, not only on account of its nutritive value, but for the further reason that it gives them a certain amount of occupation during a portion of the day which, in the absence of the rack food, the animal would probably occupy in consuming the bedding.