I am very familiar with the nutritional benefits of hays (alfalfa in particular) and have post over the years to prove it, Yes, alfalfa hay has proteins and carotenoids but you have two major problems when the diet is also dominated by grains, First is the birds will not eat large amounts, Second is the protein fraction in more difficult to digest. On top of the digestibility issue you have the amno acid profile making up that difficult to digest protein which makes such hay very limited as a protein source for birds with high protein demands (growing or in lay). It is descent for birds on a maintenance ration during the winter months. I value the hay more for its fiber content that serves as a partial replacement for coarse fibers that normally would be associated with large amounts of tender rapidly growing greens that are higher in available protein and vitamins associated with developing plant tissues.
Thanks all fine and dandy but what does that have to do with alfalfa being or not being a cost competitive alternative to dried pepper powders as a carotenoids supplementation with the benefits of proteins as I suggested?
Edited by MeepBeep - 12/6/15 at 1:28pm