What is the difference between Timothy and Alfalfa?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by 3riverschick, Jan 18, 2017.

  1. 3riverschick

    3riverschick Poultry Lit Chaser

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    Hi,
    What is the difference between Timothy and Alfalfa in regards to feeding and bedding poultry?
    Thanks,
    Karen
     
  2. Egghead_Jr

    Egghead_Jr Overrun With Chickens

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    Alfalfa is a legume with higher protein and calcium. Timothy is the common grass that looks like mini cattails when mature. The hay I use is mostly timothy. The birds go nuts for the seed when I put it down for winter run hang out areas. It's also what I use for nests, it mats together well and stays in nest shape they make.
     
  3. Folly's place

    Folly's place Chicken Obsessed

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    x2! I buy mostly grass hay for my horses and cattle, never straight alfalfa, which is too rich for them. There would be no reason to use alfalfa hay for the birds either, although a mixed hay would be fine. Mary
     
  4. chickens really

    chickens really Chicken Obsessed

    Timothy hay is not good for Birds..Can cause sour or impacted crop....Alfalfa is fine for birds...It has tiny leaves and seeds they love...It is a legume and very healthy for them as forage in the winter.....



    Cheers!
     
  5. Jiffyrocks

    Jiffyrocks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Conflicting answers!
     
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  6. Folly's place

    Folly's place Chicken Obsessed

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    I wouldn't consider either timothy, mixed grass, or alfalfa hay as a major feed source for laying hens. Alfalfa hay is the most expensive, and grass or mixed hay is used more often for many different animals. My flock has always ranged in and around the hay, and had some in nest boxes, and been fine. I wouldn't buy alfalfa just for the chickens, but eating some would be fine, along with lots of other plant choices. Mary
     
  7. casportpony

    casportpony Team Tube Feeding Captain & Poop Inspector General Premium Member Project Manager

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    I found this table:
    [​IMG]
    and this picture:
    [​IMG]
     
  8. casportpony

    casportpony Team Tube Feeding Captain & Poop Inspector General Premium Member Project Manager

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    FWIW, I would not use alfalfa for bedding because it goes rancid pretty quick once it gets wet.
     
  9. casportpony

    casportpony Team Tube Feeding Captain & Poop Inspector General Premium Member Project Manager

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    They all make good points.
     
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2017
  10. Howard E

    Howard E Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Did you get the answer you were looking for?
     

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