Here are the laboratory test results for the hay I bought this year. Complicated stuff to interpret! I've edited out the test results for "Dry" - what you're seeing here are the results for "As Fed." I didn't test for selenium as there's probably none (this area is very deficient) but the donkeys have a mineral block with selenium added and also get a pelleted mineral/ vitamin now and then.
I have to say I am disappointed in the level of non-structural carbohydrate (NSC) which should be 10% or less for donkeys, and I think the Total Digestible Energy should be a lot lower too. It's pretty high fiber too but all of my donkeys should be able to handle that, given their ages and good teeth. The low protein level is good though, I think!
With our cool, wet Spring, I was hoping the sugar levels would be lower, since the grass was not stressed, but there are SO many factors and most hay growers around here just cut what grows rather than trying to manage pasture.
This will have to be mixed with barley straw in order to provide enough low energy fiber.
Dr. Burden from the UK Donkey Sanctuary has very kindly looked at these results too and given me her educated view on mineral levels and their ratios as well as the other test results - I am hugely appreciative as there's only so much I am able to glean by looking at the numbers!
MIXED GRASS HAY 15 BALES SAMPLED, DATE SAMPLED: 2013-07-30
PARAMETER: AS FED
Dry Matter 91.34
Crude Protein 5.10
Soluble Crude Protein 41.04
UIP ( Bypass Protein) 29.48
FIBRES36.99 % Wet Chemistry
Neutral Detergent Fibre 55.01
Total Digestible Nutrients 54.88
Relative Feed Value 92.79
Equine Digestible Energy 2 MCal/Kg
Total Sugar 11.2
ESC = 9.10%