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Alfalfa vs. Timothy

Courtesy of Oxbow Pet Products

While both Alfalfa and Timothy provide the necessary fiber for a small herbivore’s digestive system, each hay has different qualities, beneficial to specific animals.

Alfalfa Hay is a high-fiber legume hay with the same long-strand fiber found in grass hays, but with more protein, energy and calcium. This hay is perfect for young or lactating animals that need concentrated nutrition. The succulent taste stimulates the appetite of ill or post-surgical animals. Once an animal reaches adulthood or completes recovery, this nutritious forage should be replaced with a grass hay. Alfalfa Hay, mixed with other grass hay, creates a rich, flavorful and nutritious treat. Pellets made with alfalfa hay contain much more protein, energy and calcium than those with timothy hay, perfect for animals that have special nutrition needs, such as growing, sick, pregnant or nursing animals.

Western Timothy Hay is a good basic hay with high quality nutrition, and a fresh fragrance that’s irresistible to small herbivores. It is the ideal long-strand fiber source for keeping small animal digestive tracts functioning properly. With high fiber, low protein and low calcium content—timothy is widely recommended by veterinarians. Oxbow Pet Products was the first pet food company to introduce timothy hay as a staple in the small animal diet. It is now an industry standard. Pellets made with this high-fiber, low protein and low calcium hay are recommended for adult animals.