I want to buy a bale of alfalfa hay and I was wondering if it's any different from the store bought alfalfa

Hi Kyle-

I am not sure where you are planning to buy a bale of alfalfa hay nor how it was grown/harvested/stored so I could't tell you if it was the same as a small bag of hay from a petstore. That being said, Alfalfa is alfalfa. It is the same type of grass. So if you are buying a large bale of horse quality alfalfa from a private farmer, it is most likely going to be just fine. Even so, make sure you check the hay for quality. It should be green, smell clean, you should not see foreign objects like a lot of sticks, twigs and leaves, and it should be dry and not at all dusty. It should have been stored dry in a barn, preferably out of sunlight. Also remember that you should use the entire bale within 3 months at the most, so if you have one or two rabbits you may need to toss the remainder of the hay.

On a side note, remember that alfalfa is a very rich, fattening hay that is much higher in calcium and protein than other legume hays or any grass hay, and should only be used in small doses for healthy rabbits. Too much calcium will cause urinary tract problems and kidney problems, and alfalfa has about 3 times as much calcium as timothy hay, which is the standard hay for rabbits. Usually, I only give alfalfa to pregnant and nursing moms and sick or malnurished rabbits. Otherwise, all of mine receive timothy/orchard grass.

Good luck,


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Shawn Evans


I can answer questions regarding ARBA, showing rabbits, genetic diseases and faults, medical care, raising meat rabbits, questions regarding different breeds, questions regarding diet, questions regarding color and color hereditary traits (breeding for color and pattern) and general questions about rabbits.


I am currently a breeder and exhibitor of English Lops and Tans in ARBA and have raised several breeds. I have both indoor rabbits and an outdoor rabbitry. I have raised rabbits for meat, and I have raised rabbits for top show competitions. I am especially well versed in color genetics and have written several articles regarding color and hereditary traits.

American Rabbit Breeders Association American Tan Association Lop Rabbit Club of America North Carolina Rabbit Breeders Association


Bachelor of Animal Sciences/Husbandry with a strong focus in genetics.

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