Southern Hay Option is Highly Digestible, Costs Peanuts

Peanut Hay from Johnny Lee

What is this Peanut Hay? It looks like Edward Scissorhands has been at the shrubbery again! We got some for the alpacas last week. They do love it. But exactly what is it and why feed it to your alpacas? (or horses for that matter). For the straight skinny click here: The Horse: Southern Hay Option is Highly Digestible, Costs Peanuts

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Alpacas generally require between 12-14% protein in their hay. (I am told peanut hay has between 14-18% protein.) Too much protein in the alpacas’ diet can cause fiber blow out (this is where the fiber coarsens up significantly). However, expectant moms and lactating females will often thrive on the higher protein hay. We aren’t as concerned with this group’s fiber becoming more coarse because it coarsens with age and production anyway. This is our first experience with the peanut hay. We are mixing it with local alecia bermuda for most of the animals. The females who are expecting soon and those who are lactating are getting a higher percentage of the peanut hay. We’ll let you know how it works out. Share your hay thoughts with us!


  1. Charlie Mac says:

    I was raised on a peanut farm. I remember at least one thing about peanut hay. It is heavy, or it was back then (late 40′s early 50′s). A “light bale” weighed about 90 lbs.
    One time after I had been off the farm for 3 or 4 years, I was visiting a friend on a ranch close to Beaumont, TX. We went out to load rice-straw hay. I was expecting a big bale to weigh about 100 lbs. I almost threw the first bale over the truck it was so light.
    I enjoy your blog and also thanks for pointing out Lori’s blog. It gets a daily look see from me.

  2. Stephanie Mize says:

    Yesterday evening I mixed the peanut hay with bermuda hay in my girls (alpaca) feeders. I went out to the barn this morning and it looked like my girls had a party last night. The stall was full of stems and bermuda. They had pulled out the bermuda to get to the peanut hay. They love it.

  3. Alpaca Farmgirl says:

    Stephanie, those girls are so adorable! Hopefully this hay will give you some bouncing baby girl cria before you know it!
    Mac, Jeremy will agree with you about those heavy bales. As he was unloading it he was asking me for machinery to help him next time we put up peanut hay!

  4. This is the first time I hear anyone else talk about peanut hay – I am trilled! I don’t live on a farm, but am a second-generation volunteer in Niger (West Africa) and have barb horses (plus dogs and a couple of goats). Here in Niger, it’s hard to come by rich fodder, and peanut hay is one of the better ones. I didn’t know it had so much protein in it: that’s great! We also have bean leaves here (as hay) – ever come by that?

    Greetings from West Africa!

    Esthers last blog post..Sheba & Sahara

  5. Welcome Ester! I haven’t heard of bean leaves for livestock. That’s interesting. The peanut hay is catching on. The alpacas are loving it, brushing the other hay aside to get to the peanut hay. It is good and messy, like peanut butter and jelly. Do you (humans, ha ha!)eat that in Niger?
    Love having your commnents!

  6. Hi Katy!

    The peanut leaves here in Niger come in dry sacks with leaves and stalks mixed. The horses love it and we give it as an addition to the normal grass/hay that comes in from the bush. I have not eaten peanut hay and don’t know if people in Niger generally eat it, but I do know that people eat bean leaves here. And the horses are completely nuts about those!

    Talk to you more later!

    Esthers last blog post..The Mandara trail

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