From Seed to Feed: Caring for and Harvesting Timothy Hay

Timothy hay is a popular forage crop that is widely grown and used as feed for horses and livestock.

It is a high-quality grass that is rich in fiber and nutrients, making it an ideal food source for animals that require a high-fiber diet.

In this blog post, we will discuss how to care for Timothy hay, how to cut it, ted it, and rake it.


1. Caring for Timothy Hay

Timothy hay requires proper care to ensure that it grows healthy and provides high-quality feed for your animals. Here are some tips for caring for Timothy hay:

  • Soil Preparation: Prepare the soil by harrowing and leveling the ground to create a smooth and even surface. Add fertilizers, lime, and other soil amendments as needed.
  • Seeding: Plant Timothy hay seeds in the prepared soil at the right time, usually in the spring or fall, depending on your location. Follow the recommended seeding rate and depth for your area.
  • Watering: Timothy hay needs consistent moisture to grow well. Ensure that the soil is moist but not waterlogged, and water the crop regularly to keep it healthy.

2. Cutting Timothy Hay

When Timothy hay is ready to be harvested, it needs to be cut at the right time to ensure that it has the highest nutrient content. Here are some tips for cutting Timothy hay:

  • Cutting Time: Cut Timothy hay no later than the early bloom stage, usually in the summer. At this stage, the grass is at its peak nutrient content, and it is easier to dry.
  • Mowing Height: Set the mower height to cut the grass at around 3-4 inches from the ground. This will leave enough stubble to help the grass dry faster.
  • Timing: Cut the hay during dry weather, and avoid cutting when the grass is wet or damp.

3. Tedding Timothy Hay

After cutting, Timothy hay needs to be tedded to dry it out and ensure that it is evenly exposed to the sun for an even dry down. Here are some tips for tedding Timothy hay:

  • Timing: Ted the hay as soon as possible after cutting, preferably within a few hours.
  • Frequency: Ted the hay as often as necessary until the hay is below 18% moisture content for baling.
  • Tedder Settings: Adjust the tedder settings to spread the hay evenly and avoid damaging the stems.



4. Raking Timothy Hay

Once the hay is dry, it needs to be raked and baled.

Here are some tips for raking Timothy hay:

  • Timing: Rake the hay when it is dry (below 18% moisture) usually after one to three days of tedding.
  • Rake Type: Use a rotary rake or a wheel rake, depending on your preference.
  • Windrow Width: Adjust the rake to create windrows that are the right size for your baler.


Timothy hay is an excellent source of high-quality forage for horses and livestock. By following the these tips, you can ensure that your Timothy hay crop is healthy, high in nutrient content, and provides the best feed for your animals.




Shop Pequea Equipment Today

Shop Pequea Equipment Today

Pequea can help you get the best quality Timothy hay, from our best in class tedders to our rotary and wheel rakes. All of our products are proudly built in the United States. Our goal is to make your harvesting easier and more successful. We listen to farmers and use their expertise in the field to deliver products that work for you.

Find a Pequea dealer near you and shop our hay tools today to experience the difference a quality product can make.