7 Farm Animals That Eat Hay (See Number 5)

by Chukay Alex
Updated on

Farm animals, as well as domestic animals raised on farms, usually have variable diets.

That is, a particular type of food doesn’t appeal to all farm animals. Every farm animal has its own special diet.

On the contrary to this phenomenon, however, there have been cases of different farm animals feeding on the same diet.

This may appear to be strange or usual, but it’s actually true.

For instance, hay is a type of animal feed that various farm animals like to munch on.

There are certain types of farm animals that eat hay enjoyably. Interestingly, they prefer it to some other type of animal feeds.

Hay, which is composed of dried grasses and other foliage, can serve as an ideal diet for some farm animals.

It is typically cut in the field while it’s still fresh, and then it’s either allowed to naturally get dried in the field or it’s been mechanically dried by forced hot air.

Nevertheless, it’s important you understand that not all farm animals eat hay.

Some farm animals don’t even consider it as food.

If you must make use of hay crops as animal feed, you should know the type of farm animals that eat them.

Below are the farm animals that commonly eat hay:

1. Chicken.

Farm Animals That Eat Hay

If you are a farmer raising chickens, you should know that they eat virtually anything.

Chickens are a type of bird that tend to survive on their own by turning almost any substance around them into food.

So, basically, chickens feed on hay.

Over the years, hundreds of thousands of animal farmers have attested to this fact, claiming that their chickens pick up hay with their beaks and swallow.

Perhaps you haven’t seen your chicken eating hay.

But if you closely pay more attention henceforth, you’d realize they actually eat hay.

If you have been concerned about animals that eat hay crops, be rest assured that chickens are among the farm animals that eat hay.

But irrespective of the fact that chickens feed on hay, you shouldn’t rely on it as the animals’ only source of food, especially when you expect them to lay eggs for commercial purposes.

For chickens to lay eggs effortlessly and frequently, they must be placed on a particular diet, and it’s never been hay.

It’s alright to let your chickens eat hay, but don’t make it their primary source of food.

Chickens are also part of a group of farm animals that kill snakes

2. Cows.

This shouldn’t be shocking at all. Cows typically feed on every hay crop they come across.

They are among the common farm animals that eat hay.

Cows are grazing animals, and their bodies are naturally wired to enjoy food such as grass.

If you are a farmer who raises cows, and you have hay crops around, you must have seen them munching on the dried plant all the time.

Ideally, it’s perfectly fine to feed your cows with hay.

As a matter of fact, thousands of American farmers rely on hay as the primary source of food for their cows.

The nutrients contained in the hay crops can enable cows to grow more healthily.

Unlike chickens and other farm animals that eat hay, a cow’s immune system can be strengthened, as it constantly eats hay crops.

Also check out my article on farm animals that attack maize

3. Goats.

When it comes to eating habits, goats share similar traits with chickens.

A goat usually wants to feed on almost anything, even when that thing doesn’t look like it should be eaten.

Like most animals, goats can perfectly look after themselves, and one way they successfully do this is by ensuring they are well fed.

Just like the aforementioned farm animals that eat hay, goats enjoy munching on the dried plant.

And amazingly, hay can be a nourishing diet for them.

The nutrients embedded in the plant can sustain goats and keep them healthy even if they don’t feed on anything else.

Based on research, goats typically make use of almost an entire day mating and eating.

If your goat is being raised amidst lots of hay crops, you would definitely witness that goat eating the dried plant almost all the time.

4. Sheep.

You have probably been longing to see if this animal would be mentioned among the farm animals that eat hay.

Amazing, sheep eat hay just like goats do.

Their appetite for hay crops is a large one. Most sheep farmers understand this, which is why they have made hay the primary source of food for their sheep.

Based on facts, you would rarely see a large fleet of sheep feeding on what isn’t hay.

For hundreds of years, sheep have been raised and fed hay crops by their shepherds.

To this day, sheep are still a part of farm animals that eat hay enjoyably.

Related: Here is my article on farm animals that can be left alone

5. Ducks.

Many people, including nomadic farmers, would find it hard to believe that ducks can literally eat hay like other common farm animals.

Even in a thousand years, there are certain people who won’t still believe that ducks are among the farm animals that eat hay.

Sometime in the year 2017, there were records of farmers who witnessed their ducks eating hay like it’s typical food for birds.

Although it may appear to be strange, ducks have been seen eating hay just like goats, sheep, and cows.

However, ducks don’t usually have a large appetite for hay. They have their own special diet.

Hay is just a dried plant they eat occasionally.

6. Rabbits.

Rabbits are sensitive animals, and their sensitivity is being reflected in almost everything they do, including their choice of food.

It’s quite fascinating to know that rabbits actually include hay in their diets.

You may not believe it, but the truth stands – rabbits are very much included among farm animals that eat hay.

Although they naturally have large appetites for other types of nutritious food, such as vegetables, they still occasionally consume hay crops.

This is the one reason why some American farmers who raise rabbits, usually keep lots of hay crops around the farm, so their rabbits can actually feed on them.

7. Pigs.

Pigs, a type of mammal many people don’t want to associate with due to their unhygienic and dirty nature, are also farm animals that eat hay.

They are known to consume hay voraciously just like goats and cows, which is why you tend to see large hay crops within a pig farm.

Many farmers who raise pigs have realized that the animals have an appetite for hay.

And since hay crops are not expensive to acquire, these farmers don’t hesitate to stuff their pig farms with the dried plant.

Naturally, pigs feed on various kinds of stuff, including the things that can potentially damage their health.

Even when farmers try as much as possible to keep their pigs from eating harmful substances, the animals tend to deviate and cause themselves harm by eating what isn’t right.

As of today, one good way to ensure that pigs don’t eat harmful substances is by providing them with lots of hay crops and other animal feed that’s nutritious and healthy.


One of the most important duties of a farmer that raises animals is feeding the farm animals what’s right for them.

If you raise farm animals that eat hay, ensure that the hay crops they consume are healthy and won’t pose any harm.

Animals like cows, goats, and sheep can be allowed to consume hay crops as much as they want.

However, farm animals such as chickens and ducks shouldn’t be allowed to consume hay as their primary food.

Unlike grazing animals, they don’t receive many nutrients from the plant. 

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About the author

Chukay Alex

Chukay is a season writer and farmer who enjoys farming and growing plants in his backyard farm. When he is not farming you can find him at the nearest lawn tennis court, hitting a mean backhand down the line.


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