New Hay Regime, anyone tried it before?
 
 

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New Hay Regime, anyone tried it before?

This is a discussion on New Hay Regime, anyone tried it before? within the Barn Maintenance forums, part of the Barns, Boarding, and Farms category
  • Scales on a wheelbarrow for weighing hay
  • I feed my horse hay in a wheelbarrow

 
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    01-01-2011, 12:31 AM
  #1
Weanling
New Hay Regime, anyone tried it before?

Ok, I am trying a new hay regime. I usually feed my 3 horses square bales of Timothy hay that is grown and baled just 2 miles down the road. The farmer that I buy from decided to keep his cattle that he was going to sell, so he cut me off. I can not afford to have hay delivered and could not find anymore square bales within reasonable distance for me to go get them that were of good quality. My truck is bad on gas to say the least and I can not afford to drive too far too haul hay.

So, I looked into feeding round bales again. I have feed them in the past, but I did not like how much hay was wasted. Also, my two piggy girls got too fat even with only daytime access and one started coughing after feeding the round bales. She stopped after she was back on the square bales; a direct result of her habit of sticking her whole head into the bale I am sure. Also, we do not have the equipment for moving them around.

My stress was rising as my store of square bales was getting smaller, so naturally my husband and I started arguing about the cost of hay. He came up with a pretty clever idea. We can fit a couple round bales in our little hay barn and grab the hay for each individual's feeding, put it into a wheelbarrow to put into the stalls etc.

We found someone selling net-wrapped bales of orchard grass/Timothy/clover hay stored in a barn just a few miles from us. We just bought one bale to see how it would workout. So far so good. It is a bit more work on my part, but I have found that if I spend a little time one day pulling of a good pile then the next few feedings go just as quick as before. The savings per ton is about $40 which is pretty good.

Just wondering if anyone has done this before? How did it work out for you?
     
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    01-02-2011, 01:22 PM
  #2
Weanling
Ok, so I am guessing no one has tried this here. So what do you think could be potential problems?

Other then the time issue I already talked about my other problem so far is I have no way to weigh the hay. Yes, I am one of those people you read about in books that feeds by weight. I have been thinking of different ways I can try to weigh it, but have not tried any out yet.
     
    01-02-2011, 01:39 PM
  #3
Green Broke
The place that I boarded at did this without any problems. If you don't have a way to weigh the hay (lol) I'd watch, very closely, your horses weight and make sure they aren't gaining or losing weight. You might want to take a flake of the square baled hay and spread it out and look to see about how much it is.

I would do the same thing if we had a place to keep a big round bale.
     
    01-02-2011, 02:29 PM
  #4
Started
I've heard of people peeling hay from round bales, too. I've never done it, but it can be done!

Weighing wise... could you buy a hanging scale then toss the hay in a hay bag/net/even a trash bag, then hook the bag onto the scale for the measurement.
     
    01-02-2011, 11:13 PM
  #5
Weanling
Quote:
Originally Posted by ShutUpJoe    
The place that I boarded at did this without any problems. If you don't have a way to weigh the hay (lol) I'd watch, very closely, your horses weight and make sure they aren't gaining or losing weight. You might want to take a flake of the square baled hay and spread it out and look to see about how much it is.

I would do the same thing if we had a place to keep a big round bale.
Yeah that is kinda what I have done so far. One of my mares likes to fluff her hay before she eats it so I try to make a similar sized pile in the stalls, which is basically one heaping wheelbarrow full. I have a hay bag for shows, so I may use that to weigh it with my bathroom scale which is already in the hay barn. I will probably try it tomorrow. I normally feed 10-12 lbs per feeding for a horse, so I will see if what I think is the same really is.
     
    01-03-2011, 05:07 PM
  #6
Weanling
There is nothing intrinisically wrong with what you are proposing. You should be able to save more that $40/ton by doing this. A much better option would be large square bales, but you don't mention what part of the country you are in so I don't know their availability. Hay package's do not dictate their quality; however round bales generally are not as good of quality as other bale types.
     
    01-03-2011, 05:46 PM
  #7
Weanling
I am in the midwest (Missouri) and I have never seen large square bales for sale in our area. There are a lot of farmers in our area and most of them do hay. Being surrounded with hay production I hate to have to travel far for hay.
I had a pretty good deal on my square bales they were 40lb bales of almost pure Timothy and I was paying around $120 per ton. The round bales are like you said not quite as good quality as my square bales, but still acceptable. They are 1000 lb bales of the mix that I described before stored in a barn at $40 each. That makes means it is $80 per ton. Believe me I have done my math (I teach math at the local university actually). Now, unlike the square bales I can not weigh the round bales, so I am just going off of what the farmer told me they averaged.
     
    01-04-2011, 12:05 PM
  #8
Weanling
Quote:
Originally Posted by back in the crosby again    
Now, unlike the square bales I can not weigh the round bales, so I am just going off of what the farmer told me they averaged.
If your farmer doesn't have scales or weigh their hay frequently, their guess can be way off. We have had many loads of hay come in here where the farmer would swear the bales were "1000lb out of a brand new John Deere baler". On the scales the load averaged 480#. Very mad looking farmer!
That having been said, your bales may actually be 1000#!

It is unusaull for the cost spread to only be $40/ton - it should be much more!
     
    01-04-2011, 12:14 PM
  #9
Trained
I've peeled round bales before. I actually prefer doing that because I can keep an eye on the hay quality (mold, dust, weird stuff) and it keeps the horses from wasting as much. It can be a bit of a PITA sometimes, but it's managable.
     

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