Hay crisis - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 11 Old 10-02-2008, 04:28 PM Thread Starter
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Hay crisis

I went to the auction and there was 2nd cutting that was going for 1.50 a bale... it is a dark green, i dont see any mold and it does not have a bad smell but is damp and heating... If i feed it now will it be okay? or should i just trash it. Its warm but not hot and does not feel really wet. It is not dusy but it just has a weird color to it. Its a really dark green almost purple.

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post #2 of 11 Old 10-02-2008, 04:40 PM
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I have no idea but it doesn't sound very good!
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post #3 of 11 Old 10-02-2008, 04:44 PM Thread Starter
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Usually if horses dont like the hay they will not touch it. But they devored it and they have had hay under their noses all day plus grain and grass so i know its not that they are hungry

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post #4 of 11 Old 10-02-2008, 07:00 PM
Green Broke
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I would take some samples of it (break open a few random bales and bag up a handful from the center of the bales) to your cooperative extension service. Have them test it and ask about the heating and color issue. They provide all of these services for free, and there's a local office in every county.

Here is a list of the MI county offices:

$1.50 is a good price though. What are you used to paying? Right now I'm paying $6.00 a bale for heavy 75-80 lb bales of fertilized bermuda. It's a bit dusty, but otherwise very nice stuff. I get it from my local feed store, so I know it's more expensive than if I bought from the producer, but I don't have anywhere to store large quantities. For pick up, good fertilized horse hay is ranging $3.50-$5 for small square bales here in Arkansas.
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post #5 of 11 Old 10-02-2008, 07:39 PM
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im still amazed when i hear people say they get hay for $1.50 or $6. we pay $22.50 for a 20kg bale of lucerne. i dont know what that is in pounds :) sometimes you find a cheap guy who has his lucerne for 16 or 17 but its often pretty poor quality. we also get barley and grassy hay which is $15 and $18 a bale.

if we found hay that cheap as long as it wasnt poisonous or in some other way bad for them i would get as much of it as i could :)

and its true what you say that generally horses wont eat something if they dont like it but sometimes they might like it not knowing its bad. like horses who eat the red leaf from the tree i cant remember the name of :) the leaf is toxic to them and its usually fatal to the horse. i would do what was mentioned earlier and get a test done on the hay just to be safe

"I whisper but my horse doesnt listen...So I yell!!...He still doesnt listen"

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post #6 of 11 Old 10-02-2008, 08:03 PM
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That is cheap! But anyway, I don't think that it sounds good either; I'd get it tested. Just to be safe! Hey, they might not touch it anyway, lol. They can be picky!

Ride more, worry less.
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post #7 of 11 Old 10-02-2008, 08:34 PM Thread Starter
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It does not smell bad, its not all stuck together and is really fluffy and falls apart and the horses lOVE IT. but its warm and damp. But its more of a dark green than anything.

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post #8 of 11 Old 10-02-2008, 09:55 PM
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Luvs2ride is right in the suggestion about taking it to the ag extension for testing.

I'd like to know if it's local grown. If it is then other horseman should know what it is. In the meanwhile I would suspend feeding it until you know it's composition. If you can't, then open the bails to allow it to dry. A wet bail will increase in heat as it ferments and could cause a fire or at the very least, mold.

I'm not arguing with you, I'm just explaining why I'm right.

Nothing sucks more than that moment during an argument when you realize you're wrong.

It's not always what you say but what they hear.
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post #9 of 11 Old 10-02-2008, 10:03 PM Thread Starter
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Location: Byron,MI
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I did i only gave it to them to see what they thought of it. But i have it stored on pallets under a tarp not in the barn just in case it were to catch fire. I will take it there and ask them. Thank you all

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post #10 of 11 Old 10-02-2008, 10:08 PM
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If you can, I would buy a few bales of hay that you know are good until you can get this other hay figured out.

Pictures might help in telling what kind of hay it is. Was it imported in to your area and sold at auction, or sold by a local farmer?

If it does turn out to be no good, sell it to someone with cows. Hay has to be pretty gross before it's no good for cows as they have multiple stomachs to process it with.

As far as the moisture, you can either run some fans on it during the day, or if there's no electric or you're at a boarding barn, put table salt on it to wick the moisture.

The good thing with table salt is it won't hurt the horses, plus I have heard folks claim it keeps the mice off the hay, thus eliminating mouse droppings and urine.
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