hay supplier complaints - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 13 Old 10-20-2009, 09:23 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Lancing, TN
Posts: 262
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hay supplier complaints

What are your biggest concerns when purchasing hay?
What are the biggest problems with your current hay supplier(I don't want names, just issues).
What do you want your supplier to do that they currently don't do?
Is your current supplier a feed store, a farmer, or a hay broker?
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post #2 of 13 Old 10-20-2009, 11:26 AM
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: SE Kansas
Posts: 10,620
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My biggest concern is mold. Unlike cattle, horses won't and shouldn't eat moldy hay.
I'm fortunate to have several hay suppliers within a few miles. I can see when they are cutting and baling. If they have cut, been rained on then baled etc. A few years ago I knew there was a posssiblity of mold (wet year) Sure enough the first bale was moldy. It all had to be replaced, what a pain that was.
My current supplers? One is a farmer the other a hay broker. I get large rounds from the farmer and small squares from the broker.
I wish my farmer supplier would go to the large square bales. I think they would be easier to store and transport, although its less than a mile to get them.

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post #3 of 13 Old 10-20-2009, 11:44 AM
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: USDF Region 1, USEA Area 2, USEF Zone 3 - Maryland
Posts: 1,903
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We use one farmer about 10 miles from our house - the horses love his hay (Orchard Grass) but his bales are sooo light and the twine is very loose and always falls off. Since they're so loose we can only fit about 40 in our trailer and we end up feeding more to get the "poundage" right. But there is not a piece left when we throw that to them.

Another farmer we use near Pennsylvania - about 55 miles from here. His bales are TIGHT and heavy. We squeezed 60 into our trailer (2H BP). We just started feeding his bales a couple of days ago - the horses are wasting some of it. It looks and smells very nice, no mold. He cracked a few open for us when we picked it up, they were awesome. But, I've cracked a couple open here and there seems to be a lot of leaves in some of them (guess they were on the edge of the field).

One of our neighbors bales 3 fields in our neighborhood (yep, I live in a neighborhood with hay field - everyone has 5-30 acres). It smells and looks AWESOME, but I was concerned about mold because last time there was a lot of storms around cutting and baling time. This time I was watching the weather and it stayed dry, so we bought 50 from them. Haven't fed it yet, so don't know if it passes the taste test.

So major concerns - mold, debris, heft of bales.

Mom to 3 bays: Beau, Daisy & Cavalina
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post #4 of 13 Old 10-20-2009, 11:52 AM
Green Broke
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Arkansas
Posts: 4,138
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DELIVERY! That is my biggest complaint. I can find good hay all over our state, but hardly anyone delivers! It's like pulling teeth... Painful and expensive, lol.

I like to use rounds and it can be hard to find barn-stored rounds. I won't feed pasture stored rounds to my horses. There is just too much waste with moldy outsides and bottoms of the bales. I don't have a tractor to unload the bales or move them, so rounds are my best option for the big bales. I have no clue how I would deal with big squares, lol.

I like small squares, but I don't like the cost or having to throw hay 2-3 times a day. I'd rather just roll a round bale out and let the horses have at it .
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post #5 of 13 Old 10-20-2009, 12:30 PM
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 346
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1. Debris in the bales--soda cans, limbs, rocks, potato chip bags, dead snakes, rubber boots etc...
2. Loose string & light bales that fall apart when you move them
3. MOLD in the middle of $18 square bales that only way 30lbs to start with
4. Delivery? what's that? I've never found anyone that delivers hay. Such a thing actually exists?????

I try to buy from farmers as much as possible but have bought a significant amount from the local feed store over the years. I've tried to buy from brokers (as recent as this year) but it's a total pain. I had a deal worked out last month with a broker and called 2 days before to set a firm time for the pick up only to find out the hay had been sold as part of a larger order. I guess my little truck load wasn't enough to be bothered with.

In case you haven't guessed....buying hay is a big hot button issue with me!
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post #6 of 13 Old 10-20-2009, 12:50 PM
Green Broke
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Indiana
Posts: 4,378
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I can't complain at all about our current supplier. I get our hay from a neighbor who owns/operates a feed store and grows/bales his own hay. The quality is amazing, the price is great and he delivers in the small batches we have the space to store (usually 45 bales at a time). He even throws in hayrides for my kids when we are hauling the hay (he "delivers" using his tractor/wagon but we actually stack the hay on the wagon and in the barn - he tosses it out of his barn to the wagon and to the door of our barn). I am paying less per bale now than I was before with the previous supplier and the hay is far better quality.
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post #7 of 13 Old 10-20-2009, 03:24 PM
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Italy
Posts: 125
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My only complaint is that sometimes there is quite a lot of soil in the round bales, I mean big mud cakes or stones. And that makes the hay dusty. No mould but really fine clay dust (it's all clay here). Sometimes there are also some other plants other than grass, and the horses don't like/eat them so there is some waste.
I buy from a local farmer who delivers a round bale every 2 weeks with his tractor directly into the paddock. Very nice guy and very punctually delivery.
I have told him about the dust and plants, he is aware of it but says that it is difficult to avoid completely.
As we don't have many alternatives here, I have stayed with him for 4 years now (and he hasn't raised the price ever).

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post #8 of 13 Old 10-20-2009, 03:28 PM
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Orange County, NC
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I feel lucky... we get our hay from a breeder/trainer/farmer a few miles down the road. It's very good orchard or orchard/fescue mix, and if we ever have bales that they won't eat (probably because they smell something on it even though it smells fine to me), they'll replace them.
Good quality hay has gone up in price a lot the last few years (now $6.50/square bale), but that's true with all the suppliers around here.

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On the seventh day, he Painted the good ones.
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post #9 of 13 Old 10-20-2009, 03:34 PM
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Southcentral Kansas
Posts: 1,591
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I have a great hay man. He's a neighbor about 7 miles from me. The only problem I have ever had is sometimes it gets baled a little bit late due to the weather. Can't really control that. He calls to let me know when he's cutting a field he believes will be good hay for the horses. Otherwise he just bales hay for his cattle.

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post #10 of 13 Old 10-20-2009, 03:43 PM
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: British Columbia, Canada
Posts: 1,284
• Horses: 4
We buy our hay from a feed store. We know the manager very well and he gives us a call when he gets hay in that he thinks we'll like. He'll also store hay for us until we can fit more into our hay shed.

My main concern is mold, so far we've only had a few bales I haven't liked the look of. Can't say I've had much debris in my hay, maybe a few larger weeds. The horse's just eat around them......

One year we got a couple of tonne mid season from another feed store and it was crap. They sent one of guys out to look at it and he agreed. Got the load taken away and they replaced all of it and threw in an extra 10 bales for the trouble.

We get our hay delivered and stacked for $40, it's worth every penny. Hubby and I are getting older.... let the young bucks stack it for us.

We live in a high horse populated area and the feed stores around here will go out of their way to please and keep the customers.
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