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hay alternative

This is a discussion on hay alternative within the Horse Nutrition forums, part of the Horse Health category
  • Green oaten hay for horses forums
  • Oat hay nutritional value

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    07-26-2012, 02:43 PM
  #11
Trained
Another thought--if you are able to mow, you could use a riding mower without a bagger, then sweep it up and feed that the next day, instead of feeding hay you have bought. We're expecting a few inches of rain today, and I'm feeding mine the next mowing, even though they are still staying heavy on whatever weeds are in their pastures. DON'T DO THIS IF YOU PUT PESTICIDES OR FERTILIZER ON YOUR LAWN!!! I do not, so I feed it.
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    07-26-2012, 02:54 PM
  #12
Green Broke
Haunt Craigslist too!

I found someone who *wanted* to truck his hay elsewhere and charge a fortune for it but as it was about to rain and he had no way to get it out of the field and protected, he sold it at a reasonable price to anyone that wanted to come get it out of the field. My 11yr old drive the truck/trailer through the field as hubby grabbed them and I stacked them. We managed two trailer loads, had to tarp the 2nd one in my driveway though as the rain arrived!
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    07-26-2012, 03:18 PM
  #13
Foal
Hi, I'm new to the forum..

I live in NW Arkansas I'm paying 80 dollars for 5x6 round bales and I'm using Tindle trails to stretch. I have 2 horses 14 and 15 years old and a new 6 month old buckskin. This drought is scary ,especially if you live ,breathe,love horses. I'm starting to stock pile and looking into hay from the NW area. It helps if you can get several friends together and invest in a semi load of good quality hay,of course do your home work and go with haulers that are well known. I'm praying for rain and this drought ends for all my equine buddies.
     
    07-26-2012, 04:09 PM
  #14
Trained
I've bought rained on hay before. It WILL work, BUT, you need to check EVERY BALE. Some of mine were too wet, so I had open those up to dry them. Some were just wet on one or two sides. I kept turning those, and dried them out that way. The reason people don't routinely buy hay this way is bc the wet hay starts decaying and the temperature inside the scrunched up grass gets well over 100 degrees F, and CAN start a fire.
Gallopingiggles likes this.
     
    07-29-2012, 01:29 PM
  #15
Weanling
Oh my its been raining all morning and not a single puddle..the ground is drinking like it ran a marathon..won't help the hay situation but sure is a nice site to see..even saw a rainbow this morning ;)
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    07-29-2012, 02:22 PM
  #16
Showing
Any farmers about who grow oats? You can feed oat straw as a hay stretcher. Horses love it, it provides needed roughage. You can feed about 1/4 of your usual hay ration. You might wish to get a small container of vitamins/minerals and add that a few times a week. To save money, while you are buying the oat straw, buy several hundred pounds of oats and switch your horse to that. Farmers sell oats much cheaper than the feed stores. They may have weed seeds but those are very high in protein so don't dismiss them. About a pound twice daily for fairly idle horses is plenty. They will find oats in the straw that the combine misses.
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    07-31-2012, 03:44 PM
  #17
dee
Started
Personally, I fear that this winter will be far worse than last winter was as far as hay prices go. Last winter, hay was available from northern states and from Arkansas that had not had a drought - hay was plentiful in those regions last year. This year, the drought is more widespread, and areas that had plenty of hay last year don't have nearly as much this year.

Scary thought, huh?

Hopefully, we will get some rain this winter. Last fall, we planted some winter wheat and winter rye in the pasture as an experiment. It was just in a very small area, as we hadn't cleared out much. It came on like crazy, and we were able to stretch our hay out by letting the horses graze on it for a few hours every few days.

This fall, we will plant a MUCH larger area in hopes that we get some rain during the winter. Hopefully, that will let us get through the winter on what hay may be available.
     
    07-31-2012, 06:58 PM
  #18
Super Moderator
I second what Corporal mentioned above...

I’m not sure how popular this idea will be, but we have used it on ill horses who could not chew properly before and I’ve recently done it through hay pinches this year and last year.

Disclaimer: I’m organic and know exactly what is in my grass and pastures and don‘t use chemicals…. Don’t do this if you don’t know, or if you use chemicals.

Ok, I mow using one of several mowers- riding, push mower with bagger, or a brush hog/6’ cutter. . (depends on where I am mowing and how tall the grass is) and either it gets collected in the mower bag or I hand rake it up. I collect it using the front loader on the tractor or a huge wagon and move it to an open, airy area of my driveway that rarely gets used.
I spread it out thin to dry. If it isn’t really sunny that day, I’ll even turn it over halfway and fluff it through the drying process with a rake or pitch fork, just like a farmer does to a hay field.

Once it is VERY dry, I either bag it and put it up for storage/to feed later, or feed it as needed.

As I mentioned above I have used this for the horses, but also for my other farm animals and I do this for my garden and compost heaps. It works really well. Certainly time consuming…... but I have been able to supplement my horse hay with half clippings when needed as well as using for all of my forage needs for my alpacas and non-milking goats.

Happy mowing.
Start now as the grass has more nutritional value while it is still trying to grow/make it to seed. Once it seeds and the days really shorten the value isn't as high.
Oh yeah… another disclaimer… you kinda need a fair amount of grass to mow, which my grass seems to multiply like rabbits when we actually have rain.
     
    08-01-2012, 08:00 PM
  #19
Foal
Boy I can relate to worry. I set aside several hundred dollars and went to buy hay about a month ago at $6 a bale, being new to buying hay I wasn't really sure what to look for but the fellow selling it seemed nice so we paid and hauled away a flatbed trailer full.

A week later found out it was mostly straw, and has mold running all through it. I could have cried. Been trying to buy up what I can now, but the prices have gone way up and I don't have as much cash laying around right now.

Sometimes ya learn the heard way. How's that saying go? "Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, and the lesson afterwards."
     
    08-01-2012, 11:11 PM
  #20
Weanling
Quote:
Originally Posted by NMDawn    
Boy I can relate to worry. I set aside several hundred dollars and went to buy hay about a month ago at $6 a bale, being new to buying hay I wasn't really sure what to look for but the fellow selling it seemed nice so we paid and hauled away a flatbed trailer full.

A week later found out it was mostly straw, and has mold running all through it. I could have cried. Been trying to buy up what I can now, but the prices have gone way up and I don't have as much cash laying around right now.

Sometimes ya learn the heard way. How's that saying go? "Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, and the lesson afterwards."
awe sorry that happened..I am pretty trusting of people like to think the best in them..it is a real slap in the face when people are jerks!
     

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