Is the hay more than Likely Good if outside looks older? - The Horse Forum

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post #1 of 7 Old 08-24-2014, 11:54 AM Thread Starter
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Is the hay more than Likely Good if outside looks older?

hey guys just a question in regards to what experience you guys have had with hay that looks older on the outside but being good on the inside. I have had my horse for a few years now and have gotten round bales from mostly the same people. Some have been not so good and others its been great. Went to get one yesterday and the he had a lot that were older in the barn, older as to the outside appearance and just one fresh cut so I went with the fresh cut one though it looked smaller than the rest. He did have some in the field that were newer but not stacked yet. He is a pretty reputable guy from what I've gathered and some things he told me about buying hay when I first got my horse. Just wondering in most of you guys Hay cases from people you know are reputable, in most of the cases can will inside be totally different and better looking even if the outsides look much much older?
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post #2 of 7 Old 08-24-2014, 12:30 PM
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Outside always looks older after it has been exposed to sun. No way to know unless you have it tested. I would not buy hay older than a year old.
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post #3 of 7 Old 08-24-2014, 12:33 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by churumbeque View Post
Outside always looks older after it has been exposed to sun. No way to know unless you have it tested. I would not buy hay older than a year old.
true
But for instance, will 6 month old hay that looks obviously older on the outside than 3 month old hay, will the 6 month old hay on the inside look like the 3 month old hay on the inside? Possibly?
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post #4 of 7 Old 08-24-2014, 12:51 PM
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If the hay was baled dry (properly cured) but the outside has discoloured because of sun and/or generally weathering and has not got soaked through, the inside will still be good. For your question of 6 vs 3 month hay, I would say in both instances the hay will be of similar quality although you will expect to see weathering on both with the older bale more likely showing more.

As an fyi, I have personally come across two year old square bales, stored inside, that looked pristine, were in great condition, smelled good and the horses readily ate them will no ill effect.
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post #5 of 7 Old 08-24-2014, 01:02 PM
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The outside is often bleached and discolored but the inside is perfect. You can usually gauge how far the damage goes into the bale by the side. Pull out a sample and judge it by smell and look.

I attend many hay auctions and am pleased by how many horse people pass on discolored hay or hay that has caught a sprinkle before it was picked up out of the field. Helps keep my prices down. If you are buying hay from a reputable farmer, he's going to stand by his product and do right by you.
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post #6 of 7 Old 08-24-2014, 05:03 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Left Hand Percherons View Post
The outside is often bleached and discolored but the inside is perfect. You can usually gauge how far the damage goes into the bale by the side. Pull out a sample and judge it by smell and look.

I attend many hay auctions and am pleased by how many horse people pass on discolored hay or hay that has caught a sprinkle before it was picked up out of the field. Helps keep my prices down. If you are buying hay from a reputable farmer, he's going to stand by his product and do right by you.
thanks to all that replied and those are pretty much the answers I expected
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post #7 of 7 Old 08-24-2014, 06:24 PM
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Most of our hay is stored outside and that's usually what we begin to feed first, but all that hay is from the current year, or the last year if we're in the beginning of a new year. We have some bales inside that are probably pretty old, like older than 2 years.

We have come across some of our hay being :P on the outside but the inside is great. Sometimes we'll pull the outside off so the cows and horse can get the delicious inside.

"I'm a success today because I had a friend who believed in me and I didn't have the heart to let him down." ~ Abraham Lincoln
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