Haying season - Page 2
   

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Haying season

This is a discussion on Haying season within the Horse Nutrition forums, part of the Horse Health category

     
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        07-20-2011, 12:21 PM
      #11
    Banned
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Production Acres    
    The cutting of the hay is not indicative of the quality of the hay - a forage test is indicative of the quality of the hay!

    You can store hay that was put up correctly and stored correctly for many years.

    If last years hay is good (a forage test will tell) buy the older hay
    As too many people don't understand reality
    .
    My reality, coastal mid Atlantic region, USA is different from OPs.
    As well, my preference is different from OPs.
    HERE, I try to buy 2nd of 3rd cutting of this years hay.
    I've purchased older hay, and fed it FIRST,..,
    But as a general rule, for me, I prefer this years, and 2nd or 3rd cutting.

    We all have our own opinions, preferences, and realities.
         
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        07-20-2011, 12:27 PM
      #12
    Weanling
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by KateS    
    One thing you want to be carefuly of is that you don't want to feed freshly baled bales. You want to wait at least a month after they are baled before you feed. The reason is that the hay needs to settle before feeding.
    This is a very good idea! BUT, this is not a universal truth!

    It all depends on moisture content at the time the hay was baled and whether it was stem moisture or dew moisture. Hay baled below 14% moisture won't really go through a "heat" per say. Hay baled in the 18-20% moisture and put up with no perservatives will go through a heat and can give an upset stomach if fed while it is still "moving around".

    The good thing about waiting a month after the hay was baled before purchasing it is that you can see bad spots in the hay, mold, dead animals, etc. Hay that is bought the same day it was baled will have trouble spots show up after you bring it home.
         
        07-20-2011, 12:43 PM
      #13
    Foal
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Production Acres    
    ROFL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Did the first cutting hay pull into the ground during the winter and then come back out of the ground this spring or something?

    Any green growth this spring has grown this spring.
    Okay, the "ROFL" Was not necessary. Grow up, please?

    I've been doing hay for only 6 years. This is what I'VE been told.
         
        07-20-2011, 12:50 PM
      #14
    Foal
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Alwaysbehind    
    The hay you are actually cutting has grown since spring.
    Like your lawn, the field sits dormant all winter.
    Now that I read it, that makes sense. It was a brain fart on my part, it was what I was told. But it was explained to me that since it was dormant for so long, when it grows it doesn't hold much nutrients. Whether that is true or not, I have no idea.

    I was just simply stating what I've been told.
         
        07-20-2011, 02:19 PM
      #15
    Weanling
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by iambatmanxx    
    Now that I read it, that makes sense. It was a brain fart on my part, it was what I was told. But it was explained to me that since it was dormant for so long, when it grows it doesn't hold much nutrients. Whether that is true or not, I have no idea.

    I was just simply stating what I've been told.
    Hey Iambatmanxx,
    Please don't be offended as I don't think that production acres meant to make fun of you personally or be rude in any way. I think that his farm, since this is their business, their PASSION just gets a laugh out of the crazy things us dummies (and I include MYSELF in that) think makes up good hay. There is a HILLARIOUS posting on his web site about it ;)

    I've been doing a lot of research lately and like he says there are SO many variables to making good hay. I think it's pretty much known by ppl in the hay business and professional dairy men and the like, that a forage test is the ONLY way to know what quality you are getting. I'ts also my understaning that good hay put up and stored properly can and will last for many years with very little nutrients lost. All things being equal id rather have this years hay but all things are never equal and i'm happy to get a great deal on last years hay IF it was stored properly and has good forage numbers. Look on any of the big hay sites and they post all their forage test numbers.

    Being raised on a farm with cattle and horses I was always taught the hay mantras too. A. It must be green
    B. It must be this years hay
    C. It can't have been rained on before bailing
    D. It must be 2nd or 3rd cutting
    I think before science that is what farmers used to compare quality of hay and these old wives tales just go down through the generations :)

    Good luck and I think it's awesome that you are bailing your own hay. KUDOS for you that's awesome. Maybe some day ill graduate to bailing my own hay (in my dreams I do LOL)
         
        07-20-2011, 10:02 PM
      #16
    Weanling
    Thanks everyone for all the good information. The hay from last year is 3rd cut, and looks and smells very good. They do have good storage barns so it has not been damp or dusty. I have heard that around here, at least, the second cut hay is poor in nutrients because the soil here is so washed out, anyway and the first cut usually depletes whatever nutrients there are. This guy lives right on the ocean and fertilizes his fields with kelp and fish fertilizer, but I think even with doing that the second crop grows too quickly to pick up a lot of the nutrients. We don't always get a third crop here, and when we do it often gets rained on. Also, alfalfa doesn't grow here so most of the local hay is timothy and brome (as this is). I will be feeding alfalfa too, but that is very pricey here and I won't buy it till the fall when I have a better storage solution. As for buying the hay now and picking it up later he did say I could store some of it there, but he wants to make room for his second crop which is why he is offering me the remainder of last year's crop at such a discount. Also, where/how do you get a forage test?
         
        07-21-2011, 01:20 AM
      #17
    Weanling
    In Canada I have no idea. In the USA I think the dept of agriculture has a county extension office in every county that you can get soil samples graded and probably a forage test too. Most of the professional hay balers do the work for you and know the numbers if this hay. Good luch with the hay hunt. It should be a board game by Milton Bradley LOL
         
        07-21-2011, 08:34 AM
      #18
    Weanling
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by KatieQ    
    second cut hay is poor in nutrients because the soil here is so washed out, anyway and the first cut usually depletes whatever nutrients there are.




    This guy lives right on the ocean and fertilizes his fields with kelp and fish fertilizer, but I think even with doing that the second crop grows too quickly to pick up a lot of the nutrients.



    Also, where/how do you get a forage test?

    If the 1st cutting depletes the nutrients, he should be fertilizing immediatly after the 1st cutting for the second cutting.

    I would think it very beautiful to have a hay field on the coast. Fish and kelp can be a part of the fertilizer package, but rarely the whole package.

    What you are saying about the hay growing too quickly to pick up nutrients is exactly wrong. If it is growing quickly, it must be getting fed. It will not grow if it isn't fed. No nutrients - no growth!

    Forage test available at Dairy One, Ithicia, NY. - google is your friend.
         
        07-21-2011, 08:53 AM
      #19
    Banned
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Production Acres    
    Forage test available at Dairy One, Ithicia, NY. - google is your friend.
    Just so Google knows what she is looking for, it is spelled Ithaca.
         
        07-21-2011, 09:49 AM
      #20
    Weanling
    I will check with my vet re the forage test, and ask the hay guy- he has probably had it done as he is very thorough in everything. I forget what else he fertilizes with but I do know it is all organic. I bought some of his hay last year and they gobbled it up, whereas the other stuff I bought from up the road looked and smelled good but they wouldn't touch it. I will still supplement with some alfalfa as they are young horses and I know none of the local hay has enough protein.
         

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