I have no experience whatsoever in buying hay for horses, every stable I have ever boarded at until now had full service and used their hay. I am now at a stable where I have to bring in my own hay, and I have no clue what to look for in telling if hay is good quality, bad quality, and things to look for to clue in if it's been exposed to possums and other disease carrying vermin. I somewhat lucked out my first time and a friend helped me find a dealer with some really really nice first cutting brome, but after a while that dealer started sticking in bales of more coarse, inedible stuff (my vet says he doesn't even think a goat would eat it). So today I am looking at hay from a new dealer.
What are signs of good quality v. Bad quality? Should I look for it to be stored a certain way. Are there any identifiers that would tell me that I definitely should NOT buy certain bales? How can you tell if hay is moldy, does it have a smell to it, and if so what is that smell like?
Thank you all for any hay buying tips you may have :)