Misadventures of Buying and Getting Hay--A Saga - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 10 Old 06-11-2014, 11:36 AM Thread Starter
Green Broke
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Central Oregon, USA
Posts: 2,883
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Misadventures of Buying and Getting Hay--A Saga

Last week I bought a smidge of hay to last the year (7 ton) from an awesome gentleman I found via craigslist. It took me a while to find just the right hay I wanted: orchard grass or timothy or a blend, no brome or alfalfa in it, since I have found Chief's tummy is very sensitive. Additionally I had to call about 14 people to ask if they sprayed the field with aminopyralids in the last 3 years. I use the horses manure to make garden compost, and 1 year that compost killed all the beans and tomatos due to a hay field being sprayed with this herbicide

So, I find some perfect hay. 4th year stand Orchard grass, pure stand, first cutting, virtually weed free, and no spray applied in the last 3 years . Only this guy has 3 ton left. I reserve the 3 ton and resume my endless calling to find another 4. I locate some equally awesome hay for only a bit higher price and make the call...turns out it is the neighbor to the guy I am getting hay from already! Sweet. So after work I take a drive out there to examine and pay for said hay.

Stop #1 is to the original hay, and he had someone decide not to buy last minute...he has more than enough for me! Hooray! That saves me about $120. I call the other farmer and she understands and says she'll just heckle her neighbor for stealing business.

Now for the problem...I have no truck or trailer. I discuss possibilities with the hay grower and he recommends I call a friend of his who stores hay there already. Turns out through work I have met this fellow before. We arrange to have it delivered on Saturday.

Saturday rolls around and I get a call mid afternoon from the delivery guy wanting to know if he can come see the set up so he knows which rig will work best. Fine by me! He comes over, says he'll load the hay and bring it out with a few ranch hands to help buck that evening. 8 pm rolls around he calls to inform me that he's been called out to a fire. The fire is big...currently at 6,800 acres and burning hot. No problem, fires come way before hay .

Tuesday. Yesterday. I get a call at 6pm asking if he can show up in 20 minutes. Of course! I go out and straighten out pallets and sweep up old hay and just tidy up. I hear a big truck coming up the hill...and a few moments later my eyes are filled with glorious green, fresh hay (as are the horses' as they lined up at the gate nickering with big, "starving" eyes). But what is this truck? Why a full fledged semi! OK, we have quite a bit of room, but not a TON of room, but I trust the delivery guy, he knows what he's doing.

The giant truck pulls past the driveway, stops and begins to back in with a spotter on the ground. Sweet, this guy is a pro, look at him navigate that narrow driveway! Then the whole cab twists. Oops, no one saw the ditch on the passenger side

Big ole' Peterbuilt is royally stuck, wheels spinning, high centered on the gas tank (thank goodness a rock wasn't right there!). The next hour is spent digging under wheels and tank, wedging with various pieces of lumber and rocks, trying to unstick the stuck truck. I met a lot of our neighbors last night...and the delivery guy made lots of contacts as people eyed that amazingly perfect load of hay and wanted to know where to get some.

We finally ascertained that our method was NOT working, and all the jostling had shifted the hay which was now quite precarious. Well, the truck is only like 250 feet away from the shed, let's un load it from here! Oy vey. We got maybe 1/2 ton unloaded before everyone agreed that was not going to work with bales averageing around 90 lbs.

New plan. DH drives delivery guy home to pick up a dump truck and fill it with dirt to add weight. The guy is about 20 minutes away, so this adds another hour and a half almost 2 hours to do everything and get the chains and all that jazz. I explain the situation to 5 more curious neighbors in the meantime. By the time the dumptruck comes it is almost dark, but a few more helpers had come along--great since we were now having to flag traffic through as people were getting home and we're taking up the road.

The dump truck was able to pull the semi, trailer, and 6.5 tons of hay out of the ditch and into the safe, flat road. Hooray! With a bit of careful jockeying we got that troublesome load backed into the bay of the hay shed and were ready to unload and stack. By now it was pitch black other than a nice big, nearly full moon and we don't have power to the shed yet . Time to run extension cords and prop up a spotlight. Easy peasy.

Unloading was going quite well despite the less than perfect lighting. When we got to the front of the load and went to take the last strap off, we noticed the bales were bulging WAY out. Everyone was a bit on edge since a few days ago a local farmer died when stacking hay and 3 bales fell on him (RIP). Some more problem solving. Luckily we have lots of lumber right now and we assembled a quick little leg jack to hold up the stack. Shortly thereafter we finish unloading without any further issues at exactly 10 pm.


I don't think I have EVER had such an interesting hay buying and hay delivery experience. I had already had a frustrating day at work, then with a new farrier (THAT is a whole other saga). My medical condition was acting up and I was almost in tears multiple times, thinking it was all my fault. But part way through I realized something. This group of people, strangers a mere few hours before is working as a team to get through this. Neighbors I have seen drive by 100's of times yet have never met stopped to see if they could help, offer a hand, or just encouragement. It was a side of humanity we don't see everyday: cooperation.

Additionally, DH got to talking with the delivery guy driving him to his house and made a potential business connection, so he was happy.

There truly is a silver lining in EVERY seemingly bad situation.
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post #2 of 10 Old 06-11-2014, 12:41 PM
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: OK
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And THAT is how you live a long and happy life, you find that silver lining and appreciate it and talk about it, rather than dwell on what a near disaster the whole thing was. And the whole neighbor thing is what I love most about country life, they'll let you be if that's what you want, but when you need them you look up and POOF, they're just there. Very cool story!

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post #3 of 10 Old 06-11-2014, 03:06 PM
Green Broke
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: North Dakota, USA
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Nowadays, it seems easier or more common to gripe than look at things positively. I've had a few times that strangers have helped out. In return, I try to pay it forward when I can.

We've got an "adopted" son. He's a friend we met through another and he's become like a son to us. He comes out and gives a hand when he can. He also likes riding one of our horses, shooting his guns out here and fishing it the river.

I've had one neighbor pull me out of the snow in the winter and another snow blow the driveway without being asked.

Small town and country living can have its advantages.
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post #4 of 10 Old 06-11-2014, 03:19 PM Thread Starter
Green Broke
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Central Oregon, USA
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Originally Posted by usandpets View Post
Nowadays, it seems easier or more common to gripe than look at things positively. I've had a few times that strangers have helped out. In return, I try to pay it forward when I can.

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I certainly hope I didn't sound like I was griping! It was really quite humorous in the grand scheme of things, especially since no damage was done and no one was hurt.
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post #5 of 10 Old 06-11-2014, 05:17 PM
Green Broke
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: North Dakota, USA
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I didn't think you were. It seemed like you were looking on the brighter side of it. I was just saying that most others would have instead just griped about it and overlooked the positive of it.
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post #6 of 10 Old 06-11-2014, 05:45 PM
Join Date: May 2012
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I don't know I think there can be a wonderful fountain of laughter in these life's little misadventures! I am glad that it worked out well for you. It is sort of wonderful how neighbors pull together in times of need. I am also glad that you got your hay in the barn!
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post #7 of 10 Old 06-11-2014, 05:57 PM
Join Date: Jun 2014
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I have the biggest problem getting hay around here! Especially with 9 horses. My horses are on pasture and I like to give them a little alfalfa also(the harder keepers) anyway I went to get my usual order and the woman refused to sell me the alfalfa telling me it was the wrong kind of hay to feed horses, I only give them 1/2 flake- 1 flake a day just because it has a lot of nutrition. anyway I ended up taking home some other stuff that was twice as much and the horses wouldn't eat it!!!

good luck with your hay!
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post #8 of 10 Old 06-11-2014, 10:58 PM
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If I could draw, there is a great cow country style cartoon in your misadventure!
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post #9 of 10 Old 06-12-2014, 12:35 PM
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Ontario
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Great story!
Can you deliver some of that perfect hay to me please? I recently had a few round bales delivered to me, I might as well be feeding straw it is so poor. No more buying sight unseen!
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post #10 of 10 Old 06-12-2014, 03:03 PM
Join Date: Dec 2013
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Anything doing with hay seems to make teamwork necessary! :)

I had a similar experience to yours this winter - hay was on short supply, but I was able to find some for sale a few towns over. At the time, we had over 3 feet of snow and that day it was -6 degree Fahrenheit without a windchill. Our rig and trailer managed to get stuck in the driveway of the place where we were to load the hay. We couldn't get it close to the barn so we hauled 100 bales by hand out to the trailer. We got stuck again on our way out too - we had a pickup pulling a pickup, pulling a pickup, pulling the pickup that was pulling our truck and trailer (their tractor didn't have chains). We were so grateful that all of the neighbors were kind enough to chip in!
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