Tuesday, July 17, 2007

How Do You Buy Your Hay?





What's your feeding regimen? Right now, I feed a 30/70 mix of alfalfa/grass. It costs me $3.50 a bale and they each get a flake in the morning and 3 flakes to split between them at night with just a taste of 11% sweet feed in the morning(about a half of scoop each). During the winter months I sometimes up the hay for them. Jess pays a bit less for hay and has a much bigger place for storage. I have a small shed and can pack in about 60 bales at a time in there. And often do a self serve 10 to 20 bales at a time or I'll have it delivered. The new stuff I recently got is a 2nd cutting. One thing I've found that I need to go back to is putting a palate down to stack on even though the shed has a good floor, I probably lose about 12 bales a year to mold. I buy when I need, which is probably not the best practice, however storage is a problem for me. Not to mention parting with the chunk of change it would be to buy 250 bales at once. I know in the long run that would be the wiser way to go, but I'm just not willing to do that yet. So, what kind of hay do you feed? And how do you purchase and store it? I'm curious to know and how many head are you feeding? I'm feeding two horses and three goats.

10 comments:

Tracey said...

Currently I'm feeding an orchard/alfalfa mix. A bit richer than what they normally get, but I've got one who really does seem to burn the calories. Either that or we're still dealing with a parasite load and I'm feeding them instead of her!

Two of the horses get a small flake each in the morning and then again in the evening. The third gets double that, plus a bit of rolled ration for good measure.

Normally, I'd offer some local grass hay, but I ran out and refuse to pay $8 a bale for it when I can get the 'good' stuff for just a couple dollars more.

Storage? Well, City Boy bought me one of those big tents from Costco this summer, so we'll be getting some pallets and storing it in there this year. Otherwise, it's been half dozen bales at a time under a tarp...not the best solution!

Aside from my three horses, I've got sheep...

Callie said...

P.S. I put these unrelated to hay except that they are "hayburners" pics up of the girls cuz I thought they were nice. I had just cleaned them up, picked their feet and fly sprayed them.

Rising Rainbow said...

Oh man, I hate to even think about this. Here hay, except for local, starts at $10 a bale. I feed 27 head of horses. How much each gets is dependant on the individual. I figure I go through a ton about every 4 days.

Callie said...

Good Grief!!!! Just how big are those bales? I hope bigger than mine. Mine are average normal bale size. I know there are places around here that sell the extra large bales for about $25 bucks and a place nearby that sells organic bales for $50 bucks a bale.

ELL said...

In Maine prices vary. I live in southern maine and last year's crop was minimal and I ended up buying hay from a dealer out of NY, Vermont, NJ late winter for 4.25 if I picked it up from his barn myself. This year the crop of first cut is amazing the weather was perfect for the whole week! I am paying 4.00 a bale. my bales are lovely bright green & weigh around 55-60 pounds. I feed 1/2 bale per horse per day. I don't have pasture for grazing yet(creating new place out of Maine woodland)My horses love dining on maple saplings ; ^ )

Twisted Oaks Quarter Horses said...

WOW! The hay prices really vary and seem higher in other parts of the US, and even higher in other parts of the world. I buy my hay from my boyfriend's father and pay $2 to $2.25 a bale. Since he helps I get a discount. They weigh between 50 to 70 pounds. This may be his last year farming, I may be heading south.

Anonymous said...

$2, $4, $6, $8 a bale....in CA we are $12 a bale...100-110 lbs. By the ton it's $200-$210. Sending a bunch of people out of the horse business. We are battling dairies with unlimited hay budgets, reduced acreage of hay since "clean fuel" "corn" is now the rage and diesel prices out of the realm of reality. I own a boarding stable and was forced to raise prices. People left but I can't run in the Red. Probably shutting down since most don't understand our climbing costs.

Callie said...

To Anonymous....Boy that sucks! My dream is to purchase some more land behind me when my neighbor retires as a grain farmer and put up a barn and run a boarding and training facility. This economy doesn't give me much hope.

Simply Marvelous said...

Love your blogsite.

I'm from the Midwest, but stuck for years in Southern California.

I'm in shock over the prices you pay for hay. We are lucky to find anything under $25 bale (100# bale).

Why, it's enough to make me pack up my saddles and move my horses back home.

lisa said...

Wow....I never knew how expensive hay has gotten! I've been horse-less for 10 years now, but back then I paid $2.50 a bale for the small rectangular bales that a person can handle. I see a lot of people buying big round or the super-size rectangulars, both of which you need equipment to move. (This was in northern IN.) We used to feed sweet feed morning and night, one scoop (@20 oz.), with a small scoop of calf manna mixed in, more manna if they were pregnant or lactating. Tell you what, that much protien really didn't make them any "hotter" (overly energetic), and their hooves and coats looked GREAT! We had a pretty rigorous worming program, too, which of course makes a huge difference. I forget what the wormer was called, but it's that stuff you feed daily, in pellet form. Not cheap, but wow, the proof is in the results. Oh BTW, I used to store my hay on pallets, and never lost a single bale to mold. Some people said I'd get more mice that way, but I never saw that happen.