May 01, 2013
Hay yields are low throughout the west due to the drought. Right now hay prices are insane, I’m a new horse owner so I don’t remember the good ole days when hay was $2-$4 a bale. If that were the case today, I could feed Dani for an entire year for $520, that’s at 130 bales!! I’m counting year round haying too, no pasture in my equation. Right now as it stands it could cost up to $1917 to feed her for an entire year based on $14.75 per bale. Pretty big difference!! I would like to save a few dollars per bale and get that number down a bit. I’ve seen hay priced at $4 or so in other states…. I doubt that the hay prices will yield and lower in the next year or so.
I’ve been pricing hay because once Dani is moved to her new home I’ll be providing her the hay. The ranch owner feeds alfalfa to her horses and though I’ve read many good things about alfalfa I don’t think it’s what I want Dani on. She’s an easy keeper and doesn’t need the extra calories, I’d rather her eat more of a lower valued grass hay to keep that mouth of hers busy. The extra protein is excreted in her urine and I’d have to adjust her vitamins to balance out the extra calcium she’ll be getting from alfalfa and honestly, I don’t want to do that. I think if I’m paying good money for a quality forage most of it should go into the horse, no peeing out that precious protein!! I’m extremely leery of switching her right now. I want to get her weight down a little bit and I don’t think alfalfa will help that cause. You can ask 10 different people about alfalfa and get 10 different opinions. I don’t think it’s bad or good, just not the best choice for my mare at this time.
I went to a local big change feed store and bought a bale of timothy to switch Dani to. I had plans to get about 20 or so more bales to tide us over until first cut when the interested members Kit Carson club could potentially get together and form a co-op to purchase bulk hay. I’ll get into that in a second. The bale on display and then one I ended up with looked very different. You can see the hay on the left is not as “nice” looking as the current hay, on the right, that Dani is eating. I’m not happy but I only bought one bale, glad I didn’t get a pickup load! I’ll be trying another place this week to see if the quality is better, it appears to be but an in person inspection will be the best way to tell. I can’t find anyone who tests their hay!
The cooperative…so this is something that I suggested in an email to Kit Carson members when trying to find information on hay sources for right now. I received about 6+ emails of people wanting hay and interested in a co-op. Many are needing 300 or so bales!! We could easily get together and probably get a deal on a couple semi-loads of hay. The only thing is I’ve never done this, not sure how to assess hay if there are no test results and the hay is several states away!! I guess my idea is to email everyone that has contacted me and perhaps begin a committee for the club.
What to do for start up?
• Determine type of hay and quantity/weight that each member needs
• Add up total amount and begin contacting local and other suppliers, check out local hay auctions too since that could be an avenue
• Determine cost of each hay bale that includes shipping
• Decide on best deal (best quality of hay for price)
o Keep a running list of good suppliers for future purchases and “off season” purchases for new members or members in need of hay
• Collect money from all members in co-op
• Print receipts with hay amount to be picked up for each member
• Pay for and schedule delivery of hay to KCRC grounds
• Arrange a schedule for each member to pick up their hay at a certain time (that way the grounds aren’t over crowded)
We’ll see how this goes and if this is the way the club would like to go!