November 09, 2015

Hay Sourcing

I had finally found a great source for hay in Colorado, Horse Food Bank.  Not that it was the best hay ever but they always had good hay and a portion of the money went to a good cause.  I'm starting over in North Carolina so trying to find a good source here will surely take some time.

A local store didn't have hay located at their store for me to view and it seemed difficult for me to get anyone to tell me how I could take a look at the hay.  I don't like buying sight unseen.  I was getting down to one bale so ended up going to Hurdle Mills Feed to pick up 50 bales of Fescue mix hay.

This place sources hay from various locations and this was a pretty decent source.  The bales are small though only weighing about 30 lbs.  Some maybe more or less.  Interesting.  Is that normal for this area?  It seemed that many of the bales were a little loosely bound too, at least I only had one bale bust open.  I can go back to Hurdle Mills and try another variety of hay when I get low but I'll double check the weight beforehand.  I never expected it to be that small!  Essentially I'm paying $485 per ton!  Yikes!  That's not good.

Anyhow it's good hay and the horses seem to be fine with it.  I don't like the green twine though, too easy to lose that in the hay and accidentally have it end up where it shouldn't!  Who makes green twine????  I got the hay stacked in the feed room all by myself since I did it during the week.  There is certainly more space in the middle once I get some pallets cut properly and if I can stack it higher I think we'll be able to put up at least 75 bales in there while leaving room to move around and access the grain bins.

This first year is going to be a little all over the place while I figure out how best to store the hay here and then how much to put up depending on the state of pastures throughout the year.  That's another thing, we have to work on the pastures.  There are some bare areas and some pretty significant weed infestations we have to deal with in order to get them producing good quality forage.  That will be another post though!

Anyways, I am happy to have some hay for now and will continue to send out feelers for where I should get my next load.


Camryn said...

Our hay guy uses green twine too. I have missed one on occasion, Camryn knows the difference between twine & hay though. Took me three hay guys to find one that I've stuck with over 6 years now. Even during shortages, he makes sure his regulars never go without. When we moved to our current home we discovered farm across the road did hay. Hubby was "let's use theirs". While the hay was excellent, I preferred to remain with our hay guy. Thankfully we did as the neighbor quit making horse hay. I'd have been stuck for sure.

Rocky Mountain Yankee said...

They might be what are known as kicker bales. The dairy farmers in Maine where I grew up used to use balers that would make a smaller bale so it could be "kicked" directly from the baler, through the air, onto a trailer that was behind the baler. That way a load of hay could be taken to the barn by just one person. No need for a big field crew. Good luck finding a reliable hay source. I know how difficult it can be.