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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun. 25, 2009
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    45

    Default Dusty Hay

    I have some bales of hay,that I got this September,the hay was nice and green when I got it,but now when I open any of the bales,they are all dusty.
    What causes the hay to become dusty like that?
    I bought this 50 bales from a farmer down the road,and it is stored with the hay I bought from my regular hay guy,and only these 50 bales are dusty.
    I was really just curious.



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct. 25, 2007
    Posts
    3,575

    Default

    Dust comes from baling the hay when it is still damp. It looks great on the outside, sometimes doesn't even have mold that we can see.

    It will be fine for a couple of weeks, then the dust starts to form. Personally, I do not feed it out. I have one heavey horse, and don't want anymore!
    I am going through a 30% loss of hay, I am none too pleased. Its mostly with my second cut.
    I actually am calling my supplier about this, since this is just too much $$$$ to toss.



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec. 13, 1999
    Location
    Greensboro, NC
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    Default

    Dust doesn't come from hay being baled damp. Mold comes from damp hay.

    Dust is either there from baling hay that has field dirt on it, or from sitting, baled and stored, somewhere dusty.

    I would not feed hay that is "dusty" in the middle, as that's more likely mold. What does it smell like?
    ______________________________
    The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun. 10, 2009
    Location
    NH
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    536

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by JB View Post
    Dust doesn't come from hay being baled damp. Mold comes from damp hay.

    Dust is either there from baling hay that has field dirt on it, or from sitting, baled and stored, somewhere dusty.

    I would not feed hay that is "dusty" in the middle, as that's more likely mold. What does it smell like?
    This makes perfect sense to me, JB, as I recently got some great first cut and opened up a flake to shake out the other day and dust came up. I took it outside into the light to examine it and see if it was mold or dust, and was perplexed because the rest of the flake was fantastic, clean, no dust. I discovered a big chuck of dirt in that flake, which is where the dust was originating from!



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug. 25, 2005
    Location
    Northeast
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    10,425

    Wink

    Dusty,moldy hay is a risk one takes when one saves money and buys hay straight from the field.

    I have seen what looked like wonderful hay when freshly stacked turn out to be moldy and "smokin" a month later.

    Occasionally one will hit a bad spot in an otherwise great bale, perhaps that patch was missed by the tedderer.

    This barn gets their hay from a farmer who stores it first. You pay more for the extra handling, but hay gets expensive when you toss every other bale to the cows.
    Some riders change their horse, they change their saddle, they change their teacher; they never change themselves.



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov. 13, 2007
    Location
    NW Louisiana
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    5,209

    Default

    I'm going to agree with JB. If the dust is in the middle, and is whitish and kinda floats when you shake the flake, it's mold. You may not see mold, but the white "dust" is the first sign.

    Just learned this the hard way. Now I have 600lb of a round bale to get out of my barn.



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec. 13, 1999
    Location
    Greensboro, NC
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    35,764

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by merrygoround View Post
    Dusty,moldy hay is a risk one takes when one saves money and buys hay straight from the field.
    How does being stored before buying it decrease/eliminate the dust and mold issue?

    I have seen what looked like wonderful hay when freshly stacked turn out to be moldy and "smokin" a month later.
    That's an issue with being improperly baled, and if you've seen "wet" hay freshly baled, you'd know it. This is a matter of not knowing how to correctly pick out hay, not really a matter of buying it straight off the field or already stored. If you buy from the field, no good farmer would balk at you opening a bale or two to see how wet it feels inside.

    There are always exceptions, but buying hay already stored doesn't eliminate the "surprise!" of finding that 3 weeks later you have hot hay.
    ______________________________
    The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar. 28, 2002
    Location
    East of Dog River
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    Default

    I suspect mould rather than dust. I just opened a dusty hay bale, and can smell that it is actually dust - it smells like the earth on the hay marshes. The outter layer, however was a different story - that had some mouldy rushes in it, and they stink, as does the hay that was mixed with it. Most moulds have a sour smell to them, or a musty smell, not all but most.
    Founder of the Dyslexic Clique. Dyslexics of the world - UNTIE!!

    Member: Incredible Invisbles



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug. 25, 2005
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    Northeast
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    Talking

    Because if the hay has been stored a month or more, dust and mold is easily observable in a cracked bale.

    And it can be surprising, how little moisture it can take to turn a bale moldy.

    Now..if we're going to continue to split hares, I'm gonna need a recipe for "hassenpfeffer".
    Some riders change their horse, they change their saddle, they change their teacher; they never change themselves.



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar. 28, 2002
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    East of Dog River
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by merrygoround View Post
    Now..if we're going to continue to split hares, I'm gonna need a recipe for "hassenpfeffer".
    One wabbit, some carrots, a mad king resembling a nose and moustache with feet, and a harried chef
    Founder of the Dyslexic Clique. Dyslexics of the world - UNTIE!!

    Member: Incredible Invisbles



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Dec. 13, 1999
    Location
    Greensboro, NC
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    Default

    You don't always have the choice of waiting for hay to "cure" in the barn before buying it - someone else will buy it and leave you searching.

    It really pays to know your farmer
    ______________________________
    The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug. 25, 2005
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    Northeast
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    Cool

    Quote Originally Posted by JB View Post

    It really pays to know your farmer
    Oh Darn! There you go...making sense.
    Some riders change their horse, they change their saddle, they change their teacher; they never change themselves.



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jun. 25, 2009
    Posts
    45

    Default

    JB's reply about field dirt makes the most sense for this hay,it has been stored with my other hay,and is not moldy at all just dusty.
    At the price of hay today it really stinks to have to throw this out!



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Feb. 28, 2008
    Posts
    4,022

    Default

    yep, it stinks big time to throw out hay, I learned a hard lesson about mold this year too.



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Dec. 13, 1999
    Location
    Greensboro, NC
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by merrygoround View Post
    Oh Darn! There you go...making sense.
    Oops, just slap me
    ______________________________
    The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET



  16. #16
    Join Date
    Mar. 12, 2008
    Posts
    286

    Default

    If it is NOT MOLD, and just grit and dust from the field, try washing it.

    I got some hay that had an occasional clump of dirt in it. Before feeding it, I net it, soak it in a tub, dunk it up and down a couple times and let it drain before feeding.

    You'd be surprised at how much grit you find in the bottom of the water tub.



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