Posting this here as this forum seems to get the most traffic.
I'm wondering if you-ins wouldn't mind sharing what type(s) of hay you are buying, the size of the bale (really only interested in square bales - apples to apples, ya know), and the cost per bale...feel free to include anything you pay to have the hay delivered, stacked, etc. OH - and WHERE is your neck of the woods?
Currently $5.75/bale for very high quality (think horsey CRACK) orchard/hint of alfalfa, 45-50 (approx) lb bales delievered and stacked with a smile. This is the deal of a century in my area--Northern Virginia (Northern Loudoun County)--I would have to be held at gunpoint to reveal my source.
This hay is so amazing that two of our boarders actuallly buy their own "crappy" hay to put in their fatty's stall in the summer.
Originally Posted by EquineImagined
My subconscious is a wretched insufferable beotch.
$8 a bale delivered and stacked second cut grass/wee bit of alfalfa maybe 40 pound bales. I did inquire at the Old Salem show about alfalfa with Aden Brook...Gulp...$40 a 100 pound bale delivered and stacked...so mine will continue to eat what they are on now. I do know that first cutting is significantly cheaper.
$5 @ 45 lb bale in NoVa delivered with a $5 stacking charge. Timothy/ orchard grass mix. First hay (besides straight alfalfa ($8.00@ 40 lb bale-rarely available) that all our guys inhale. Never any leftovers.
Foothills of the Carolinas... right on the border of Upstate SC and Western NC. At the local farm supply store, I'm paying $16/bale for 60-70lb small squares of straight alfalfa and I wish I could say it was magnificent, but it usually varies from decently leafy-but-stemmy to mostly-stemmy. Timothy/orchard/alfalfa bales of the same approximate weight are going for $14, and the crap fescue that thrives around here goes for $4-5.
Keep in mind that I'm in Florida, so costs are astronomical, but I can find pretty much anything I want.
I'm paying $22-26/bale at around 80 lbs/bale for *gorgeous* orchard from out west. That is pretty average for this area. O/A is about the same, T/A is a few dollars per bale less, compressed alfalfa can be anywhere from $18-$30 for a comprable weight, and things like bahia and costal are obviously much less. But hay is EXPENSIVE down here!
Nine out of ten times, you'll get it wrong...but it's that tenth time that you get it right that makes all the difference.
When I was buying my own hay, I was paying $18.99 for a 90-100lb bale of decent orchard/alf. Other options were pure orchard ($18.99), pure alfalfa ($18.99), and a forage mix ($12). This was at the biggest supplier in the area. There are some local growers, but the quality is a crapshoot. I never did find a consistent local grower. Anything other than orchard grass is pretty unheard of around here.
Northeast PA: $3/bale for timothy/orchard grass. Bales are 40-60 lbs. They load. I haul and unload/stack at home. Sometimes I can get it for less if I get it before it goes in their barn. It's decent quality. Had it tested and it came out good in all categories.
I'm in Miami, FL, currently paying $38.99 per 3-wire 125-lb. square bale of orchard. Previously, I was paying $35.99 for the same hay, but prices went up about a month ago. The 2-wire squares of T/A or O/A are usually anywhere from $16-24 per bale, but the 3-wires seem like a better deal (and my horse really likes the straight orchard, and he's a bit of a hay princess, so I try to accommodate him!).
Southern WI, hay used to be $3-$3.50 or $3.75 per 35-50 pound bale for good to great quality grass and alfalfa mix (50 pound bales are unusually large for a grass mix, most of ours are a bit over 40). We had a drought last year though and now hay is up to $6.00 per bale for any type of hay. We are having more problems finding people willing to sell their hay, and our supplier is just getting ready to cut his this next week (he has run out). Thankfully we have pasture, or we'd be scrambling for hay. We usually haul and stack but since we are so close to the supplier he'll drop the wagon off free of charge so long as we have it back by the next morning. Quality varies greatly from one supplier to the next due to how the fields are managed/harvested and how the hay is stored.
Windward Farm, Washougal, WA- our work in progress, our money pit, our home!
Portland, OR area
Local hay (not "farmed" per se) is $5-$6 a 60lb. bale. This can vary from good quality to weedy, yellow crap. Our local west-side hay is often very high in NSC despite its appearance, so not the best choice for many horses.
Orchard or Timothy from the west side of the state (farmed) $10/75lb.ish bale.
Orchard or Timothy from east side of the state (this is the premium, "good stuff" that is exported all over the country and world) runs about $14/120lb. bale. Most of us buy by the ton--I paid $285/ton last summer for 120lb. orchard/alfalfa mix hay from eastern Oregon. It is running around $300/ton right now...if you can find any.
Proud member of the "Don't rush to kill wildlife" clique!
Central Coast CA, $22-$25 for a 3 string, not always the best quality; options are grass, alfalfa, oat or forage. However if you board, good luck getting getting grass, you generally have to pay for it!
Central NJ... I'm paying $8 a bale for second cut orchard grass/clover mix... 65 lb bales. It's mostly clover and from a private seller, who only sells to a select few. I buy compressed 70 lbs bales of alfalfa from Agway for $18.99 for flavor. Lol
Thanks for the replies - KBEquine hit the nail on the head about hay costs/availability, etc, being a very regional thing.
I remember living in the Upstate (SC) and struggling to find hay I liked. SO frustrating, Melissa.Hare.Jones!
My hay supplier decided last year that he was going to convert one of his big fields (he cut 1000 bales off of it last week) to orchard grass (from wheat). We get the most beautiful and CLEAN hay I've ever bought. It surpasses the beautiful timothy I used to get shipped in from PA back in the late 80s. He had some errant rye grass come up in spots and he pulled it by hand...I appreciate him being so picky!
We get the 60+ lb bales at a deal (folks are like family to us). I think he sells them on the open market for $6.00.