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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May. 6, 2006
    Location
    Warren County, NJ
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    3,586

    Default Fresh cut & baled hay, how long before feeding to horses?

    Fresh cut & baled cut hay, how long does one have to store it before you can safely feed it to a horse?

    I know my haysupplier is baling 'first cut' at this moment and is planning to deliver next week.
    Surely this hay will be to fresh too feed to my horses, right?
    How long should I store it?

    Thank you. L.



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan. 27, 2003
    Posts
    1,900

    Default

    Baling in March? Is this common in New Jersey? wow.

    You can feed the hay right away. Some people say wait a month. But I think that is mainly for buying hay because any mold that was going to grow due to being baled too wet will have formed by then. And no more mold will grow after that. The mold will still be present, just not growing.

    If the hay was cured properly it can be fed right away, but it would be wise to transition your horses to the new hay with hay you already have.



  3. #3
    Join Date
    May. 6, 2006
    Location
    Warren County, NJ
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    Default

    Baling in March? Is this common in New Jersey? wow
    Well, she caught me by surprise too when she said so, but then I'm rather clueless when it comes to hay season etc. in this region.
    She may have meant that the hay she will be delivering to me is being cut at this moment and may come from somewhere else not necesarilly NJ and that she will be getting it in a weeks time. Don't know I should have asked I guess.

    Okay, so my safest bet is to store it for one month and then I can go ahead feed it without having to worry. Great thank you!

    but it would be wise to transition your horses to the new hay with hay you already have
    Gosh, I know, I wished I could. I lost a horse to colic about a month ago and in my infinite wisdom & dispair I decided to throw out all my hay and get complete different stuff, just in case 'hay' had something to do with his colic.
    Of course new supplier, new hay and boys don't wont to eat it.
    I toss that load too and figured I'd go ONLY for the best and got some hay from Nevada at $25/bale. They loved it.
    But little did I know that this hay was not going to be available for me to buy all the time, supplier rang out shortly after I started with it.
    So now I'm stuck with yet again different hay, which they are not overly fond of and next week again different hay.
    I could cry about the situation I created myself really.
    Last edited by Lieslot; Mar. 13, 2007 at 09:21 PM. Reason: added some more



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan. 27, 2003
    Posts
    1,900

    Default

    well, you don't have to store it for a month. I was just saying what some people do. You should be able to tell right away if the hay was cured right. Open up a few random bales when you get it and check for very slight dampness, especially the woodier stalks because if anything that is what may be damp.

    If the hay feels nice and dry with a sweet smell its good to go. Do note that if your hay is treated with a hay preservative it will have a vinegar-like smell and be more moist, but thats ok because it has the preservative on it.

    My dad is cash crop farmer and we always feed our hay right off the field.

    Go ahead and store it for a month if still have a months supply left, but if not don't be afraid to use it now.



  5. #5
    Join Date
    May. 6, 2006
    Location
    Warren County, NJ
    Posts
    3,586

    Default

    Okay great, thanks for the info!!

    Can't wait to have the stuff & check it out. This supplier I'm using is supposedly good and has a good reputation, so I hope I'll be fine .



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul. 31, 2006
    Location
    VA
    Posts
    2,732

    Default

    We are in Virginia and do not cut until May. We generally wait a week to two weeks before feeding based strictly on the advice I have received from old-timers.

    I do not know where this hay is being baled but doubt it could have been cured properly in the Mid-Atlantic with the weather we had. Hell, nothing is even growing here.



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec. 3, 2002
    Location
    stuck between the DQs and Hunter Hell
    Posts
    3,196

    Default

    I usually wind up feeding freshly baled hay some time in June. No matter how well you plan, it never gets cut in time. We've never had any problems, except when the farmers used the preservatives on the hay...several of my horses wouldn't eat it. I hated the smell of it (to me it smelled like old bananas) so I didn't blame them.

    I don't think anything smells quite so nice as a newly opened bale of well-made hay.
    Founder of the Olde Farte Clique



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr. 8, 2005
    Location
    Kentucky
    Posts
    4,362

    Default

    Now I'm wondering where anyone would be cutting hay this time of year, too!

    We often feed freshly baled hay immediately with no problems- fresh as in just hours out of the baler! When baling hay we occasionally get some heavy bales that we think might mold if stored, so we bring them in the barn and open them up to feed immediately. (Talk about messy when you have several bales with strings cut laying in any available space!) We do mix it with older hay- if the horse normally gets 4 flakes of hay per feeding, he'll get 1 flake of new stuff and 3 of the old.



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep. 12, 2006
    Location
    Central, MD
    Posts
    249

    Default

    WE always wait 5-6 weeks. I would not feed," green" uncured hay!!!
    http://horsecare.stablemade.com/arti...ay_uncured.htm
    " Do you like the world around you? Are you ready to behave?" Patti Smith
    http://www.epochfarm.com



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan. 24, 2004
    Location
    Sergeantsville, NJ
    Posts
    2,539

    Default

    Lieslot - nothing is growing right now in NJ, so it must be coming from somewhere warmer. My vet (who also cuts his own hay) insists that we store it for 30-60 days to allow it to cure. It's not just the moisture (that shouldn't be present anyway if it was baled correctly), but the hay itself that needs a "rest" period to become metabolically appropriate for horses. My Cloud colicked this summer for the first time in his life - the first thing the vet did was check out the hay and tell me he thought it was too fresh and needed to be cured longer. I have some 2nd cut orchard grass I can share with you if you need more thoroughly cured hay to hold you until you can find
    some - call or PM me.



  11. #11

    Default

    I've fed it same day I bale for 40 years with no problems. Dry hay is dry hay. If its not dry it shouldn't be baled.
    Quality doesn\'t cost it pays.



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Nov. 30, 2003
    Location
    New York
    Posts
    909

    Default

    I feed it the same day that it is baled. The farmer brings in right in from the field and any that is broken or on the wagon floor gets feed right away
    AilleXWest
    www.gypsystoychest.com Adult Toys and Home partys



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Nov. 12, 2006
    Location
    North East
    Posts
    1,703

    Default

    hay has to sweat out first after being baled, we usually let it stand two days on the baling wagon if possible before putting it in the loft, hay gets hot if stacked close together right away after cutting and its not good to feed to a horse when its in a hot stage, I would wait at least a week to feed newly baled hay, round baled hay is looser and has air pockets so it can be fed right away



  14. #14

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Lieslot View Post
    Fresh cut & baled cut hay, how long does one have to store it before you can safely feed it to a horse?

    I know my haysupplier is baling 'first cut' at this moment and is planning to deliver next week.
    Surely this hay will be to fresh too feed to my horses, right?
    How long should I store it?

    Thank you. L.
    done properly you may feed it right away....done poorly you may have to wait to see if it goes bad <G> if it goes bad you cannot feed it anyway

    Tamara in TN



  15. #15

    Default

    [QUOTE]
    Quote Originally Posted by shakeytails View Post
    Now I'm wondering where anyone would be cutting hay this time of year, too!

    QUOTE]
    he said baling not cutting ....many many farmers will bale rounds and then in the winter unroll and rebale into squares....he may be rebaling a first cutting round bale from last spring in which case there is still not need to wait

    Tamara in TN



  16. #16

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by vanheimrhorses View Post
    round baled hay is looser and has air pockets so it can be fed right away
    round bales of hay done correctly will be packed as tight as concrete blocks such that a hay probe has a hard time getting in....they will not sag under the weight of their crop companions when stacked and will maintain a round(not squished) state thru out storage...if you are buying sqishy bales you are getting cheated at purchase in your hay volume

    Tamara in TN



  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jan. 27, 2003
    Posts
    1,900

    Default

    Hay that has been cured properly before drying will not heat up. If it does the hay was not left to dry long enough.

    As a precautionary measure my dad will leave baled hay outside (rounds) for a week or two and check for heating. Very rarely does he find one heating up, but it does occur very occasionally. Theses bales get fed to the cattle.

    JanWeber, what is happening to the hay as it 'cures' after it has been baled that makes it more metabolically appropriate for horses?



  18. #18
    Join Date
    Dec. 20, 2006
    Location
    Western NY
    Posts
    559

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by county View Post
    I've fed it same day I bale for 40 years with no problems. Dry hay is dry hay. If its not dry it shouldn't be baled.

    That's the same thing I was gonna say. I've never let me sit around for any length of time to cure. My supplier brings his hay wagon to my house, I unload it, feed all the chafe to the horses to clean up and almost always feed them a nice fresh bale that night. Mostly because my supply from the year before is gone by then. I've never, ever had a horse have any problems feeding them this way. My guys are out 24/7.


    Another note, we still have snow on the ground. I don't think anyone in the north east is anywhere near cutting hay. It's usually done in May/June.
    R.I.P Vanny 26 yr QH Stallion 4/11/82 - 5/8/08, Scout 28 yr Paint Cross Gelding, Glistening 11 yr Arab/Saddlebred Mare



  19. #19
    Join Date
    Dec. 20, 2006
    Location
    Western NY
    Posts
    559

    Default

    [QUOTE=Tamara in TN;2286012]

    he said baling not cutting ....many many farmers will bale rounds and then in the winter unroll and rebale into squares....he may be rebaling a first cutting round bale from last spring in which case there is still not need to wait

    Tamara in TN

    I must say, I have never heard of this practice before in my life. Seems to be kinda wasteful IMO. Why on earth would a busy farmer want to bale hay twice???
    R.I.P Vanny 26 yr QH Stallion 4/11/82 - 5/8/08, Scout 28 yr Paint Cross Gelding, Glistening 11 yr Arab/Saddlebred Mare



  20. #20

    Default

    If you have squishy not tight round bales you need a new baler. And for sure if you buy that type bale buy hay bty the ton not the bale. I've baled 2000 squares a day and stacked them in a loft many many years and never been concerned about a fire. Dry is exacvtly that and doesn't burn. If its not dry then it just shouldn't be baled period.
    Quality doesn\'t cost it pays.



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