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What kind of scale do you use to weigh hay?

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  • What kind of scale do you use to weigh hay?

    I'm looking on eBay for a hay scale. I was imagining something mechanical but see some that are digital and VERY inexpensive... like under $10. Anyone use that type of scale or are they cheap crap? Anyone have one to recommend?
    Shall I tell you what I find beautiful about you? You are at your very best when things are worst.
    Starman

  • #2
    Use a fish scale. you can weigh a net, then put a flake in a net, and weigh your flake.

    You can get it at sporting good store for a few dollars.

    Comment


    • #3
      Like mrsbradbury I use a fish scale, about $4.99 at Walmart. Not digital but still easy to read. To hang mine in my feed room I first screwed a hanging planter hook to the wall, which then holds the scale out a few inches from the wall. Re what to put the hay in for weighing, if you're anywhere near an IKEA store, go buy some of the big reinforced-plastic bags (usually blue) they sell at checkout for about 59-cents. They're huge, they have 2 different kinds of handles (easy to hang from scale), they're great for packing hay up for an on-the-road excursion and they wear like iron! Handy for lots of other things, too.
      It's just grass and water till it hits the ground.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by GotMyPony View Post
        Re what to put the hay in for weighing, if you're anywhere near an IKEA store, go buy some of the big reinforced-plastic bags (usually blue) they sell at checkout for about 59-cents. They're huge, they have 2 different kinds of handles (easy to hang from scale), they're great for packing hay up for an on-the-road excursion and they wear like iron! Handy for lots of other things, too.
        I love these bags for hay too! I got mine off of ebay because IKEA is nowhere near me. Price wasn't bad and I think shipping was free.
        Susan N.

        Don't get confused between my personality & my attitude. My personality is who I am, my attitude depends on who you are.

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        • #5
          I've had great luck finding old-fashioned, older (not digital) baby scales at thrift stores - for under $10 you can put a flake or two directly onto the platform (I think it's called a "weighing cradle" of the scale, no bag required.

          Mine are fairly primitive - I've seen some newer, more sophisticated versions with easy-to-read digital displays attached by a cord, but those are quite costly.
          Home page: www.jessicajahiel.com
          Horse-Sense newsletter: www.horse-sense.org

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          • #6
            We bought a US postal scale from the post office about twenty-five years ago for $10.00... it is mechanical, they were switching to digital

            It has a large platform and is scaled to 100 pounds .... heck it even has a chart for postage on it

            Comment


            • #7
              This one: http://www.amazon.com/American-Weigh...6549560&sr=8-4

              It has a tare feature to zero the weight with the empty hay bag, then I fill the bag and weigh it.

              It does get unhappy in very cold weather, so it's on a double loop of baling twine with a snap in between and I bring it inside in the winter.
              --
              Wendy
              ... and Patrick

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              • #8
                Originally posted by wsmoak View Post
                This one: http://www.amazon.com/American-Weigh...6549560&sr=8-4

                It has a tare feature to zero the weight with the empty hay bag, then I fill the bag and weigh it.

                It does get unhappy in very cold weather, so it's on a double loop of baling twine with a snap in between and I bring it inside in the winter.
                This is the one I use. Best of the ones I have tried, but does drive me crazy with its dislike of cold and damp. Makes me wonder where a fish scale is supposed to be used, the desert? I keep mine in my heated tack room and have batteries on hand as they fail quickly and abruptly.

                I use small hole hay nets for my IR horse, so I put the net in an empty muck bucket (the cheap lightweight ones from non horse store) with it open so I can fill, hang the whole thing by the bucket handle on the scale, use the tare button to zero with it all empty, then fill the bag/bucket.

                We can also use the scale to weigh bales, which has been very interesting. Have yet to find a hay seller that has not way overestimated the weight of the hay, except for one, good guy. SO has to do it, but just lifts a bale with the scale attached to the scale hook. This scale is heavy duty enough for that, where a lot of the plastic luggage types can't handle it.

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                • #9
                  This is new to me. Why do you weigh hay? I just feed mine by the flake. I can understand weighing pellets or grain, but hay has different water content and nutritional content from field to field and from cutting to cutting.

                  Horsepoor, what happens when you find that bales are lighter than advertised? Does the feed store reduce the price?
                  "Random capitAlization really Makes my day." -- AndNirina

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by PeteyPie View Post
                    This is new to me. Why do you weigh hay? I just feed mine by the flake. I can understand weighing pellets or grain, but hay has different water content and nutritional content from field to field and from cutting to cutting.

                    Horsepoor, what happens when you find that bales are lighter than advertised? Does the feed store reduce the price?
                    That's a good point, but flakes aren't a consistent volumetric unit either. In the same bale you can get a 50% difference in flake size, so if you were to weigh your desired volume and then be consistent with the weight you'd have a lot better portion control within that lot of hay.

                    I know you directed the question at Hp, but my hay supplier has never advertised by bale weight. Not in writing anyway.
                    We either buy by the bale and do a best guesstimate of the average bale weight, or buy by the ton and check the tonnage over the scales. If a seller says that a product weighs x and you buy it and it doesn't you could file a complaint with your county/state weights and measures, it's not legal to sell something that has a posted weight if it is not as described.
                    Now they can sure shrink the bag size and get you that way!
                    Courageous Weenie Eventer Wannabe
                    Incredible Invisible

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by PeteyPie View Post
                      This is new to me. Why do you weigh hay? I just feed mine by the flake. I can understand weighing pellets or grain, but hay has different water content and nutritional content from field to field and from cutting to cutting.
                      The pony is supposed to get between 1-2% of his body weight in hay each day. I am horrible at estimating that type of thing, and his hay is very expensive, so I weigh it.

                      I don't have enough experience to just sort of eyeball it based on the horse's condition and the particular bale of hay (mine come from the feed store, so they vary quite a bit in weight and flake size.)

                      -Wendy
                      --
                      Wendy
                      ... and Patrick

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I'm shocked to hear of a fish scale that doesn't like cold or wet!

                        I didn't expect to find the one I use on amazon as its a 'no namer' but voila! I won mine at an archery tournament several years ago, but the person that bought the prizes said they bought it at Wallyworld for $10. The hook is very inconvenient, its close to the unit and doesn't swivel, only folds, so you have to hook a bale of hay just right but otherwise, with easy things like hay bags, it works just fine.

                        I've had mine over 5 years now, it lives in a shed with the hay, endures all kinds of weather and temps and has worked faithfully all this time on the same batteries. It does not have a tare, that would be helpful, but it doesn't take much effort to figure out the weight of a bag and clip and just subtract.

                        I LOVE having a scale. It helps me plan not only daily feeding, but buying too. Amazing how many farmers think their small squares are 50lb'ers and are SO wrong.

                        Heck I had a friend drop by the other week and volunteered to help me stack hay. He picked up a particularly heavy one and said 'oh wow, this is a big one, 60 lbs!". I said ain't no way in hell that bale is 60# He says well its over 50, I reply no flippin way, I'm lucky if that bale is a 40. Produce the scale, 42#. LOL! How can anyone think 40# feels like 60????

                        I will say though, in my area of small squares clocking in in the low to mid 30s on average, 40 feels like a gift.
                        Being terrible at something is the first step to being truly great at it. Struggle is the evidence of progress.

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                        • #13
                          I have an old baby scale I use...I just stuff the hay in the slow-feed bags, and plop it on top, and adjust from there. I am also surprised at the difference in weight between flakes even in the same bale, and also how good I am getting estimating the weight. I'm glad I started in this drought; I was feeding a lot of hay last year I didn't need to feed (not that the horses were complaining).

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            The digital scales won't work here in the winter - batteries hate sub freezing temperatures. I'm looking for a no digital version myself.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by PeteyPie View Post
                              This is new to me. Why do you weigh hay? I just feed mine by the flake. I can understand weighing pellets or grain, but hay has different water content and nutritional content from field to field and from cutting to cutting.

                              Horsepoor, what happens when you find that bales are lighter than advertised? Does the feed store reduce the price?
                              I weigh hay for my IR horse as he's on a very strict diet and if I don't weigh it, I tend to feed too much. My hay is also tested, so I know pretty much what I'm feeding, and it doesn't vary often as I buy as much as I can fit in the barn at a time.

                              We don't buy from feed store, but from grower or broker, and mostly by the ton. We haven't tried to get $ back. It just tells us who is the good seller and who isn't. I don't mind a small discrepancy, like buying a 20 bale to a ton hay (so supposed to be 100 lb bales) averaging at 95 or so. But the local that was listed as 65 lb average (which is heavy for local) coming in consistently at 50 lb average...we just don't buy there anymore.

                              My really good provider of two years sold by the pallet, weighed and reliable, but they dropped us small bale folks early this summer. Too much $ to be made in export and big bales. Nice timing, letting us know just as haying got started in this corner of the country.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Here's what I got to get a general idea of how much hay I was feeding. I would put the hay in a net and get a weight. I actually weighed every net for about 15 days and recorded how many flakes went in the net, the actual wt and then averaged it all by wt of flakes, overall wt, wt of 3 flakes, wt of 4 flakes etc. I think I remember figuring my small hole hay nets were usually holding anywhere from 2-3 flakes and weighed an average of 8-11 lbs.


                                http://www.valleyvet.com/ct_detail.h...4ae5&gas=scale
                                Sue

                                I'm not saying let's go kill all the stupid people...I'm just saying let's remove all the warning labels and let the problem sort itself out.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  luggage scale from Walmart.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    This one: http://www.walmart.com/ip/Berkley-Sc...-Tape/16637411

                                    No batteries
                                    $5.00 at Walmart
                                    You can hang it up
                                    You can hang a hay bag or net from it
                                    Goes up to 50 lbs.
                                    "If you think nobody cares about you, try missing a couple payments..."

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Sucker you just made my day. My local Walmart did not have anything but fancy fish scales the other day when I was shopping for a new scale. My old scale (just like the one pictured) did not seem to like being stepped on by a horse (long story involving Mr. Trub using the scale and not putting it back where it belonged). I can just order a new scale online and have it delivered to the store. Happy day.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Glad I could help! I love my scale like this. I leave it hanging from the ceiling in my tack/feed room, suspended over my grain bins, and I use it every day!
                                        "If you think nobody cares about you, try missing a couple payments..."

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