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Calculating in bulk hay purchases per horse

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  • #21
    Originally posted by lilitiger2 View Post
    thanks for the infomation!!! Wow...40 lb bales!! Those are true ladies bales!!
    I was wondering what I was doing wrong (right?) because my hay will go for three or four days per horse. Then I read the bale weight. Okay, now I get it... my last hay purchase was for 130# bales. And the kicker is that the hay guy who unloads and stacks it probably weighs 150# dripping wet.
    "Random capitAlization really Makes my day." -- AndNirina


    • #22
      130# is an impressive bale!! We bought 80-85# bales one year and the guy that sold them to me stood and THREW them up on top of the stack, one right after the other. ( I was barely dragging them with a hay hook!!!) A lot of these "smaller" bales are called "ladies bales" but really, i'd like to see the "lady" who tosses these around!

      Our hay guy uses a pack scale for the first one or two then we just do the math (well, he or my husband does!)


      • #23
        120lbs. is the norm for hay coming out of eastern Oregon or Washington, the dry and hot weather really allows for nice, big 3 string bales (some are two stringers, like this year).

        We can fit 5 tons of 120lb.-ers in a 12 x 14 x 20 (height) space, stacked on tarp covered pallets on a concrete floor. Mr. CC and I do it ourselves and it hurts . Sometimes, we'll have some teenage help, but we have teach them to stack, and that's a time waster.
        Proud member of the "Don't rush to kill wildlife" clique!


        • #24
          Originally posted by Calvincrowe View Post
          120lbs. is the norm for hay coming out of eastern Oregon or Washington, the dry and hot weather really allows for nice, big 3 string bales (some are two stringers, like this year).

          We can fit 5 tons of 120lb.-ers in a 12 x 14 x 20 (height) space, stacked on tarp covered pallets on a concrete floor. Mr. CC and I do it ourselves and it hurts . Sometimes, we'll have some teenage help, but we have teach them to stack, and that's a time waster.
          How high do you stack? Surely not to the ceiling? It's scary to think of hay stacked really high, and it's mind boggling to think of getting those bales up high. For me, anything higher than four bales seems daunting. No, for me, it would be impossible.
          "Random capitAlization really Makes my day." -- AndNirina


          • #25
            Yup, right up to the rafters! Mr. CC prides himself on his clever stacking. He is a math teacher, after all. I'm the one who suffers, having to bring them down. I just make sure all 6 of my dogs are out of the way, and down goes the bale. We can back our trucks right into the barn and unload off it, so we're already up in the air a fair way. I have a 40 x 60 pole barn, that serves as horse barn, chicken house (tucked under the 1/4 loft stairs), storage, and workshop all rolled into one. It works for us.
            Proud member of the "Don't rush to kill wildlife" clique!


            • Original Poster

              Holy cow, 100+ lb bales?? I though our timothy ones were heavy and I'd guess (using my of course infallibly accurate "is this less or more than a feed bag" method) they are around 60-70#. I'm not sure what I would do with a 130# bale -- drag it with the mower, LOL? I'm pretty dang strong due to field work hauling boats and gear and such, but I'm pretty sure I couldn't throw a hay bale that weighs as much as me. Unless I was standing on the edge of a canyon and only had to throw it down...

              mkevent, thanks for that link, that's great!
              Life doesn't have perfect footing.

              Bloggily entertain yourself with our adventures (and disasters):
              We Are Flying Solo


              • #27
                Anything less than a 100 lb bale is an easy one around here. My 14 year old son works all summer stacking them six high on the hay trailer then restacking them at the barn, putting up hay. And then he helps us feed it out!

                Hay hooks are my friend...
                “Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.” Stephen R. Covey


                • #28
                  My last load of grass hay is 3-string 130# bales. The alfalfa I picked up at the feed store for new horse is 2-string 100# bales. They feel light! Actually, last year I ended up with a load of timothy that was 3-string 90# bales (weird for around here) and I loved those.

                  Luckily for me, my hay goes in the loft and all I have to do is slide the bales over, toss them down, and then slide them a few feet before I cut the strings. I can stack them 4 high if I have to, but we pay the hay guy to stack these days because he can get them 6 high in the loft.


                  • #29
                    Everyone around here seems to buy by the bale, unless you are buying round bales. Ugh. They are two string bales. Probably around 50lbs (guess). I was guessing a bale a day for two horses. Look at me and my "two horses," I only have one right now. If nothing else I'm getting her a donkey buddy. Of course the donkey won't need as much...

                    I never have problems finding a project horse.

                    Now I'm worried I don't have enough storage... My "hay shed" will be a small two car garage (like 20 x 22ish). Ceiling height is just high enough to pull the SUV in.

                    Here's another question (hopefully that's ok, OP?). Are you going for second cutting? I was always told to get second cutting, (usually have at least 3) by those who know more than I do...at least for alfalfa. Well, we are in a horrid drought, which sounds funny since it's raining today, but still...so I'm thinking I want to buy first cutting. Thoughts?
                    DIY Journey of Remodeling the Farmette: http://weownblackacre.blogspot.com/


                    • #30
                      I'm not in the Midwest...

                      I used to feed only 2nd cutting. Last year I bought 1st cutting timothy and a timothy / orchard mix and liked it a lot better. No one did poorly on it, and it took longer to eat because it was a bit coarser.

                      On alfalfa - I'd be interested in others' thoughts. I bought 2nd cutting for the new guy, but it's awfully leafy. Wondering if 1st cut would be okay.


                      • Original Poster

                        No, problem, trottrot, I am always wanting to learn more about hay! We have a very long growing season and have used all cuttings -- I haven't really noticed a difference in the horses, but I don't test the hay, and for a long time have fed nice fescue. Since I only buy the timothy as a travel "treat", I don't have it often enough to really notice.
                        Life doesn't have perfect footing.

                        Bloggily entertain yourself with our adventures (and disasters):
                        We Are Flying Solo


                        • #32
                          Trottrot, I buy first cutting timothy or timothy-mix because I feed it free choice and want it a bit stemmier, both so the easier keepers don't gorge themselves and also because it gives more heat in winter.

                          However, I buy a small amount of later cutting alfalfa, orchard, and (depending on what horses I have) even timothy to feed in smaller, measured amounts to older or harder-keeping horses. In general, the later cuttings are more nutritionally-dense, so I use them instead of a larger grain ration for most of the group, as a travel treat, and free choice only for a super-hard keeper.

                          We were on the edge of the drought last summer, and only got first cutting. I tend to put up hay as soon as I can lay hands on it rather than waiting, and that totally saved my butt last year. As long as it's stored properly, it's not hard to sell what you don't need next fall or winter. It also might be worth investigating to see if you can rent space in someone's hay mow so you can put up some of both cuttings, just in case.

                          Of course, you realize this comes from someone who'd rather mulch the garden with $5/bale hay left over from two years ago than be running around in the middle of winter trying desperately to buy something, anything, because I'm running out.


                          • #33
                            Originally posted by fordtraktor View Post
                            Don't use my method. I buy by the year and am such a chronic overestimator I'm pretty sure I will have 200+ extra bales this year. I am buying less this year, but only 100 fewer bales. Why? I don't know, I just don't feel comfortable coming "close" which to my warped mind seems to mean "loft is less than half full." My name is fordtraktor and I hoard hay.....
                            OMG! This is ME! I don't feel satisfied every fall until the barn has hay stuck in every spare inch, and is bursting at the seams. I would buy more if I had a place to store it. That said, my hoarding was validated last year when I had a horse on stall rest for six months and fed a whole lot more hay than I normally would.

                            My estimate is that my three use 1 bale of hay per day. My bales are about 40lbs. I don't always use a full bale, and in the spring, summer and fall, I feed less, but sometimes in the winter, I feed more, so it works out.

                            One day, I'll figure out where I can build a separate hay storage structure and be able to buy all my hay for a year at one time. Unfortunately, I'm stuck buying about 6 months at a time.
                            Here Be Dragons: My blog about venturing beyond the lower levels as a dressage amateur.


                            • #34
                              buying hay in bulk can only really work if it is bought by the ton...no matter if the seller does or does not sell it that way....you take your load and get to any one of 7M truck stops in this world and roll on the scale...divide bale weight by price and tada...price by the ton...

                              hay is sold by the bale mostly to be dishonest....by not knowing/caring how much it weighs, an arbitrary price per package not mass be set...that price is normally what ever the neighbor sells his for....

                              horse people as a rule have been raised to buy by the bale and this has led to the failures of more than one business enterprise....think of it was buying random bags of unmarked feed at a feed store...all have different ingredients all have different weights and you merrily have them thrown in your truck happy to have had the cheapest price possible...

                              who buys feed that way ?

                              think of it this way...you must know how much each "feeding" of hay is costing you....you can only know that by the weight of the bales and the price per ton...then you can cull animals out that are eating more than their value to you....

                              Production Acres,Pro A Welsh Cobs
                              I am one of the last 210,000 remaining full time farmers in America.We feed the others.