Have you ever heard of woman's intuition? I know to trust my gut. It tells me everything, even things I don't want to know.
Paint Girl's other half (OH) and I went and loaded and unloaded 70 bales of grass hay from a local grower two weekends ago.
When we started loading the hay, I noticed it was awfully damp. I made a comment to the hay man and the OH, but it was casually dismissed, it will dry, it won't be a problem.
As we unloaded the hay, I continued to noticed many of the bales were damp, even on the inside. We rock salted the hay as we loaded it into the storage area. But that uneasy feeling did not go away. I was not comfortable with this hay. I just had that feeling. I was worrying. I'm a good worrier. But this time, I felt I was worrying for a reason.
A few days later, I randomly came across an article about the spontaneous combustion of hay in a horse journal at the bookstore. I emailed Paint Girl that night and reminded her of this, since that hay had been damp....and damp hay is a prime candidate to become a fire hazard, especially within 6 weeks of being baled.
Two days later I get an email from Paint Girl saying they opened a bale of hay to not only find it moldy, but hot inside. Uh-oh.
Several days and many more moldy bales later, the hay man has mailed us a check for 70 bales of hay. He graciously accepted responsibility for the bad hay. I am kicking myself for not standing my ground that day, and saving ourselves the trouble of loading and unloading, and disposing of it. But in my defense, I usually buy hay at the feed store, not out of a grower's field, so my experience with this is not good. Next time, I'll know better.
Our hay supervisor.
My Boy has been fed a high-quality orchard grass hay. The bales are huge and oh goodness, are they stinkin' heavy! And yep Trailboss, they have cost up to $19 a bale, typically in the dead of winter. I think two years ago, they ran around $22 a bale. Right now they are running around $15 a bale.
The hay we got from the grower two weekends ago was a local grass hay, it was $4 a bale. The same hay costs around $6.00-7.00 at the feed store, and anywhere from $4-5.00 in the field, typically. The bales are a lot smaller, maybe 40-50 pounds compared to the 90-105 pounds of the orchard grass. Even if My Boy goes through two bales of the local grass in the same amount time he'd go through one bale of the orchard grass, I'd still be saving. He also doesn't need the protein of the orchard, which can often contain a bit of alfalfa.
The spoiled hay is a nightmare to deal with. I told Paint Girl's OH to wear a mask to prevent mold spore poisoning (I'm not sure this is possible, but I'll worry about it.) It is a lesson learned for all of us involved, for sure. I am just thankful that Paint Girl's hay storage area did not go up in flames, and our horses did not eat spoiled hay and risk illness. Any hay advice or hay horror stories of your own to share?
Miss Lucie Grace
1 year ago