Alfalfa Hay

Discussion in 'Dairy Goat Info' started by paulaswrld, Aug 9, 2008.

  1. paulaswrld

    paulaswrld New Member

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    First off I want to say hi! It has been awhile since I have been active as I have been crazy busy around here with lots of personal issues...I am hoping things are getting back to normal...normal...HAHA...anyhoo, here is my question...I had been told in the past that I did not want to buy my whole year of hay in June, as by March or so it will start to get too old...lose nutrients, etc...This morning, I was told that hay never gets old if stored properly....what is the real verdict???

    Thanks,
    Paula
     
  2. Rambar Ranch

    Rambar Ranch New Member

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    I don't see a problem with buying a year supply at once if you have the proper facilities to store it. i.e. a nice airy dry building. Hay does lose nutrients as it ages but over a year its not a huge percentage but it does lose some. Using hay that was baled in June and then fed in March the next year wouldn't see a huge decrease in nutrients, its mainly hay that is over a year in age. The main thing to keep in mind is that the hay will bleach as it sits in the barn so hay in March won't be so nice and green as hay right after its baled.

    Ray
     

  3. Tracy in Idaho

    Tracy in Idaho Member

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    All of us in the north would be in serious trouble if we didn't put up all the hay we needed in the summer! There simply IS NONE in the winter to buy! :)

    FWIW, I don't have a hay barn -- mine is all tarped. But we are in a high, dry climate. We shovel snow off of the haystacks. The hay looks just as good inside as the day it is baled. Yes, the outside edges will bleach, but that is nothing. Being down where you are, you're going to have to worry about mold I suppose?

    Do they still salt hay in the south?

    Tracy
     
  4. R and R Farms

    R and R Farms New Member

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    None that I have ever gotten had been salted....Mike
     
  5. susie

    susie New Member

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    we have to salt our local hay here sometimes-- rainy pacific NW

    susie
     
  6. Kaye White

    Kaye White Guest

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    :twisted TRACY...you're just MEAN!
    There's no way we (southern girls) could tarp hay! It builds up moister under the tarp and will rot hay faster than any other method I know.
    No one around me salts hay anymore. They just make darn sure it's cured before they bale it.

    I buy my grass hay(small bales) one time a year. It's put in the barn and fed until it's gone. Alfalfa...I buy from a broker, usually 6 BIG bales at a time all through the winter. It's bought in the late spring and early summer and sits in his barns through the winter. By Feb. it's still as good as it was in the summer...BUT, the outside of the bales exposed to sunlight is yellowed. No biggy, the goats eat it anyway.
    Kaye
     
  7. NubianSoaps.com

    NubianSoaps.com New Member

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    I used to buy my alfalfa from a New Mexico broker, really really nice hay that didn't protein out to 12% come spring when my girls were freshening. I sold soo much hay that mine was free. In the hot humid barn all winter I know it was also the reason for all my metobolic problems...ketosis, hypocalcemia, toxemia name your diagnosis :)

    We also either dealt with leaf shatter or mold nearly every year. So I blamed all my problems on the New Mexico hay....And yep we salted our hay. I had much better alfalfa hay from Enis Texas, for a couple more years...he tested for blister beetle. But still the problems plauged us, I ditched the alfalfa hay for world feeder bermuda 20% protein and lost my 3 best milkers in the dairy.

    So for me until I can afford a much better hay barn, so not only am I dealing with the moisture from our humidity but also the moisture from the goats themselves, I feed alfalfa pellets. I do buy grass hay but I don't use it for anything other than 'filler roughage' so the protein, calcium amounts left in the spring or not is moot. Vicki
     
  8. We buy a year's worth every July.
    Becky
     
  9. paulaswrld

    paulaswrld New Member

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    Thanks so much everyone,

    Paula
     
  10. We buy enough to fill the hay barn before winter hits. We have to. Otherwise we'd be paying so much for hay in the middle of winter. Hopefully in the next week we can reorgansize all of my hay so that we can use up every inch of space in that barn. :)
     
  11. Bella Star

    Bella Star New Member

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    I am farther NE Texas than Vicki but I cant find Alfalfa hay and when I do it's $$$, my goats love the leaves but dont eat the stalks ,so I have a lot of waste... therefore I buy Alfalfa pellets and a good horse quality hay ,as if I tell them the hay is for goats ,I get cull hay for the same $$ :(
     
  12. hamilton40

    hamilton40 New Member

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    Try to buy your alfalfa from the first few cuttings. The stems or stalks are very fine then and they will eat all of it. If you buy it late like the 4th or past cuttings the stems get like straw and they will not eat it.
    Clay
     
  13. Rambar Ranch

    Rambar Ranch New Member

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    When we made alfalfa as a kid the first cutting was always the stemmiest. The later cuttings were always finer. The second and progressive cuttings of alfalfa were always a higher price than the first cutting and always finer stemmed.

    Ray
     
  14. coso

    coso Guest

    Same here the later the cutting the better the alfalfa when we had alfalfa, and the big bales I buy from KS and NE the later the better.
     
  15. hamilton40

    hamilton40 New Member

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    Sorry I always seem to get that backwards, It just seems that the younger the plant then the smaller the stalk would be but not with hay. Anyway the point is still the same, If you try to buy it with the smaller stems or stalks then you will have less waste.
    Clay
     
  16. Ashley

    Ashley Active Member

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    Just think of it like when you trim a tree, it sends out bushier growth.
     
  17. Anita Martin

    Anita Martin Senior Member

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    Buying a years worth of hay makes perfect sense if you have a facility to store it. Hay doesn't grow in the winter, so even if you buy it in small batches, it won't be any fresher, as it has been stored in SOMEBODY'S barn. We have to buy hay all winter, which sucks. Last year I had to scrounge hay every single week. It was a nightmare! Our barn has just started going up today, and even though we will not have room for all we need, we can store enough to last for a month or two at least, and my hay supplier will store the rest for me. Much less stressful this year!