Relative Something

*this* John W. Hays' take on things and experiences

Do Over

with 9 comments

Seems like I will be getting some extra practice on trailering loads of hay. Cyndie has been noticing some mold already in the bales we most recently purchased. I noticed that some of the bales we grabbed were a bit heavy, indicating they were approaching problematic moisture content, but turns out even the light ones are high. I’m surprised.

Moisture-Tester-006-620x757George loaned us a hand-held moisture testing probe to give us a numerical reading on our bales. All of them are higher than we’d like, some being over twice the target range. Wet bales will not only grow mold, they can get hot enough to ignite.

The first time I searched for images of a hay shed when trying to decide what we were going to build, I was shocked that the majority of results were pictures of burning buildings. I guess hay fires are a common reason to take photos and post them. Apparently too common.

I’d prefer not to join that club.

We will be purchasing a moisture tester of our own so we can test bales before we buy. Thankfully, the farmer who sold us these assured us he would take any back that weren’t good, as he can feed them to his livestock. He obviously knew these were borderline high for moisture content.

This year it has been difficult to get a span of dry enough days to optimally cut, dry, and bale. It takes about 4 days in a row without rain. We have yet to cut our field, which is part of the reason the weeds have had a chance to flourish as they have.

So, now we get to re-stack a trailer with bales and drive them back to the farm from which we bought them. First, we have a plan today to drive to a different farm to pick up a new batch.

You can bet we will have the borrowed tester along to check the product before loading it up. Practice is helpful, but I’d rather not have it come as a result of doing things over again that we’ve already done once.











Written by johnwhays

July 23, 2016 at 7:33 am

9 Responses

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  1. Re: horses being overweight and yet still wanting to improve the quality of food – I am sure we both see the obvious solution. More exercise for the horses: they need to be doing their job, which is linking up with people who badly need to reconnect with the simple grounded truth of life. We are also limited here in this respect, but, on occasion, it is a joy to see people experiencing this. I remember a little girl here just for an afternoon dancing with Sebastian, up and down and round and round they went and she wasn’t even in the field with him but moving up and down the drive. Yes, so much joyous energy released.

    Channelling energy in this way makes everything come alive and grow and all those around – all creatures great and small – feel a certain oneness with existence. It feels like a priceless divine gift, all your burdens are thrown to the wind…. and your heart dances, too.

    Ian Rowcliffe

    July 26, 2016 at 2:46 am

  2. Well, John, of course, it makes sense to strive for the best in hay, but the good news is that horses don’t necessarily need the best and make good on what is available unlike cattle and their quality requirements.

    Otherwise, your ‘hobby’ label for your endeavors seem to undervalue them. Surely they are a pursuit in, or bid for, real life. Take them out of your life and you’d soon notice this and return to your old feeling of frustration and emptiness. Look around you: such potential and unfolding to surprise you in your darkest hour. You have come a long way, but there is much more in store. Any chance of one of your mares giving birth to a foal. I think this was one of the most memorable times when we felt our property coming to life anew. To see the world through the eyes of a newly born creature is to behold its immense beauty and worth beyond all our expectations.

    Ian Rowcliffe

    July 23, 2016 at 9:02 am

    • Hah! What a difference of perspective. Local farmers say their cows and sheep will be able to eat hay that isn’t fit for horses.
      Ref: “It is common knowledge that horses are highly sensitive to several molds, and that ingesting moldy feed can result in both short-term and long term respiratory problems, specifically heaves, and gastrointestinal problems, such as colic.” from
      No plans for breeding at this time in our current situation. The ‘hobby’ label mostly indicates we aren’t generating income to support our operation. Maybe someday that could happen, but for now, I still have the day-job to support us.


      July 23, 2016 at 2:30 pm

      • Well, hay should be hay – if it is moldy it is no good and horses won’t eat it, normally. What I was referring to was the grasses making up the hay don’t have to be that special but any hay must be prepared properly. You can notice that just by smelling it – as the horses do, too, of course. Sorry if my comment was off topic.

        Ian Rowcliffe

        July 23, 2016 at 5:37 pm

      • Re: ‘maybe someday that could happen’, am I missing something here? What is stopping Cyndie developing that side of things: you seem to have more than everything in place…?

        Ian Rowcliffe

        July 24, 2016 at 5:07 am

      • Re:hobby farms: perhaps that designation says it all: these operations are set up as tax-deductible systems such that the creation of income is incompatible with their objective to off-set tax. Try changing your designation and you may change your focus and get back on track.

        Ian Rowcliffe

        July 24, 2016 at 7:50 am

      • Re: “What is stopping Cyndie…” Honestly, I don’t know. I am at her service for when she needs. Meanwhile, I put time into day-job to get some income and medical benefits.
        Re: “Sorry if my comment was off topic.” No apology necessary, as you are right on and a precious voice with a treasured perspective. Cyndie and I have different tendencies when it comes to food. Feeding the horses is something I defer to her lead, and she is the one pushing to provide better quality hay to our herd. That is a challenge complicated by the fact the vet tells us the horses are overweight.
        Re: The TED talk of tree communication below ground… Thank you! Very inspiring. Now we have a better idea why the 3 trees we have transplanted to the center of the labyrinth garden might be failing. We have completely separated them from the grid! Wondering how we might proceed differently next time.


        July 24, 2016 at 8:28 pm

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