Relative Something

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

Hay Preference

with 4 comments

As if I needed any additional evidence, our horses have reaffirmed my suspicion about their dissatisfaction with one of our hay sources. Unfortunately, it happens to be from the supplier closest to home. So close, in fact, I was able to just hook up to one of his hay wagons and pull it down the road at 25 MPH to our driveway. It’s not just the miles, it’s a huge advantage of not needing to toss and stack hundreds of bales an extra time.

The other suppliers we used last summer required us to acquire a trailer and involved the stacking and strapping down of bales for much longer trips.

Exhibit A:

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On the left, you can see what is left of the bale they like. This is a typical morning result. Pretty much nothing but dust left on the bottom of the box.

On the right, they have picked at it and pulled out what they could grab, then distributed it on the ground or nosed it out of the way on top of the grate in search of the possibility there will be something better deeper in the box.

I took those pictures yesterday morning. After returning from the lake, I got fooled about which bale was which in the barn, because our house-sitter had been so thorough as to replace bales I had set out for her. Turns out she replaced them with ones from the side of the hay shed I hadn’t been using.

When I initially loaded the boxes, I didn’t realize I had used the unpopular bales. Sunday night, I purposefully filled the one on the left with a bale I knew they liked, with a plot to see if results might be any different from the last time I tried mixing the bales.

I would say they have very consistently demonstrated their opinions about the bales from our closest supplier. This was the first time we purchased hay from him, and we have no knowledge of what it might be about his hay that our horses don’t like. The grass looks really good to us, with very little in the way of weeds. They don’t smell suspicious to us, but the horses have showed me multiple times that they can sense it in an instant with one whiff.

Could he have used a chemical fertilizer or pesticide that they don’t like? We will ponder how to best inquire about specifics when we next have an opportunity to visit with our neighbor regarding his hay.

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Written by johnwhays

January 3, 2017 at 7:00 am

4 Responses

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  1. Should have titled this Good Hays?!!

    Judy

    January 3, 2017 at 7:44 pm

  2. Besides the possibility of fertilizer or pesticide differences, could the difference be in the type of grass in the hay? Or yet another possibility is that the hay was put up wet and you are dealing with mildew and mold.

    Jim Parker

    January 3, 2017 at 3:49 pm

    • Yes, precisely to all! We have already gained more experience than we care for on wet hay and mold. As a result, Cyndie measured the moisture content of 99% of what we purchase, returning some that turned out to be too wet and already beginning to mold.
      We are pretty confident that isn’t the issue, but the type of grass could definitely be a cause. Will ask for seller’s details of the grass content.

      johnwhays

      January 3, 2017 at 7:13 pm


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