Riding 29 year old Sandy in 1997

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Hay today, Manure tomorrow

Getting more hay Tuesday.  I probably have enough to get through to next hay season already but I had an opportunity to sell 20 bales of cruddy bermuda from last year's hay so I'm getting 30 bales of alfalfa to help tide me over.  Any excess I can sell at a profit this winter.  The quality of last year's hay wasn't that great so I'm glad to get rid of it.  I've got another 25 bales of it to go through before I can get into the Teff hay I bought for this year.

Hay prices are getting scary.  So far all the hay I have I own at about $14 a bale delivered.  A few years ago it was going for $10-12 delivered.  It's expected to get as high as $25 a bale this winter, an unheard-of price.  I expect there to be a sharp increase in horses sold cheap and ending up in a Mexican slaughterhouse.  People just can't afford that these days.  I'm lucky; I have the room to store hay for three horses for the winter so I can buy before the price goes up.  A lot of people don't, and they will have to pay whatever the market price is at the time they need the hay.  Some will feed less, and horses will lose weight.

Normally I don't feed alfalfa; my well water is so hard that the added high calcium of alfalfa can cause enteroliths (stomach stones) which can kill a horse.  But it's a cumulative thing and takes years to develop.  If my horses get a few bales of alfalfa once in awhile it won't be a problem and I can add vinegar to their feed to counteract it.  Grass hay will probably cost even more than alfalfa.  The Teff hay is a grass hay and the horses really put weight on the last time I had it, so hopefully I won't need to feed as much as I would of the bermuda.

If they get 1/4 of their hay as alfalfa that will help make the Teff last until new crops come in next May.  Let's all pray for normal rainfall and no flooding.  Droughts and floods are what has caused the shortage that will drive the price up this winter.

And that's the latest from the Ranch.

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