Thursday, September 15, 2011

Covered For A Year

This is cowgirl happiness right here...


Partly due to the fact that I get tired of having to go get a load of hay every 4-6 weeks and partly due to the impact the Texas drought is having on our local hay situation...I ordered an entire semi-load of my beloved Gunnison Grass hay from my supplier.

This should just about cover my hay needs for an entire year.

I did tell my supplier to keep his ears open and let me know if he runs across 20-30 large round bales of less than stellar quality hay. Sometimes guys end up with some that got rained on or they didn't get to it before it turned rank. It makes good filler feed, particularly in the winter when I turn horses out most of the time and like to put a round bale out for them to dig around in and lay on.

I suppose I will also round up a couple hundred small squares of good alfalfa to lay in as well, because from what I hear, most people are sending any and all available hay to Texas. It could get a bit scarce...and expensive, come January. That I believe I can just buy from my neighbor and leave stored in his covered barn.

I also ordered 20 bags of beet pulp and will most likely order another 10 to 20 bags to have on hand. That I can store without too much fear of the mice bothering it. Beet pulp has already jumped a $1.50 per bag in the last few weeks and I expect it will go up a whole bunch more before this next winter is over.

I don't quite know what to do about my oats situation. It's gone up in price as well, but I don't have a secure place to store a whole lot of it. Every so often I see some grown by local farmers for sale at a bulk price that would save me a lot of money if I did have a secure storage bin. I might have to look into that.

I know I'm breathing quite a bit easier now that my hay is here though. Whewwww!

26 comments:

Crystal said...

As soon as I saw that picture I smiled! I like knowing there is enough fed for the winter. We grow our own so not much worries there, but I know its always out there no matter what. We have a small hopper bottom bin with a dispenser on the bottom for our oats and it works really well. Probly a little bigger than you want cause we feed about 30 calves all winter out of it as well, but an idea.

Funder said...

A beautiful sight!

I knew people who kept their feed in shipping containers. They look pretty tacky but they are verminproof steel...

Vaquerogirl said...

HAY ENVY!!!!

Mikey said...

That must be a great feeling right there. Wade and I were just discussing doing the same thing. Hay's going to get scarce!!

Allenspark Lodge said...

That's a whoppin' lot of hay! We've contacted our supplier, too, and started bringing it up the mountain - one ton at a time. LOL Fortunately, we don't need quite that much, but next spring's prospects are scary - and I feel for the people in TX.
Juanita

cdncowgirl said...

Always a good feeling :)

I know I was sure relieved when I got our hay situation sorted with the neighbour (he hayed our field and wanted almost all the hay) Now we're covered and I don't have to look for extra hay from somewhere else (hopefully)

AKPonyGirl said...

I feed local barley and I buy it by the ton. I store it in a dead 22 cu ft chest freezer in the barn. I have three other smaller chest freezers for bagged feed storage. Works really well for me.

Anonymous said...

Where/how are you going to store the hay? Makes you feel rich, doesn't it? I think that feeling will be emphasized come late winter!

I just secured 120 round bales yesterday, which is good becasue we had a freeze and I had to bring the horses in from pasture a month sooner than expected. Plus it has been so wet that my regular round bale supplier hasn't been able to get into the meadows to cut what we usually feed.

Funny, beet pulp went down about a buck a bag here (MN) the past week.
~spotz58

Laura said...

That sure is a nice sight! Hay supplies seem ok up here - although a lot does get shipped south...

texasnascarcowgirl said...

Hay is scarce around here. I am in West Texas and we are paying 150-200 for a round bale and they might weigh 1000 lbs. It is BAD here. People are trying to give horses away because they can't feed them. We are getting a load of round bales in from Kansas but it won't last till 1st cut. I would love to get a load like your picture! Be Blessed you are not in a drought.

GunDiva said...

Mom's been stocking up - the horses will probably end up wintering up the hill instead of winter pasture. Hopefully Ida can keep us in hay for the winter.

What's it say about beet pulp if the mice won't even get into it? Luckily, Estes loves it and maybe she'll start putting some weight on.

I'm feeling horrible for Texas horse owners right now.

Patches said...

Oooooh! That sure is a beautiful sight! I'm a bit jealous! ;) We've only managed to get our barn about half full of hay at this point so I'm getting a bit nervous. Hay prices are insane around here ($17+ for 2 string bales, or $340-ish a ton, which isn't even a ton since they are 80 lb bales) so it's been a challenge to find decent prices to get stocked up.

BrownEyed Cowgirl said...

Txnascarcowgirl-My supplier is going to be shipping the majority of his hay to TX. Luckily for me, he is loyal to his regular buyers and made sure to fill their orders first. Not all suppliers are doing that here.

If you want a load of this guy's hay or can get people together to buy a load (There are 66 bales of 800lb bales per semi-load), let me know and I'll give you his number. I'll vouch all day long for the quality of hay this guy puts up. It's just beautiful stuff and my horses do so well on it.

I have survived several droughts in my life. SD went through a massive almost decade long drought in the 80's and yet another one in the late 90's. It's just been the last few years that we started getting moisture there again. In 2000 and 2001, I was paying $100 for a measly, crappy quality, 800 lb round bale in Rapid City, SD...and was happy as hell to even get them for some roughage. I had to supplement like crazy. That's when I got turned onto beet pulp. I went through a lot of oats and alfalfa cubes too. In 2002, I said to hell with it and moved to Arizona. Better to live in a real desert vs. struggling to survive up in that country.

I really hope your guy's weather turns around.

Spotz-I have to store this outside, but have the top, south and west sides covered with tarps to protect it as much as possible. I think my husband now realizes that I wasn't being extravagant when I told him I would like to put in a hay barn (basically just a very tall roofed structure). Who knows, we may even decide to put one up this year. He realized that's a lot of money to leave out in the elements. ;-) Which if it was round bales I wouldn't worry about nearly as much. They shed water to a great extent. These squares can get ruined pretty quickly if they get wet.

Barbara said...

Growing up my grandma used old chest freezers as grain storage and it worked wonderful. She even had 1 or 2 wooden dividers to separate different feed.

Danielle Michelle said...

Jealous! I wish I could get a load like that - but at least I do have winter pasture. Simply crazy prices. I need to stock pile some more as well...

Cut-N-Jump said...

I would love to see that in my driveway! Did you catch the jealousy there? Mainly keep the top covered and dry. The sides may get wet, but it will only soak in a few inches. That will dry. If it gets wet on top- the water runs down in between and it will not dry out. That's when things go bad.

I was talking to our hay guy on Monday. I am blessed that he is still charging us last years prices. :) Even if he weren't I can handle his idea of an increase. The feed stores are substantially more. He Always takes care of his regulars first and turns others away, even if the others are offering more.

We often switch over to pellets during the winter when his hay runs out. Easier to store, cleaner, much more efficient and two of them are on pellets year round anyways... One for weight management, the other one because he dunks his flake to make alfalfa tea. 80lbs per bag, 25 bags per pallet... takes up much less space. you can also get straight alfalfa, straight bremuda, bremuda/alfalfa blend or alfalfa with grains added.

Like you, I like to stock up early and try to keep a small surplus handy at all times.

C-ingspots said...

So true!! I always breathe a huge sigh of relief at filling our barns for the winter. If we could afford to buy a whole truckload, I would, in a heartbeat. We buy as much as we can afford and as much as our barns will hold. This year money was shorter in supply, so we don't have all that we'll need. But, I've noticed price increases in absolutely everything. It's getting really expensive to buy anything, and that's scary. I buy senior feed for my old gal and the TB - last week I paid...get this, $20.99 for a 50# bag - holy shit!!! I had a coupon for buy 2-get $10 off, but CRAP!! I simply cannot afford that. Prices are seriously out of control. Not sure how people are gonna keep up with things the way they're going.

Helen said...

How big are those bags of beet pulp?:) We have two shipping containers for the hay and I keep my 'dry goods' in big metal Garbage Cans - new, purchased specifically for this purpose. The cans are kept inside, but everything stays clean and dry, even here in the PNW.

kestrel said...

Wow, what a pretty sight!

Anonymous said...

Do you do something to make a peak at the top of the stack, or leave it flat? I have had rotten luck storing squares of any size outside. Love my rounds, though!
~spotz58

fernvalley01 said...

Nice!!!!

Ranch Girl Diaries said...

Wow, too cool, I love seeing a truck of hay. And hay in the barns, the best feeling! I had to buy small groups of hay for My Boy when he was at my sister's due to storage- 6-10 bales at a time. It always worried me that there would be a shortage, a disaster, or prices would change and I'd be caught with nothing.

oregonsunshine said...

*jealous*

I miss having lovely hay, instead of this crappy Bermuda stuff that everyone here has. Casey does not do so well on it, needing, oh, about twice as much of it to stay at weight. In case you're wondering, that's about 40# a day. And no, he's not fat. He stays great on pretty much anything else. Just not this damn Bermuda...

I toyed with the idea of going up to Kentucky to get hay, as it's less than 6 hours away. Only, I don't have anywhere to store more than 20-21 bales at a time. In case you're wondering, that's about 2 weeks worth of hay. Sucks to be me!

BrownEyed Cowgirl said...

Helen-Those are 40 lb bags of beet pulp.

Spotz-Just leaving it flat right now.

Our tarp got tested this evening...big winds and rain, will have to see what it looks like under it tomorrow, but am thinking I am going to go buy a heavy duck canvas to put over the top.

We are a semi-arid area, so if I can just keep the fall rains off and the spring rains off...I'll be golden. And if not...my neighbor, who brought his tractor over to unload for me, said he would come pull any bales I needed out of the stack for me. Using his big tractor saved a lot of time vs. our Bobcat. He's a pretty good guy, that neighbor.

Anonymous said...

I too have a wonderful neighbor with wonderful equipment he loves to use!

My outdoor stack fared much better with a peak, but there was still an unacceptable amount of loss. Hope yours does better!

texasnascarcowgirl said...

I would love to have his number. I could get several ppl to go in and help pay. We need hay bad..I have a friend in OK looking and she said there is nothing there, it's all coming down here but it doesn't make it as far south as I am. We have not had rain since Oct. of last year. Hay will be scarce come January. Horses are cheap on craigslist right now.