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Discussion Forum

old hay???

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dave2

05-06-2010 03:03:13
139.139.35.70



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Guy stopped me this morning and said he needed to clean out a barn that has a couple hundred bales of hay that is around 15 years old. Said that there was a foot or so of loose straw over it and when it was removed, the hay is all still green (fresh baled hay color).
Think there is still any feed value to it? I can't imagine there is, but never know.

Dave




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Allen57

05-08-2010 10:21:50
69.39.52.151



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 Re: old hay??? in reply to greenbeanman in Kansas, 05-06-2010 03:03:13  

jimva said: (quoted from post at 12:06:24 05/06/10) Heres a quote out an Ag Extension Article i got from 2008.
"Once hay is in a dry barn, protected from sunlight and the elements, some reports state that it will maintain its quality and remain stable for up to or more than 20 years. However there will be a loss of some vitamin content as with all long term hay storage. So feeding old hay my necessitate the supplementation of vitamins in the form of a mineral lick or block or grain mixture"

Bottom line is this (if it was me in your shoes you lucky SOB) Id take a look at it, and start pulling samples outta has many bales as i could get outside bales inside bales etc and then send them off to be analized. Shouldnt cost over $30 bucks. If the report comes back that all will need is a vitamin and mineral suppliment while feeding hay, Id tell the guy you will clean the barn out for the hay. Not bad for spending $30 bucks on a hay sample to get a coupla hundred bales free. Or the report may come back saying the hay is total trash with no feed value at all and all you are out of is $30 bucks and you can tell the guy no thanks.


Correct.

It all has value. Just depends on how you use it. Hay is just part of a nutritional ration an animal needs. Getting it tested will give you the information needed to know how to feed it.
Protien losses are greatest in the first year, actually more like the first month after baling as it goes thru its curing heat. After that it losses very little quality if stored properly.

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wijim

05-07-2010 07:23:13
166.223.203.162



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 Re: old hay??? in reply to dave2, 05-06-2010 03:03:13  
If I used that hay to bed my beef cows they would eat it all before last years hay. jim



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4010guy

05-06-2010 10:35:41
69.57.85.226



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 Re: old hay??? in reply to dave2, 05-06-2010 03:03:13  
We had about 8,000 squares of alfalfa in a hay shed that i helped put in, in 1970 and i fed some 5 years ago or so when i ran short that spring. i fed part of it and the rest is still there,,,they scarfed it right up and seemed to do fine on it......As long as it stays dry it will be fine



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Wesley Stephens

05-06-2010 09:40:28
66.207.254.106



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 Re: old hay??? in reply to dave2, 05-06-2010 03:03:13  
If you decide not to feed it, you could always disk it into a little patch somewhere or use it as mulch to keep weeds down in your garden.



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paul

05-06-2010 09:32:08
76.77.197.242



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 Re: old hay??? in reply to dave2, 05-06-2010 03:03:13  
In the late 1980's dad had me fork out about 400 bales worth (wasn't ever baled, just put up loose...) of loose hay to the cattle. I fould a newspaper in it from the very early 1950's.

Cattle liked it, did well with it. They got grain & minerals fed also, so not like it was their only feed.

If it was kept dry & good, should be worth something. Perhaps a few less vitamins, but you can feed them with other stuff in a mixed ration so don't see that as a big deal.

Depends what & how you are feeding I guess.

I'd find value in the stuff.

--->Paul

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jimva

05-06-2010 09:06:24
96.240.188.71



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 Re: old hay??? in reply to dave2, 05-06-2010 03:03:13  
Heres a quote out an Ag Extension Article i got from 2008. "Once hay is in a dry barn, protected from sunlight and the elements, some reports state that it will maintain its quality and remain stable for up to or more than 20 years. However there will be a loss of some vitamin content as with all long term hay storage. So feeding old hay my necessitate the supplementation of vitamins in the form of a mineral lick or block or grain mixture"

Bottom line is this (if it was me in your shoes you lucky SOB) Id take a look at it, and start pulling samples outta has many bales as i could get outside bales inside bales etc and then send them off to be analized. Shouldnt cost over $30 bucks. If the report comes back that all will need is a vitamin and mineral suppliment while feeding hay, Id tell the guy you will clean the barn out for the hay. Not bad for spending $30 bucks on a hay sample to get a coupla hundred bales free. Or the report may come back saying the hay is total trash with no feed value at all and all you are out of is $30 bucks and you can tell the guy no thanks.

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Showcrop

05-06-2010 08:42:21
75.67.231.80



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 Re: old hay??? in reply to dave2, 05-06-2010 03:03:13  
200 bales? TEST IT!! If it was early cut and put up properly it could be worth plenty.



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tn terry t

05-06-2010 08:37:17
205.188.116.19



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 Re: old hay??? in reply to dave2, 05-06-2010 03:03:13  
you can say what you want to . i say that old hay will beat a snowball next winter
This post was edited by tn terry t at 08:43:19 05/06/10.



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bc

05-06-2010 08:03:39
71.158.219.235



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 Re: old hay??? in reply to dave2, 05-06-2010 03:03:13  
Cattle will definitely eat it. I had some 10 year old hay up in the loft and fed it to my mustangs and burros last year with no problem. They eat about anything. Any bad stuff, like the bottom of even a new big bale that is wet and looking bad, they will ignore and eat around it.

You have to remember that horses and cows are natural grazers. They need to be eating roughage whether it has protein value or not for their stomachs. I keep a protein tub out if they need protein and feed a little sweet feed and oats mix every so often.

Those with horses around tracks and others spend a lot on high quality feed and alfalfa from the start. Once raised on alfalfa and such, it is hard to go back. I understand them being picky. There are many horse owners who are picky for their own personal reasons and not because it is something their horses can't handle. There are many of us horse owners who feed brome and prairie hay without a problem.

Kinda like eating grits, spinach, broccoli, etc. Some people grow up on the stuff and some of us won't touch it. Went to a restaurant the other day that had hummous. No thanks.

I'd first grab a few bales and see if your horses like it or not. And it would be cheap feed as you wouldn't pay much for it while you are doing him a favor for cleaning out his barn. You can always supplement it and test it if you want. I'd just watch their coats and weight for a while to see how they do. You could also mix it half/half with fresh hay.

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Nancy Howell

05-06-2010 07:12:34
144.162.49.4



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 Re: old hay??? in reply to dave2, 05-06-2010 03:03:13  
Just talked to my vet. He said the nutritional value of hay that old would be just about zero.

Even if the livestock ate it, there wouldn't be any nutrition in it. (like eating air) Good for bedding, but nothing else.



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kyplowboy

05-07-2010 05:09:57
98.93.7.213



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 Re: old hay??? in reply to Nancy Howell, 05-06-2010 07:12:34  
Nancy, I think your vet might be in the hay selling business. ;)



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dave2

05-07-2010 05:17:44
91.10.173.218



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 Re: old hay??? in reply to kyplowboy, 05-07-2010 05:09:57  

kyplowboy said: (quoted from post at 05:09:57 05/07/10) Nancy, I think your vet might be in the hay selling business. ;)


I appreciate her asking and I don't think I'll take the hay. But I have learned one thing about vets (or plumbers, etc).. Never ask a local that thinks they have a chance of getting your business.

We sold a filly to a girl last year. The filly was kept outside with a leanto and, being a healthy horse, never used the shed. She got a little rainrot and we gave the girl some stuff to fix it. She was smarter than us and called the vet. 300 bucks later and antibiotics/skin tests she used the stuff we gave her and cured the problem.

dave

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36 coupe

05-06-2010 15:07:40
216.220.251.16



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 Re: old hay??? in reply to Nancy Howell, 05-06-2010 07:12:34  
Nancy,I got my cattle thru the winter on my 5 year old reserve hay.Gave them extra gain.Vet told me years ago that some value would be lost but not all.i hadnt missed haying in 43 years but last year the tractor needed a new clutch and my heart acted up so I couldnt get my hay done.Half the stuff you see on the internet is bogus anyway.My knowledge comes from experience.



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ericlb

05-06-2010 07:06:41
72.173.192.58



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 Re: old hay??? in reply to dave2, 05-06-2010 03:03:13  
cows and goats will do ok with it i wouldnt feed it to a horse though, all our horses are real sensitive to old hay, got to be real careful



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Tramway Guy

05-06-2010 07:02:50
24.58.198.112



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 Re: old hay??? Be Careful! in reply to dave2, 05-06-2010 03:03:13  
I had some hay that was older than that, and still green, just like yours. I was all set to donate it to a local non-profit that had horses. I took a test bale to them, the horses ate it just fine.
But the owner sent it to be tested, and there was a bacterium or spore in it that would affect the horses' kidneys, so they had to decline my offer.
So even if it looks green and it is tasty, it can still not be good.

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Nancy Howell

05-06-2010 06:59:02
144.162.49.4



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 Re: old hay??? in reply to dave2, 05-06-2010 03:03:13  
I have been told that hay loses approx. 1% of its nutrition per year. I'll try to verify that.

If that's the case, that stuff is good only for bedding.

I wouldn't feed stuff that old to my horses either.



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HughB

05-06-2010 06:16:04
66.82.9.49



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 Re: old hay??? in reply to dave2, 05-06-2010 03:03:13  
I'll try to keep this short. I picked up a load of alfalfa around Ellenburg, Washington and hauled it to the Hialeah race track in Miami, Fl. I should have paid more attention to them loading it. It had a lot of old stuff in it. They said they would not feed old stuff to their horses. Had to pick out the old and haul it to a corner of the place and dump it. I owned two quarter horses in the 70s. I would not have fed it to them. I can't speak for hay.

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dave2

05-06-2010 06:23:38
139.139.35.70



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 Re: old hay??? in reply to HughB, 05-06-2010 06:16:04  
there's a local lady that has some ponies that doesn't have a lot of money, I'll see if they'll give it to her. If I feed it' I'll have to give some extra goodies that'd cost the money I save and be more work. as far as testing, yes there is. Just joe blow can't get it done, have to be a certified farmer or do a lot of begging.

Dave



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kyplowboy

05-06-2010 06:08:30
98.93.7.213



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 Re: old hay??? in reply to dave2, 05-06-2010 03:03:13  
Is there any place over there that will test it for feed value? Here it only cost a few bucks to get a sample tested.

I know horses and cows are diffrent critters by a long shot but I love help'n folks clean out their barns this time of year. Hay seems to get cheap just before cutting time.

Good luck.

Dave



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JR.FRYE

05-06-2010 05:49:50
71.7.56.19



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 Re: old hay??? in reply to dave2, 05-06-2010 03:03:13  

Good morning Dave; I would think if the hay is green and dose not
smell moldy and have what I call mold dust on it {WHITE POUDER}I would think you have nothing to worry about.But If you have a mares in fole look the hay over real good, If a mare eats moldy and in fole she might lose the colt. I have had it happen. Gota go: See you later: Good luck
JR.FRYE



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Bill46

05-06-2010 05:46:24
192.88.212.43



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 Re: old hay??? in reply to dave2, 05-06-2010 03:03:13  
Cows will eat most anything that don't eat them first. Saw a cow in a pasture a few miles away that had a piece long thin metal she tried to eat stuck in her throat. Made me angery every time I saw her. The owner had to know it. Old hay is maybe not the best for them...but if it was kept dry there should be no problems.
Horses are a different matter...I would not give it to them.



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dave2

05-06-2010 05:51:04
139.139.35.70



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 Re: old hay??? in reply to Bill46, 05-06-2010 05:46:24  
I have horses so will probably skip it. Try a bale maybe.

Dave



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msb

05-06-2010 05:29:17
67.236.241.30



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 Re: old hay??? in reply to dave2, 05-06-2010 03:03:13  

Article in an old,old "Furrow" magazine: Hay was known to be 51 years old,tested to only be a bit more fiber content.All other tests were thought to be the same.Protein level was still good.



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M Nut

05-06-2010 05:25:13
64.8.188.157



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 Re: old hay??? in reply to dave2, 05-06-2010 03:03:13  
Stored inside like that I'd not think twice about feeding it. I know I've heard people talk about no nutritional value in old hay before too, but I remember one year when hay was real short in supply, my grandpa bought some round bales that had been sitting along the edge of a meadow for at least 5 years. Hauled them home and put them out for the beef cattle and they licked it all up clean.



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Nebraska Cowman

05-06-2010 04:34:18
66.252.127.216



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 Re: old hay??? in reply to dave2, 05-06-2010 03:03:13  
Why wouldn't there be feed value in it? I doubt it's changed much.



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dave2

05-06-2010 04:56:01
139.139.35.70



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 Re: old hay??? in reply to Nebraska Cowman, 05-06-2010 04:34:18  

Nebraska Cowman said: (quoted from post at 04:34:18 05/06/10) Why wouldn't there be feed value in it? I doubt it's changed much.


Vitamins don't go away over time??? Thought it'd just be a filler with no nutritional value..... that's why I asked here.

Thanks, Dave

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Mike (WA)

05-06-2010 04:13:08
71.212.72.229



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 Re: old hay??? in reply to dave2, 05-06-2010 03:03:13  
There was a bunch of old, loose hay in a loft on a place we bought in 1972- it had to be 20 years old, according to the prior owner. I pitched it out, figuring to haul it away the next day. Needn't have worried about it, by the next day, the cattle had eaten it all. And this during the summer, when they had plenty of grass. Go figure.



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Cal Innes

05-06-2010 03:39:29
75.194.49.211



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 Re: old hay??? in reply to dave2, 05-06-2010 03:03:13  
The old farmer up the road use to say "It's only bad if they dont eat it." .....and he used to put up a lot of poor hay. It used to go in the barn wet and he'd salt it down on each tier.. said it wouldn't heat up. He never burned down the barn so I guess he couldn't a been entirely wrong. Cal



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Ken Macfarlane

05-06-2010 05:10:20
156.34.142.102



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 Re: old hay??? in reply to Cal Innes, 05-06-2010 03:39:29  
Or lucky. Salt won't stop heating but will convince animals to eat bad hay. Doesn't take much heat to ruin the proteins and such.



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Showcrop

05-06-2010 08:39:54
75.67.231.80



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 Re: old hay??? in reply to Ken Macfarlane, 05-06-2010 05:10:20  
It's always been my understanding that bacteria produce heat and that salt kills bacteria. For thousands of years before refrigeration salting was the method of choice for preserving meat. So why wouldn't salt stop hay from heating up? They salted hay for hundreds of years before weather satellites and modern hay equipment.



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Ken Macfarlane

05-06-2010 12:11:59
156.34.142.102



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 Re: old hay??? in reply to Showcrop, 05-06-2010 08:39:54  
And they got lucky. You would need hundreds of tons of finely ground salt to preserve a mow full of hay. At most I've seen 500 lbs go into 5000 bales. The salt doesn't even get into the bales, its in solid form, never dissolved into the hay.

Ever seen fish packed in salt? There is about 50/50 salt and fish.



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tjdub

05-06-2010 14:05:57
208.28.88.253



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 Re: old hay??? in reply to Ken Macfarlane, 05-06-2010 12:11:59  
When you put a layer of salt on heavy bales and come back a day later you will only find salt granules where the application was heavy. Much of the salt gets dissolved and once dissolved works its way into the bale. If you take two similar heating bales and only put salt on one, you can feel a big difference the next day. It's still not safe to stack heating hay, but I always put the the heavies on top or off the stack and salt them down. When it comes to feeding time, I can't tell them apart. If nothing else, the salt really cuts down on the mold growth.

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doug in illinois

05-06-2010 14:53:07
74.206.45.133



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 Re: old hay??? in reply to tjdub, 05-06-2010 14:05:57  
Exactly the same way I handle mine. Throw the heavy ones aside for the top of the pile, and salt them. Never had any problem.



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36 coupe

05-06-2010 15:18:16
216.220.251.16



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 Re: old hay??? in reply to doug in illinois, 05-06-2010 14:53:07  
Farmer told me to stack heavy bales on edge and keep them seperate. check them a week later and they will be ok.He was right.Stacking on edge keeps the mice from chewing the twine.



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Ken Macfarlane

05-06-2010 17:37:06
216.198.139.38



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 Re: old hay??? in reply to 36 coupe, 05-06-2010 15:18:16  
Pulling the hay out of the stack is what saves it. Moisture moves extremely slowly in or out of a large stack but quite readily from individual bales. Moisture moves more readily out the cut ends. Once you"re more than 1 layer thick it doesn"t really matter.

A round bale is a good example, a fist size clump of wet hay in the middle generally can"t dry that out unless the rest is extremely dry.

I"ve never seen rock salt evaporate, has to get pretty darned hot for that, so it can"t spread through the bale like vapour.

Look at the acid application systems, they have to use a spray nozzle to evenly coat the hay going into the baler, it doesn"t spray the hay bales coming out the back end.

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