|Canada day was cold, wet and windy.|
It's been a horrible spring/summer with lots of cold weather and rain. Not only does that make it difficult to school, it's making it really hard for farmers to get the hay in.
I am literally down to four bales of hay.
As a horse person that is basically a cause for a nervous breakdown.
I am fortunate that my pastures are lush but I don't leave them out 24/7. And to be honest, I don't want to. I don't trust that they won't get spooked by coyotes (which are quite large here). My fields are also not large enough to leave them out that much. I would end up with no grass, just a field of weeds by September. I use my paddocks as part of the feeding program and manage them carefully.
That said I am leaving them out as late as possible. Which, if you have horses that are used to a schedule is causing some consternation.
|um, excuse me? My reservation was for 5:00 and it is now past 6:00|
I have been putting them up into the riding ring after supper which has the dual purpose of them eating the grass that is trying to encroach and feeding them at the same time. This morning I plotted out where I can put some temporary fencing. I can't go anywhere with Carmen because I don't have the hay to take with me.
|finally, some ring work Carmen can get behind....|
This means that I only need to give them some hay overnight. But I look at my dwindling supply of hay and feel anxiety starting to rise. Normally I would have at least 2 loads of hay by now.
The problem is that there hasn't been enough of a stretch of dry weather to cut,dry and bale the hay. At this point if you deny climate change I'm just going to call you stupid, k? I'm done trying to convince anyone that their google search does not actually make them more qualified then scientists who study this issue.
I called my hay guy this morning and his wife called me right back. She said that he hasn't even been able to get onto some fields with the tractor because they are too wet. That said, she informed me that he was planning to cut a field tomorrow that he normally reserves for his animals and giving some to his customers to tide them over until he can cut the rest.
This is making me feel a bit better but now I'm watching the forecast obsessively and it might not be safe to mention the words 'rain', 'cloud', 'rainfall warning' to me in the near future. Please keep your fingers crossed.
Because I am out of options.
oh man, i'm so sorry, i'd be hugely panicking too :( we were in a very similar situation last year where it was so wet for so long, the hay crops were totally decimated and what DID come through was very expensive and very low quality. at one point we were getting square bales that had previously been baled as large rounds, then unbaled, chopped up, and baled again into squares. it was.... nasty. but at least it was hay. here's hoping your area dries out asap so they can get the tractors out there! :(ReplyDelete
It's so scary to be at the mercy of the weather. Farming is not for the weak hearted! I suspect that the hay won't be great quality this year. Also, we will need to be extra vigilant that it's not too wet when it's baled. sigh.Delete
Crossing all of my digits for you!ReplyDelete
Thank you. An anti-rain dance would help too. :DDelete
Oh no! That is horrible. I would also be panicking. Probably not so silently. I hope he's able to get you enough hay to hold you over.ReplyDelete
I know it's expensive, but maybe you can get some chopped hay from the feed store to help supplement? I feed that to Rio since he can't chew regular hay anymore.
I can get some timothy cubes and may need to do that.Delete
Oof, that's rough.ReplyDelete
Could you post on Facebook looking for some last years hay?? I know some people have extra hay some years, so maybe someone can give you a few bales.
Everyone is looking on FB too. I'm hopeful that my hay guy can help me out.Delete
It's nerve wracking for sure. I always panic too when the hay starts getting near the end. Hope your weather clears soon and the hay can be cut. Hang in there it will all come together. And, yes, I agree with the whole climate change too. Anybody that doesn't is ridiculous.ReplyDelete
There's always something to wrack the nerves!Delete
We were having the same issues but finally had a stretch of dry weather last week and EVERYBODY baled, so hopefully the dry weather is heading your way next!!ReplyDelete
I hope so! We need it desperately.Delete
All the farmers here are having similar panics. We haven't been able to mow our fields either because we'd destroy them with the tractor even though we don't hay. We aren't feeding any hay right now and I have some left so I'm not worried for right now. I don't buy first cutting anyway; mine won't eat it. I'm very worried about getting hay for the fall though. It finally stopped raining for a few days and every field I pass is getting hayed. Can you buy bagged hay? Standlee (and other companies) sell bagged compressed bales in the US. They are super expensive, but better than nothing. We stretched our hay over the winter with alfalfa cubes.ReplyDelete
I can get alfalfa or timothy cubes and I may have too.Delete
I'm in the same boat here. The hay situation is making me very twitchy. I have grass and have been trying to use it for the donkeys and now Emma looks like a whale. Meanwhile, I have 5 bales of hay left and they are the ones from the bottom of the stack that I would normally use as mulch. Rain, rain and more rain in the forecast as far as the eye can see.ReplyDelete
yeah. The hay I'm feeding is not great either but I'm wetting it and hoping that it'll be okay. Carmen will be fine on low quality hay, Irish not so much.Delete
Bummer Teresa. Hay stress is the worst. I hope Mother Nature cooperates immediately. I'm guessing that if the first cutting is delayed this much getting a second cutting could be impacted as well?ReplyDelete
I very much doubt that there will be a second cut. Unless the weather cooperates into the fall. We usually don't count on it at all and buy all our hay at the first cut.Delete
opposite problem - no rain, just crispy grass/hay. the difference is here, when it's wet, the farmers switch from making hay bales to making silage bales, for horses. and most horses in germany eat silage. because it's normally so wet here and you just pack it in plastic and its good even when rained on. we rely on hay. i have 5 small bales (20kg) left from winter and i'm holding on to them for emergency, but so far so good. still, 5 tiny bales is a bleak place to be.ReplyDelete
It is a bit bleak. So far the weather forecast seems to be cooperating (please!). They feed silage here too but I hate the smell and the horses need to have botulism vaccines just in case (and those are pricey).Delete
Oh man, good luck!! Can you buy hay cubes if you need to?ReplyDelete
yes I can, if i have to. I'm hoping I won't.Delete
I was often in this same boat when we lived in Florida, where I paid upwards of $20 *per bale* for edible timothy, which was imported from out of state. Crappy locally grown coastal hay was $17 per bale, and getting even that was dicey during rainy/hurricane years. It was insane. We sometimes used unmolassed beet pulp as a hay replacer: soaked, it provided similar fiber and volume for our horses without aggravating ulcers or hyping them up like grain and some hay replacers will do. It is super safe to feed. Granted, the horse has to like eating beet pulp. There came a time when Lily started to turn her nose up at it and that complicated things.ReplyDelete
As for trickle feeding grain, you do have options. :) You can use some large pelleted feeds (maybe your fiber cubes will work?) with these or hay cubes.
This is called The Amazing Graze. Several stores have it online but I'm including the Amazon link so you can see what it looks like: https://www.amazon.com/Jolly-Pets-Amazing-Graze-Teal/dp/B0006G56UM/ref=asc_df_B0006G56UM/?tag=hyprod-20&linkCode=df0&hvadid=241918350863&hvpos=1o3&hvnetw=g&hvrand=15237094339993865242&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=&hvdev=c&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=9008020&hvtargid=pla-413421277901&psc=1
Jeffers does ship to Canada.
The Nose-It treat/feed dispenser is the original version of what Jeffers is selling, which is why it's pricier. https://www.amazon.com/Dover-Saddlery-Flat-Nose-Treat/dp/B075X1XQ96
Crossing the crossables for dry weather for you!
those are interesting! I will check them out! thank you. I can't imagine paying $20 for timothy. Here it's about 3-4.50 per bale.Delete
I thought we were going to have a hay shortage here, because last year we only got two cuttings thanks to "global climate change", but they were able to get the first cutting in May and we didn't run out. We're paying $8-9 a bale, but it is available. I forget which part of Canada you're in, but if you want to make a run across the border to NJ I can get you some hay to smuggle back.ReplyDelete
lol, I'm giggling at the smuggling! I had a great uncle who was thought to be smuggling liquor across the border during prohibition. Perhaps I can be a criminal too!Delete
Sorry about that. Did you have difficulty getting hay last year? They took our hay last week, right on time with historical averages for our area. We may get a second cutting, if we’re lucky. When we first moved here, twelve years ago, the horses ran out of grass by Mid-July. Now, they’re grazing clear through October with no irrigation. Does anyone sell the compressed hay in your area? Good luck. Hope you get a spell of sunshine.ReplyDelete
Last year was a great year for hay. It was early, dry and high quality. This year, when we do get hay it will be less good because of the time maturing on the stalk. Which is fine for Carmen. Irish will need to be supplemented. I can get timothy or alfalfa cubes. I'm hoping I don't have to.Delete
Yikes - it is scary when the hay supply is super low. I hope you can get a few bales from your hay guy to tide you over! I'm in the same boat as you. Although I'm in ON and we finally have had a few sunny days so hay is being cut everywhere. I'm hoping I can get 10-20 bales this week to feed the beasts!ReplyDelete
Thanks! I'm trying to not panic. The weather seems to be cooperating (finally!).Delete
oh goddddd four bales. that is terrifying. We had the same issue but in the fall; no one got their last cutting because it was just too wet. That meant come spring we were getting some.... SKETCHY hay. My BO and I pulled apart a flake that looked to be orchard, timothy and alfalfa all in one go?? I mean alfalfa was $22/bale at that point so we werent complaining about 'free' alfalfa, but the horses went a bit bonkers...ReplyDelete
The picture of carmen's nose at the door with the caption made me laugh, so at least you're keeping your sense of humor.
Well, what else can you do?Delete
I hate sketchy hay and I cannot imagine Carmen on alfalfa!
Fingers crossed for hay! I was in the same situation earlier this spring when normal hay supplier quit and so I was "smuggling" 4 bales at a time on to the ferry.(anything more is hazardous cargo, apparently)ReplyDelete
lol, I can see the headline: 'women arrested in BC for smuggling grass' :D :DDelete
I don't think I'd be quietly panicking in your situation - it would be a very loud panic!ReplyDelete
Yeah, I have this notion that if I keep a lid on it it will go away. Hasn't worked yet as a strategy.....Delete
I know this post is pretty old at this point but I am still crossing my fingers you get your hay and soon!ReplyDelete