Monday, September 7, 2009

Isn't It Ironic?

Isn't it ironic how hay is priced?  This year has been a very tough year for farmers in much of my province.  We have had record lack of rainfalls each month.  My area is a genuine drought area right now which is very unusual for us.  This morning my dad and I drove out to a local farmer's to purchase square bales for my horses this coming winter.  This hay looked very good on paper.  On paper the farmer was asking $6.00 a bale and he said they were around 75 pounds a bale with a 35% alfalfa mix with the remaining being timothy.  Sounds pretty good doesn't it?  Unfortunately not so good in real life.  In real life it's about 50 pounds a bale and grass hay.  It's has some dust (but anything coming from this area will - it's just too dry) and a lot of it's bleached out.  The quality of the bales is not consistent.  Doesn't sound quite as good now, does it?

I ended up purchasing 50 bales, mostly because I know people are desperate for hay and it was cheap.  I'll purchase another 20 bales from a local hay broker that will have been hauled in from elsewhere and will end up paying $7.50 a bale.  This got me to thinking.  How is it when the hay is the crappiest we end up paying the most for it?  You would think the quality nice hay would be the stuff you'd pay for, but when we have quality hay we generally have a lot of hay making it cheaper.  Strange isn't it?

My horses will be fine this winter.  I've been very frugal with my pasture so unless we get a big dump deep snow they can forage for a good bit of the winter.  (There's lots of hard grasses such as Timothy and Fescue in the field.)  Obviously, I'll closely monitor their body condition and feed as required.  When I feed the grass hay I'll add alfalfa pellets or cubes, adding in flax seed and a complete feed if needed.  

The sheep will go back to Ken's to winter and will do just fine there.  I'll pick up a fresh batch in the spring.

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