Yesterday we had a Hay Day here at J. Drummond Farms. Literally. Now that the hay shed is pretty much done, the first of several truckloads arrived, packed with hundreds of square bales that will get us through the winter months.
We love our square hay bale supplier for many reasons. The first of which is the fact that he provides great quality hay. The second of which is the fact that he always shows up with his tractor-picker-upper-thing:
I\’m sure it has a real name, but I\’m just thankful we no longer have to unload trucks like this by hand.
Because we have had to do so before! When you\’ve got 40 horses to feed, basically you have to do what needs to be done – even if that means hand-balming and stacking hundreds of bales. I\’m sure many of you can relate. Moving and stacking hay totally rewrites your schedule and ensures your chiropractor will have another week\’s worth of business…
Thankfully, those days are long gone behind us now.
Layer by layer, our hay supplier unloads his truck and carefully stacks our winter supply into the shed.
To me, it\’s a beautiful sight.
If you\’d like some tips for evaluating hay quality, here\’s a few considerations we always take into account when the hay truck comes.
Characteristics of Good Quality Hay:
1. It should be free of mold, dust, weeds and other foreign materials.
2. It is leafy with fine stems. We look for approximately 80% leaves and only want 20% worth of stems.
3. Hay must be soft and pliable to the touch (bends easily).
4. It should also have a pleasant, fragrant aroma.
5. Hay should have a good green color, rather than a brown tinge to it. Hays that have been slightly sun-bleached will still make high-quality feed.
Careful roughage selection is an important and critical aspect of horse keeping. By taking the time to carefully select great quality roughage and continually monitor horses\’ consumption patterns, owners can be sure their horses are receiving the best possible diets.