Hay Bale Efficiency

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Peter

Post   » Wed Mar 13, 2002 7:58 pm


Here comes the city folk trying to learn country ways!

I usually buy my hay from American Pet Diner, but it just got too expensive. About $60 a pop for 25lbs of timothy, a few of alfalfa, and some cubes. It only lasted a few months. There are some neighboring farms near where I go to get bedding (I could never afford the city prices!) so I had my dad go and ask about bales of grass hay. The farmer gave us a bale of mixed timothy and orchard grass for free, which was normally $5. MUCH less than APD, and it´s still seemingly good hay.

Only one problem. Bales are too compact, and don´t come with instructions for the city boy who doesn´t know how to work them! Whenever I try to pull hay out, I get more hay on the floor than I actually get in the rack itself. I find myself sweeping every day and having a pile of perfectly good hay wasted.

Can anyone help pathetic me? I guess city and country ways aren´t too interchangeable!

Jin

Post   » Wed Mar 13, 2002 8:12 pm


If there´s a way to get hay out of a bale without making a huge mess, I´d like to know myself... and I´m a farm girl! The only way I know of is to cut the bale open, and just start taking it from one end or the other. So I´ll take those hints from anyone that wants to provide some too!

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cmtigger

Post   » Wed Mar 13, 2002 8:54 pm


yep, I´m a city girl who has lived in the country... I have no idea- what I usually do is cut the bale open, keep half of it stored off the ground and under a tarp, then put the other half in rubbermaid tubs... the tubs help, but it still ends up all over the place in the process. (BTW- I use the half that is still under the tarp first.)

Jeff

Post   » Wed Mar 13, 2002 8:58 pm


I bought a bale once and I found that putting half in a trash can worked great for storage. Now I just buy a bag of loose hay for $1.25 a bag; it´s more expensive, but easier to handle.

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Lynx
RESIST

Post   » Wed Mar 13, 2002 9:13 pm


Just yesterday or the day before I was reading a tip on a rabbit site for dealing with bales of hay. Supposedly you cut the lower strings holding the bale together but not the top string. Then take out hunks of hay, tightening the top string so it stays together as more hay is removed.

I have a bale and a half of hay on my front porch (started with three bales). I think it´s important to have a place where the hay can occasionally get dropped and not worry about it. My shavings are in a big container in front, I lay a tray down on this container and cover the tray (after half filling with shavings) with hay. I think messiness is kind of inevitable too.

Evangeline

Post   » Wed Mar 13, 2002 10:13 pm


I usually take one flake at a time (I think that´s what City Lynxy is calling a hunk of hay) and store the rest. Then I put the hay in a large garbage bag, go outside and untangle the hay as much as I can. I keep the bag open so it doesn´t get moldy and since the hay in it is already loose, it´s much easier to take just what I need. Just make sure to keep your hands in the bag intil you are holding the quantity of hay you need. If you grab it and pull it out, you´ll end up with half of it on the floor.

Darn, that´s hard to explain. Did that make any sense?

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lisam

Post   » Thu Mar 14, 2002 12:11 am


Yes. It is also important not to bump anything while putting it in the cage or the pig´s area. Don´t let small children come running and try to help by grabbing a bunch of it. Hay has a mind of it´s own, and thinks it should cover the widest space possible. I was even thinking of putting it up on my walls.

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KarasKavies
For the love of my girls!

Post   » Thu Mar 14, 2002 2:46 am


Wasn´t that already done on Changing Rooms!?

Louise

Post   » Thu Mar 14, 2002 6:07 am


We call hunks of hay slices or weges.

Pretty much agree - mess is inevitable. BUT - there is a thing called a bale tidy - usually used for carrying them around in cars but could help minimise the mess when stored etc.. I´ve had a search around the net for you and found these.
http://www.horse-wear.com/BaleBag.htm

http://my.voyager.net/~desotosaddle/dhb.htm

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lisam

Post   » Thu Mar 14, 2002 10:36 am


KarasKavies--that is where I got the idea!

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KarasKavies
For the love of my girls!

Post   » Thu Mar 14, 2002 1:44 pm


Hey lisam... we could start a great secondary market for hay! LOL

Evangeline

Post   » Thu Mar 14, 2002 3:44 pm


It was straw, not hay.
Pffff!

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KarasKavies
For the love of my girls!

Post   » Thu Mar 14, 2002 4:14 pm


Do you think hay would achieve the same effect?!!

Evangeline

Post   » Thu Mar 14, 2002 4:17 pm


Yes, it would probably look just as stupid.

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lisam

Post   » Thu Mar 14, 2002 7:00 pm


With the different types of hay I could get different effects, whereas straw is all the same looking.

Or maybe Lynx could make up some really cool collages with some of that shellacked pig poop.

Lou--very cool hay tidy, by the way.

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RavenShade
Thanks for the Memories

Post   » Fri Mar 15, 2002 9:07 am


Good. Now I can tell my long-suffering housemate it´s not just me who has trouble with hay!

cea2001

Post   » Sat Mar 16, 2002 1:00 am


Peter, I bagged a whole bale of hay. I used up about 15 large plastic bags (that held hay from the pet shop and cost $5 a throw). A bale of hay cost me $10 so it worked out to be much cheaper to bag my own hay. I used zip ties to close the tops of the bags and just use one at a time.

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Lynx
RESIST

Post   » Sat Mar 16, 2002 7:28 am


I imagine bagging it can work if you are very careful about having it be bone dry and compact. I have read that if you tear a bale of hay apart, the exposure to the air is not good for it. The fresh smell disappears when that happens.

For what it´s worth, this is what I discovered about storing hay from reading, talking to people and the extension service.

http://guinealynx.info/guinealynx/hay.html

Peter

Post   » Sun Mar 17, 2002 12:40 am


I´m glad I´m not alone!

I´ll keep trying to find cleaner ways, and maybe I´ll buy one of those bale tidies. Right now I just have the broom closeby when it´s time to give out the hay!

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