Sunday, January 25, 2009

In Sync Again

Murphy's Law rules when it comes to me running out of hay. Why? Because I also run out of stall shavings, the horses hooves need trimming, and the horses are due for their immunizations all during that same week when I'm due for another harrow bed of hay. Add it up: $1,200 for a block of alfalfa/grass mix, $500 for a trailer full of stall shavings, $120 to trim the hooves of three horses, and $300 for an annual veterinary visit for three horses. Priceless.

Anyway, we spent the weekend moving what little hay we have left to the back of the wooden pallet platform, and cleaning all the hay droppings out from between the wooden slats in each pallet. If we don't clean them, the old hay gets wet and moldy, and then the mold spreads up into the fresh bales that we set on top of them.

We keep our pallet platform at the back of our RV lane, so that the hay farmer can just back straight down it on gravel, and then lower the block onto the clean pallets. When he leaves, we lock our RV lane gate with a padlock to keep our local hay moocher out. Yes, I have had hay stolen from me in the past. Personally, if a person can't afford to buy her own hay, I don't think she should be owning horses, none the less breeding more of them.

Sometimes we pile all the dregs that we empty from the pallets into wheelbarrows and move them onto the lawn where we chop them up with a lawn mower, but this time we spread it around where the horses can't get to it, but I can use it as a carpet to keep mud off my boots.


dp said...

Last weekend a beat-up looking sedan pulled into our driveway with its trunk held open by a piece of doweling. I was out mucking and I had all four dogs tied out on the lawn. They went wild and the car quickly backed out of the driveway and left. I saw it again on the road yesterday, in the town 20km from here. There were three bales of hay standing upright in the trunk.

I dunno if these people go around taking hay from where they think they can find it or if they were coming to ask if they could borrow/buy some from me when they got scared off by the dogs. I would never notice three bales missing, but titan would go wild if someone tried to take stuff if we were off the property. It was wierd.

Anyhow, glad you got more hay. How may bales/pounds are there in a load like that?

Leah Fry said...

Yeah, well, if yours are like mine, they ain't starving. Keeping your feet dry is important, too. We all have to sacrifice and do our part.

Katharine Swan said...

I love that last picture. Your horse is standing there like, "Hello, I'm waiting??!!"

Katharine Swan said...


That's freaky to think that someone was potentially going to steal hay from you. And NM, that you've actually had it happen to you! I'm sure with hay so expensive, a lot of people (who shouldn't be owning horses in the first place, agreed) are resorting to that.

It's something to think about when hubby and I start shopping seriously for horse property. A secure place to store hay!

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

Sheesh! I remember when you were having that problem with that girl stealing your hay and shavings. How awful!

lol! That last pic, Gabbrielle looks like she's thinking, "Ok, why are you spreading my hay all over the ground out there??" :)

Sounds like it might be a good idea to spread out your horse expenses so they don't hit you all at the same time. But I suppose you probably plan it this way, so that all those horse expenses fall around tax return time?
That's pretty clever, too :)



Nuzzling Muzzles said...

Lisa - Believe me, I try to spread the expenses out, but somehow this happens to me twice a year. Your tax return thought would be a good argument if we actually got a tax return, but we usually owe the government thousands despite me claiming no allowances and asking that an extra $200 a month be taken out from the standard amount. Every time I raise the amount for them to take out, one of us gets a raise and we end up owing the government come March again. Although, if the Governor has his way, my husband will get a 6% pay cut this year, which should balance out the taxes in 2010.

Jenn said...

It's kind of like groceries and pet food too...I always seem to run out of everything all at once.

I'm in need of more hay, too, but I have to go pick mine up. Around here delivery runs about $1 a bale, and I'm just not willing pay that. So we turn hay pick up day into a kind of family morning. We pick up hay, usually around 7 a.m., go grab some breakfast, head home, unload and stack hay and putter around outside for awhile.

Lulu said...

Crap, I just fainted when I read what you have to pay for hay!

At first, I was jealous that you are able to pay someone to bring the hay to you....then I saw what it costs you. Things sure are different from region to region!

I paid $4 a bale for very high quality alfalfa bales (90-100 lbs each), and $1 a bale for prairie grass bales. (These were baled VERY light, hence the amazing price. Each bales weighs about 50 lbs, and you have to be careful when moving them since they will fall apart - the farmer wanted them GONE!)

But with those awesome prices, I also had to drive to pick up my hay, one trailer full at a time. I can fit 90 bales into my horse trailer, and the farthest I drive is about 50 miles each way. By the time you add $100 for gas, the most I paid was $460 for one load of hay.

How quickly do you go through your hay? My 3 will easily eat a whole bale of grass hay during the day (free choice), sometimes two bales if the weather is bitter cold. Then at night they each get a couple flakes of alfalfa in their stalls. So on warmer winter days I go through about 1.5 bales a day, and on colder days 2.5 bales. (They eat like mad when the temps are -15!!)

I'm not sure I could afford even one horse at the prices you are paying!

Nuzzling Muzzles said...

Lulu - I feed my horses three flakes of hay a day (breakfast, lunch, and dinner) and one block lasts about 6 months. Although last spring I had to go pick up an extra 30 bales to tie me over until the first cutting. I haven't paid attention to how many flakes are in a bale, but I'd say we go through 3/4 of a bale a day. That's about $13 a day to feed all three.

Rising Rainbow said...

I'm with Lulu on the price you're paying for hay. Ouch and double ouch is all I can say. I used to pay that much for an entire semi load.

As for someone stealing it, that's a real bummer too. I haven't had it happen here but I keep the gate out by my barn locked at all times so maybe that's why. I know that Angie and Richard had someone steal hay from them this winter. Such a shame.

Nuzzling Muzzles said...

Speaking of stealing hay and shavings, I just read an article that two women were driving around my area and the surrounding cities stealing packages off people's doorsteps before and after Christmas. Are we becoming a nation of selfish people without a conscience? If you're poor and need financial assistance, ask for help. Don't just take what doesn't belong to you. There are plenty of programs to give free food, coats, toys, and whatnot to the poor. In fact, the person who's packages they were stealing may have been a big contributor to some of those charities that could have helped them.