14 February 2015

Bargain Hay

Kate helping with the chores.
It's always a little tricky judging how much hay the horses will consume over the winter. It depends on the weather, how long they can graze the pasture before the grass goes dormant and how hungry they are. This year, after a bit of a disastrous experience trying to keep square bales dry, we decided to use predominantly round bales. They're easier to keep and are more cost effective than small squares.
Loaded up and ready to drive home!
For months, Jack and I pushed the round bales over to the fence and every morning and night I'd unroll it, scrape up the right amount of hay and feed it to the waiting horses. Now we're down to our last two round bales and I got a bit nervous. Each lasts about two weeks if I divvy it up right but that would only take us into mid-March. If I remember right, it's about April that the grass starts growing.
So, I hunted on Craigslist and found some bargain hay that not only was awesomely priced, the seller lives less than a mile down the road. And best of all, the hay was high quality, unlike most bargain hay, which usually only means moldy hay. Turns out she'd sold her herd of miniature horses and donkey's in the fall (we'd been wondering where they went!) and no longer needed the hay. We went on a sunny, warm Saturday loaded up. As predicted, our poor truck got stuck on the slick Indiana clay and the people kindly pulled us out. As a bonus, they sold us several bales of straight alfalfa. It's more of a treat for the horses but Stoney likes it enough that he'll pick a good flake of alfalfa over sweet feed any day.
Earning some spending money by cleaning up the loose hay.
I didn't want to risk driving around to the back to unload the hay so, in true white trash fashion, we stacked the hay on our front patio. It has confused several people trying to reach our front door, as it's now blocked by a wall of dried grass.
Fun!
It's slowly being used up and the horses are enjoying the extra protein in the alfalfa along with their sweet-smelling hay. The girls too, think of it as another jungle gym, which is just fine. I'd have done the same thing at their age. Hopefully that's the last of it we'll need to buy for the season and green grass will be just around the corner!
Evelyn'll be happy to be done with unrolling round bales.

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