Friday, August 19, 2011

Dude, Where's my Hay?

We’ve been waiting for almost two months now for the hay to be cut.  All the rain we had this spring  didn’t help at all.  It was too late to help the first cutting, and actually stunted some growth.  And it was too early to help the second cutting.   
At the end of June, we took a drive a little bit south of us to check out the hay field where our (hopefully) yearly supply would be coming from.  I will no longer buy hay sight-unseen or what people call “mixed grass” around here.  The mixed grass stuff ends up being all weedy stems or straw, and even at a bargain price of $25, it still comes out to over $50 a bale when you figure that Ms. Melman & Nugget waste half of it.  The goats waste even more, although who’d blame them?  Been burned enough times to know that it is not worth buying crappy hay.  I’ve seen fields in nothing but Queen Ann’s Lace cut and baled.  What the heak kind of animal eats that stuff? 

Another thing I find amusing is that if there is crummy hay, they will call it “goat hay”.  These people have obviously never raised goats.  Because if there is anything I’ve learned in keeping goats, is that they are the pickiest animals on the planet.  That, and the fact that no matter how good the hay is, they will waste it.  But at least with the good hay, they don’t seem to waste as much of it.
Anyways, back to my anxiously awaited hay delivery.
When we made the drive all those weeks ago, at that point  it seemed as it would only be a few more weeks until it would be cut and delivered to our place.  But then the scorching heat of Summer moved in and the fields did not grow enough to be baled.  I called the hay guy again (poor soul) and very nicely asked when he anticipated a cutting.  Another two weeks.  If they are lucky. 
We managed to get two decent round bales over a month ago to tide us over until “our” hay was ready, but that month has come and gone and the mule barn is empty of hay.  Starting tonight, we’ll be forking hay from the goat’s bale into the back of the truck and driving it up to Ms. Melman and Nugget on a daily basis until we can get another bale for them.  That gets old really fast.  And as much as I’d hate to do it, we may just have to get some of that “goat hay” advertised in the paper until the good stuff comes in.


  1. Don't know much about goats, but never realized they were picky either. I always thought the opposite too. So is it true they are for hire and will even get rid of poison ivy? Ignorance askin'.

    Well I hope you get your delivery soon and the truckin back and forth doesn't last long. That's a bummer.

  2. I hate worrying about hay. It keeps me up at night! And you are very right about goats - and sheep. Picky, picky, picky. No matter how many times I stand out there and tell them to eat ALL their hay - there are hungry sheep in Africa who would love their hay - no one listens to me. Our first cut was of much less quality than last year and very late being cut. It was so wet this spring, they couldn't get the equipment in the fields. Then it was so dry and hot is sapped out all the good stuff. But it is what it is and I am glad to have it, finally. Hope your hay guy calls you tomorrow. I'm surprised my hay guy still takes my calls.

  3. Because of the way things went this season, it sounds like we may be lucky to get any hay at all.

  4. APG, my goats LOVE poison ivy! If I find some around the house I'll get a goat on a lead & bring 'em over to it and they go at it.

    Susan & Scott/Pam, It's been bad here but I guess it's even worse it TX. I hear that the meager bales we do have here are getting shipped THERE and sold at outrageous prices.

  5. Hay people make me crazy!
    Quantity always wins out over quality! Which is why when we were dairying we ordered in out hay from Kansas.

    Now we buy locally and is is just common grass hay but the beef cows are getting by on it. You don't get much choice here.