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Hay Shortage in the Southwest


The Good Shepherd
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As most of you know the draught has really caused a major problem down here in the Southwest as far as hay goes :( .

Semi after Semi stacked with bales is going over to Texas. I was lucky to find "Cow Hay" at 6.50 a bale, the downside the guy only had 100 bales, 50 already spoken for. A friend of mine was not so lucky, he paid 19.00 :o per 3-string bale (about 80 pounds). From everything I hear its only the beginning, pretty soon even the 2 string bales will go up into the 18-19 dollar range, if you can find some. The "little" people (us, with only a few heads)are being hit hard by this. But the most outrages thing is the ads showing up on Craigs list from Texas - selling the hay back to NM at a premium price :angry: .

 

So, we are looking into feeding alfalfa and/or Alfalfa/Orchard Grass pellets.

We are told that you should feed about 2 pounds per sheep/goat. Does this sound about right? Is anybody else feeding pellets? Please post your experience with this type of feed, or any other hay replacer. If I remember right there is stuff out there that comes in cube form, wrapped in plastic, its hay that was put in silos and the bagged, when you open the plastic it comes out wet/damp and you feed it out of buckets? Anyone heard of this?

 

Thanks for your advice

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Typcially you feed 1 - 2 % of the body weight per day, but you can adjust depending on the body condition of your sheep and what you are using them for. We use either pellets or cubes when we travel. When we were in between shipments of hay a month or so back we had everyone on cubes. We felt the protein was high so we replaced 1/3 of the volume with beetpulp pellets. Our bags were 40 lbs and were comparable to a 50-60 lb bale. The cubes were 10.99 per bag, so basically if hay was cheaper then $11 / bale the cubes and pellets were costing me more.

 

 

We are not even fighting the hay deal, much of the hay around here is heading south also. We are feeding 1/3 alflafa, 1/3 corn stalks and 1/3 soybean stubble and supplimenting with protein/vitamin mineral blocks.

 

Right now I wish we had a grinder, would make the mix feed out better

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Debbie, did you soak the beet pulp pellets first or did you feed them our of the bag? Also since we all pretty much live in town we have no access to cormstalks or such :unsure: I will hit the internet to see if I can find any of the stuff you sugessted so. Now, since some of us also have Donkeys and horses how much of the pellets will they need?

How is the magazine coming?

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For the Donkey and horses it is still 1 - 2%. Yes, we would wet it. I would put in a 5 gallon pail and then dump some water in, let it stand for a few minutes and feed it. The sheep didn't like it totally soaked but the calves thought it was great how ever it was fed out.

 

As for the corn stalks and soybeans, you have a trade off, more mess, there will be waste that has to be dealt with as they don't clean it up.

 

To be honest, this is just a suggestion, this may be a good time to cut back on numbers and keep the rest on the best feed you can find.

 

Another thing that you may be able to do that will save you money is to see if someone can deliver you some large round alfalfa bales. Many hobby people are afraid to buy them due to not having the equipment to handle them. But, you can, when we bring a load home Wayne and I either push them off the trailer by hand or Wayne ties one to a tree and pulls away allowing them to drop to the ground, ask the person delivering them if a few people together would be able tip them off his trailer or if they could be pulled off. We then feed off of them where they land, first peeling from the top and later rolling them out and feeding them out. They are a bit of a pain but we are saving a bunch.

 

We have also brought in large square, 4' x 8' bales, those can also be pulled off of a trailer by hand if you get enough hands together or we have also cut them open on the trailer/truck and then restacked the flakes in the barn. Last winter I had 8 large squares hand stalked in our sheep barn on pallets. They will also be cheaper per ton then small squares

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Magazine... well, I'm have a case of old issues coming from Colorado, sent to me by Judith Selby the editor previous to Nicole. The Cattlemen's Classis is putting together a piece on their upcoming Stockdog Sale, I just recieved some nice short articles from the Sundowner Futurity, the article from Jennifer along with photos should be here by just after the 1st of the month and I recieved authorization yesterday to use some art work of Tim Cox's with stockdogs in the prints for future covers. Thinking a commemortive cover either for the first issue or for the first 2012 issue, but not certain, alot will depend on how well the art work reproduces.

 

I have my eye on this one, keep your fingers crossed:

 

http://www.timcox.com/4000.html

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The haylage will be put up by individual farmers that have the equipment. It needs to be put up at a particular moisture percent (40-60%) and may not be available in your area this year. When we purchased it, it was during a wet year and the farmer put it up as haylage vs. losing it. It is also more expensive for him per bale compared to dried down hay. You also have to watch for botulism especially for horses and your donkey. I would not advise using it without really knowing what you are dealing with. Can cost you a bunch of money.

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I know what you mean about hay being an issue. Out here, it's hitting well over $300 a ton now, and is expected to go higher. The past few years, when I call the brokers to get my yearly load and ask for #2 or cow hay, they laugh at me. Seems out here they are exporting it all to Asia :blink:

 

I sat down and figured out that it will be lots cheaper for me to pay for the power to pump water and irrigate this year than it is to continue trying to get hay.

 

Good luck!

A

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You can see if ADM has something, I did a zip code search and they have dealers in your area. I can't remember the name of the company that makes our cubes, but they also sell super tight small bales of hay, it was running I believe it was $16.00 for a 80 lb bale at the farm store the other day, I about choked. I'd be sending everything to the sale barn before paying that.

 

 

http://admworld.searchradius.com/locator.php

 

http://www.admani.com/Horse/Horse%20Forage%20Products%20index.htm

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I know what you mean about hay being an issue. Out here, it's hitting well over $300 a ton now, and is expected to go higher. The past few years, when I call the brokers to get my yearly load and ask for #2 or cow hay, they laugh at me. Seems out here they are exporting it all to Asia :blink:

 

I sat down and figured out that it will be lots cheaper for me to pay for the power to pump water and irrigate this year than it is to continue trying to get hay.

 

Good luck!

A

 

Thanks :(

 

Our problem here is that we are all pretty much in the city,on no more then a couple acres and don't have room to get a years worth of hay delivered at one time. I usually get between 40 and fifty bales that the Hubby gets with his Truck.

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If you can find round bales, they really are the way to go from an economic perspective. I can roll the smaller 4 x 4 bales by myself. I need help for the larger rolls (4 x 5 and 4 x 6 <--only if you know someone with an old baler do you get the 4 x 6 bales). If you have a place where you can feed them under cover and if you use some sort of cage (say, cattle panel) wrapped around to reduce waste, they really are economical. A donkey can eat decent hay (I don't feed horse quality, but I get something better than cow quality and avoid mold), but you'd have to be careful if you're also planning to feed a horse from a round bale. But if you fed the horse (and perhaps donkey) separately, then you could get good horse quality hay for them since you wouldn't need nearly as much. Before I moved here, I fed round bales out in the pasture, well tarped on top to prevent rain damage. Now that I can park a bale under the tobacco barn overhang, they last really well.

 

If you're using a pick up to get it, and the farmer will load it with a tractor, then all you have to do is roll it off the truck and to where you want it to go and then tip it up and put the cattle panel around it. I put a pallet underneath to keep it off the ground and reduce moisture getting to it from underneath. The only time I really needed help was if I needed to roll a bale up a ramp onto a trailer or if it's a big bale that's been stacked on the bottom of a pile of bales and so has a flat side that makes it hard to roll....

 

I've done the math and at least here, it's cheaper to feed a round bale than to supplement with cubes, grain, etc. Much less labor intensive too.

 

J.

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I WISH we could get round bales out here--I've never seen one west of Wyoming,

A

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When I still had horses, I was able to get in on a semi load bought and delivered from CO. I think I got around 30 bales. You may want to look into that and see if you can find enough people to split a semi with you. Once, I got in on a load with a local trainer, and another, I responded to a CL ad looking for folks who were interested in splitting a full semi load. Worked out well.

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Thanks for all your help

I am trying to get enough people together so we can either get a large enough order for a semiload or a large enough order to get the pellets cheaper. In any case at least you all gave us options :)

 

How is the hay situation with you? From what I understand it like this all over the southwest. Taking stock to the salebarn is a last resort, lots of people are doing this, so the market is pretty much flooded with stock, at least down here!

I am also thinking by next summer/fall there will less lifestock and the prices wil recover. Any thoughts? I also shudder to think how much Beef will go up to next year since there really is a sell-off happening :(

 

What do you all think?

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The need for hay in the SW is running up prices around here and creating a shortage. When farmers can get 2-3times more for it in the SW they sell it there.

 

 

People are beginning to put ads on Craigslist to sell hay from Texas, the same hay they bought from NM, Its really driving prices up . 20 Dollars for a 3 string bale of Cow hay :o

 

Pam, Elsie and Meg are having birthdays :D

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I WISH we could get round bales out here--I've never seen one west of Wyoming,

A

 

Really? Everyone here puts up round bales, and I see them for sale on CL all the time. Granted, these are just local grass hay, nothing fancy. I haven't seen Timothy or orchard grass in rounds since I lived in Ohio. Except last year at Lee Lumb's in BC. They'd put some up, and I had hay envy!

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How do sheep and or goats do with pellets or cubes? As they have no top teeth can they bite into them good enough so they don't swallow them whole? All the hay here is going to TX too. I used be able to get some nice small compressed orchard hay bales from the local co op but they are all going to TX now. I can get some alfalfa/grass hay bales but at $12.50 per bale I pass and get the bermuda instead. I have nowhere to feed a round bale nor enough space to store much hay this year. So I buy a few bales at a time. I buy more when I can find a good deal.

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Mara, do you still have pasture left or have you started feeding hay?

 

Everybody is still on pasture except the ram/four ram lambs that weren't castrated. My dad's four "ornament" sheep near the house were turned out into the garden today to clean that up and then they'll start getting hay. The seven ewes etc down the road are in a 14-15 acre pasture and there is still plenty out there for them - I'll leave them on it until it snows.

 

How did your pasture do during the summer? The ornament sheep couldn't keep up with the field near the house this year (we always mow it for hay by the end of June and then they keep it down after that). Usually by the beginning of August I need to get creative with their grazing or pen them up for a week or so to let it grow back.

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