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 Post subject: Haylage
PostPosted: Fri May 06, 2016 9:22 pm 
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This has been sprung on me tonight and as I'd started at 4am I wasn't really listening

We have 10 horses in the yard how much haylage will they eat per year ? what size of bale is best to make ? I take it knarly ole shite grass isn't good enough ?
Is it an earner or have they been fed a load of bull ?
£350/ac has been mentioned :roll:
Do you cut it before it goes to seed ?

I may have to be busy spraying that day :wink:

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 Post subject: Re: Haylage
PostPosted: Fri May 06, 2016 9:49 pm 
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Location: south Suffolk
Depends on the horses, the owners, and the haylage, but 5kg/day is very low, and 30kg/day is very high.

Small bales are popular with private horse owners, but the spoilage rate for small bale haylage is high. Large round or large rectangular bales are safer, and the only problem is using them fully before they spoil. With 10 horses, that shouldn't be a major problem. It is useful being able to move round bales by hand, but if a front-end loader is usually available, it's easier to break sections off rectangular bales.

Cultivate contacts with sheep and cattle farmers, because they'll often accept haylage cheerfully, which horsey types wouldn't (and that's how we get ours). The selling price is lower, but then so is the hassle factor, and I think our normal supplier is pleased to sell to us.

I'm no expert on this, but that's my experience for what it's worth.


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 Post subject: Re: Haylage
PostPosted: Sat May 07, 2016 8:56 am 
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One thing that still catches me out is that 'osses don't need the high quality rocket fuel that dairy cows need. Ours has nearly always gone to seed when we cut it. As long as the hay isn't moldy, the horses seem to like the lower quality rougher grass. However it will be too green/brown, the bales too heavy/light, it's too dusty, the twine doesn't the colour of their wellies and can we pay next week?

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 Post subject: Re: Haylage
PostPosted: Sat May 07, 2016 10:20 am 
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I think the paying bit will be tied in with livery anyway and I think we attract the better type of horsey type.

Just need to sort how much acreage to leave them and what's the best size bale

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 Post subject: Re: Haylage
PostPosted: Sat May 07, 2016 10:47 am 
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jonnieboy wrote:
I think the paying bit will be tied in with livery anyway and I think we attract the better type of horsey type.

Just need to sort how much acreage to leave them and what's the best size bale


Assuming it's not fully self-service livery, I'd go for 4' round bales. Once you're used to them, stripping off hay or haylage in one-horse portion sizes is easy enough, and the speed of baling greatly increases the chances of snatching good hay/haylage in the first place.

On quantities you'll really have to do a bit more local research: horses on light work (which almost all domestic riding horses are) can get by very nicely on hay or haylage (or grass) and very little else, but often they get fed concentrate as well, which is when laminitis starts to crop up, and the quantities of roughage need to drop right down. I have no idea how productive your land is, and therefore how many tons per acre of grass it will produce, but your neighbours ought to know roughly.

There is no sharp boundary between hay and haylage, and they're interchangeable to a large extent as feeds as well. My neighbour, who has a substantial hay and haylage making business, wraps quite a lot of his round bales as either hay or haylage depending on weather and the state of the grass crops, and in most years a fair bit of hay remains unwrapped. Round unwrapped hay bales will tolerate moderate rain, which can save a significant amount in both the cost of wrapping plastic, and the time & effort needed to do it.

He also breaks up big round bales and re-bales them in a barn as small conventionals at quiet times over the winter, and claims it works well. The costings and margins are not obvious looking at the operation from outside, but he's a shrewd man.


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 Post subject: Re: Haylage
PostPosted: Sat May 07, 2016 11:56 am 
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Find a local supplier and let them have all the headaches.
Ffuking haylage. :roll:

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 Post subject: Re: Haylage
PostPosted: Sat May 07, 2016 2:05 pm 
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LM Likes this :thumleft:

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 Post subject: Re: Haylage
PostPosted: Sat May 07, 2016 4:58 pm 
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Jo brought 20 for her pony this year about £20 each, last one has just been used.
Haylege is rocket fuel ish, and they don't need as much as say hay. Despite what some owners might think.
They do go off as soon as you break the seal, these lasted about a week. Which was fine.
These ones this year were classed as 50kg bales, and were round bales about 2 ft in diameter and about 4 and half foot tall, very heavy to move about.

Last year we made 4 ft rounds that lasted all three a week,
Two methods of making it,
Cut it as per hay but bale and wrap it a day and a half earlier before it becomes dry hay.
Or cut it a bit earlier than hay but still with a fair percentage headed then wrap at the right moisture content which I can't remember what it is.


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 Post subject: Re: Haylage
PostPosted: Sat May 07, 2016 8:32 pm 
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I think I would prefer non mechanical bale handling If possible
must be hard work for a little baler though I hope they've improved in the 30 yrs since I had the displeasure of working one .
Oh well see what the girlie's want

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 Post subject: Re: Haylage
PostPosted: Sat May 07, 2016 8:47 pm 
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Location: Norfolk
jonnieboy wrote:
I think I would prefer non mechanical bale handling If possible
must be hard work for a little baler though I hope they've improved in the 30 yrs since I had the displeasure of working one .
Oh well see what the girlie's want

I think we know what they want. :lol:

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