Hay. How old is to old?

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by allanimals21, Sep 8, 2010.

  1. allanimals21

    allanimals21 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 27, 2009
    How old is too old when it comes to hay? I bought some hay from a gentleman last year that was amazing. Perfect for the goats. He has offered me a good deal on what he has left (100 bales). My concern is how long is hay good for? He said some of it smells a little musty but otherwise is in good shape? How do you decide?
  2. mississippifarmboy

    mississippifarmboy collects slightly damaged strays

    Ok, gonna show my hill-billy roots here but..
    Taste it. If it smells and taste sweet it's ok to use. If it's moldy, musty smelling, dusty or has a neutral or bitter taste it's no good.
    Don't laugh, it works. My Grandfather taught me that trick and I've tested it after I got older. Any that passed the test the critters ate like crazy, any that didn't pass the smell and taste test they just nibbled on but wouldn't eat.
  3. huntercf

    huntercf Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 17, 2010
    Quote:Sounds like good advice, if it isn't moldy and musty smelling then is is ok to use. Hay should ideally be used within a year of cutting but only because it will lose nutrients over time. If it looks smells ok then it is fine to use.
  4. allanimals21

    allanimals21 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 27, 2009
    ok. well he said it smelled a little musty. Maybe it would just be best to look for some newer stuff? He was gonna to sell me 100 bales of hay for $1.50 a bale and then throw in about 20 straw bales for free. All last years stuff
  5. First To Hatch

    First To Hatch Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 30, 2008
    New York
    You could get a couple for bedding?
  6. WhiteMountainsRanch

    WhiteMountainsRanch Overrun With Chickens

    Jun 19, 2010
    San Diego, CA
    Thats a good price. Seems you could use the ones that don't have obvious mold-stuffs for food, and could use the rest for something else like composting...? Just an idea. [​IMG]
  7. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    If it smells "musty" (and if HE is TELLING you that, it is quite possible it is worse than merely "musty") then it should not be used around livestock. Don't feed it; and don't use it as bedding either (because they will eat some of it, and because they will be inhaling all those mold spores)

    The only really appropriate use for moldy ("musty") hay is as garden mulch or for composting.

    If it were totally-NOT musty/moldy, then although it will lose some nutrition after the first 8 months to a year, it is still reasonable (if you have no better choice) to feed it up to a couple years old although you would want an analysis and you would want to supplement certain vitamins. However *nearly* all the old hay I've ever seen was not in a fit condition to be fed due to moldiness.

    I would steer far clear of this stuff you've been offered.

    Good luck, have fun,

  8. theoldchick

    theoldchick The Chicken Whisperer Premium Member

    May 11, 2010
    I never feed anything older than two years even if it's in a barn. Hay will lose nutrients over time-especially square bales. Goats are picky eaters as they know what is good for them. Using musty hay as bedding is asking for all kind of respiratory problems. Sometimes cheap hay will cost you in the long run....I recommend extreme caution.
  9. allanimals21

    allanimals21 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 27, 2009
    Quote:what kind of goats do you have that they are picky eaters?! [​IMG] lol jk Billy my alpine wether eats anything and everything. And I'm not just saying that!

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