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Old 05-14-2006, 01:15 PM   #1
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Is this Hay bad?

I went and got 16 bales of fescue on Friday. I noticed about 4 of the bales where much heavier than the others and they looked alot fresher so I did'nt think much of it. Well Saturday morning I went to cut open one of the heavier greener-looking bales and it was moist on the inside and hot to the touch! It was even steaming! So I took those 4 bales and cut all of them open so they could at least air out and not catch fire. They all looked so fresh, but the whole hot steaming damp hay thing is unsettling. Should I just toss those 4 bales? I dont think the guy let them cure properly, or maybe they got wet?? They didn't have any visible mold, but they ALL where hot to the touch when you cut them open and damp so Im at a loss... any suggestions or similar experiences would be greatly appreciated! Thanks
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Old 05-14-2006, 01:31 PM   #2
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Chances are they were baled a little damp - not sure what the weather is like there, but here it is nearly impossible for hay to dry properly - however, that is also how barn fires started by hay are caused. Unless the hay smells like mold, you should be fine, I'd just give them some time to cool off and dry out, and give it a good go-though before you feed it.
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Old 05-14-2006, 01:38 PM   #3
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Thanks AJ! I was worried that I would have to toss all of the hay and thats not cool!
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Old 05-14-2006, 02:22 PM   #4
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Yeah, we've gotten coastal like that when they start sending the really green fresh stuff.
Most times, they are baled right after cutting and not dried properly before baling.

Not sure if I'd feed it, but I'd probably open them up to cool and dry out, and go from there.
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Old 05-14-2006, 03:43 PM   #5
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but here it is nearly impossible for hay to dry properly
I'm only 1 1/2 hours north of you and we have the same problem up here. In fact many of the older horses up here have varying decrease of heaves due to this. It is found that many of the farmers don't know how to bale hay for horses because they bale it too early.

I've had bales of hay that were too green and got warm also. Those I either feed right away or just open up to cool and dry but it's very important to catch them before there's a fire!
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Old 05-14-2006, 06:34 PM   #6
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Personally, I would be a little cautious. The heat is caused by fermentation which, if it goes far enough, can result in some pretty sour stuff.

I wouldn't necessarily throw it away if it's not too far gone, but in addition to breaking it apart to stop the fermentation, I would mix it with good dry hay so they wouldn't just be getting the wet stuff.

It's hard to "make hay when the sun shines" if the sun doesn't shine...
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Old 05-14-2006, 06:40 PM   #7
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Hay Bales

I agree about being cautious. Even thouogh you can't see the mould if its hot like that it is probably there. I don't feed anything like that . I load it back in the truck and sell it to the old farmer down the road for a buck a bale and he feeds it to his goats.

After buying a horse years ago that was soooo heavey and learning so much about heaves and how they are caused I am very cautious about what I feed. Horses are very sensitive to mould.
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Old 05-15-2006, 01:31 PM   #8
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Just an FYI, if you find hay that's wet/damp, toss salt on it...it will absorb the moisture and help prevent hay from molding/getting hot...

Just when you feed it, make sure that there is plenty of water available to the horses if you use alot of salt...
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Old 05-15-2006, 03:02 PM   #9
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Thanks you guys!
I have never heard of the salt trick but I think I will give it a try. I hate this time a year hay-wise. You either get last cutting from last year or first cutting from this year thats damp and hot. Ugh! We have used this little face alot on this topic so I will do the same! LoL
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