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Hay Storage Waste After 2+ Years ?

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Stocker Steve

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Been offered some 2015 alfalfa/grass mix 5x6s stored outside. Bales are squatting a bit... I would have to peel off a layer when feeding. How much waste would you estimate on these old bales vs. 2017 hay when fed next winter?

Also found some weathered 5 to 6 year old grass bales that are not squatting. Have you successfully fed this kind, or should I just consider it bedding?
 

Aaron

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Depends how tight they were baled and how many wraps of plastic twine or net on them. If old spring tension baler and sisal twine - you might as well save your money.
 

Craig Miller

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Offered for free? Theres something like 25% of the bale in the outer layer so youd lose a good bit there. Not to mention the outer edges of each bale.
 

jkwilson

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I put up grass hay 10 or 15 years ago and ran out of room to store it. I left a few bales along the tree line in a far field planning to feed them first.

Fed a few, but it got so muddy that winter I decided to stop going back there to avoid tearing everything up.

Fast forward a few years and they were still there. Squatted down and ugly. We got a late big snow. With several calves already on the ground, I decided I'd grab a couple of bales of the old hay and break them up for the calves to use as bedding. Went out the next day, and the spot was practically clean. The cows went crazy over it even though they had plenty of new hay available.

Never know until you try it.
 

Boot Jack Bulls

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Craig Miller":2ef0cbpp said:
Offered for free? Theres something like 25% of the bale in the outer layer so youd lose a good bit there. Not to mention the outer edges of each bale.

I saw a chart on FB the other day that showed the outer 6 inches on a bale constituted about 25% of the overall volume on a 4x5 bale I think.
 

Nesikep

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If you're feeding it while they also have grass to eat, they'll probably happily eat all of it... If it's their only food, they're not going to be very happy about it
 

Cucumber35

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Unless they are usually picky I'd bet they will eat it fine. I've put out some ugly looking trash lots of times and it's surprising how much they eat it and even do well on it. I always feed the outside stored stuff or worst looking hay first so they don't get spoiled on good stuff early in the winter. Then by the time they are into the colder weather and closer to calving I am into the better hay usually.
 

littletom

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My dad puts old junk hay in ditches and places for erosion they always eat it no matter how bad
 

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