How to tell age and nutrition of round bales

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NonTypicalCPA

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I'm curious for those who buy their rounds, how do you tell the quality and age of a bale? Obviously mold and dirt would be easy to spot. Past experience with the seller would also be helpful. But if you going to buy from a guy for the first time, what do you look for? I'm feeding a few bales from two summers ago and it is tough to see much difference from this spring's first cutting.
 

dun

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ONly way I know to tell the nutrition is to have it tested, age there ain;t no way.
 

Workinonit Farm

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dun":1n9l7jxo said:
ONly way I know to tell the nutrition is to have it tested, age there ain;t no way.

:nod: :nod:

Sure-fire way to check for nutritional value, test it.

As for age by how it looks, I've seen barn-stored hay (3 years) look better than 2 weeks-past-baling. Can't always tell by appearances.
 

Cucumber35

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Forage test is the only way to know, not hard to do. If the nutrition is good the age makes no difference. I've fed hay that sat in the barn several years and they ate it like candy over stuff cut the same year.
 

MRRherefords

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Cucumber35":1195iv5c said:
I've fed hay that sat in the barn several years and they ate it like candy over stuff cut the same year.
Same here. Actually did it last week. They sometimes turn their noses up at the fresh stuff and go crazy over the couple year old hay.
 

TexasBred

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Son of Butch":1qf9o5t4 said:
Age - ask
nutrients are stable, but vitamins degrade in 6-10 months, for 2 yr old hay supplement with vitamins
Hardly !!!! Hay can lose up to 20% of it's nutrients the first year after being baled, thus the need for a current test. How hay is baled (tightness of the bale or roll), how it is stacked and stored will also affect how rapidly it loses it's nutritional value. Vitamins are minimal in hay so totally disregard them and furnish a good mineral at all times.
 

Craig Miller

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TexasBred":30megpbt said:
Son of Butch":30megpbt said:
Age - ask
nutrients are stable, but vitamins degrade in 6-10 months, for 2 yr old hay supplement with vitamins
Hardly !!!! Hay can lose up to 20% of it's nutrients the first year after being baled, thus the need for a current test. How hay is baled (tightness of the bale or roll), how it is stacked and stored will also affect how rapidly it loses it's nutritional value. Vitamins are minimal in hay so totally disregard them and furnish a good mineral at all times.

Auburn is doing an experiment now on barn stored hay. Testing it every year. They said they think everybody will lose interest in the test before the quality drops too low. They are expecting it to last 20 years. Five years into it now.
 

TexasBred

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Craig Miller":hq0q6asv said:
TexasBred":hq0q6asv said:
Son of Butch":hq0q6asv said:
Age - ask
nutrients are stable, but vitamins degrade in 6-10 months, for 2 yr old hay supplement with vitamins
Hardly !!!! Hay can lose up to 20% of it's nutrients the first year after being baled, thus the need for a current test. How hay is baled (tightness of the bale or roll), how it is stacked and stored will also affect how rapidly it loses it's nutritional value. Vitamins are minimal in hay so totally disregard them and furnish a good mineral at all times.

Auburn is doing an experiment now on barn stored hay. Testing it every year. They said they think everybody will lose interest in the test before the quality drops too low. They are expecting it to last 20 years. Five years into it now.

Here is a story about some work done by A&M Extension:

http://www.tylerpaper.com/TP-News+Local ... dry-matter
 

Craig Miller

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TexasBred":c5zjdv23 said:
Craig Miller":c5zjdv23 said:
TexasBred":c5zjdv23 said:
Hardly !!!! Hay can lose up to 20% of it's nutrients the first year after being baled, thus the need for a current test. How hay is baled (tightness of the bale or roll), how it is stacked and stored will also affect how rapidly it loses it's nutritional value. Vitamins are minimal in hay so totally disregard them and furnish a good mineral at all times.

Auburn is doing an experiment now on barn stored hay. Testing it every year. They said they think everybody will lose interest in the test before the quality drops too low. They are expecting it to last 20 years. Five years into it now.

Here is a story about some work done by A&M Extension:

http://www.tylerpaper.com/TP-News+Local ... dry-matter

From the article:
Research has shown that a firm round bale stored outside for one year loses 22 percent of its dry matter. When stored outside for two years, the same bale loses 25 percent of its dry matter, leaving 75 percent of its original weight for feeding. Most nutrient losses in hay bales occur in the outer portion of the bale.

Big difference between inside and outside storage. Auburn showed similar results on the hay they tested stored outside.
 

Son of Butch

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I was sloppy with my answer, I should have prefaced it with....when properly stored.
I walked past a couple of large square bales today laying out single for 2 or 3 Minnesota winters, so wet and rotted
they are nearly baled manure. Only nutrients in them will be this fall when I spread them on the field for plowing under.
 

dun

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Son of Butch":uxzzeiie said:
I was sloppy with my answer, I should have prefaced it with....when properly stored.
I walked past a couple of large square bales today laying out single for 2 or 3 Minnesota winters, so wet and rotted
they are nearly baled manure. Only nutrients in them will be this fall when I spread them on the field for plowing under.
Squares, large or small don;t shed water like round bales. If the round bale is set on end it gets just as funky as squares do when stored outside
 

1982vett

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After the first few months, if stored in the dry, age is mostly irrelevant. Around here, I wouldn't want to buy any hay stored outside......
 

ALACOWMAN

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I baled some hay once that got rained on pretty good before baling, it was nearly black when baled with mold...just stacked it behind the shed..set there awhile, looked like black hills after awhile... So I dicided to use it to fill in a hole...the cows got in there and ate every straw.. Think they even licked the ground...this was when there was grass and warm weather....
 

True Grit Farms

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ALACOWMAN":3ez97yi7 said:
I baled some hay once that got rained on pretty good before baling, it was nearly black when baled with mold...just stacked it behind the shed..set there awhile, looked like black hills after awhile... So I dicided to use it to fill in a hole...the cows got in there and ate every straw.. Think they even licked the ground...this was when there was grass and warm weather....

Ice cream is good, but doesn't do much for you.
 

MtnCows93

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Dad told me he fed some 25 year old square bales out of a barn loft and the cows ate it good, we figured it being in the loft it never had a chance to catch any moisture like it would stacked in the barn on the ground
 

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