The better buy

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snoopdog

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Gonna have to buy some hay. I can get 4x5 bales for 30.00 or 5x6 for 40.00. It seems to me the 5x6 is the better buy , same hay . However , if the percentage of waste is more with the bigger bales maybe not , Ive had good luck regulating the amount with smaller bales , almost zero waste , what do you think ? And any math gurus feel free to chime in , not my strong suit .
 

ddd75

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5x6 is the better deal.


I figure 30 lbs / per full size cow a day.
 

Texasmark

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Not withstanding the density and quality of the product, from a volumetric standpoint considering the 5x6 as 141 units:

5x6.....141
5x5.5...119
5x5...... 98
5x4...... 63
4x6......113
4x5.5.....95
4x5.......78
4x4.......50

So a 4x5 at 78 vs a 5x6 at 141 you are getting about 2:1 the amount of hay for $40/30 = 33% increase in cost.....yes the 5x6 is your better buy.
 

kenny thomas

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Texasmark":3ub909kb said:
Not withstanding the density and quality of the product, from a volumetric standpoint considering the 5x6 as 141 units:

5x6.....141
5x5.5...119
5x5...... 98
5x4...... 63
4x6......113
4x5.5.....95
4x5.......78
4x4.......50

So a 4x5 at 78 vs a 5x6 at 141 you are getting about 2:1 the amount of hay for $40/30 = 33% increase in cost.....yes the 5x6 is your better buy.
I didn't realize the,difference in 4x5 than 5x4.
 
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snoopdog

snoopdog

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ddd75":3aj9qgqp said:
5x6 is the better deal.


I figure 30 lbs / per full size cow a day.
Is that for dry cows? I have fall calvers right now, and feeding about twice that much . Calves are about 250-400, my season was a little spread out this year . I'm not noticing any changes in bcs up or down on the cows, but we have been feeding since oct because of dry conditions , had absolutely no fall pasture .
 

Fire Sweep Ranch

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Hay bought WITHOUT a test is worthless! That 5x6 may test at 8% protein, versus the 4x5 at 12%. SO therefore the cows will need to eat more of the 5x6 to get the same nutrition.

I NEVER buy hay without testing it. No one in Missouri tests hay, so I have to test it and pay for it. Example; I bought 78 bales from a friend down the road, contingent on protein and RFV. Well, the protein was 15% dry, and RFV of 112, HOWEVER, the Nitrate was 2.4% which is UNSAFE for pregnant cows. I had to buy it, since it met my criteria, however had I not tested it, I would have fed it to my cows and likely caused ABORTIONS! I am feeding it to my open heifer group, bull group, and horses.
A hay test here is $18, well worth preventing issues.....
 

ddd75

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in ky they'll actually come out to your farm and test it for free.
 

Texasmark

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snoopdog":giwqjv0i said:
ddd75":giwqjv0i said:
5x6 is the better deal.


I figure 30 lbs / per full size cow a day.
Is that for dry cows? I have fall calvers right now, and feeding about twice that much . Calves are about 250-400, my season was a little spread out this year . I'm not noticing any changes in bcs up or down on the cows, but we have been feeding since oct because of dry conditions , had absolutely no fall pasture .

I too have been feeding since Mid October when, what grass there was, just vanished. I fed SS and JG mixes, some from spring baling and the rest was freshly baled. Both went fast; too fast. Ran out and switched to Coastal Bermuda with a tad of JG and consumption dropped to my expectations for supply and demand. I like that better as most are first time heifers and loaded for the drop....."Any Day Now.......". Way too fat even though moms and pop are black. Also helps to keep the supply adequate to cover things till spring.

Point here is that consumption varies and one of the variables is how well they like what you put in front of them. Sometimes less desirable "dishes" are required to regulate over consumption.
 

Texasmark

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Fire Sweep Ranch":20dc0nha said:
Hay bought WITHOUT a test is worthless! That 5x6 may test at 8% protein, versus the 4x5 at 12%. SO therefore the cows will need to eat more of the 5x6 to get the same nutrition.

I NEVER buy hay without testing it. No one in Missouri tests hay, so I have to test it and pay for it. Example; I bought 78 bales from a friend down the road, contingent on protein and RFV. Well, the protein was 15% dry, and RFV of 112, HOWEVER, the Nitrate was 2.4% which is UNSAFE for pregnant cows. I had to buy it, since it met my criteria, however had I not tested it, I would have fed it to my cows and likely caused ABORTIONS! I am feeding it to my open heifer group, bull group, and horses.
A hay test here is $18, well worth preventing issues.....

Been running cows for over 35 years. Biggest herd was 30 or so. Never tested, got what I could get or what I baled, never had a miscarriage, still born, or abort that I know of. Hay sells by the bale, and nearest scales are 20 miles and a pain to use. As you surely know, once baled hard to tell what's in the bale by looking at it other than stretching your arms across it and pulling out a plug and having a look.

Most hay that you buy comes from non prepared, non-fertilized sources, usually at full maturity, like the field gets cut once, maybe twice a year, never saw a herbicide, and on prepared sources (SS) usually they grow for volume, not quality, so you get a lot of mature plants with large, non-nutritive stems. No scales for weighing. Up to you to figure what you are buying and it's a crap shoot!
 

True Grit Farms

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My cows eat more hay when it's cold. I don't test my hay anymore, there's no need. When you cut your own hay you know what you have. My best hay has only made 11% protein, fairly good on the TDN though. I fertilize according to soil samples and cut it ASAP by growth, IMO Bahia grass just won't do it.
 

Allenw

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Texasmark":284jlrse said:
Fire Sweep Ranch":284jlrse said:
Hay bought WITHOUT a test is worthless! That 5x6 may test at 8% protein, versus the 4x5 at 12%. SO therefore the cows will need to eat more of the 5x6 to get the same nutrition.

I NEVER buy hay without testing it. No one in Missouri tests hay, so I have to test it and pay for it. Example; I bought 78 bales from a friend down the road, contingent on protein and RFV. Well, the protein was 15% dry, and RFV of 112, HOWEVER, the Nitrate was 2.4% which is UNSAFE for pregnant cows. I had to buy it, since it met my criteria, however had I not tested it, I would have fed it to my cows and likely caused ABORTIONS! I am feeding it to my open heifer group, bull group, and horses.
A hay test here is $18, well worth preventing issues.....

Been running cows for over 35 years. Biggest herd was 30 or so. Never tested, got what I could get or what I baled, never had a miscarriage, still born, or abort that I know of. Hay sells by the bale, and nearest scales are 20 miles and a pain to use. As you surely know, once baled hard to tell what's in the bale by looking at it other than stretching your arms across it and pulling out a plug and having a look.

Most hay that you buy comes from non prepared, non-fertilized sources, usually at full maturity, like the field gets cut once, maybe twice a year, never saw a herbicide, and on prepared sources (SS) usually they grow for volume, not quality, so you get a lot of mature plants with large, non-nutritive stems. No scales for weighing. Up to you to figure what you are buying and it's a crap shoot!


I've sold it across the scales and b the bale, mostly by the bale some times with no more then a verbal description of the hay over the phone. I can usually talk to some one a little bit or even text, which I hate doing, and know we're on the same page or not about the hay description. I think I had one protein test question this year from a bargain hunter, he wasn't the only bargain hunter. I've sold a lot of hay cheap this year but that was what it was.
 

skyhightree1

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I don't buy and usually guys buy from me use a smell test before buying...lol I look at it this way the animals survived way before testing was around so why bother ???
 

farmerjan

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We don't test and the only hay we sell pretty much is small squares of orchard grass. Have regular customers every year for that. If someone is interested, they come look at it, take a bale home to see if the animals like it and go from there. Someone wants to test it, fine. But we give no guarantees. The rolls we sell are usually to fellow beef farmers and they are not too picky. If they are buying hay, they need it and it beats snowballs. We do round bale some of our orchard grass first cutting all according to how hay making is going, maturity, weather etc. But 2nd and 3rd cutting is square baled unless we are pushing a window to get it up or get it wet. We do fertilize all our orchard grass according to soil tests, and use alot of poultry litter for added organic matter going back into the soil. We also fertilize the fields that we have improved and ones we know we will have for awhile...leases with at least 3-5 years. We have had one place for nearly 20 years and have done a 2 year renovation and will be putting it back into orchard grass this year after sorghum/sudan, wheat, barley, and I forget, what else he has used in the rotation. 2 years of other cropping to get out the weeds, and will work up the ground and then drill the orchard grass.
We also buy some round bales when someone calls and says hey, I have 30 rolls and need to get it moved and if it is halfway decent we usually get it for less than what it costs to make it. Always have some extra and we like to have a good amount of extra to fall back on. Feeding out some 3 yr old hay now that is starting to fall apart and they are eating it like candy. Any waste is putting organic matter back into the soil so I don't consider it a waste.
 

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