The drought has taken its toll

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Riverrose28

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I'm on the East coast and it not as bad as for those of you in the plain states, but still we don't have a second cutting of hay yet, if ever this year. What are your plans for the winter, are you scaling back on horses, feeding beet pulp, cubes, alfalfa pellets, or what?
 

MountainWoman

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We're lucky to live in Vermont and hay is plentiful this year. I feel very fortunate to have stocked in second cut for our long winters. I can't imagine what it's like for those of you who are affected by the terrible drought and have to worry about wells drying up and no hay for your horses.
 

little lady

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I was lucky and got what I thought was my hay for winter; however I am already feeding it and normally don't have to start feeding until October. So I have bought hay cubes and I am going to use those to help stretch the hay. I am also checking out other options since feeding is already jumping up in price. Three weeks ago I bought a bag of Purina Miniature feed for 13.49 and this week the same bag cost 15.99!
As of right now no plans to cut back but plans for adding have been put on hold.
 

hoofhearted

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Most likely will plan on going broke..cannot stand the 'hungry look' from the crew at the barn..picking up more hay this weekend, it's fescue, and it's not cheap..oh well..
 

chandab

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I'm lucky, this year is one of the few years that our area is NOT in a drought, and we'll have enough hay for the horses, although it'll be a stretch for the cows. I'll probably feed a bit more hay cubes and beet pulp than in previous years, but that is more for improving quality over increasing quantity.
 

Katiean

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Hay hasn't really increased yet. I am buying extra hay every time I go to the hay yard.
 

littlebigspots

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We are having a hard time finding anything quality here in MI. Cutting back the big horse, going to board one it will be cheaper then feeding at home. We started adding soaked beet pulp with alfalfa cubes this week to make up for the poor hay.
 

Davie

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I feed hay year round and have put in 270 bales and have my fingers crossed that my hay guy gets his last cutting of alfalfa in September as I need at least another 100 bales. We got an inch of rain last Saturday and the forcast is for rain starting tomorrow afternoon through Sunday with between 1-2 inches here in central Oklahoma. It will help but won't pull us out of the drought. I use at least 3 round bales a month as well and my hay guy who supplies those is almost ready to quit selling so he will have enough for his cattle--he has already said he will have to sell some cattle to make it through.

Lumber 2 already has hay prices that are higher now than at the peak of winter last year--a 3x3x8 bale of alfalfa last year was 139.99 it is now 169.99 and I did not even ask about grass hay as yet.

I have given away 3 horse and need to cut back another 4-7 to really feel comfortable about this winter . Last winter was bad enough and it was extremely mild and the complete feed I feed never got over 9.50 a bag--usually around $7.50. I called today and the pellets are already over 10.50 a bag and the mill says it won't stop there.
 
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mydaddysjag

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I cant find decent baled hay in western PA, I swear I struck gold when I found that out tractor supply was discontinuing carrying TNT chops and I got they for $6 a bag. Normal price is $16.99 Yea, I bought all they had in the warehouse.

The price of grain has been skyrocketing too. Last weekend I went and bought enough grain to last me 5 or 6 months so I could lock in on the price. it had already went up $3 a bag at that point. I went back to get shavings the following wednesday and it was up another $1.05. They said to expect it to go up all winter like that.

I do have two horses for sale, but it has nothing to do with the drought, I put them up for sale before I knew about the hay and grain prices. I have hay for a year, and grain for 6 months, so Im comfortable now. A little scared about the grain price when I need more, but time will tell
 

Erica

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I normally have enough grass/pastures to only feed hay to my pasture horses Dec-end of March.........this year I have been feeding hay since first of May, along with feeding three times as much grain to my pasture horses as normal. We usually get 2-3 cuttings on our hay fields, this year we got a very small first cutting of 50 round bales....and since I have just opted to open both of my hay fields up to let the horses graze before it completely burns up. I have purchased 300 square bales and have a semi load of round bales coming in after Nationals. While we are in extreme drought, other places have had a stellar hay year and while it may feel like you are buying gold, I found hay out of state I could ship in. I'm hoping that will do to get me through winter....though I feel even with rain it will take more than a year for our ground to recover from this years drought. They have classified our area as "double" exceptional ...

I have had a good year selling horses, 18...and while most were my "keepers" in this drought I knew I had to offer some normally NFS horses. Had to sell some to pay for all the hay needed, and to keep numbers down so they didn't destroy the pastures. At present I only have 5 horses left for sale and even if they don't sell I will have plenty of hay or if I don't I'll go find some more.
 

wingnut

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Concerns around hay as well as other issues has caused me to consider the idea of downsizing. I was very lucky that a neighbor has agreed to take my two "newest" horses (last in, last out?). The rising cost of everything has been a big part of the reason I'm doing this but more importantly, I have found I cannot give all 6 horses the time and attention *I* think they should have.

The people who are taking them (next weekend) live 1 mile down the road. This same family helped us three years ago when we needed to bring home our first horse (Izzy, a yearling at the time) but we weren't quite ready for her here at our place. They have a lovely 1.5 acres fenced well with a really nice 2-stall w/8 ft tackroom shed row barn. The wife loves horses and their attempt to own full size horses hasn't worked out (first time, pony with a companion horse ended after two *really* bad falls for their 11 yr old who said she didn't want to ride anymore, and then two rescue yearlings that they realized that they didn't have the $$$ to have them broke well to only then not ride them in the end...so they found them new homes). The wife just wants something to take care of and spend time with. The two I'm giving to them are going to be well taken care of. And they come back here if it doesn't work out.

Our plan is to fill up our large stock horse trailer with hay to store because our tackroom can only hold about 65 bales (30lb bales). We hope to get 150 bales in there. That plus we're going to experiment with a single round bale that will be placed in the dry lot, surrounded by the 5 panels (plus gate) round pen I found on Craigslist last spring (need 4 more panels to make it a usable round pen). It will also be in a hay bale bag that I saw recommended here once to help preserve it while they eat on it. We will give them free access to that most of the time, but can close it off as needed by either blocking them from the dry lot or close the round pen. It will be a slightly lesser quality hay because it won't contain alfalfa like the square bales we use.

That's my tentative plan for now.
 
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MajorClementine

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We sold one riding mare this year but will keep everyone else. We were really lucky to get TONS of rain in July. I think we had more wet days than dry. We were worried about running out of irrigation water but ended up doing okay. Everyone was assigned a "turn" this year and they were a little further apart than usual but it worked out. Everyone got a 2nd cut up here and the dairy that grows alfalfa for silage is going to get a 3rd cut at the end of this month!

We paid about $180 a ton for grass/alfalfa 1st cut and $200 a ton for straight alfalfa 2nd cut. We loaded up this year because you never know what next year will bring. We also bought 3/4 ton bales this year and we haven't done that in the past. None of the riding horses get grain unless we're riding them REALLY hard (hunting season etc) and the minis only go through a bag every few months.

I have noticed however, that chicken feed is going up like crazy. I guess anything "corn based" is going to skyrocket. We'll prob buy a beef and a weener pig next year to raise since the price of meat is going up so much. Everything is just going to cost more. Gunna have to start cutting out whatever we don't need.
 

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