Saturday, July 31, 2010

Cutting Back: Episode 5: Hay part II

This is a follow-up to my first Cutting Back post. I have some additional information to share with you all.

Buying hay locally
I have found a few more websites that connect you with hay sellers in your area:
Internet Hay Exchange has listings in all 50 states and allows you to post wanted ads if you can't find what you're looking for in the sellers' advertisements, plus a hay price calculator and other neat stuff.
The Hay Barn, though most of its listings are here in America, is an international website that works basically the same way as the Internet Hay Exchange, allowing sellers and buyers to post ads and search by state. Personally I think it's easier to navigate, even though it has fewer listings.
Lastly, the Texas Department of Agriculture has a Hay Hotline on their site, which lists hay for sale in not only Texas, but many other states. It is worth a try if you are really having trouble finding hay in your area. It allows you to search by type and quality of hay, and you can narrow it down to organic/not organic as well.
Farm Fodder is a site for Australian farmers, with several listings for hay.

Storing hay
If you are having trouble wondering how you're going to store an entire bale of hay [usually around 40"x24"x24", 40-50lbs] in your house or apartment, I have some more ideas for you.
This website and this one sells hay bags which, though costly, are easy to tote and contain a lot of mess. The first website also sells half hay bale bags, among other things.
You can also share a bale of hay with a friend. You can use a chainsaw to chop a bale of hay in half, or you can remove the bailing twine/wire and break it up into flakes--a bale usually consists of 8-10+ flakes, depending on how your hay was baled.
I didn't mention this in my first post, but garages are a great place to store hay, so long as there isn't a lot of direct sunlight or any leaks, you can put a pallet down [often free at places like feed stores or home improvement stores, even from local barns] and put up hay like you would in a barn. I plan to do this for the coming winter, since I just renewed my lease and my roommate suckered our landlady into giving us the garage she was renting out separately.

If you have any tips to share, please post them here!

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