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Discussion Starter #41
Lovely to hear from a fellow Aussie.
We're on the Central Tablelands so our droughty situations must be similar. We have a lot of roos and wallabies, plus emu and wild boar. The roos take their share of of the hay, but not a lot I can do about that.

I've been 'banking' hay for a year or so now and our shed is full too. It's impossible to get lucerne cubes any longer from our local suppliers, but we make good use of the fallen loose hay from the shed floor, and our hay supplier lays out a tarp to catch anything when he delivers and unloads bales for us. I admit to feeding the best equine quality lucerne, but have also started on some teff recently.

We're currently paying $22 per bale and $18.50 respectively from a great supplier based in Forbes - this is almost half the price my local town suppliers were asking last summer. Our kids from the last drop are now almost fully weaned and are going through hay like locusts.

Did you get snow last week?
 

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That's good prices for your hay. We've been paying $33 to $35 for small bales of lucerne and $22 to $28 for small bales of pasture hay. In the big bales, the lucerne 8x4x3 is $400, pasture hay 8x3x3 around $350 and 8x3x4 of vetch/pea hay $380 to $400. Small bales of same around $25. We got a bale of teff hay about a year ago for my pet bunnies originally but they wouldn't have a bar of it. Tried it on the Nubians next who didn't want to know about it so the old cow (22 years old) was the next 'victim' and she turned her nose up as well.

The goats love the vetch hay which is fed mixed in with pasture hay - they always clean up the vetch first before moving on to the other.

And no, we didn't get any snow last week.
 

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Discussion Starter #43
I am mixing my teff with the lucerne. Goats are supposed to love it (I'm told) but mine turn their noses up at it if it's offered on its own. After picking out all the lucerne the teff is usually gone by next morning. I have another 29 bales to use up... Vetch is available only rarely but I'll keep an eye out. Mine seem to leave a lot of waste which I rake up and use for bedding, but I now use plastic kiddy wading pools secured to the fence posts, and this seems to avoid a lot of wastage.

If you do need hay, my supplier is Nu-Walla Contracting - really nice reliable people and they charge $1 per bale for unloading and stacking in the shed (a huge job which I couldn't handle) but they do insist on a minimum order of 60 bales.
 

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Thanks for the info on Nu-Walla - a $1 a bale unloaded and stacked sounds good! Could have used them back in the 1979-1984 drought when a semi-trailer loaded with 500 bales would arrive. The truckie would throw the bales down and we'd have to get them out of the way and stacked up asap!

We've got a couple of old wading pools about the place and hubby said he'd try this on the Nubians. Waste is such a problem with goats and hay and he's forever trying to come up with an idea for a hayrack that reduces waste to the absolute minimum.

Re lucerne cubes, hubby just rang the feed store we mainly use - Fife's Stock Feeds in Goulburn - and they said they have a good amount of these cubes at the moment ($33 for a 20k bag) and they've got some compressed lucerne bales for $24. Send an email to [email protected] if you'd like to contact us off-group...
 

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Discussion Starter #45 (Edited)
Waste really is a problem especially when prices are high. We have so little nutrients in the soil here that I reconcile myself that it's at least doing some good putting some nitrogen back in, and the spent hay gives me somewhere to hide grass or barley seed from the birds.

There are some interesting hay feeder ideas around using old IBCs that I would love to try - like this one below. We can sometimes find IBCs around the outskirts of Sydney for less than $50 which is much cheaper than buying something from the ag shop. This will be the next project on our long list...

Thanks for the info on the lucerne cubes. I don't use them much, but my horsey neighbours go through them quickly. I found an alternative which is probably a wee bit off-label for our kids to get them started on solids - Natty Kat kitty litter, but the small size of the pellets are easier for them to handle anyway.

Our first herd of cross-breds came from down Goulburn way, and I have many Monaro pioneer rels buried all around there :)

upload_2019-11-14_12-15-9.jpeg
 

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Thanks for the photo and as it turns out, we've got four of these already in use as hay racks for the Nubians, but not like that set-up. The top of our rack is covered as in that photo but the frame is stuffed full of hay. The goats can get a good part of their head in and reach the hay, but the thing needs rolling over to get the hay to the outside again when the goats have eaten all the hay within reach. Hope that makes sense! The frame has reduced wastage to some degree though.

Hubby very taken with that idea and will more than likely make one up like that. We have a couple of spares but they're on 'bushfire standby' at the moment and full of water.

The pasture hay cubes are all different sizes and I break down the bigger ones into 'goat mouth' size. Maybe the Nubians could handle the larger cubes but I don't want a choking Nubian to find out !!
 

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The goats love the vetch hay
I should think so! :)

@Miss Norris and @camooweal: When you speak about hay prices, I am often at a loss concerning the size of your bales. Here, we buy hay per kg.

Somewhere on this forum there is a thread about hayracks. Personally, I want to warn against all kinds of V-shaped holes, that could catch a goat-head.
 

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Trollmor said <<<When you speak about hay prices, I am often at a loss concerning the size of your bales. Here, we buy hay per kg.>>>

OK, so where I said in the big bales, lucerne 8x4x3 is $400, that translates to eight feet by four feet by three feet and $400 per bale.
 

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Be careful, they can get their horns caught and hang themselves.
Yes, that has happened, horns or no horns.
Trollmor said <<<When you speak about hay prices, I am often at a loss concerning the size of your bales. Here, we buy hay per kg.>>>

OK, so where I said in the big bales, lucerne 8x4x3 is $400, that translates to eight feet by four feet by three feet and $400 per bale.
And all of a sudden the metric conversion does not work any more! :( 8 feet ≈ 260 cm, times 4 feet ≈ 120 cm, no this simply is over my capacity today!

But 400 dollars is much for one bale, you mean 40$, don't you?
 

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<<<And all of a sudden the metric conversion does not work any more! :( 8 feet ≈ 260 cm, times 4 feet ≈ 120 cm, no this simply is over my capacity today!>>>

Feed stores still use the old measurement when it comes to bale size. In metric, 8x4x3 works out to 2.4 metres by 1.2 metres by 90 centimetres - according to our tape measure!

<<<But 400 dollars is much for one bale, you mean 40$, don't you?>>>

No, definitely $400. A bale that size, 8x4x3, depending on what kind of hay it is, is the equivalent of 20 to 25 small bales which would work out at around $500 so therefore, on a per kg basis, that makes it about 20% cheaper for the big bale. Another way of buying hay is 21 small bales tied up in a package. This way is slightly cheaper than buying 21 bales loose simply because they're not manhandled individually but handled with a forklift.

The other thing that influences the price is availability. Due to the extensive drought, hay is coming in from interstate so there's a fuel cost involved in carting hay hundreds and hundreds of km's. The hay we're currently buying is coming from 1000 km away ... or 620 miles.

Hope that helps you out, Trollmor ...
 

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Could we guess, then, at a price around 2 dollars per kg? Ow, that is rather much!

But of course, hay will be expensive when the weather conditions make harvesting difficult - if too much rain, or too little.

1000 km, that is not exactly "just around the corner" ...

Thank you for explaining to a foreigner! :)
 

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Discussion Starter #55
[The other thing that influences the price is availability. Due to the extensive drought, hay is coming in from interstate so there's a fuel cost involved in carting hay hundreds and hundreds of km's. The hay we're currently buying is coming from 1000 km away ... or 620 miles.]

I was unaware until recently that Oz is a major exporter of lucerne.
The overseas market is more lucrative than supplying domestically it seems (embarrassed)
 

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<<<I was unaware until recently that Oz is a major exporter of lucerne.
The overseas market is more lucrative than supplying domestically it seems (embarrassed)>>>

I read of this earlier in the year and without getting all fired up, shall just say it would be nice to look after your own first ...
 

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<<<Thinking of you every time the news report from the fires. Keep safe!!>>>

Thanks for your thoughts, Trollmor and in our particular case, we're in the southern half of the state where there's fires around but not too close (yet!), the very worst are up north. We've got an area set-up for the goats to go into if need be. It's enclosed so there'll be no jumping out and while they'll be able to hear the activity of tankers etc, they won't see anything. One of the yearling triplets took fright at something the other day (she's somewhat flighty normally) and cleared a five foot fence with ease. I'd love to have half of her energy!!!
I hope you're not too cold over there in Sweden but it's what we all get used to isn't it. I hate the cold weather and am glad to be here in Oz where we have two summers each year!
 
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