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You are in... Forums > Welcome To Your Horse Forum > The Yard > Keeping aside grass for hay

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SuzyA

Joined:

Mar 09

Posts: 811

SuzyA says:

Keeping aside grass for hay

Hello all

Anybody out there that puts aside part of their grazing to make hay?

If so, if you use the whole field for grazing when would you section off the part you will use to make hay?

Thanks in advance, Suzy.

 

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greyandbay

Joined:

Mar 10

Posts: 3437

greyandbay says:

Re: Keeping aside grass for hay

I should do it now - we had our 1st cut during the one good dry week we had about the 3rd week of July, but with luck we'll get a 2nd cut off it at the end of August / beginning of September, and with the amount of rain and sun we've had it's growing well.

If you want to section it off earlier next year, so you can have it cut at the usual 1st cut time of June / July then I'd think about doing it March / April time maybe?

Ours have extra field given to them in small amounts during the autumn, so that during the winter they get pretty much all of it (3 horses and a pony on 3 acres) and then in the spring when it all starts growing again they get it taken away, again in small amounts at a time, but all ours are good doers who don't need a lot of grass in the summer.

Good luck for it !!

The outside of a horse is good for the inside of a man - Winston Churchill

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SuzyA

Joined:

Mar 09

Posts: 811

SuzyA says:

Re: Keeping aside grass for hay

Thanks for that greyandbay.  Am looking at giving it a go for next year.  Got two horses on ten acres.  Our grass is what I reckon to be good grass for horses, not too rich.  Many moons ago before we had ponies, the grass used to get really long and had lots of lovely meadowey things in it.  For yonks now I've just sectioned off a smallish area so that they can have a treat in the autumn.  One's not ridden and the other goes out hacking now and again.  One's a cob - say now more! and the 16hh warmblood, well he has got a bit of a tummy on him at the mo!  So I'm thinking of dividing the fields into two next year and see what the grass does.  March/April time as you suggested sounds good, so we'll see what the grass does during that 4 to 5 months.  I'm very conscious of letting them have plenty of running-around space which I think they will still have (they live out 24/7/365 with stable access).  A bit suck-it-and-see.  Thanks for you input  x

 

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greyandbay

Joined:

Mar 10

Posts: 3437

greyandbay says:

Re: Keeping aside grass for hay

With that amount of land it certainly sounds worth it - the farmer who does ours charged us just under £15 per big bale last year, which is way cheaper than you'd be able to buy (that's for haylage, not hay, as we have nowhere to keep hay, and my old girl has respiratory problems on hay).

And if you think there'd be any spare, you could very easily sell it, I'm sure.

The outside of a horse is good for the inside of a man - Winston Churchill

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nix123

Joined:

Aug 11

Posts: 283

nix123 says:

Re: Keeping aside grass for hay

 Hi Suzy

Ive got about the same amount and the best crop ive had off it was 698 bales (i know i was the one who stacked them in the barn!) If you find a good farmer he'll probably hay it for you and you'll prob need about 250 bales for winter and if you let him have the rest he shouldn't charge you. Or you could pay him and sell the rest, make sure you have somewhere dry to store it though, I've got a w/b and a do-gooder cob too that live in in winter i feed them ad-lib hay. Hope that helps.

nix

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SuzyA

Joined:

Mar 09

Posts: 811

SuzyA says:

Re: Keeping aside grass for hay

Thanks greyandbay and nix123 .

I've let the two of them have the whole ten acres for ages, and they keep the grass pretty short, it's amazing how they seem to keep the whole lot the same length - little munchkins!

Wow, 698 bales - that's amazing.  I'm not sure how long the grass is gonna grow, so not sure how many bales the approx 5 acres will give us, but I will give it a go.  About how long does the grass need to be to cut for hay?  That would be lovely to have hay for free, or even make a profit  which would pay for the w/b's winter bowl feed and maybe other horsey expenses too!

Little piccie below of the area I'm thinking of.

 

 

 

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greyandbay

Joined:

Mar 10

Posts: 3437

greyandbay says:

Re: Keeping aside grass for hay

SuzyA said:

.  I'm not sure how long the grass is gonna grow, so not sure how many bales the approx 5 acres will give us, but I will give it a go.  



 

Well to give you a very vague idea, we got 10 big bales off roughly 2 acres last month - last year we got 9 in the first cut, and 3 in the 2nd cut off a similar amount of land, but it does depend on the weather and how well it grows, and when you can get it cut - this year we ought to have got more, but because of all the rain it was very late when it was cut, and had gone past its' best.

Your land looks gorgeous !! I don't know what sort of grass it is or how long it grows - most of ours grows to about knee height, but some is shorter, and we have one quite large patch that is pretty much waist height. We had the field ploughed up and seeded with horse pasture mix grass when we moved  to our field - it had been agricultural land before, so it's a good mix of lots of less rich stuff than cows would have, plus the odd herb.

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The outside of a horse is good for the inside of a man - Winston Churchill

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