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  1. #1
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    Kubota L5030 HST

    Default What if it rains right after cutting hay?

    I noticed a bunch of farms near me cutting hay the past week or so. Some didn't get it bailed in time before some thunderstorms rolled through. I've always heard that if it rains on hay cut and yet to be bailed it can't be used for horses. I'm assuming the additional time needed to dry the cut hay hurts the quality. Does this sound right?
    Kubota L5030HST, LA853 FEL w/ HD bucket, BH90 backhoe, Bush Hog 286, WR Long Grapple

  2. #2
    Veteran Member
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    Guernsey Co. Ohio
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    Default Re: What if it rains right after cutting hay?

    It doesn’t help, that’s for sure. You can usually see an obvious different between good hay and hay that’s been rained on. It's not the drying time that causes the change, though I'm not positive what it is. The best one can do is run the tedder and bale it up. Cows still eat it just fine. I have no idea about horses, though I don’t know how it would differ from round bales that set out all year.

  3. #3
    Silver Member
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    Default Re: What if it rains right after cutting hay?

    Horses can eat rained on hay. What is bad for them is moldy hay because they can get "Heaves", a respiratory condition similar to emphasima. If the hay can be dried out without mold forming it will be fine for horses. It does lose nutrition, but most horses are underworked and overfed, including some of mine!
    Greg

  4. #4
    Elite Member Richard's Avatar
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    Knoxville, TN
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    Default Re: What if it rains right after cutting hay?

    Quote Originally Posted by gf5205 View Post
    What is bad for them is moldy hay because they can get "Heaves", a respiratory condition similar to emphasima.
    I wonder if this is Blastymycosis?

    Disease Listing: Blastomycosis General Information | CDC DFBMD

    The description you gave matched what one of my dogs went through. (same dog who survived parvovirus). Unlike parvo, blastomycosis seems to be cruel and painful, much like emphasima where as the parvo is cruel but quick.

    Doc told me that humans and other animils can get blasto. It's in moldy straw. It is treatable though. My dog had to go on a 90 day (if I recall) regimine of a daily pill (about $5.00 each)

  5. #5
    Elite Member
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    Default Re: What if it rains right after cutting hay?

    One of the traditional reasons for not wanting wet hay is the likelihood of spontaneous combustion when it goes in the barn.

  6. #6
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    Central Washington
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    Kubota BX22

    Default Re: What if it rains right after cutting hay?

    This is just me talking out of my hat, but I doubt the nutritional loss is significant. Important thing is to get it dry again. Re-raking can be a big help with this, but it buries more diesel in the cropping and adds hours to the harvest.

  7. #7
    Elite Member Duffster's Avatar
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    Default Re: What if it rains right after cutting hay?

    Quote Originally Posted by dwenham View Post
    This is just me talking out of my hat, but I doubt the nutritional loss is significant. Important thing is to get it dry again. Re-raking can be a big help with this, but it buries more diesel in the cropping and adds hours to the harvest.
    Nutritional loss can be huge, so is palatabilty. The drier the hay is when it gets rained on the higher the loss typically.

    Not to mention damage to the next crop if it lays long enough.

    But it can be fed to horses, most horses people are just over fussy
    "If everyone is thinking alike, someone isn't thinking." George Patton

  8. #8
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    Casey County, Kentucky

    Default Re: What if it rains right after cutting hay?

    I have some laying right now that has gotten wet. What with temps in the 90's today and maybe some more tomorrow or so, with a little raking, we can get it dried. True, it won't be as good but as long as it is thorougly dried and does not mold, I will feed it. We took the chance to cut it as it was getting to the point where it was past it's prime anyway.

    I will not feed any mold at all but if my hay gets a little dusty, I will take the time (and it is a pain) to dunk it in a tub of water for moment. I have a horse with COPD. We have her stabilized but it will not go away. We can only give her Purina Advantage which is basically beet pulp for a grain supplement. During our recent spring checkup, the vet advised us to put her on the Triple Crown Safe Starch Forage.

    There is no market for her and we have to much heart to put her down and she does throw beautiful foals should we choose to breed her so we deal with the expense. But anyway, near as we can tell, it was from dusty hay during a shortage that she got the COPD.

    It has been my experiance that some people panic with wet hay and try to get it in then the hay ends up heating up or molding or both. What irks me is when people lie or think they should still command a high price for garbage.

    A little common sense applies. Around me, the windows have been pretty narrow and not the best. During the first window, the nights were too cool. One of my suppliers has a fine stand of orchard/alfalfa. I like to buy the first cutting because I don't need the latter.

    He sold most of his to someone who took it for silage and only bailed a little for himself. The bails were moist enough that I realized that I better not stack it. I left it dry for another few weeks in the mow then stacked it and it's fine. Had I not done that, I would have had problems.

    Lastly, our pasture is limited so we stable our horses one half of the day depending on the season. I give them the inevitable less apetizing hay when they first get stalled so they have all day to think about it.

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