Hay hay hay

I Cannot find decent hay in Triangle area of NC and am desperate. Local hay/fescue was very poor this year., rained to much to cut so it went to seed. I just checked out the few commercial dealers and they are selling timothy for $$$$ that is truly straw, worthless nutritionally and so stemy for my old horses.
I can’t get the Canada hay we usually have at this time of year and wonder if the borders are closed due to covid?
I just happenned to be at southern states when a load came in and it was damp as it had snowed the night before yet they put it up. It will mold.
Ok enough of a rant. What am I going to do as I need 200 bales. I actually considered putting my 32 year old down because she has those good sweet dry hay or she’ll cough all day.
I know its been a rough year for most of us , I’ve lost 2 horses and my dog but I never thougth feed would be such a problem.
The hay from mid west is also all straw to tough to chew.
I don’t even have a hay trailer because we used to be a horse farm area but in the last year they have bought all the farms and now its treeless and suburban . Almost everyone i know has left though our place is still a little paradise.
2020 really is a nightmare

I am not in your area, so my only ideas are exceptionally expensive ones, but I do hope someone here can connect you to an affordable supplier. :crossed_fingers: Hang in there.

@walkers60, have you tried the NC Hay facebook group? I live in WNC and my barn provides hay but I check that group out alot and have seen some hay east of me that looked nice.

North Carolina Hay Exchange is one and North Carolina Hay is another.

Hopefully someone that lives near you will know more about your area. Good luck!

Eta - How far away is Goldsboro? https://mapleridgefarmnc.com/ If you scroll down, they have orchard/timothy.

I’ll quit looking for you now, I’m really not familiar with that part of the state and don’t know what’s close to you. lol

I’d also second looking for a Facebook group. We have an active one in Georgia that seems to be a good place to connect with hay sellers.

For the older horse, how about bagged forage? Triple Crown Safe Starch or Manna Pro Hi Fiber Chop are available around here.

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Thanks but for privacy reason, had my identity stolen and almost lost 20K to the feds, years to fix so no facebook.
Anyway the local hay wasn’t good and is long gone. I have some old horses that require good soft hay.
So there is no hay in my area and all the horse farms are now houses.
Yes there is hay 2 hours away but i don’t have the ability to get a good load .

If you’ve inquired with commercial sellers in the area you may have already talked to them but I would try Isley Farm Supply in Burlington (336-228-1007). They are definitely retail suppliers so not as affordable as what you might get from the local farmers, but they source hay from all over the US and Canada and usually have a good variety, so you could probably find something soft and tasty for your seniors.

Also I don’t have facebook either but I can view most of the posts on this page:
A lot of the ads have a phone number so you can just call.

Not sure how up to date the NC Dept of Ag page is but you could call around and see if any of these sellers still has hay available:

I’m sorry you’re in this situation OP. It’s scary to not know where the next bale will come from. Luckily, even if your immediate area has been developed out of horse country, there are still A TON of horse farms (and hay farms!) in NC and I’m sure you’ll find what you need.

Edited to add: I suggest changing the title of your post to say NC so you get some “locals” to see it. There are a lot of us on COTH. :slightly_smiling_face:

I understand your concerns, but the posters really are right that Facebook or something likes craigslist/Kijiji are the best place to look.

You can keep your identity very private with Facebook. You can make a throwaway email that has nothing to do with your true identity. Just a thought.

A lot of people feed a hay cube forage supplement when they cant get hay. Is that an option?


@walkers60 if you do not want to do the whole Facebook account thing to look there, can you ask a friend who does have a Facebook account to check out any local groups that might have hay available?

No answers just some cyber support. Terrible year for so many. One of the best feelings in the horse keeping world is a barn full of nice hay and one of the worst a dwindling/bad supply.

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How kind of you and yes my stress level is way too high . I am also caretaking a 97 year old which means I see no-one in order to keep her safe. I know I am over reacting and Bombs are not being dropped so I guess I’m just tired and damn it old!

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Have you tried Tennessee? There are some hay brokers there that bring in awesome western hay. It is not cheap though and most will not deliver less than a semi load. There is Jamback Farms in Maryville - I do not know how far from you that is and I buy from Buriss farms in mid Tennessee. And there are some local farmers still selling OG hay. Most of them are north and east of Nashville. I have no idea of the quality. I drive 3-4 hours to get really good hay since I am in Alabama and most of these sellers are probably closer than that to you. But that is a long way to drive unless you can get a trailer full.

I’m in NC not far from you. We have access to lots of great hay, but it’s expensive. However, it’s always been expensive. I will NOT feed fescue or coastal bermuda, so we tend to get T/O/A mixes from the midwest. The most cost-effective way we’ve found to feed good quality hay is to buy large squares. They’re 800-1200lbs each, so you need a decent tractor with spikes to move them. They are a pita to peel off individual servings, but if you can put one giant flake in a net or bin, and let the horse munch on it over a day or so, it’s not so bad. We use them just in group turnout situations, and my herd of 7-8 will eat one down in 7-12 days (depending on size and how well winter rye is doing).

We do belong to two local hay coops. We get in a semi, and everyone goes to pick up their bales. Again, by doing either bundles or large squares, it’s a fairly efficient process to unload the truck with a good tractor. The trick is storage. If you can buy all winter’s hay in Sept, you’re going to pay a lot less than buying by the ton in January.

I have used my big horse trailer to go out to KY and pick up a load, but since I can only fit about 260 small squares (we use for feeding in stalls), there’s a radius where that stops making sense. I follow several FB hay groups (NC, KY, and OH). And I know you’re reluctant to do that, but I’ve sourced several good hay purchase through FB, over the years.

Either joining a co-op or splitting a semi with a friend should save you 30-50% over per-ton feed store hay costs. At least that’s what I’ve found.

ETA: I know you said you don’t have a trailer. For one of our co-ops, my DH will deliver hay (for a per-bale charge) and only within a certain distance. Maybe you can find someone similar in your local group? And while using a horse trailer isn’t ideal, you can still fit a fair number in even a little BP. I’ve done that many occasions as well, just needs to be closer to home to be worth it.

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