Hay Transportation

Hay buyers must secure their own hay transportation. Daylight load out only.

Hay buyer trailers will be mechanically loaded faster than they can stack bales. A buyer that brings one additional set of hands will stack as fast as we can move the bales from the barn to the trailer.

Buyers are responsible for hay bale stacking and tie down.

Over The Road trucks/trailers will be able to circle turn their rigs.

Small square hay bales run 50-65 pounds for alfalfa and 65-75 pounds for grass.

The hay bale weight variance is caused by field conditions of variable stand thickness, windrow variables, baler speed and simply reflects the level of baling technology and the standards that can be achieved.

Hay Transportation Weight Planning
- trailer bale counts are actual trailer loads
  Weight in Pounds
Hay Bale Range of 50 to 65 Pounds 50#'s 65#'s
Per 10 bales 500 650
Per 100 bales 5,000 6,500
40' Goose Neck 315 Bales 15,750 20,475
40' Goose Neck heavy axle 360 Bales 18,000 23,400
Flat Bed OTR Trailer 535 Bales 26,750 34,775
Drop Deck OTR Trailer 735 Bales 36,750 47,775

Hay buyer being loaded out straight from the field the day of baling.

hay bales being loaded

Recognizing various experience levels of our hay buyers we offer the illustrations of one example of how to interlock a trailer load of stacked hay bales.

Using a 40 foot gooseneck trailer that typically has a 32 foot long deck as an example represented by the red rectangle below (bird's eye view) the concept we are showing is to interlock all hay bales both horizontally and vertically.

The black bales represented in this picture are one course of bales on the deck. The next course would be added in the opposing direction offset and to interlock the courses. The concept is not to repeat seams between the rows or layers of hay bales.

hay transportation

An alternative stacking would be.

hay bale stacking

alfalfa hay loadedThe interlocking concept would be to offset each succeeding rows as they are stacked on top of each other.

hay trailer

Pictured at above is a common buyer. A heavy axle, 40 foot trailer pulled by a one ton truck. The load was 360 alfalfa bales.

Much of the information on this web site is not required of many hay buyers. What this information reflects is a summation of all questions we have received from hay buyers over the years.

How much hay does a horse require is found in the National Research Council Nutrient Requirements of Horses 6th edition page 151 stating:

"Intakes [VDMI] typically average between 2 and 2.4 percent of body weight [daily] for grass and alfalfa hays, respectively."

Knowing our range of hay bale weights of 50-65 pounds for alfalfa and 60-75 for grass hays, determining the hay weight per day per horse using the NRC statistics the buyer can more accurately estimate the number hay bales to buy to prevent over or under buying.

Example using the often cited 1,100 pound horse that will voluntarily consume 2 percent of his body weight in grass hay or 22 pounds or 2.4 percent body weight alfalfa at 26 pounds per day means a horse fed dry hay for six months of the year or 182 days will require 4,004 pounds of grass or 4,732 of alfalfa. That translates to feeding an 1,100 pound horse for six months an average grass hay bale count of 67 to 53 bales. For alfalfa hay 95 to 73 bales.

Now the problem with this mathematical approach to how much hay to buy per horse is that VDMI is actual intake not inclusive of spillage and waste. Cowbones experience with our own horses shows that a single horse fed hay during dormant pasture periods when ground snow cover prevents efficient feeding (northeast Kansas that has an annual precipitation of 37 inches a year) amounts to one hay bale per day per horse. The number of days per year we actually feed hay varies from year to year and our planning factor is simply 100 bales per horse per year. Most years we have left over bales. Some years we have just enough hay and never have we run out of hay.

The end state analysis is use the staring figure high sided or cautionary approach of one bale per horse per day when pasture is not available if feeding the hay on the ground. Fewer bales, as many as half the number of ground feeding if using a slow feed bunk that limits hay wastage and spoilage.

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