Hi, I've not posted much in here, but think that may be about to change.
Until now, my horse has been in full livery, but due to an injury he's being retired and I'm moving him to a privately owned place where I'll look after him. The landowner has offered to sell us a big round bale of hay and one of straw, but I have a couple of questions:
1) how long do you think each of these should last for one 16.2hh who will be out grazing all day and stabled with hay at night (no hay currently needed in field, although I know we may need more in the winter).
2) will these bales keep long enough for us to get through them with only one horse? I'd hate to waste any.
I dont know much about big round bales as we only use the ordinary rectangular ones. I estimate 2 bales of hay and straw per week per horse in the middle of winter. Big round bale for one horse - 2months?
As long as it is all dry and not been stored in the wet it should be fine.
If it is plastic covered haylage it will probably go of before it is eaten.
I used big bale rectangular last year and in the no grass months my mare would go through at least a bale a month. I think they're about the same size as a round bale. (Cost £50/bale if that helps) She was probably in the stable a bit more than yours though as we only had half day turnout. She is 16.2 ID ad lib hay. Straw same size bale lasted a bit longer but depends if they eat it or not!
Dry, well stored hay will last the Winter easily. However if you wet it (as we do for ours) then throw way anything they leave in their nets and refill daily.
Haylage is a different proposition and I wouldn't recommend it for a person with only one horse. Unless it was in small bales (unusual) you'd not get through it before it went off).
The straw will of course last as long as you like. I would take a big round bale of each and see how you go. I'd expect you'll need another one after Christmas... Remember the later in the season you leave re-ordering the more expensive they will probably be as supplies start to dwindle. We take 100 oblong bales of hay in September (for 4 ponies living out in the day) and reorder what we think we'll need in Feb.
Thanks to everyone who has responded. In the end we got a large rectangular straw and hay as the farmer had one of each left from last year, both of which are still okay. We've ordered a big round one of both for when this year's is ready in a couple of weeks time.
I know prices vary hugely for hay and straw, but can I ask what people are paying for big oblong and round bales of hay/straw? We have no idea of what's good price etc. (we're in the south east, so executing to be reasonably expensive). Thanks