Spent the day cleaning out the hayloft in preparation for the new crop. I have 34 bales left plus about an equal number of barley straw so that should see us through the next few months. I never feed freshly baled hay until it's a few months old and then I slowly mix it with the old stuff over a week or two.
The hay elevator is in place (love my hay elevator!) and now I must find the helpers! I'll get some local island hay but most of it will come from Vancouver Island, about an hour away. Every single strand has to be covered before they'll let you on the ferry.
Finding the perfect hay for donkeys has proved to be a big challenge. It should be coarse in texture, low in protein and sugars, not too many seed heads, nicely dried. Most of this, you really can't tell by looking - the texture and number of seed heads yes, sort of, but not the protein or other feed values or the level of sugars and starch. Very few hay farmers are willing to have their hay tested before they sell it off, so it's buyer beware. But once you have a couple hundred bales stored and you find out it's not what you want ... then what? The hay buyer's - donkey feeder's dilemma!
Anyway, I look forward to getting the new crop in as there's nothing more satisfying than a full hayloft, except a full woodshed!