Buying Horse Hay in Bulk

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hay stacked in shed horse foreground

Purchasing large quantities of hay Is economical in many ways.

Buying your horse's or stable's hay supply in bulk quantities can save you time and money. Large-quantity orders can help keep some prices in check since growers and brokers often order discounts on quantity. Since hay is a labor-intensive product, the fewer times a seller has to touch it, the better pricing that can be offered

Purchasing larger quantities of hay Is economical in other ways, too. “Every time you buy a new load of hay, the horses know the difference. The sensitive horses won’t eat it at first,” explained Chris Johnson, owner of Easter Hay Company in Pawling, New York.

Typically picky eaters can take three to five days to fully transition to “new” hay. During that time, the uneaten hay becomes wasted, and it can be a hassle to ensure that your horses receive enough nutrients and sustenance in the meantime.

“When you buy a tractor trailer load of hay, it lasts a longer period of time. The sensitive horses will be able to eat it consistently,” he said.

Buying in bulk also means that you can plan to have enough hay in storage to make it through winter and into spring, when hay supplies are dwindling as growers and brokers prepare for the new season’s crop. If you’re going to invest in buying larger quantities of hay, it’s imperative to provide adequate storage to preserve the hay’s nutritional value during the time it is stored. For more information on hay storage, read Stable Management's Tips on Storing Horse Hay.

Ordering large quantities of hay at once means that you’re unable to inspect every single bale of hay you’re buying, so you must find a supplier you trust. Find a farmer or broker who has the same definition for good-quality hay as you do. Developing lasting relationships with hay suppliers is essential. Working with sellers that stand behind their product and are willing to make good on an order that might not be correct is imperative to keeping the horses in your barn or stable well-fed.