Hay Talk

Hay, Hay, Hay!

Thursday 21 April 2016 - 17:30:00

Hay Hay Hay Article 1Hay Bellville mainly sells coastal, Jig, Alfalfa as well as other natural grasses, but will custom bale virtually any grass. Since the style of grass affects the style of feed, it is important to get the right kind of hay for the right use.

Horse hay, for instance, needs to be fresh and the right style hay. Hay Bellville produces horse quality hay, which is less stemmy, and has a lot more protein”, says Jared Jarek the owner of Hay Bellville. For those that take care of horses, it is important. As for cattle your Johnson grass and Sorghum grasses are great.  It’s skinnier, longer hay, and it's excellent for cattle, but you wouldn't want to feed it to your horse, because horses can colic. They can't digest well it, and different from cows, the horse can't regurgitate it.  

Horse side vet guide says that “the coarseness of hay relates to its type and maturity at harvest. Usually, grasses lose nutritional value and become harder to digest as they mature.” They go on to say that “generally, healthy horses can eat a wide variety of feeds without any problems. Coarse hays may not be palatable to horses that are accustomed to more tender feeds, but they usually do adjust in time. However, the nutritional value of course or stemmy hay may be low, leading to weight loss or nutritional deficiencies. Very coarse hay and straw can increase the risk of abdominal pain (colic) and intestinal impaction. For this reason, coarse hay should not be fed to older horses or horses with dental problems.”

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Additional Resources

Hay Hay Hay Article 2That being said Hay Bellville sells a variety of hay that is good for horses, cows, and other livestock. Popular hay consumers include cattle, horses, goats, sheep, rabbits and even guinea pigs.

When asked about how the shape and size, and whether it also affects farm animal feeding, Jared explained that many stable horse owners feed their horses the square bales because it will limit the horse to how much they can eat, so they won’t overeat. However, other than that it is just the owner’s preference. The round bales and the square bales are both great for laving in the open pasture.  The round bales will stay longer because they aren’t exposed to the elements and therefore won’t mold or mildew as easy.

At Bellville Hay, their hay is around 6ft high and 5’ wide. The square bales on the other hand are is approximately three feet long and a foot and a half wide. The weight varies depending on dampness and other factors. In regards to the round bales, Bellville hay can actually make them not as high so that they can fit better on their truck or in their storage areas, or easier to handle.

Hay production usually lasts here in Texas from March till somewhere around October. However, says Jasek, “Normally we make enough round bales to keep them on hand all year long.” The square bales and alfalfa are “barn stored”. Customers can expect “year around hay sales” for the most part, says Jasek. “There are those exceptions like the drought years such as we had in 2011 when everybody was out of hay. We were shipping in Hay from other states and it was very poor quality, and the cost was extremely high. Without a disaster, without drought, or anything like those customers can get hay year-a-round,” says Jasek.

Some people require fresh cut hay, which Hay Bellville can accommodate, which some buy as a personal preference. Those who prefer fresh cut hay also are usually ok with barn hay, which they also have. Since it is stored in a safe place there is virtually no deterioration. Customers can then have it in their own barn year around and then still feed it to their animals, fresh, as long as it didn’t get wet in their barn. “We actually like to provide fresh hay to people.” If customers prearrange a pickup or the customers are pre-notified in the paper, on Facebook or on the website or something, they can just come to pick up the hay which means we the farm won't have to store it. When we have these events or customers setup pickup times it can even be less expensive than the stored hay. The cost goes down because there are less labor and space required on the farm’s behalf.

Hay Hay Hay Article 3As far as were to get the hay, customers can pick up the hay on the Jasek’s farm right outside the town of Bellville located at FM 1456 Rd in Bellville. It is best to call first at (979) 627-5125 if you are coming out to the farm. Hay Bellville is located in Austin County but is also easily accessible from Washington County and Waller Counties. These are the communities we serve but are not limited to include Bellville, Brenham, Industry, Waller, Brookshire, Hempstead, and Sealy. We can also provide delivery to those locations, and also prove custom bailing too.

 As far as pricing goes call (979) 627-5125 for current pricing. Since hay is very much like the stock market, prices go up and down, that is mitigated by a variety of factors including supply and demand. For instance, right now we are approaching drought-like conditions for our area.  For this reason, people are starting to get worried about it, so they will start to buy up the hay wherever they can find it. As a result, the price fluctuates up and down… up and down.


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