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I just heard from an old rancher if you have moldy hay just add some ice cream salt to it. Has anyone else heard of this ?
 

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I just heard from an old rancher if you have moldy hay just add some ice cream salt to it. Has anyone else heard of this ?
No, I've never heard that. Salt added to wet hay will absorb the dampness, but I'm not sure how you get it into the hay, or how much dampness it will absorb. On a precautionary note, I wouldn't be adding salt to moldy hay as it could very well cause the cattle to eat it and cause problems.
 

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If we had hay that was baled too green, we would put a layer of bales, then salt them, then another layer and so on. This was to keep the hay from overheating and prevent molding. Don't think it would help much on hay already moldy.
 
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I purchased some square bales that had been baled using a moisture sensor that applied salt of some type automatically at the time of baling. My animals ate it VERY reluctantly and some turned their noses up altogether (cattle and donkeys). I won't buy any more of this hay ever!

I would not feed moldy hay to anything. Instead I might let it rot in a pasture that is resting over the winter where none of my animals could get to it.
 

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Salt is not a mitigation for mold or mycotoxins. It is thought to be a mold preventative if applied to hay that was baled with a little too much moisture.
 

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The local hay store uses salt for all their bales. They say it's to prevent mold, promote dryness.
 

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I have never heard of such a thing but would wonder why someone would feed poor quality feed to livestock and expect them to thrive.

People search for good quality cattle and in return, they want optimal rate of gain, good quality calves or decent milk production and you tend to get out of you livestock what you put into them.
 

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Using a conditioner or salt does not effect the quality of the hay. They simply draw moisture out, dry the hay, and prevent it from molding. As far as feeding poor quality hay, sometimes Mother Nature gets on a rampage and you don't have a choice on the quality of hay - if you can even find any. You would have been hard put to find good quality hay in this area until August and 3rd cutting. Our average yearly rainfall is 10". We were 5" ahead in rainfall last April, and got another at least 6 to 8" in May, June, and July. Couple that with hailstorms, and it very effectively took care of 1st and 2nd cuttings for a whole lot of folks around here. For someone who is in the position of having to feed hay year round, a few alfalfa and beet pulp pellets will bump up the protein content very nicely. You do what you have to do.
 

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The experience I had with salting hay (alfalfa) was all good. When we pulled the hay from the barn that winter to feed it had a brownish color like tobacco and a nice smell. No mold, and the cattle loved it and did well . As msscamp says, sometimes you have to play the cards Mother Nature deals you and adapt to conditions. I've seen cattle thrive on much worse quality hay than what we salted. One common practice nowdays in this area is to use ammoniated wheat straw as hay. Not the best but it provides survival roughage when quality hay is short supply.
 

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The amoniated wheat straw/corn stover is a much easier option now with the inline tube bale wrappers makes cheap feed , moldy hay is good for mulch not much else salting hay that is moldy will not help it
 

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according to the experts... white mold is harmless. I've fed a lot of it. Round bales stored outside will almost always have some white mold in it.
 

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There's white mold and then there's dark mold. I don't think ANYONE in my region got all of their hay in this year at the optimal moisture. The weather did not allow it. Part of our hay is great but some of it absorbed moisture from the ground. How do you fight that? I think there was a three day stretch without rain and it needed to be baled. Since we have horses (and cows) I did some reading. We have tried salting the hay as it was put in the mow and it did not seem to do much. Soaking hay is a PIA and there are is- sues with leaching nutrition out. This year I am in the process of building a steamer. What mold there is, is white and from my research and speaking with one of my vets, the steamer seems like the best option. Supposedly the steamer should heat the hay to a point where some of the toxins are actually killed so it goes beyond wetting the toxins.
 

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I have never heard of such a thing but would wonder why someone would feed poor quality feed to livestock and expect them to thrive.

People search for good quality cattle and in return, they want optimal rate of gain, good quality calves or decent milk production and you tend to get out of you livestock what you put into them.
While I completely agree with your point that if you want a healthy animal of any sort, quality feed is very important, I can assure you, you don't get out of livestock what you put into them. I keep putting the hay in, but it isn't what comes out. :D
 

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While I completely agree with your point that if you want a healthy animal of any sort, quality feed is very important, I can assure you, you don't get out of livestock what you put into them. I keep putting the hay in, but it isn't what comes out. :D

I tend to get the same results you do but at least we're both getting good quality fertilizer.
 

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When the quantity and quality of available feed becomes low, an energy source (as well as protein) is required. Molasses can be a cost effective energy source but is low in protein.
We use it mixed with warm water and a huge sprinkler. Simple mix and sprinkle it on the hay. It is excellent for the cows, they love it, and will be healthier because of it.
Get it on eBay, super cheap, by the gallon. We have used it for years, even on wet or moldy,(just a little) hay.
Look at this site.

Shacke :rock:
 
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