About once every year, we have to replenish our hay supply. When you are feeding fourteen alpacas and two horses hay twice per day, it adds up! Every year, my dear husband makes a trip out north to get some good coastal hay.
When we had five horses, along with the alpacas, we needed 250 bales of hay per year. Since we've cut down on the number of horses, we only need 150 bales of hay per year. That works out pretty well because our trailer only holds 100 bales of hay. So later, after it cools down a bit, we'll go back for the additional 50 bales of hay OR I can just go and pick up a couple of large, round bales to put out in the pasture. What people don't understand is how much this costs. Square bales are costing around $6 per bale (give or take $0.50). This last little trip cost us $600. Now mind you, this doesn't include the cost of grain that we feed the animals. It all adds up.
I don't like charging people for farm tours. It just doesn't "feel right". However, a friend of mine recently suggested that I put out a jar for "donations to the feed bills" on farm tours. What a great idea! That idea is sounding better and better. That may help out when we go back for the additional 50 bales of hay!
What do you think?