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Catersun
Oct. 17, 2008, 08:39 PM
Please educate me on what I need to know to store hay safely.

birdsong
Oct. 17, 2008, 09:11 PM
I want to hear what folks say about this...I know that some people insist on stacking the bale on its side...of course never touching concrete...also sometimes with pallets ever so often for air flow....

Personally I can only keep 5 bales at a time or otherwise it gets moldy here in Fl....but my friends buy it by the semi loads and have NO problems in their concrete floored buildings (on pallets)

Also I've seen it stored in enclosed humidity controlled buildings...while other times in open sided pole barns with air flow....

Catersun
Oct. 17, 2008, 09:18 PM
Wow BS... we have 300 bales stacked for the year... We stack on pallets currently with pretty open air flow. I'm trying to find out when kind of storage I'll need for our hay once the ponies are home instead of across the street.

LexInVA
Oct. 17, 2008, 09:20 PM
1. Do not store hay near anything flammable or any source of heat.

2. Do not stack hay higher than a height that allows you to safely move it or stack it in a manner which could greatly accelerate the burning of a fire.

3. Do not allow anyone to smoke around your hay or in your hay storage area.

4. Check hay frequently for mold and infestations.

5. Keep your hay storage area secure and locked. People will come on your property to steal it when prices go up and supplies are short.

whaat
Oct. 17, 2008, 09:21 PM
Good air flow and a dry place is important. Also make sure you sweep or rake up excess hay often.

Tom King
Oct. 17, 2008, 11:24 PM
Dry for obvious reasons.

Air circulation to keep it fresh.

Dark to keep it green.

greysandbays
Oct. 17, 2008, 11:39 PM
Number one is close proximity to where you will be feeding. Lugging a bale of hay through knee deep snow with a 20mph headwind is So Not Fun.

All else can be improvised to a point.

There is a way to stack hay so that each layer ties the previous layer in place and the stack won't tip over. And unless you aren't going more than three layers high, you'll have to learn it.

Kairoshorses
Oct. 18, 2008, 12:02 AM
I'm assuming you don't stack hay on concrete to prevent mold--is that right?

LexinVA, what do you mean by "infestations"?

LexInVA
Oct. 18, 2008, 12:18 AM
Rodents, insects, bacteria, and the occasional Canadian tourist. :lol:

S1969
Oct. 18, 2008, 10:30 AM
Such an important topic and I do think climate makes a difference, too. One supplier told me he has never been able to keep his bottom layer from getting moldy, whether using palates over ground or concrete or tarps, whatever, so he doesn't try anymore. He assumes the bottom layer will not be good so he just leaves it there and stacks on top of it.

I have had similar problems with the bottom-most layer; my hay shed has a dirt floor and we do have palates over gravel but it still gets damp under there. :confused:

My current hay guy recommends stacking cut side up. Not sure how much a difference this makes.

I have to say as much as I hate hate hate to bait for rats and mice, I have lost too much hay to them so I put bait under my pallets once a year. Rats chew through baling twine (for some unknown reason) and the time I had to move 50 bales of hay that were all loose I decided that was it. I don't have cats to worry about, though.

I clean my hay shed out completely each year before getting any new bales in. I think this important to make sure you don't have wet hay sitting under your pallets or anything else yucky under there (dead rat, for example) before putting in new hay.

Tamara in TN
Oct. 18, 2008, 10:31 AM
Please educate me on what I need to know to store hay safely.

well here's what we have learned the hard way over 10 years...including how to manage hay in one barn that is one acre under one roof :) we have 6 barns but she is just the biggest and the one the customers come to...

our barn is concrete floored for machinery ease and more importantly to keep the dust down...as we are a resale facility...no one wants to buy hay coated in red clay dust, no matter how nice it is underneath


30,000 lost bales (and $80,000 lost dollars later ;)) we learned that 4 inches off the floor on pallets will not prevent bottom "must"....not exactly mold and not exactly dust but the stuff sends horse hay buyers into same spasm as the dust (see above)...

8 inches of pallets over one acre and chicken house fans circulate air year round to keep "must" at bay...and no one in the good old US of A could tell us this, it fell to the university in ontario for the design...hay is like a sponge and the moisture does truly travel to the bottom of the sponge over time and the fans provide the airstream to carry it out...

as my mountains get the second most rain in the USA ,second only to the PNW, we guard against moisture loss more than anything....we had no drought two years ago just do to the air moisture from the mountains....:)


vents in roof are essential to let hot air rise and form an airstream around the hay to keep the dew burnt off a little longer in the night time....the same principle is what keeps hay in the old barn lofts useable...hot air rises...


covering hay with a tarp in a humid climate will mold the hay underneath...if you do not live where hay is stacked outside uncovered for storage do not try it....our hay stacks up to 18 feet high across the entire barn...

stack the hay high and tight...the closer together the better it will hold it's leaf and shape and color....if you are so afraid that you a stack the hay apart and in single file lines like soliders you need a new supplier...

buy a moisture tester and keep every thing at about 12%...this alone will keep your storage losses down more than anything else....

best

bludejavu
Oct. 18, 2008, 10:54 AM
Just how much hay are you planning to store at any given time and for how long? If you're stacking less than 100 bales, and using it within a month - you can pretty well stack it however, and be okay unless you live in a super humid climate like I do (S.Carolina can be pretty humid in the summer). We grow and put up our own hay normally although recent drought years have forced us to buy some. If you're stacking by hand, you can stack your bottom bales on the cut ends to help prevent mold but the longer the hay is stored, the harder it becomes to keep the bottom bales fresh. Also, if you stack by hand, and have enough storage area, leave space between your bales instead of stacking tightly. Good air flow is a must if you are storing hay in your horse barn to prevent spontaneous combustion. Try not to purchase freshly cut hay - buy hay that has been cured for a bit to avoid excessive heat. If you purchase freshly cut hay and MUST store it in your horse barn, put a fan on it for at least a month to cool it. A huge cause of fires in horse barns is from people stacking fresh hay too tightly and it combusts. You should be very concerned about this if you don't have a separate hay storage building - it's not to be taken lightly. We have a large hay barn and have a layer of plastic tarps on the bottom over which is a heavy layer of aged hay. Living in Georgia, there is no escape from humidity at all times of the year and occasionally we do have bottom bales go bad, but not all of them. You really need to give us more info before the question can be totally answered. My best suggestion is to keep only enough in your horse barn for a week or two and locate additional hay in a separate building for combustion control purposes.

saultgirl
Oct. 18, 2008, 10:56 AM
My current hay guy recommends stacking cut side up. Not sure how much a difference this makes.


We always stacked cut side up mostly to help the stack lock together more evenly and be more stable. We piled as many as 250 bales so the pile was REALLY, REALLY tall and we didn't want it to fall down!! Our hay was in HUGE loft, the hay on the bottom never got moldy (wood floor) but I always left a little bit of loose hay on the floor before stacking, instead of stacking new bales directly on the wood floor.

pAin't_Misbehavin'
Oct. 18, 2008, 11:30 AM
covering hay with a tarp in a humid climate will mold the hay underneath...if you do not live where hay is stacked outside uncovered for storage do not try it....

:yes: I lost about twenty five bales when I first brought my boys home, because I thought I could store it outside on pallets and cover it with a tarp.:lol: Doesn't work.:no:

But in a way it was a good lesson, because I got to experience first hand how damp hay will get hot and smoke,:yes: There's no way I'd ever store it in a barn after that!:eek:

Vents. Very important. No closed up metal sheds like you get at Lowe's.

Catersun
Oct. 18, 2008, 11:51 AM
Well by fall we need to have around 300 bales stacked. So what I'm getting is... Tall building with vents and exhaust fans..... We stack in piles of 50 or 100 bales. As we buy 100 bales per cutting. We stack as high as the hubby is comfortable climbing currently.

Thankyou for posting tamara... I was hoping you would chime in. How fast do you guys move your hay out? as in what is he longest it is stored for?

We buy for the whole year, so I need to be able to keep it for that long as the numbers dwindle. Does the type of hay have much to do with it keeping? We use coastal hay. Current hay storage we haven't had any problems with loss. I'm just trying to figuire out how to replicate the luck we have had when we move the horses.

I'm not woried about how far away from feeding it is.. as we don't get snow... worst thing I have to deal with is rain and since hubby is getting me a haycart, I'm not too worried about it.

MistyBlue
Oct. 18, 2008, 12:10 PM
Cut side up also reduces dusty bottom bales. Dust filters down when hay is stored string side up, everytime you remove top bales more dust filters down. If you have quite a bit of hay, byt the time you get to the bottom layers, they'll be all dusty if all the top bales were stored string side up.
Air circulation, roof vents and as little sunlight as possible.
Tamara's directions. :yes: She's probably the biggest hay storer on the BB.

Tamara in TN
Oct. 18, 2008, 12:17 PM
[QUOTE=Catersun;3588474]

Thankyou for posting tamara... I was hoping you would chime in. How fast do you guys move your hay out? as in what is he longest it is stored for?

the big barn is emptied and refilled three times in a calendar year...the smaller barns are emptied to refill the big one...it is very rare that we'd have an april hay still there in Nov...


Does the type of hay have much to do with it keeping?


no...but it can effect leaf loss and shatter...which is why you bought it to begin with :)

best

stryder
Oct. 18, 2008, 03:39 PM
I read that if you open a bale and it's hot to the touch (160 degrees F or higher) you're at risk for fire. I don't know what causes this, maybe Tamara can chime in.

Catersun
Oct. 18, 2008, 04:30 PM
Tamara.... what is your smallest barn and how much does it store?

(I had written a bunch of good questions... and now I can't recall them cause the puter ate my post... :-(

Anyone have any idea how to come up with how much square footage I'd need to store 300 bales comfortablely?

Does light or fading effect the nutriant value of hale or is the keep in darkness more of a cosmetic issue?

Tamara in TN
Oct. 18, 2008, 05:06 PM
[QUOTE=Catersun;3588737]Tamara.... what is your smallest barn and how much does it store?

hummm...maybe 40x60 and a capacity of only a few semis worth (10 maybe??) ...when Calvin comes in tonite from plowing I'll ask him for the exact number so don't quote me yet :)




Anyone have any idea how to come up with how much square footage I'd need to store 300 bales comfortablely?

we are able to put 24 tons of our hay into a space that is 102" by 53'...(one enclosed semi) that is about 780 bales (+/-) ours are also slightly compressed and weighted so if you went to a full 41 inch bale you'd only get about 11 tons in the same space...


Does light or fading effect the nutriant value of hale or is the keep in darkness more of a cosmetic issue

our very best hay is kept in darkness in the back away from the doors...only because it commands the best price and people expect it to look like <X> when it arrives....nothing makes people scream "I"m being cheated" like a bleached top coat...it would take a few years to actually injure the feed value

best

macmtn
Oct. 18, 2008, 05:13 PM
I live in Maine, and keep my hay on a wood over dirt floor. I stack my hay on top of a bottom layer of paper wrapped shavings...and have NEVER lost a bale to either mold or varmits. I stack the shavings as tight as I can together...no air pockets to leak ground moisture up to the hay. The paper absorbs any moisture that is still in the hay-the result is perfectly dry clean hay on the bottom of the bales...and when I get to the bottom of the pile I have shavings ready to use. Even when we had a flood and the shaving got soaked..the hay was fine. Note: will not work with plastic wrapped shavings...:winkgrin:

theoldgreymare
Oct. 18, 2008, 05:19 PM
Perfect timing...I was thinking about this recently when the "new" hay guy told us to store the bales string up instead of cut up. Now I know! We also don't pack too tight. Apparently, we have a lot to learn! We store about 1000 bales to get through winter. Barn is dirt floor with tarps over it and then hay is stacked on pallets. No hay loss but we do get some discoloration. We have ridge vents but no exhaust. I'm printing this thread our for DH to see what we need to improve!

Catersun
Oct. 18, 2008, 05:22 PM
I'm leaning towards putting in a wood floor. Every barn I've boarded at that did NOT have problems with keeping hay including where we store our hay now was on a wood floor.

I wonder if 15x30 with a decent roof pitch and an exhaust fan in the top with a wood floor would be suffcient to keep my hay.

How does that sound?

Tamara in TN
Oct. 18, 2008, 05:40 PM
I wonder if 15x30 with a decent roof pitch and an exhaust fan in the top with a wood floor would be suffcient to keep my hay.

How does that sound?

Calvin's in now and says that 15x30x8 would hold a full semi (780) bales of our type of hay package...it would hold maybe 500 standard 41 inch bales...and our smallest barn he says, holds 5 semis...(told ya I'd be wrong about that;))

best

Tamara in TN
Oct. 18, 2008, 06:16 PM
[QUOTE=theoldgreymare;3588772]
We also don't pack too tight. Apparently, we have a lot to learn!

only stack tight where you are totally sure of the moisture...in the big barn,our stacks go 18 feet up in big squares...there is one foot clearance between the stacks in the aisles...and the stacks are about 80 feet long...

this is only really for presenting the hay as it is sorted by grade and type inside the big barn ...kinda like the aisles at a walmart or something...this makes customer shopping easier when it is picked out....

the smaller barns are packed as tight as she will go and still work the loaders safely...it keeps bigger varmits at bay and the hay inside is protected better...less discoloration and leaf loss and shatter and all the aforementioned...

best

MistyBlue
Oct. 18, 2008, 06:21 PM
Has anyone ever figured out the storage keeping capacity of say a single stall? Like a 10x10 area about 7-8' tall? If I could figure that out, I'd be better able to figure out when looking at storage area how much hay I could fit in and what type of storage building/container to eventually get.
Tamara...when you're saying a full semi load...what size semi do you mean? A container/reefer trailer or open one stacked and covered? How many feet long?
I've considered looking into getting an older used reefer to park on my property to store hay in, can find them all sorts of sizes and would love to know how much a reefer can actually hold depending on size. I'm still hemming and hawing over storing hay in a reefer...only because manuevering one into an area that's near-ish the barn will take a tractor since a Peterbuilt can't get around my driveway curves or down the hill to the barn to drop one off. And then I have to figure if I get hay delivered, I'd have to have it offloaded in the top driveway and then take it in small loads down to the reefer to stack it ~or~ have it delivered in multiple large pick up loads. Not sure if it's worth the effort yet or not.
Although technically my hay guy lets me buy as I need it and so I "store" it at his place 10 minutes from my house. But I personally feel better being able to store 6 months to a year of hay at once on my own property.

pAin't_Misbehavin'
Oct. 18, 2008, 06:24 PM
Has anyone ever figured out the storage keeping capacity of say a single stall? Like a 10x10 area about 7-8' tall? If I could figure that out, I'd be better able to figure out when looking at storage area how much hay I could fit in and what type of storage building/container to eventually get.

That's what I'm trying to do now, cause I'm in the market for a storage building. So 10x10x8 (feet) = 800 cubic feet. And if your square bales are say, two by two by three? then each bale takes up 12 cubic feet. And you have to allow the one foot or so space between stacks.

So I guess you could put three bales along each wall = nine bales per layer. 3 layers = 27 bales. 4 layers = 36 bales.

goeslikestink
Oct. 18, 2008, 06:44 PM
I'm assuming you don't stack hay on concrete to prevent mold--is that right?

LexinVA, what do you mean by "infestations"?
no you dont you stack it on pallets first row is always on its side so the moisture takes longer to seep through most bottom bales are lost becuase they are rotten half way up if you laid them down flat you would lose about half your storage of hay so its really important to stack 1st side up then the others can be stacked flat, like bricks
so you build your hay stack like bricks 1st going one way then the other,
you build built it into shape of a house with peaked roof so if you stacking outside you can tarp it and the rians /snow runs off if you stack it flat on top it will hold water which will seep through,
so stack it so it has a peak like a steeple tie it down with tyres and onto the bottom bales criss crossing ropes
i used to keep mine outside but dont anymore
i use an old lorry body which can hold 3oo bales then its covered at the entrance which is back of the lorry as it has no door so tarp inside
i have storage for another 100 bales in big barn and another 100 bales in small shed all stacked on pallets as i am on a mud floor
if outside you want it somewhere safe and convient to get it do same with straw

rats can get into the hay for warmth in winter months

Tamara in TN
Oct. 18, 2008, 06:47 PM
[QUOTE=MistyBlue;3588831]Has anyone ever figured out the storage keeping capacity of say a single stall? Like a 10x10 area about 7-8' tall?

our package ? 150 bales
standard bales? 90 to 100



Tamara...when you're saying a full semi load...what size semi do you mean? A container/reefer trailer or open one stacked and covered? How many feet long?

enclosed 53 foot trailer...drop decks of course hold more but sliding in and going trumps tarping and worrying about the wind/weather:lol:


And then I have to figure if I get hay delivered, I'd have to have it offloaded in the top driveway and then take it in small loads down to the reefer to stack it ~or~ have it delivered in multiple large pick up loads. Not sure if it's worth the effort yet or not.

we have about four places that simply "swaps out" the empty for the full trailers...but of course we own the trailers...the hand unloading and reloading would be pretty awful;) but semis come in all sizes and a 28 foot pup would not be too far a walk...

best

Tamara in TN
Oct. 18, 2008, 06:50 PM
[QUOTE=pAin't_Misbehavin';3588834]That's what I'm trying to do now, cause I'm in the market for a storage building. So 10x10x8 (feet) = 800 cubic feet. And if your square bales are say, two by two by three? then each bale takes up 12 cubic feet. And you have to allow the one foot or so space between stacks.

unless you just wanted to,there'd not be a need to make aisles in so small a place...and the industry standard is a 41 inch long bale...now many people will shorten the chamber to sell less hay per bale but the max size is 41 inch

best

RoyalTRider
Oct. 18, 2008, 07:50 PM
Key thing to know about hay: it can combust. I didn't know that was actually possible until it started a barn fire and killed my horse. If at all possible, please store it where it can destroy itself and its shelter but nothing else.

stryder
Oct. 18, 2008, 07:57 PM
Key thing to know about hay: it can combust. I didn't know that was actually possible until it started a barn fire and killed my horse. If at all possible, please store it where it can destroy itself and its shelter but nothing else.

Exactly. I would no more store hay in a barn where horses lived, than stack firewood in the garage that's attached to my house. Sure, it's convenient to use, but convenience can't override safety where lives are at stake.

MistyBlue
Oct. 18, 2008, 08:02 PM
Tamara...thanks so much for that info, it's a big help. I'm copying and pasting it somewhere else. (because my mind is like a seive lately)
So a 53' enclosed trailer will hold about 750 bales give or take? Or 750 bales packaged like you do yours?
I'd love, love, love to do the swaps. I know a few people who do that and it would be *fabulous* if we could. But my property is typical New England topography. Getting a full semi into my property takes one helluva skilled driver, only the bravest attempt it. My road is narrow and directly across from the end of my driveway is a 12 foot tall wall of solid ledge. So no swinging wide to make the 90 degree angle into my driveway, that's got trees on both sides not to mention the left side has a deeply sloped 20 foot high ledge and the right has a 20-30 foot drop off down to the barn. Then there's 360 feet to the house, a slight right angle for the lower parking area that's 45 degrees (and only 60 feet long) down and then a 95 degree angle to the right off of there to another 45 degree sloped drive straight down 250 feet to the barn. Semis get hung up on either the corners or the slopes and the driveway is rock so no real traction for the big trucks. :no: Unless I parked a reefer on my front lawn blocking my house there's no way to get a semi in to pick up empties and drop off fulls. In my area of CT almost everyone who gets the big truckloads of hay have them offloaded at the end of their driveways (trucks parked in the street) and they then shuttle it back and forth to their barn in pick ups or small flat trailers and tractors.
The biggest I could safely get down to my barn would be a medium box truck, the feed store has gotten those down there and back before. I had a flatbed semi come to deliver my stalls, mats and fencing and he got into my driveway and down the second driveway's slope but we had to borrow the neighbor's big Case to get it back out again.
My set up is ideal to foil any theft attemps...there's NO possible way to get a truck with trailer attached down to my barn area and no way to get horses up out of that acreage without coming to my house first and going right by it. Horses can't even climb the slopes up and out. But...the set up stinks for large truck deliveries. Vets, farriers, feed store trucks all are fine. I drive my pick up down there and back all the time. But nothing really big.
Now what's a 28' foot pup? Is that the smaller reefers I see once in a while on the road? I'm guessing I could fit in half the hay of a 53' or so? Tops I'd probably only go through 400 bales per year. 2 horses...anywhere from 1/2 bale to 3/4 bale each per day. 3/4 is a lot even though I have very little grazing. I'm guessing a 28' pup would be relatively easy to manuever around and would fit in lovely near my barn. I could paint it to match the barn. :yes:

Tamara in TN
Oct. 18, 2008, 08:12 PM
So a 53' enclosed trailer will hold about 750 bales give or take? Or 750 bales packaged like you do yours?

750 like mine...500 of a standard bale...


Vets, farriers, feed store trucks all are fine. I drive my pick up down there and back all the time. But nothing really big.

you could find a wrecked Uhaul of a smaller size...even towed in and with the cab and engine removed, you have the box you are looking for...



Now what's a 28' foot pup? Is that the smaller reefers I see once in a while on the road? I'm guessing a 28' pup would be relatively easy to manuever around and would fit in lovely near my barn. I could paint it to match the barn. :yes:[/QUOTE]

pups are smaller trailers normally hauled together with a dollie...esp in the eastern states...it takes a special license to haul them...two of our SC deliveries are two pup trailers dropped off and two picked up...to two different barns with coordinated refill dates...

best

Foxtrot's
Oct. 18, 2008, 09:23 PM
That Tamara --- she's always a mine of information when it comes to hay!

equinelaw
Oct. 18, 2008, 09:28 PM
Last year I did what everyone on COTH suggested.

I put a plastic tarp on the dirt floor of an 3/4 inclosed run-in shed. I put wood pallets on top of that. I stacked 75 bales of hay on the far wall in a solid cube about 5 bales high and 8 feet wide. Then I laid a loose plastic tarp over it in case rain blew in from the open side. I left a small space so no hay touched the walls.

The space was 16 ft long and 8 ft wide. I put 75 bales of hay in there and had room for about 40 more. Peaked roof so good air flow, but no vents. Tin walls painted white to reflect the sun.

I didn't have any moldy hay and every bale was fine and usuable until the last one was fed in July.

I am in a dry area of SC and it was a dry year. Humidity is about 60-70% here. No rain for most of the spring and early summer.

I'd say it was a success.

In VA we always just stored as much hay as we could in a hayloft and nothing bad ever happened. I guess that fell out of fasion becuase of the fire risk and dust, but it sure was easy once someone had put it all up there:)

Catersun
Oct. 18, 2008, 10:18 PM
750 like mine...500 of a standard bale...



you could find a wrecked Uhaul of a smaller size...even towed in and with the cab and engine removed, you have the box you are looking for...



pups are smaller trailers normally hauled together with a dollie...esp in the eastern states...it takes a special license to haul them...two of our SC deliveries are two pup trailers dropped off and two picked up...to two different barns with coordinated refill dates...

best[/QUOTE]


How would this work (using an old trailer box that is)with the ventlation I need here in humid SC??

Tamara... do you supply Rock's farm and Dixie?

Tamara in TN
Oct. 19, 2008, 11:18 AM
=Catersun;3589247]

How would this work (using an old trailer box that is)with the ventlation I need here in humid SC??


normally the doors are left open....with the hay well dried it's like cereal boxes stacked together...the only problem with a stationary junker reefer is that it falls to the owner to caulk up the roofs and floors...you can have loss from drippage and then that wet spot can make heat and rot...
remember:
spoiled from the outside =your problem
spoiled from the inside=growers problem


Tamara... do you supply Rock's farm and Dixie?

we do...have for a few years now...they could give you the ups and downs of using them...

best

pAin't_Misbehavin'
Oct. 19, 2008, 01:35 PM
[QUOTE]
the industry standard is a 41 inch long bale...now many people will shorten the chamber to sell less hay per bale but the max size is 41 inch

Thanks. I can never remember the dimensions of my hay guy's bale's. His are bigger than most because he has a machine that bundles them into 21 bale cubes? Anyway, to fit that machine they have to be bigger - about one and one half times the size of the ones my neighbor gets, although hers are on the small side.

Tamara in TN
Oct. 19, 2008, 01:52 PM
[QUOTE=Tamara in TN;3588865]

Thanks. I can never remember the dimensions of my hay guy's bale's. His are bigger than most because he has a machine that bundles them into 21 bale cubes? Anyway, to fit that machine they have to be bigger - about one and one half times the size of the ones my neighbor gets, although hers are on the small side.

a Bale bandit ?? 3 up and 7 across with metal bands ?? we had some of the first ones ever made back in 2000...that machine requires a full 41" bale and heavy bales as well...to condense them in the field...

a 41 inch is a standard size bale....smaller bales are made by shimming up or making the bale chambers smaller...then you can sell less hay volume and still keep up a $ per bale price...making the farmer more money than selling by the ton...

best

jeano
Oct. 19, 2008, 02:13 PM
Like Equinelaw, I live in a part of the Deep south, in my case, GA, that's dryish, with sandy soil and really good drainage. Our next door neighbors store their hay in a completely side-less pole building with a wood floor and it keeps fine. Outermost bales weather and look awful but stay green inside.
We have a metal Quonset type structure that provides shelter for horses, tractor, plastic garden shed tackroom, and hay. I can stack a hundred bales in it, the most I ever need to feed my two throught the winter (l still have over 25 bales of last year's hay, and decided to only buy 50 this year.) Sand floor, vapor barrier of visqueen over that, pallets, then hay, bottom most layer on cut ends. So far hay is keeping fine, when horses go past they snatch mouthfuls of the old hay as eagerly as the new.

Since its a metal building there is condensation, and since the ends are open it can and does rain in on the hay sometimes. But since there's also excellent ventilation, it seems to dry off just fine.

minnie
Oct. 20, 2008, 11:10 AM
When hay was $2.00./bale I didn't mind losing the bottom rows so much, once it hit $3.50 I couldn't afford to lose it! I ended up putting about 4-5 inches of stonedust on the floor, putting plastic sheeting over that and plywood over that, with pallets on top. I haven't lost any hay since then. Every year (late summer) I take up all the pallets, sweep it out, spray the pallets with bleach water and mist the plywood with bleach water - let it all dry in the hot sun, put it back together and order my year's worth of hay. Haven't lost the bottom row in 5 years and that's including hurricane seasons.