Does anyone else store an open bale of hay vertically?
I recently had an idea - once I open a bale of hay, how about standing it up vertically so it doesn't open like an accordion? Seems there are multiple benefits to doing this, though I don't recall seeing anyone else do it! Much less excess hay strands scattered all over, fresher flakes (since they're still tight on the bale and not falling open), etc. Anyone? or is there a reason I shouldn't do this?
"I have never let my schooling interfere with my education." - Mark Twain
Sort of. In Arizona we would put the (large, 3-wire) bales of alfalfa on a dolly before cutting the strings. So not truly vertical, but tipped back a bit to stay on the dolly. It didn't tend to expand much anyway... I miss those bales!
Out here I'm putting the teeny bales of bermuda in a bale bag before cutting the strings, that stuff goes *everywhere*. It wouldn't stay vertical without some support, it's pretty loose, but the T&A probably would.
Windward Farm, Washougal, WA- our work in progress, our money pit, our home!
I like to do this, too, especially with very fine alfalfa. However, I can't lift my bales anymore, so Mr. CC is the one who drops them off the stack and piles them up so I can feed (he takes great pride in putting 5 tons of 125lb. bales in a 12 x 14 foot floor space).
My dogs like it best when I pile them horizontally, as it gives them a "boost" into the hay stack. My Schnoodle loves to mountain climb while I clean stalls. He also "grazes" on hay...he's a weird little dog.
Right now, I am feeding our horses two flakes each, twice a day, one last year's hay, one this year's and they don't seem to have a preference.
I bring to one stack one bale of the other stack at the time with a dolly, cut it open right on the dolly and feed off it, until is gone, then go get another.
Works fine with that one bale standing up, still in the dolly.
A barn I was at during high school had a great way to store open bales vertically. The bale was stored in a three sided plywood 'box' just slightly deeper and taller than a typical bale. At the very bottom was a fourth board roughly four inches tall to give the bottom of the bale something to brace against. On top of the bale was a piece of plywood to put some weight on the bale to prevent it from tipping and to keep critters from curling up on top of the hay. It was a great way to keep the hay containted and very space saving!
We have three plastic barrels (i.e. like the big 32-gallon garbage bins that have the flat tops) that we drop bales into. The sides of the barrel keeps the hay from exploding everywhere or getting wet, and when we're ready to feed from the barrel, we can just cut the strings and take flakes from the top. We waste very little hay using this method.
A 40-pound bale will fit nicely into a barrel. Anything bigger, and you might have some "overage" at the top, but you'll definitely feed down quickly. As a side note, when our horse is living at home (he's being boarded right now for access to a kick-butt arena), we weigh feedings, partly to control our horse's weight and partly to save money. It takes a few extra minutes (and wouldn't work in a large barn), but it works for us.
ETA: Early in our relationship, Mr. GBED said, "You're one of those crazy frugal people aren't you?" To which I replied while batting my eyes, "Are you courting me, sir?"
I am just impressed that an open bale of hay lasts any of you long enough to merit a storage technique! If only....
That's what I was thinking! I "store" a bale in the wheelbarrow, from the hay pile to the horses. Then I do it again.
Now during the winter we do have open bales, because we use 700 lb. large rectangulars. When THOSE flakes fall over, it can be a very sad day. We generally manage it with the strings (i.e. pull required number of flakes off then retie the bale).
Arrange whatever pieces come your way. - Virginia Woolf
Did you know that if you say the word "GULLIBLE" really softly, it sounds like "ORANGES"?
I frequently buy the compressed 750lbs bales, those only just fit the 8ft bed of the truck.
When unloading, I have no choice put to store those vertically, coz I cannot lift 750lbs out of the truck, so I cut the twine, take out flake by flake and store it vertically. Works perfect.
My hay chute allows me to drop the bales down so they land on end. I open the door, slide them over and lean them against the wall and pull off flakes as I need them. Works like a charm! I'm surprised more people don't store them on end - saves a lot of space.