I am working on a plan to move my horse home, and trying to find the most economical way to store the year's hay. The estimate for a two stall barn with hay loft blew me away $$ so I'm trying to find other solutions. Horse really only needs a good run-in, but what to do with the hay?
Has anyone stored in Conex containers or shipping containers? Some things I'm wondering about in particular are ventilation and what kind of base or footing needs to be underneath one.
Sadly, I have a beautiful huge loft above my garage that would do perfectly, but it's attached to my house, so it doesn't seem prudent due to fire risk. Right...? Ugh.
No way would I put hay in the garage attached to my house. Fire danger as you mentioned would be too much of a risk, plus I wouldn't want to encourage any critters to come in too.
I know shipping containers have been discussed for hay storage on here recently, and some did use them, so if you try a search I bet you'll find that thread. One good thing about them, IIRC, they are sealed and keep critters out. But might be a bit of an eyesore, IMO.
You can put roof turbines on top for air circulation. And have the container sprayed with poly-urethane insulation(on the exterior) and painted an attractive color( or painted camo).
I live in Texas, I have a 20' sea freight container for feed storage and stuff. It has one roof turbine and has been sprayed with poly-uethane insulation and then painted white for heat reflectivity. Not much cooling can be done when it is over 90 degrees. But it helps. I don't get condensation on the inside because of the exterior insulation.
I got the container at leat 10 yrs ago. I think the turbine was cheap, got it at Lowe's, Paint was a good exterior and the insulation was about $500. For the turbine installation--You will need a cutting torch, drill (attaching turbine) and caulk.
I put a 6 inch layer of limestone roadbase under the container.
I've used a shipping container for years to store hay in hot humid Florida. I don't recall ever having a problem with hot bales or moldy hay. I will confess I don't close one of the doors all the way because it's too much of a fight to do unless extreme weather--rain/wind--come. It stays gapped a bit and I tie it so it doesn't blow open. The container is without alterations such as vents. I do have good turnover in my hay so that may help although some of the hay I buy for Mr Fussy may get stored many months, especially if I find something he eats and I can stock up.
I've only used them for storing equipment and supplies on work sites. We just level the ground and put down gravel.
One thing to keep in mind is that even white-colored Conex boxes sitting in full sun can get hotter than blue blazes inside. I definitely wouldn't consider it for hay without installing good ventilation (maybe both the roof turbine(s) and some vents around the bottom), and I'd be inclined to stack the hay very loosely and make sure it's well-cured before storage. A layer of pallets might really help the bottom layer of hay, too.
That all sounds fussy, but it's cheaper than having hay go bad...