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Does anyone else store an open bale of hay vertically?

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  • 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

  • #2
    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.
    ... and Patrick


    • #3
      The only reason not to do it is because it might fall over and defeat your purpose. I can just see what would happen to my grass hay unless I had it otherwise confined, LOL!
      Courageous Weenie Eventer Wannabe
      Incredible Invisible


      • Original Poster

        It won't fall over... I have it leaning just right against the other stored bales behind it
        "I have never let my schooling interfere with my education." - Mark Twain


        • #5
          That's what I do. Works great.


          • #6
            I do this all the time. I get the occasional bale that falls over but if you are careful you can get them to stand with out falling over.



            • #7
              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.
              Proud member of the "Don't rush to kill wildlife" clique!


              • Original Poster

                Originally posted by Calvincrowe View Post
                My Schnoodle loves to mountain climb while I clean stalls. He also "grazes" on hay...he's a weird little dog.
                Yep my dog grazes on hay too - and grass, and grain, and mash, and.... poop and horse feet remnants of course. It's a good thing he's a black lab with an iron stomach!

                Anyway, cool to know that I'm not the only one doing the vertical hay bale thing!
                "I have never let my schooling interfere with my education." - Mark Twain


                • #9
                  Well, I might...
                  But Barncat is convinced stacked bales are her own personal, stairway to Heaven - i.e.: into the rafters of the barn where she is Queen of All She Surveys

                  Any bale left standing upright would soon be cat-stepped into a mess on the floor.
                  *friend of bar.ka*RIP all my lovely boys, gone too soon:
                  Steppin' Out 1988-2004
                  Hey Vern! 1982-2009, Cash's Bay Threat 1994-2009
                  Sam(Jaybee Altair) 1994-2015


                  • #10
                    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.


                    • #11
                      I put my bales up on end as well when I open them, makes it easier to grab and stuff into haynets I find, rather than chasing falling flakes like an accordion as you mentioned.
                      Being terrible at something is the first step to being truly great at it. Struggle is the evidence of progress.


                      • #12
                        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!
                        "Beware the hobby that eats."
                        Benjamin Franklin


                        • #13
                          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.

                          This is what ours look like: http://www.homedepot.com/Cleaning-Tr...atalogId=10053

                          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?"


                          • #14
                            I am just impressed that an open bale of hay lasts any of you long enough to merit a storage technique! If only....


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by fordtraktor View Post
                              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).
                              Shall I tell you what I find beautiful about you? You are at your very best when things are worst.


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by fordtraktor View Post
                                I am just impressed that an open bale of hay lasts any of you long enough to merit a storage technique! If only....


                                • #17
                                  My boys told me that they willingly "store" the open bale of hay for me for around 12 hours before I haul it to the manure pile!


                                  • #18
                                    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.


                                    • #19
                                      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.


                                      • #20
                                        Yep - me, too. All the time.