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Cleaning old hay out of run-out area, methods??

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  • Cleaning old hay out of run-out area, methods??

    It's that time of the year again...the snow has finally melted and I must deal with the disgusting mat of wasted hay in the horses' run out area. My horses like to pull their hay out of the tubs I put it in, scatter it around under the overhang, pee and poop on it, and grind it into the ground. At the end of the winter when I can finally clean it up, it's a nice, thick mat. I'm switching back to baled hay and putting it in hay nets, but I still need to address the mess left behind.

    In the past, I've used a small tractor to dig up the mess and then I muck it into an RTV. I cannot manage to get the bucket of the tractor to scoop up the muck (it's a pretty small bucket), so I just use it to drag the mess out. This is tiring and takes forever. Is there an easier way?? The big tractor is too big to fit through the gate to the area.
    Last edited by mg; Apr. 4, 2013, 01:39 PM. Reason: typo
    "Last time I picked your feet, you broke my toe!"

  • #2
    We clean the winters worth of packed down hay and manure from around the round bale by hand. Pitchfork it into the tractor bucket or wheel barrow.

    Yes, it is tons of work.


    • #3
      I try and do a little bit of hay clean up every weekend... breaks it into much more do-able tasks, versus hours of back-breaking work!

      Hay nets, or really any kind of feeder that prevents them from scattering it around, is a huge help. Hay is just way too expensive to become bedding!
      Tell a Gelding. Ask a Stallion. Discuss it with a Mare... Pray if it's a Pony!


      • #4
        Hard, dirty work, I only have to clean up around 3 boxes, they still toss hay out of them and grind it in. I do it by hand also, steel rake and hands, kind of fun once it starts to peel up, but very heavy, wet and muddy to move. Love my RTV!
        "They spend 11 months stuggling to live, and 25 years trying to die" my farrier

        "They are dangerous on both ends and crafty in the middle"


        • #5
          By hand; I try to do it two or three times during the winter, but we don't have long-term snow covers to work around. I like to have some cheaper "munching hay" for them to pick on during the day when I'm at work, so I always have some waste in the spots where I put this out. But it's the only way I can be sure there's something edible in the dry paddock all day during the winter.
          "One person's cowboy is another person's blooming idiot" -- katarine

          Spay and neuter. Please.


          • #6
            Can you use your small tractor to drag the muck some distance and then burn the pile?? It would smolder for several days but the resulting ashes are awesome for a compost pile or your garden.


            • #7
              I use my CAT 236...see if you can rent one
              Production Acres,Pro A Welsh Cobs
              I am one of the last 210,000 remaining full time farmers in America.We feed the others.


              • Original Poster

                Originally posted by Tamara in TN View Post
                I use my CAT 236...see if you can rent one
                Ahh, brilliant idea! I have a friend who does a lot of landscaping work and has a Bobcat skid steer. I'll see if I can borrow his.
                "Last time I picked your feet, you broke my toe!"


                • #9
                  One of the more disgusting jobs in the annual Spring clean-up.

                  Box blade with the teeth down does a good job.
                  Click here before you buy.


                  • #10
                    I use cash and riding lessons, a strong young teenage son and a horse-mad 10 year old neighbor. Add hefty food and beverages with some magikal Power of the Mom and grab shovels and forks for all of us.

                    But that's just me...


                    • #11
                      Rack up in several piles to allow to dry ..... Toss as needed. 2 options, mow over it, you may have to spread the piles out a little to mow well. Or ... bag and toss as in garbage pickup.... Like bagged leaves that might be picked up