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I always lose the bottom layer of hay...

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  • I always lose the bottom layer of hay...

    even though the hay is stored in a shed on pallets placed on a gravel base. Anybody have any suggestions?

  • #2
    I stack my bottom layer on edge with square bales and feed them. My rounds sit on the ground so theres a little spoilage on them also but its never been a problem.
    Quality doesn\'t cost it pays.


    • #3
      I put down a layer of plastic on the ground, and then the pallet's, and the first row of hay is placed with the cut side down. That has solved my problems!


      • #4
        Originally posted by deacon's mom View Post
        even though the hay is stored in a shed on pallets placed on a gravel base. Anybody have any suggestions?
        you should be 8 inches off a gravel floor and hopefully run fans to blow under it in humid weather

        Production Acres,Pro A Welsh Cobs
        I am one of the last 210,000 remaining full time farmers in America.We feed the others.


        • #5
          Cut side down and a good sprinkling of ag salt. The salt sure doesn't hurt the hay and helps absorb any moisture that gets into the hay.


          • Original Poster

            I tried plastic and it trapped moisture. Fans are a great suggestion - but impractical for my set up. I do place the hay bales cut side down...Ag salt is a good suggestion. Maybe if I place the ag salt on a tarp and put the pallets on top???


            • #7
              I gave up and just leave the bottom layer of hay unfed. It's been there for about three years now. My hay barn is below ground level on the one side. It has a wooden floor about ten inches off the ground and the hay is on pallets and it still molds on that one side. It was easier to sacrifice a few bales once then to throw them away every year. (actually don't throw--I give them to my neighbor for his cows).


              • #8
                I sacrifice my bottom layer. My current bottom layer has been there for 2 1/2 years. I just keep stacking over it. I am in AZ so it is pretty dry, but it does mold.
                Lisa Coletto
                Standing Elite Hanoverian stallion, Cabalito


                • #9
                  Put a layer of plastic, under the skids, then stack the hay. We are in Ohio and we do not lose any hay with this scheme.


                  • #10
                    Some friends of ours have just quit removing the bottom layer of hay, put the new year's crop on top of it. They say the spoilage is contained in that bottom layer, have no problems with the new stuff on top.

                    It saves them paying and wasting the bottom layer every year. This is on dirt with pallets, and on cement with pallets.

                    We have cement, laid down a plastic layer, then a chipboard layer on slats so it was up off the cement an inch. We have had NO spoilage this year from the floor on bottom layer hay bales. We are real happy with the new layer of wood, not paying for wasted hay.

                    I do not think you can prevent waste on the bottom, plastic or not, over dirt floor. Dirt just changes as the weather does seasonally. Fan sounds like a good idea, but then you add possible fire in chaff and dust of hay storage area. Few folks will invest in expensive, protected motor fans for barns.


                    • #11
                      I, too, sacrifice the bottom layer and put the new hay in on top of it each year.
                      My Equestrian Art Photography page


                      • #12
                        We put rubber stall mats under the pallets where we stack hay in our hat shed. Seems to work pretty well, so far.


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by JanWeber View Post
                          We put rubber stall mats under the pallets where we stack hay in our hay shed. Seems to work pretty well, so far.
                          Ditto this, two years now and bottom row of hay is OK.


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by JanWeber View Post
                            We put rubber stall mats under the pallets where we stack hay in our hat shed. Seems to work pretty well, so far.
                            but don't the hats get ruined?
                            (sorry...I couldn't resist)

                            goodhors: I've been stacking hay (250 small squares) on pallets in my barn over stonedust for 5 years and never lost any of the bottom layer. The floor does get damp if we have really wet weather - maybe the hay fines that drop through are picking up the moisture?
                            I do discard these when I get into a Cleaning Frenzy and move the pallets.
                            *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


                            • #15
                              Maybe location differences will make it worse in some places, than in others. We lost over 40 bales coming into summer of 2008. Hay was nice stuff, $3 something a bale, just MOLDY on pallets on cement floor. Really wet spring, cold for weeks, then into high summer humidity, probably did not help anything. Lots of water in our ground, often standing nearby that spring.

                              This was extreme waste for use, had to change something so money was not thrown away. The boards over plastic, seem to be working well. No moldy bales off the floor layer yet.

                              Talking to friends in various barn setups, no lofts, brought out the wasted bottom layer method. Again, they were happy with it, lost no bales above the bottom layer.

                              Other places may have had different weather patterns so they had different ground conditions. I am glad to hear the plastic, pallets under, work for some folks. Nice to know more than one method, so they have choices to try when the first choice doesn't work well.


                              • #16
                                When I was storing hay at ground level on a concrete floor, I put a layer of heavy plastic, then pallets. Then I put a couple of layers of heavy cardboard on top of the pallets, before stacking the hay, cut side down. It also helped keep the hay from falling down into the pallets. Worked great for me.


                                • #17
                                  We have our stored on pallets with plywood on top of the pallets (dirt underneath). Works great.


                                  • #18
                                    We have been leaving the layer of "shake" left behind on the floor and stacking on top of that. Has been working very well for us, no mold.
                                    Equine Retirement at


                                    • #19
                                      My hay shed has a dirt floor and I lost the previous year's bottom row of hay due to exreme rain. This past fall, I bought 10 bags of pelleted bedding, spread in on the ground, put double pallets over it, and then stacked the hay. I only lost a few bales near the edge of the wall where rain tends to puddle(since put up gutters). This spring, when I got the bottom row, the pelleted bedding had expanded to almost complete sawdust.
                                      Keep in mind...normal is just a dryer setting.~anonymous


                                      • Original Poster

                                        There are a lot of great suggestions. Thanks! With the price of hay, I hate to just give up and "donate" a layer. I will save the answers and figure out which one works best and, perhaps, report back later.