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What to do with moldy hay?

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  • What to do with moldy hay?

    We've got a number of bales (probably 25 or so) of hay that got wet and are no longer fit for horses. Any ideas of a good use for it?

    One girl wants to take a bale or two for her goats as she says they can eat it without problem, even moldy hay. Would a shelter that has goats be a likely place that could use some of this stuff?

    As for the rest of it, any ideas? Mulch? Compost? Who would want it? A plant nursery?

    The barn owner is basically planning to spread it in a gully and let it disintegrate. As long as it's spread thinly enough that it doesn't become a nesting ground for rats, that'll work, just hoping to find a better use for it.

  • #2
    Any hay my horses won't eat I use for covering grass seed in the yard, but not if its too moldy since I am allergic.

    Maybe use a match after it goes in the gully???


    • #3
      Originally posted by Passiton View Post
      We've got a number of bales (probably 25 or so) of hay that got wet and are no longer fit for horses. Any ideas of a good use
      As for the rest of it, any ideas? Mulch? Compost? Who would want it? A plant nursery?

      we take all nasty hay and put it in big piles...hope for lots of rain and turn about three times a year...

      considering we have 16,000 tons a year and you can expect from 5-20% loss on every load....the piles get pretty big one was more than 30 feet up and 70feet sq at the base...

      after one year or so we fill the spreader trucks and respread on the fields that are thin of organic top matter....

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


      • #4
        We do several things:

        --use as mulch in areas we are re-seeding
        --use for erosion control in areas affected by run-off
        --take to county dump and place in the yard waste area; it gets turned into more mulch

        "Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexations to the spirit."
        - Desiderata, (c) Max Ehrman, 1926


        • Original Poster

          The BO isn't planning on reseeding anytime soon and doesn't really want a compost pile -- she mentioned the issue of it being combustible and I suppose she doesn't want to deal with turning it either.

          A match in the gully wouldn't work -- it's in a forested area.

          I'm not sure if the county dump there has a way to mulch yard waste and such, but at least that would give it a way to be reused.

          Any ideas on who might be able to use it besides the BO -- a shelter or plant nursery or someplace else?


          • #6
            I've heard that cows can eat moldy hay, but a quick search on Google indicates that this might not be the best thing for the cows ;-)

            Good luck!
            Approved helmet: Every time; every ride.
            "When a sport gets to be predictable it ceases to be fun." - RAR's wise brother


            • #7
              I had about a dozen moldy bales left last year and I listed them on my local "freecyle" (you can google it to find your local group and how to join - costs nothing, just have to agree to their user rules) - I had so many replies, I could have given away 10 times as much - some gardeners were thrilled to have it and came right away to pick it up. It is a great way to recycle most anything and avoid adding stuff to the landfills.


              • #8
                Is it true that cows can eat moldy hay with no ill effect? I had someone stop and ask if they could buy any moldy bales I had. I didn't have any, but wondered if it was true that it wouldn't hurt the cows.


                • #9
                  I'm no real help because my solution to the same problem was exactly what your BO proposes - throw in a ditch outside the pasture and let nature take its course.
                  'Computers are useless. They can only give you answers.'
                  - Pablo Picasso


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by saddleup View Post
                    Is it true that cows can eat moldy hay with no ill effect? I had someone stop and ask if they could buy any moldy bales I had. I didn't have any, but wondered if it was true that it wouldn't hurt the cows.
                    At my old barn there were both horses and cows. I don't know the first thing about cows, but the BO told us to put any moldy hay in a pile on the cow side of the barn, and his brother fed it to the cows. I have no idea if it is good for them or not, just did what we were told.


                    • #11
                      A contractor might want them, if they're baled. They use them for barriers for run-off and stuff, with that black plastic.
                      I realize that I'm generalizing here, but as is often the case when I generalize, I don't care. ~ Dave Barry


                      • #12
                        We feed moldy hay to the cows, goats, and pigs. It doesn't hurt them.
                        To be loved by a horse, or by any animal, should fill us with awe-
                        for we have not deserved it.
                        Marion Garretty


                        • #13
                          You can put moldy hay out in cow/sheep/goat fields during the spring/summer. They aren't going to eat any nasty bits because they would much prefer to eat the nice green grass. Anyone who has ever feed a round bale and later found out it was terribly moldy inside knows this is also true of horses (although I'd never suggest that for fear of getting my horse-license revolked ).
                          "For some people it's not enough to just be a horse's bum, you have to be sea biscuit's bum" -anon.
                          Nes' Farm Blog ~ DesigNes.ca
                          Need You Now Equine


                          • #14
                            My neighbor has cows and he is usually happy to get it. Of course, if it's realllllly bad I dont give it to him, I just let it dry and burn it, but the mediumish moldy stuff he will take.
                            "Perhaps the final test of anybody's love of dogs is their willingness to permit them to make a camping ground of the bed" -Henry T. Merwin


                            • #15
                              Straw (hay) bale garden. http://images.google.com/imgres?imgu...Cp2qmQej662-AQ



                              • #16
                                Ditto the www.freecycle.org sign-up. You'd be amazed at what people will take!
                                <>< Sorrow Looks Back. Worry Looks Around. Faith Looks Up! -- Being negative only makes a difficult journey more difficult. You may be given a cactus, but you don't have to sit on it.


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by ChocoMare View Post
                                  Ditto the www.freecycle.org sign-up. You'd be amazed at what people will take!
                                  Like an "opened can of white Betty Crocker Frosting, ½ used" [paraphrased] was gone the next day. Who'da thunk it?

                                  FreeCycle is nuts and I do it, too.

                                  Mad Mare™ Studio
                                  Custom Swarovski®, Czech glass and gemstone browbands in Circlet, Diadem and Tiara styles. Matching stock pins, bracelets and belts.


                                  • #18
                                    My barn manager/owner feeds it to the cows.
                                    OTTB - Hurricane Denton - Kane - the big dog!
                                    Tuggy - RIP 9/12/2016 - Wait for me at the bridge
                                    Foster LolaMaria AKA LolaBean (Boxer)


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by ChocoMare View Post
                                      Ditto the www.freecycle.org sign-up. You'd be amazed at what people will take!
                                      Yes! I've gotten rid of moldy hay several times through Freecycle. People want it for mulch, or bedding for goats. I will not let it go to establishments where there are horses, and I make it very clear in my ad that the hay is not suitable for horses.

                                      I also use some as insulation around the edge of the house every winter.
                                      My Equestrian Art Photography page


                                      • #20
                                        I stuck an ad in Craigslist (free) for all of the hay scraps in my barn. It was gone in a day - again to someone to feed cows.