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February 04, 2005

Hay Storage

KristieJorgensen.jpgWhen we first got our donkeys, and started having to store larger quantities of hay for the winter, we found ourselves looking for solutions to several problems.

The easy thing to do would be to just stack the hay on the floor in a corner of the barn somewhere, but we found that even out here in dry Utah if you don't take certain precautions, moisture will collect and cause the hay to mold. We found that in our block barn moisture would seep in and collect between the hay bales and the concrete floor. When we got big rain or snowstorms, moisture would also seep in through the block walls, and create damp spots where the hay was stacked against the wall.

These damp areas would not dry quickly enough because there wasn't much airflow through there, and the hay would turn damp and mold. Once it was moldy, the hay was unfit to feed to horses, mules or donkeys. Moldy hay can be deadly to equines.

We tried several solutions to these problems, and finally found a solution that seems to be working very well for us. You might like to try it, too.

First, we found someone who had extra wooden pallets that they didn't need. We brought a bunch of the pallets home, and spread out one layer of pallets across the floor area where we wanted to stack hay. As we positioned the pallet foundation for our haystack, we made sure to leave about 1 1/2 feet of space between the pallets and the barn wall. As we stacked hay up on the pallets, we maintained that space between the haystack and the wall all the way around.

The pallets are thick enough and have enough openings between the boards that they do a great job of allowing air to flow through under the stack and keep the bottom of the bales dry. With the space around the sides of the haystack, plenty of air can flow through there as well.

We have found this to be a simple and easy way to keep our hay nice and dry all winter long. You might like to try it, too!

Kristie Jorgensen

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Posted by Kristie Jorgensen at February 4, 2005 08:24 AM