8 Hay Storage Tips for Fresh & Quality Feed for Your Animals
Whether you’re a farmer, or a rancher or keep some grazing animals like goats, horses and cows for fun, you must know by now how expensive and precious good quality hay is. Animals require lots of fresh, top-notch hay for their feed and hay storage sheds Alberta area have all the facilities for excellent storage.
With rising haying-crew labour costs and steep machinery and fuel expenses, hay is more expensive than ever before. That is why preventing wastage of hay and preserving it becomes crucial to save money and feed the animals.
Grass and legume plants which are cut and then dried, and eventually stored for usage as animal feed is termed as hay. For the preservation of hay, you need to put up only the amount you’ll need in a year of harvest. Grazing animals like horses, llamas, alpacas, goats, sheep, and cattle require hay to have a fulfilling feed. Since feed changes cause digestive upsets in animals, it is recommended that you store at least one harvest season’s hay quantity for sufficient usage.
Here are 8 hay storage tips for keeping your hay as fresh and as safe as you can to save some hard-earned greens and prevent spoilage and hungry animals.
1.Proper Bailing is Critical to Hay Storage
Bales of hay should be arranged perfectly for ideal storage. There are basically three ways of storing hay:
- in squares of two-into-two-into-four
- in larger squares of three-into-three-into-eight
- and in large circles
In hay storage sheds, Alberta area, square bales of hay are stored indoors and pulled as per usage and requirements. The larger round ones are typically stored outdoors and fed to animals in one go. The smaller, square bales also serve the same purpose.
2.Bales should always be kept intact for as long as possible to ensure that they remain fresh.
Wet hay shouldn’t bailed and always ensure that bales of hay are densely-packed and tight enough so that the weather and other elements do not affect it adversely and prevent hay rotting.
3.Make hay storage sheds condensation-proof.
If the hay loft has the potential of interior condensation and can drip or get moisture, then tack up a slim layer of plastic below the rafters to hold the moisture in.
4.Always check for dark watery stains which you could hint at potential water leaks above the bakes if hay.
5.Prevent mold and vermin.
Hay loss can be huge if mold or vermin get hold of it. To prevent spoilage of hay, plug the holes of rats, mice and other rodents with either steel mesh or rat-wire mesh. Keep all windows and doors closed.
6.Litter the floor.
From hay leaves, to fines to other small particles, should be left on the floor to encourage proper circulation of air. You could always stack hay on pallets for better circulation but the space below becomes an ideal habitat for rodents and other critters.
7.Rearrange older bales and bring them up front.
This is important because when a new block of hay comes in, and if you place it upfront, you’d end up using that as feed. The older bales of hay will not be used and become stale. So, always ensure that you stack fresh bales on the side or at the back and use older stock first.