5 tips for better hay storage

Hay Storage Tips

Soon if not already you’ll be buying your hay. Here are some top tips to help you prepare for this.

1. Clean out the storage area

Remove all hay from previous years. If you have a cement floor, sweep the area out. Rake dirt floors and let the area dry/air out for a few days before stacking your new hay.

2. Prepare the storage area

Always put a barrier between the ground and your hay. Wood pallets work best to keep the bottom layer off of the ground while still allowing air circulation under the stack. Allow space in between stacks for air circulation and keep stacks at least six inches away from exterior walls (especially walls that heat up during the hot summer days).

3. Stack as you feed

Don’t block your hay in. If you're feeding a mixture of hay and haylage daily, make sure you can access both easily.

4. Separate different cuttings and different kinds of hay

It’s easy to tell hay and haylage apart when they’re first baled and stacked. When it starts to fade, however, it’s not so easy. Know where you stack each type; you can also tie a tag onto the baler twine indicating the field the hay came off of.

5. Keep a tally record

It’s easy to forget how much hay you’ve stacked and stored as the season continues. Write your totals somewhere – either keep a notebook for your farm/stable, or mark it on a calendar or note board. This is the only way to know how much hay you have and how much more or less you'll need next year!

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Kim Horton

Co-Founder of EQUUS and a keen equestrian, when Kim's not at her desk she's with her horse, Waldo.

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