Almost everyone who owns a farm knows that winter’s arrival means hay storage requires more attention.
Hay exposure to rodents and moisture can ruin entire pallets of this valuable resource that’s used to feed your farm’s livestock. Ensuring that it’s properly stored so it works when you need it is essential.
Considering this, we’re here to help. Keep reading for a few hay storage ideas and be ready for the winter months.
1. Barn Storage
Barn storage is a popular option for successful hay storage during the winter months. To properly store your hay, it is important to keep the barn clean and dry before storing your hay.
Make sure the roof, walls, and floor of the barn are completely sealed to prevent any moisture or pests from entering the barn. Additionally, keep fire extinguishers and bug spray in the barn to avoid any problems.
2. Hay Tarps and Covers
Hay storage for the coming winter months can be made much more organized, efficient, and easier to store with the use of hay tarps and covers. Hay tarps are waterproof, sunproof, and UV resistant which will help protect hay stored outdoors.
Hay covers are ideal for storing hay outdoors, keeping it dry and shielded from damaging wind and rain. Both tarps and covers are perfect for piles of hay no matter the size and can help protect the hay from premature rot. The UV protection also helps keep the hay from losing its nutritional value during the long and unforgiving winter months.
3. Hay Storage Buildings
A hay storage building is a great way to ensure the safety and longevity of hay over the cold winter months. Not only will it protect the hay from being exposed to the elements, but it also allows for easier access throughout the season.
Hay storage buildings come in many sizes, making it easy to find the right one for your needs. Positioning the building in a high area can help keep the hay dry and safe from any moisture. For extra protection, you may want to line items in the building with plastic to further keep moisture out.
4. Hay Bale Sleeves
Hay bale sleeves act as a barrier between the hay bales and any moisture, avoiding the bales from becoming wet and moldy. Not only will this save you time and money in the long run as you won’t have to constantly replace wet hay, but your livestock will also benefit from having high-quality hay to eat. The sleeves will also help to keep the hay at a more consistent temperature from the fluctuating temperatures outside.
5. Stacking Techniques
Stacking techniques for the storage of hay can be very effective. Start by placing four pallets in a straight line about a meter apart. Place the first layer of bales on the pallets, cutting the strings of the bales and making sure the flat sides are in contact with the ground.
Continue stacking bales on top of the first layer, staggering the rows, and alternating the ends to create a stable stack. Hay should be stored off the ground, in a place where the temperature and airflow can be easily managed to ensure safety and quality. Don’t forget to get skid steer hay equipment to handle your hay easily.
Consider These Successful Hay Storage Ideas for Winter
It is essential to properly store hay for the colder winter months to ensure its long-term usability and quality. Planning and following the hay storage ideas mentioned above will help prepare hay for winter storage and ensure that it remains fresh and properly used.