If you own a farm, you know how important it is to have hay. Hay has many uses. The most common way it is used is as food for farm animals. Farms need to store hay bales in their barns for edible emergencies or long winters when green pasture isn’t available.
Hay can also be used to provide bedding for livestock, sometimes in conjunction with straw or wood shavings. Whether you’re looking for Haylage for sale to feed your farm animals or looking for hay for bedding, you need to know how to properly store your hay to last. Here are a few storage tips to keep your hay safe:
Stack Hay To Promote Air Circulation
Hay has to be appropriately stored for use. Since you need to store hay bales for a long time, you’ll need to stack your hay in a way that promotes air circulation. Hay needs air circulation to stay fresh, dry and pest-free. The best way to stack hay is in an alternating pattern; this will promote air circulation and help avoid mould growth.
Store in a Cool and Dry Place
The hay needs to be dried because damp hay will only feed the bacteria. And this could lead to diseases like pneumonia in some animals. In addition, farmers have to store hay in a cool and dry place because it will spoil if it is not stored correctly.
Hay spoils because of fungal organisms that eat the sugars found in hay, which produce a chemical called tyrosinase that causes an off-flavour and spoilage. Furthermore, the spoilage creates heat from the decomposition process, making the hay even more prone to spoils. Fortunately, specialist barns are available on the market that allows you to store your hay in a safe environment.
Remove Any Mouldy Hay
Haystacks can become mouldy due to the rapid growth of mould spores in moist conditions. Moulds can cause respiratory problems, skin irritation or even death in farm animals. Thus, it is important to remove mouldy hay from haystacks as soon as they are discovered. This will help prevent illnesses in farm animals and preserve the quality of your haystack.
You can use a vacuum cleaner approved for wet environments if possible because these tools have fewer parts that can be damaged by water or moisture. Storing your hay in a cool and dry place will help prevent mould from growing.
Rotate Hay Stock
Rotating your hay stock allows you to keep it fresh and prevent any potential problems in the future. It will also let you see any mould and other issues that may be harmful to your animals.
The first step is to check that the hay has no visible signs of spoilage, such as mould or rot. If there are, as stated before, discard them immediately! Then, take note of how much hay you have left before you start storing it away again. The next time you need to rotate your hay, divide the current amount by two and use half of the remaining amount for the next rotation.
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