storage of hay, straw and grain

Discussion in 'Goats' started by mimsmommy, Sep 13, 2004.

  1. mimsmommy

    mimsmommy Active Member

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    hey y'all!
    i know if i am worried about this, then there are some other newbies who need to know too!
    what is the proper/safe way to store hay and straw so that it is not at risk for mold or fire(spontaneous)? If we have a barnloft area, can we put it up there, and to what density?(i.e. how high or tight can we stack 'em) How about those outside carport covers that i see some people storing bales in? is that only appropriate for straw?

    My plan for grain was to buy one or two metal trashcans with tight lids to store it in (two for goats, one for chickens, one for rabbits, etc) and keep them in the barn/shed. Is this enough protection from mildew and mice/insects?

    We are planning to move to the SW Mo area, and i am sure that humidity and heat will be a consideration--although maybe less than the Mid-south where we are now.

    These may seem like elementary questions, but i have this morbid fear of burning my imaginary barn down because i stored the straw improperly and it broke out in flames!!

    thanks, y'all!
    mimsmommy
     
  2. uncle Will in In.

    uncle Will in In. Well-Known Member Supporter

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    After the hay bales are dry and cured out, they can be stacked as high as you have room for them. which means newly baled hay that still has a high moisture content will go through a sweat and can get really hot when piled up where air can't get to it. If the hay has been baled a week or two it is usualy cured enough to stack. We always like to put the bales up on edge and criss-cross them to allow a bit of air between them. If they are stacked on soil or concrete even inside a building the moisture will come up into the botom bales and spoil them.
    The garbage cans make good rodent proof storage places. Again what you put in them needs to not be damp when you put it in them. Most feeds and grain that comes from feed stores or are prebagged will keep ok but grain right from the farm may be high in moisture and can mold if it is. I have a large old chest freezer in the barn that works great for feed that is bought in paper bags. It will hold about six or eight bags, and I can dip the feed directly from the bag.
     

  3. WolfSoul

    WolfSoul Well-Known Member

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    Thank for asking this. I was worried about it too and needed to understand how to do it. Good question, IMHO. Karen

     
  4. nappy

    nappy Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Great question Mimsmommy. We first tried cheap plastic garbage cans for chicken feed...the mice ate holes in the tops - falling into the feed for a gourmet feast! Some of the goats refused to eat grain stored in plastic too. Now we use the galvanized garbage cans leaving the feed in the bags. Somehow I think that it is safer to keep it from touching the sides of the can. Not sure of my reasoning though. Have heard of putting grain in the freezer but wouldn't it be TOO airtight? You can pick up old freezers especially chest type non-working ones for probably next to nothing. And uncle Will in In. DH and I were just discussing how to store hay before I read your post. Without knowing what you had said I had told him the same thing about storing on the side and crisscrossing bales for better ventilation. We've been just picking up the hay as we need it...someone else stores it. Again, a good question, as you need to be able to feed your animals clean, well stored hay and grain.
     
  5. mimsmommy

    mimsmommy Active Member

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    So, if i don't have a concrete floor, or a loft to store the hay or straw in--would storing it in a covered area on wooden pallets be enough to keep the damp away? I know it won;t keep the mice out of it, but maybe give enough ventilation to keep it dry. How about storing it on a carport? Would that be less damaging to straw or hay?
     
  6. Jen H

    Jen H Well-Known Member

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    Storing it on wooden pallets will work just fine to keep the hay from molding. I've successfully stored hay in a carport, so if you're not using the carport for parking that will work for hay storage.

    I haven't found any good way to keep mice out of the hay and straw - besides a good cat, of course. That really isn't something I worry too much about. The grain I store in a metal garbage can with the lid bungee-corded down so its good and tight.