What to do with old hay

Discussion in 'Goats' started by Croenan, Mar 5, 2005.

  1. Croenan

    Croenan Well-Known Member

    Aug 14, 2003
    Stuart, VA
    Of course, I compost as much as I can but I am getting just too much hay from cleaning out my goat and chicken houses. ( I definately compost the chicken hay, though!) :D But what to you guys do with all your left over hay? It IS a pain to take it all to the compost area that is across the property, so I need to get some alternatives. Can I burn it? Can I burn it in the goat area if I am careful. They have an area to get away from it and they are used to me burning occassionally because my garden is next to the goat pen. If it is all put out when unattended are the ashes a problem, (whatever I can't get up). Do the ashes harbor lots of disease, because I know the hay will if I just left a pile in the pen. (which is what I have now for the last 3 weeks with the cold weather and new baby) I have been trying to keep their houses as clean as possible. They don't mess with the hay pile yet, but I am sure that if giving the time, they will mess with it...yucko!

    Along the same lines....are there ways of keeping your goat areas clean? Right now their area is smaller than I think it should be and the extra pasture field that we have to rotate them too is not their favorite. :( Normally they do NOT try to get out of their current area, but if I move them to the other pasture, I have to check on them constantly because they try to escape back to home. Definately going to work on that this spring. We are also working to expand their current area so they have a lovely hillside to graze and lay on. I still worry about making the pen less "buggy".

    Any advice would be welcome!

    "If you understand, things are just as they are; if you do not understand, things are just as they are."
  2. debitaber

    debitaber Well-Known Member

    Jun 6, 2003
    we burn some of it, and use lots around the fruit trees, and spread it down the back lane. the neighbors don't like it, but then again, I didn't ask them to put their houses, with in 100 ft of my lane either. and this is a working homestead. and we do all the work here. the neighbors, hate it when we spread oold goat hay, but that is what you get living in the country. next to a homestead, or farm. just the old hay, hubby burns. we burn a lot of it , that comes out of our goat house also.

  3. shorty'smom

    shorty'smom Well-Known Member

    Feb 17, 2005
    northern Oklahoma
    If your community has a bullitin board (there are often times one at the grocery store and feed store) you can post a sign that anybody can come and haul it away for free to compost for their garden. I used to wish I knew where I could get stuff like that. What's the matter with those neighbors? I'd be scooping it up and composting it for my grden if I were one of them. :)
  4. bethlaf

    bethlaf Homegrown Family

    May 26, 2004
    free compost signs will work , either in the grocery, or in the feed store bulletin board, plus call the local flower or garden club and let them know, i promise it wont be a problem ...

    now our hay, the stuff the goats pick through and drop on the ground and refuse to eat, some of that i clean up , and put in the chicken coop , and some goes to the pigs to root through and plow into the ground for me ...
    we have a pretty closed system with each animal contributing , except the horses, but since i know they are a drain ,i accept that, i wouldnt be without them :D
  5. Hank - Narita

    Hank - Narita Well-Known Member

    Aug 12, 2002
    We have lots of used hay too. We put it around the trees; give to the chickens; use for bedding when dry. We would like to get a commercial composter to grind it up finer to spread around the place.
  6. Caprice Acres

    Caprice Acres AKA "mygoat" Staff Member Supporter

    Mar 6, 2005
    we have two pens... one that goes around our garden for the summer, and the other is our garden, for the winter. thier "nanny berries" make great fertilizer, toss it right on your garden from the shed in the non growing season. or if you plant half your garden per year,(to let the other half get back it's lost nutrience) throw all the bedding right into the non growing half and till it next year.
  7. JAS

    JAS Well-Known Member

    Oct 15, 2003
    South Dakota
    We burnt an old, moldy bale in the goat lot (the goats where not in the lot at the time) along with an old building--removed all the nails and such. The goats loved to roll in the ashes when we moved them back into the lot.

    We give the chickens all the wood ashes to bathe in for parasite control, I suppose it would work for goats too.