Hay storage

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katiecrna

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I read to keep hay in a dark, cool, low humidity environment with airflow to increase its shelf life.

I keep my hay in its original bag and I keep it in the breezeway. But it's so humid here and it seems the hay I put in her rack gets moist. Moist is a strong word... what I mean is it doesn't feel super dry when I touch it.

I was thinking about getting a tall wicker basket to store the hay in because its not air tight, or maybe a plastic bin.

Anyone have any thoughts about hay storage or experience with keeping it fresh and how to store it. Please post pics :)
 

katiecrna

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I was thinking the above... wicker basket, clear container, or just a garbage with step on lid.
 

Blue eyes

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The wicker basket seems perfect!

I'll show what I do - though it may sound complicated, it really makes things easy for me. I don't have humidity to deal with since we live in the desert.

I keep a hay bale in the far back yard covered with a tarp. I use that to stock a 30 gallon tote which I keep on the covered back porch.

I then use that 30 gallon tote to fill a 13 gallon kitchen trash can which I keep in the house for daily use.

A bale of hay is so much more hay than it appears to be. The 1st photo shows how little of the bale takes up that large tote. Then that large tote refills the trash can numerous times.

20170615_hay bale size red low res.jpg

20170626_hay bins labelled low res.jpg
 

samoth

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I've heard that one should not keep hay in airtight containers, or containers that cannot "breath," due to the potential formation of mold.

Personally, I order boxes of hay, and store them in a dedicated closet. Small boxes of fancy hay I keep out in the rabbits' room. I haven't had any mold issues doing this for almost a year now.

I'm sure many of us have our own ways of storing hay... but my question for others is if anyone has ever stored hay in such a way that it developed mold or went bad. Perhaps it would be good to know both what works, and what doesn't work :)
 

Blue eyes

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I've heard that one should not keep hay in airtight containers, or containers that cannot "breath," due to the potential formation of mold.
Correct - for most. That's why I clarified that I live in the desert, so humidity is not an issue. Never had mold issues either. We get less than 7" rain annually.

I have heard that one can drill air holes in a plastic tote to provide air circulation. Me - I'm more concerned about keeping scorpions and black widows out! (Cardboard attracts scorpions!)

Wicker containers or cardboard boxes are both more breathable than plastic and make for good hay storage.
 

thumpingBerry

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I was told from a rep from Kleenmama's hayloft ... when I used to buy hay over the internet ... that as long as the hay was properly dried, there should not be any problem keeping it in a closed container. The problem is if the hay gets wet or damp it will become moldy.

I've kept hay in various ways, but all inside. Either in the original box and bag, or loosely covered with plastic were a couple of ways I've kept hay before.

Currently I keep my hay in a plastic tote, inside. I use a large plastic container and buy timothy hay in the green bags at Tractor Supply. One "bale" barely fits in one of the containers. I do have a few small holes at the top and sides. And that bale lasts quite a while. I've never had any problems with mold.
 

RavenousDragon

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We sort of do what Blueeyes does- we keep our big bale in a box in the closet though (in the back, so it's harder to reach) but it can breathe (we too are in a desertish environment so it's quite dry). And we fill a plastic tote every week or so for 'easy access' hay, so we don't have to keep digging in the closet whenever mine need hay. Our plastic tote is sealed, however, so for roughly a week ours cannot breathe. We have never had a problem with this set up.
 

Kinai

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My hay storage is a plastic tote. Here in the Northeast US I have to worry about some humidity when no AC is on but the tote is opened at least once a day and it has holes under the handles.

If more air is needed then more holes can be added

I take 1st and 2nd cut timothy hay and orchard hay (right now) and have them all mixed in the tote.
 
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