Thursday, January 01, 2009

Hay Storage Revisited

As I wrote in the previous post, the cats have convinced me not to store the hay loose anymore. I took a look at my thoughts on the matter from last spring (Hay Storage), and I think that I will probably want to try bagging the hay. We have hundreds of feed sacks lying around, but I was a little bit concerned about breathability, since they are woven plastic. However, I think if, after filling them with hay, I left them open and standing on end for a few days or weeks, that would allow any excess moisture to evaporate out the top. Then they could be tied up for storage. By weighing the bags before and after, I could get a better idea of the moisture content of the hay, and hopefully get better at estimating that when the hay is on the ground.

A downside to any sort of tying or bagging system is that it is more labor intensive than simply putting the hay on a pile. That could be alleviated by building some sort of a hopper system to direct the hay down into the bag. On the other hand, moving large amounts of loose hay is difficult, and bagging can be done at the spot on the field where it was dried. The bags would be easier to pile in a wagon and move around than loose hay. I will give it a try, anyhow. Hopefully next year's hay season will be less rainy than this past one.

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