Did you recently obtain a horse, goat or other animal that relies on hay for its winter nutrition? If so, it is vital that you take the necessary steps to ensure that the animals food is stored properly. According to adocumentpublished by Mississippi State Universitys Extension Service, failure to store hay properly can result in a 15% loss on ones investment. Thats not even taking into account what damage poor quality hay bales can do to the health and well-being of a persons livestock.
To ensure that your winter hay supply remains safe and nutritionally sound, wed recommend investing inhay covers, pallets and rock pads. The pallets and rock pads will help to keep the hay bales from making contact with the ground. It is important to eliminate ground contact because it can cause the hay to become infested with insects, microorganisms, mildew and other non-desirable elements.
Typically, the rock pads are made with nothing more than truck loads of loose aggregate. The load is spread out to create thick layers. The layers are designed to aid with drainage and moisture control. The pallets are then placed on top of the rock pads to protect the hay bales even further.
Once the hay bales are placed onto the pallets, they should be protected with the hay covers. Ideally thehay coversshould be a minimum of 4 inches longer than the stack itself. They should also be positioned in a way that allows the water to run off of the stack and not pool in spots. After all, pooling water often leads to insect activity, moisture damage and diminished nutrition content. Experts also suggest that its best to place winter hay bales is in an area that receives full sun and ample wind. Doing so should help to keep the hay bales dry as well.
To learn more about protecting your livestocks winter food supply with hay covers and tarps, pleasecontact usat (877) 811-3911. We would also love to answer your hay cover related questions onFacebook.