Walking On Volume 6, Issue 4, April 2019 - Page 8

Back to Basics 10 Tips For Safe Horse Hay Storage By Moira Clune, Co-Author: Noreen Girao You’ve bought the best horse hay you can find. Now store it for max- imum use and nutrition. Don’t let mold, mildew, rodents and weather ruin your hay! 4. Keep the hay off the floor. Used wooden pallets are available from many local businesses. They’re often free for the taking and work perfectly! Indoor Storage: 1. Keep hay dry. If you’re storing it in a barn, be sure there are no roof leaks or water drainage problems. 5. Stack your hay for maximum air flow. Square bales should be stacked on edge with narrow gaps between rows. Be sure to check for heat in the bales by driving a metal rod into the centers. 2. Be sure condensation doesn’t accumulate on the inside of the roof. A surprising amount of water can drip on your hay from a sweaty roof! Use a plas- tic tarp to channel water away from bales. 3. Keep an eye out for rodents. Rats and mice can contaminate your hay. Plug any entrances with steel wool. If you can’t keep them out, cats and black snakes are great mousers! 8 • Walking On Special considerations for outside storage: 8. When stored outside, hay must be stacked on pallets or some type of ventilated platform to keep ground moisture from infiltrating the bales. Be aware of seasonal wet spots! 9. Bales should be protected from sun and rain with tarps. Stack the bales in a pyramid forma- tion to encourage water runoff. 6. Use older hay first. Pull old bales 10. Tarps also protect your hay from sunlight which causes to the front or side before stack- rapid nutrient loss. ing in new hay, and feed older hay first before starting on the Hay needs to be stored properly fresher supply. for maximum safety, nutrition and 7. As much as possible, keep bales usability. But no matter how care- fully it’s stored, always check each in their compacted state. Bro- bale for mold or foreign objects. ken bales expose the hay to air Never feed a horse hay that looks or which will cause it to degrade smells moldy! in quality. Break off flakes to minimize air exposure. Let Practical Horsekeeping show you how to become an efficient, effective equine expert! Moira Clune and Noreen Girao pro- vide helpful horse care information with a practical twist at [http://www.Practical- Horsekeeping.com] Our free horse care ezine shows you the fastest, safest, smartest ways to care for your horse and create an orga- nized, appealing environment that works for horse and rider! Sign up today and get our free, veterinarian approved Colic Prepared- ness Report that shows you exactly what to do in a horse colic emergency. Join us today at [http://www.practicalhorsekeeping.com/ horsecarenewsletter.html] and start getting practical! Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/ expert/Moira_Clune/121065