Know what is the best way to store Hay Bales.

If you’re a horse lover, then you’re aware that Hay is an essential element of your horse’s diet. However, do you know which kind of Hay suits the horse? And how should it be stored so that it doesn’t catch the spread of mold or fire? Know what is the best way to store Hay Bales..

We’ll be talking about the various kinds of hay bales and the different nutrients found in each. We’ll also cover the safety of Hay, such as the best ways to avoid fires and recognize Hay that is moldy. Also, keep reading for crucial tips on how to stack hay bales to avoid collapse.

Hay Basics

It may appear like the same bale is the same as the next; Hay can be an extremely complex subject.

Balancing it into different sizes can make a huge difference in whether you’ll need a tractor to supply it to horses or not.

Types of Hay

The nutrients derived from pasture grazing feeds and supplementary Hay form the basis of a horse’s nutritional needs. Hay adds the energy and fiber you need to your horse’s diet, essential to overall health.

  • Hay can be classified into two primary types: grass or legume. Each type of grass will give your horse a different mixture of nutrients.
  • Alfalfa hay is part of the legume category and has about 14 percent protein. The grass hay, however, has between 8 and 10 percent protein.
  • Horses at various levels of development and activity levels require a variety of nutrients. The activities related to grazing can take up anywhere between 9 to 16 hours during a horse’s existence. Feeding a horse that is passive with Hay that is high in energy could cause weight gain that is not desirable.
  • However, lactating foals and mares are characterized by high energy requirements. Alfalfa or a legume and grass mix might be more suitable for foals and mares.


Different Sizes of Hay Bales 

In addition to the nutritional content, Hay bales are different in terms of dimensions. Hay is available as small bales of pellets or squares or massive round bales weighing more than 1,000 pounds. The typical square bale weighs around 50 pounds. Massive square bales weighing up to 100 pounds and more. Larger bales require using a tractor or skid steers to move the bales from place to place. However, even smaller bales require adequate strength to move around.

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How to Store Hay

Hay must be kept away from humidity. The ventilation of the hay bins is also important to avoid the accumulation of heat that can ignite (ok spontaneous combustion) flames.

Ensure that the area where you store your Hay is as tidy as possible. When you’ve finished your supply, take the time to thoroughly clean your area and check the area for the possible source of water.

Don’t stack your Hay all up to the roof. Instead, leave enough space so that air can circulate. Hay should be kept in a closed area to keep out vermin or water.

Safety Concerns when Stacking Hay


A horse with a moldy hay diet can lead to respiratory problems and colic and even cause the loss of foals still in the womb. It is crucial not to feed Hay that is moldy to your horses. If you suspect that your Hay is rotten, eliminate it. The effects of Hay that is moldy are serious, so do not cause harm to your horse! Always ensure that your Hay is dry before stacking or storing it. Dry Hay could lead to the possibility of fire or mold.

This may seem strange, but Hay, which has been wet and kept in a hot location, is a major fire risk. The practice of stacking Hay too tightly is too risky. Many individuals also pile Hay onto pellets to allow airflow underneath the pile. This also aids in the control of moisture. Stacking the pellets in a crisscross fashion with one side facing one direction and the second layer with its backs towards the opposite direction, encourages air circulation between piles.

Hay fires are extremely fast-moving and pose a risk. Do not attempt to fight an unattended fire. If you suspect a fire in your storage area for Hay, call 911 immediately.

Place fire extinguishers in the vicinity of your Hay. Do not keep flammable liquids near.

Stack Collapse

To increase airflow, Hay is stacked. This implies that the bales aren’t put together tightly. This may lead to the risk of a collapsed stack. Hay bales can be heavy and, if they fall, could cause serious injuries to any nearby person. You can ideally keep your stacks from collapsing by keeping them small and closely watching your children while they’re in your storage area. If you suspect the stack is in danger of collapsing, clean the area immediately and get assistance from other people.

How to Stack Hay

The proper stacking of your Hay can be the difference between a few months of feed for your horse or garden mulch. If you follow some simple guidelines, you will be sure your investment won’t be wasted. No matter how hard you try sometimes, Hay will catch in flames. Moving your larger supply elsewhere lowers the chance that you’ll lose your horse or your barn if a fire occurs. If you purchase Hay in bulk, think about storing your Hay in a separate structure far from your animals.

Airflow is Important

  • Stack to increase airflow. The loss of the stacking process of bales encourages airflow between the stacks. Don’t stack Hay up to the ceiling.
  • Be sure that the area where you store your Hay is ventilated through the dome or another vent.
  • The absence of airflow can increase your chance of developing fire and mold. If you’re unfamiliar with handling Hay, think about consulting an experienced farmer in your area for information on how to store Hay properly.

Moisture – Bad for Hay

  • Mold and moisture are inextricably linked. Since mold can trigger serious health issues and even death in horses, it’s vital to shield your horses’ Hay from the moisture.
  • Hay should be kept inside and away from humidity. Inspecting your roof for leaks is a good idea to avoid moisture contamination of the fresh Hay.
  • Also, check regularly for signs of mold on your Hay. The Hay that is mucky will usually be darker than Hay that is fresh. You must also take a sniff of the Hay. If it is sour or musty, It’s likely to be damp and needs to be thrown away. Also, check the Hay. If it’s wet or clumpy, it’s likely not hygienic, and you should not feed it to your horse.

Avoid Stacking in Sunlight

  • Hay is extremely flammable. If there’s moisture within the bale, adding heat can increase the chance of spontaneous combustion. Therefore, it is essential to keep Hay out of direct sunlight.
  • Furthermore, there is a chance that if sunlight hits the Hay, it will also hit the rain.

How to Stack Hay Securely

Then stack the Hay with the cut side up. Use short stacks as much as you can to avoid collapse. Also, always stack them on pallets to promote airflow beneath the pile. If you stack larger piles, you should know that the bottom layer will likely become moist. Make sure you examine the bottom layer before feeding since it is likely to be contaminated by mold. You may consider the straps and support structure to help stabilize your stack. As you stack upwards, you can think of making a wider pyramid at the base and then narrows as it climbs upwards. This increases stability and reduces the chance of collapse.

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