Beginner Hay question - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 21 Old 08-11-2012, 08:40 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you everyone for your help. Yes there would be pasture as well, and we were talking to someone who bales hay near where we live, I don't remember the weight of the bales but I believe it is a timothy/orchard mix.

Another question would be how big of an area would someone need to store 200 or 400 bales of hay at a time?
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post #12 of 21 Old 08-11-2012, 09:12 PM
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Another question would be how big of an area would someone need to store 200 or 400 bales of hay at a time?
I can put about 56 bales in our 2 horse stock trailer if that helps any size-wise.

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post #13 of 21 Old 08-12-2012, 12:23 AM
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Just a suggestion. If possible store your hay away from the horse barn.
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post #14 of 21 Old 08-12-2012, 01:55 AM Thread Starter
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Just a suggestion. If possible store your hay away from the horse barn.
Thank you for the advice, is there a particular reason why?

We were actually looking into on of the carport type buildings for storing hay which was why I was curious as to what size we would need to store hay for a year for two horses.

The first one we found was 10x20 and just over 9ft high? Any ideas if that would be enough room or we would need more?
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post #15 of 21 Old 08-12-2012, 02:45 AM
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I don't know about room. I've never stored that many square bales, but the main reason for storing the hay away from the horse barn is fire hazard. A barnful of hay is basically a fireball waiting to happen and all it takes is one tiny spark to start a monstrous blaze...and it doesn't take long for it to go completely up.

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post #16 of 21 Old 08-12-2012, 03:56 AM
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Another question would be how big of an area would someone need to store 200 or 400 bales of hay at a time?
Well that all depends.

The heavier your bale the less room you'll actually need for storage. A common bale weight is 50 pounds but a 100 pound bale is only slightly larger in size and you've gone from 40 bales/ton to 20. FYI, 50 pound bales are preferred by many due to how easy they are to handle in comparison.

Next depends on vertical height. How high is your rafters going to be and how high are you going to stack those bales? Most people are only comfortable stacking hay 3-4 tiers high. Taller people can toss a bale up 5-6 tiers from the ground. Going up higher than that requires either an elevator or dragging a bale up the stack. I've gone 20 tiers high in a barn. Elevation allows more hay to be put in with the same footprint.

Another factor is who baled the hay. Someone who is good at setting up their baler will make every bale the exact same weight and size. Unfortunately many don't do this so you get all different sizes of bales. That plays havoc with stacks and isn't fun at all to deal with.

Last factor is how tight is your stack. A good stacker can put ~10% more bales in the same area as a bad stacker.

So you see, you ask a simple question and get a more complicated answere than you expect. Best thing to do is go to the guy you think will supply you and ask or measure several of his bales and take the average. Then do some simple math to figure out how much room it will take
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post #17 of 21 Old 08-12-2012, 04:10 AM
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We have a 10 x 20 storage shed that's 6 feet high on the sides. We can fit 200 in it. 4 rows of 7 and another of 6. The bales are about 50 lbs each.
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post #18 of 21 Old 08-13-2012, 01:21 PM
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I don't know about room. I've never stored that many square bales, but the main reason for storing the hay away from the horse barn is fire hazard. A barnful of hay is basically a fireball waiting to happen and all it takes is one tiny spark to start a monstrous blaze...and it doesn't take long for it to go completely up.
Yes, that & if any of the bales are too wet they will get hot & start to burn on their own (spontaneous combustion).
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post #19 of 21 Old 08-13-2012, 01:51 PM
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yep, I worried about this a lot until this darn drought..now I have hay stored every where that I can store it!

It is so frustrating when the bales are very uneven..plays havoc with stacking!!

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post #20 of 21 Old 08-14-2012, 02:00 PM
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Being in PA I assume you probably have timothy and orchard grass (and just mixed grass) hay. I personally feed timothy square bales, and my horses go through about 1 bale / day (bale is 50-55 lbs). Less if I have them on pasture for several hours/day.

If you have just 2-3 horses square bales are easier to feed, almost no waste, and easy to store, however with more horses I'd look into round bales (cheaper, although more waste, and you want to give botulism shot).

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