Where to store a few bales of hay - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 11 Old 08-06-2020, 09:02 AM Thread Starter
Green Broke
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Where to store a few bales of hay

I am not talking about a winter's worth of hay to feed.
Where I board (small private barn), we are lucky to have enough pasture to keep the horses in good condition all year round. Consequently, there is absolutely no hay on the property and also no storage space for a few bales. Storage is actually nonexistent and the little we have is used for feed, shavings and tack.

Now to my dilemma: I like to haul out to ride/camp and like to have a few bales of hay on hand for that purpose. I used to store it in an unused horse trailer, but that is not an option anymore...

Any ideas for hay storage?
There is no room at the barn, and even less at my house...
Do I use my horse trailer as storage and just unload every time I go somewhere?
Or do I just bite the bullet and by the $$$ compressed bales form TSC as needed?

Edited to add: I live in hot, humid MS and especially in Fall/Winter the property gets pretty water-logged.
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post #2 of 11 Old 08-06-2020, 09:21 AM
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Do you have any friends that own their own property & barn, who would be willing to sell you bales as needed? Or is there a hay supplier that you could buy bales from as needed?

Hot + Humid doesn't seem like a good combination for storing bales in any enclosed space, like a trailer, garage, etc.

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post #3 of 11 Old 08-06-2020, 09:35 AM
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With your set-up as it is and your climate as it is {I get it living in humid, hot Florida}, for the few times you will need I would do the bagged/baled in plastic correctly dried and baled compressed hay.
My store has I think 3 - 4 choices to choose from and because it is baled & wrapped you know you are paying for and getting darn close to 50 pounds bags of forage just air sucked out shrinked till you cut that bag then it fluffs nice.
Standlee is what my store carries in brand and know this company has their own fields of product grown and strict quality control.
Or, if camping then just go buy several bales of hay to take for the time away.
Again, my store has 2 types of square bales but weight versus price is questionable.
There are also hydration blocks you add water and let soak for a bit then feed...if space is really a issue this works and works to also get the horse to take in more water...you just need a deep tub, we used a muck bucket designated for feeding hydrating hay... Was great for carrying all small items easily lost, but in that big bucket...all in one place till we set up a stand to keep everything on.

It will cost you more to buy the compressed hay, but 50 pounds of product figures out to about $10 a bale by me often when bales are "light" but the price is not and it is not junk hay but orchard/alfalfa, straight alfalfa, straight timothy or T&A mix...not to bad a price for here.
If sealed and rained on not a issue either forget the morning heavy dew we get this time of the year...soggy shoes walking to the barn to feed every morning I have.

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post #4 of 11 Old 08-06-2020, 10:00 AM
Green Broke
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I suggest the expensive compressed bales as well. and a Bale bag to store it in once you cut the bindings. We buy these when hauling out of state and it is humid here in the summers and the hay stays pretty good in the bale bag in the trailer for short times.
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post #5 of 11 Old 08-06-2020, 10:42 AM
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Some people I know who used to board up in full care would keep a few bales under tarps in hay bale bags. That seemed to work out ok.

Does your feed store sell hay by the flake? Mine does single or three. Itís not really cheap, comparatively to buying a full bale, but has comes in handy if Iím a few flakes short before the hay guy comes, and Iíll often keep some in my trailer for hauling out.
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post #6 of 11 Old 08-06-2020, 12:06 PM Thread Starter
Green Broke
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Thanks y'all for the input.
I have seen the compressed bales, but I don't know anyone that has ever used them.
Since they are wrapped, can they be stored for a couple of weeks? I am thinking of having just one sitting around for emergencies or spontaneous trips...

Our feed store has normally square bales. Sometimes the quality is exceptional, and sometimes not so much... Just depends on the season and what they just got in. My problem is that their store hours and my working hours do not align well.

I think I will give a compressed bale a try and see how it goes!
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post #7 of 11 Old 08-06-2020, 12:11 PM
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At my old barn, they had an outdoor storage area. They picked an area that tended to stay pretty dry. They put pallets on top of it, and about 10 bales of hay on top of that, then a tarp over it. They weighted down the tarp so there weren't any open edges. That was not 100% effective, but it was about 90 - 95% effective. That was the case even in rainy times. If it were me, I might stack two layers of pallets on the bottom.

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post #8 of 11 Old 08-06-2020, 12:15 PM
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I know the wrapping is thick plastic..
I've never personally used them but know some who do..
They store them outdoors with a tarp over, log under so not on the ground exactly and the sun off them, but hot is still hot here..
To my knowledge not a problem when opened but you could actually store 10 of them in a corner stacked high and not take up more floor space than a wheelbarrow tipped on the nose handles up..small enough you could fit in a small spot in the barn.

The worst day is instantly better when shared with my horse.....
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post #9 of 11 Old 08-06-2020, 01:58 PM
Green Broke
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they will store well in their plastic. I keep one in my shed in case we haul out of state (which we do quite often) and they keep for quite some time
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post #10 of 11 Old 08-06-2020, 03:38 PM
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I have used the compressed bales from TSC a few times. They store well, never had any trouble with them at all in that regard. BUT....there's always a but. They are very dusty because they have been very thoroughly dried/dehydrated. I hate them for that reason. You can wet them to keep the dust down, but they're real crumbly and messy, so not something I like to use if not forced. If you can buy a bale or 2 from the feed store (not the compressed stuff) and keep it in your garage, I'd be happier with that kind of hay. If you can, I might go with alfalfa/grass cubes since you're going to have to wet them anyhow. Cubes seem to be less messy than the compressed bales. In a pinch, it's great, you can get hay. For frequent use.........MEH.

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