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hay storage

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plbcattle

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The new place I just bought has enough storage for about 200 round bales of hay. I will feed 350-400. my question is it worth the investment putting up a new barn to store hay in vs. leaving the hay outside. I know people who will argue both sides. what is you guys response. also what does the hay loose in nutritional value being left outside vs inside. and last one. have any of you ever used tarps. thanks
 

certherfbeef

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plbcattle":1c0o2vkv said:
The new place I just bought has enough storage for about 200 round bales of hay. I will feed 350-400. my question is it worth the investment putting up a new barn to store hay in vs. leaving the hay outside. I know people who will argue both sides. what is you guys response. also what does the hay loose in nutritional value being left outside vs inside. and last one. have any of you ever used tarps. thanks

Tarps are a pain in the behind.

Do you have a net wrapper on the baler or just twine? Net wrap will keep outside much better that twine.

Can't help you with the loose hay thing.
 

dun

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plbcattle":1yfyk29u said:
The new place I just bought has enough storage for about 200 round bales of hay. I will feed 350-400. my question is it worth the investment putting up a new barn to store hay in vs. leaving the hay outside. I know people who will argue both sides. what is you guys response. also what does the hay loose in nutritional value being left outside vs inside. and last one. have any of you ever used tarps. thanks

My preference is inside sotrage. But when using the "Hay Saver" tarps we found that the hay kept as well as inside storage as long as it was kept on a couple of inches of rock so it couldn't absorb water from underneath. Outside storage will work but you will loose a couple of inches of the outside. Problem is, those 3-6 inches you loose makes up almost 20 % of the bale, smaller the bale the higher the percentage. Storing on a single layer (not stacked) and not touching the sides, the hay will actually lkeep pretty well and not rot too bad. Stacked and you loose most of the bottom layers unless tarped.

dun
 

Arnold Ziffle

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I've read a number of papers by both college-types and "real live rancher"-types to the effect that a 3 sided hay shed is one of the easiest of all construction projects to justify from the standpoint of economic payback --- and after seeing what happened to my round bales after an extremely wet 3 or 4 months I believe it. Properly stored hay supposedly loses very little nutritional value. The better and more pricey the hay the more the justification for a shed I think, even with todays higher prices for tin. Being able to store a lot of hay is also good from the standpoint of "insurance" in the event of unexpected drought and the need to feed outside of traditional times of the year. I've had to do that several times in reccent years, when I dind't want to be forced to liquidate any animals (you never can replace them for anywhere near what you got when you sold in a drought stressed situation). If you can't get a shed/barn built and don't want to use tarps then it is a good idea to lay down a good bed of rocks, railroad ties, utility poes, etc. to prevent the bottom of the bales from touching the wet ground
 

TLCfromARK

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It's best to keep in a barn but we're in the same boat as the poster. Not enough barn for the amount of hay, other projects more pressing. ( The wife said a new house comes before a new barn) We fill the barn and then place the rest in our "Hay Alley", a old road bed. We don't tarp or let the rolls touch and since we put the last hay we get in the Alley and then feed it first we don't lose a lot of hay but there is some loss.
;-)
 

txshowmom

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We store all of our roundbaled outside. We stack them as tightly together as we canend to end. You will loose some of the outside layers of the hay but our cattle are used to it so they eat it anyway.
 

Craig-TX

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We leave ours outside. Obviously a hay barn would be preferable but it’s awfully hard to cost justify in my situation. The rolls will get nasty looking on the outside but it’s amazing how well hay turns water. Just under the surface it will be bright and fresh. Snow is not a big problem here. If I had to dig through drifts to get to the hay I might change my tune. Our winters are usually just wet and icy. Yes, there is some loss but it’s not critical enough for me to build a shed.

Craig-TX
 

txag

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we have a couple of 60x40 3-sided pole buildings where we store our round bales. the rest are stored outside like txshowmom said, flat-end to flat-end pushed very tightly together in a long row. you'll lose some on the outside but the flat ends that are together will lose almost nothing.
 

Craig-TX

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Got to thinking about this. PLP made the question clear, but in case there are some beginners reading who didn’t catch it… this thread is about round bales. Square bales don’t fare well at all in the weather. They are packed in blocks and don’t thatch like round bales. They must be kept out of the weather to avoid serious loss.

Craig-TX
 

dun

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txshowmom":3ic51tvb said:
We store all of our roundbaled outside. We stack them as tightly together as we canend to end. You will loose some of the outside layers of the hay but our cattle are used to it so they eat it anyway.

Keep in mind the question was from Arkansas, a somewhat wetter environment then much of TX. In the desert we stored our square bales outside uncovered. Rarely lost any. But the only rain we got was in August.

dun
 

Dave

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I stack outside in a three bale stack and tarp the stack. The place I stack has a slight slope to it and I run the pile up and down the slope so water will run away and not collect against the stack. I feed out of the down slope end of the stack. I cover the piles with 30 ft by 100 ft 6 mil black plastic silage tarps. I hold the tarp down by using old tires and the heavy twine from big square bales. I place a tire at every bale and throw the twine ove the pile and tie a tire on up chest high the opposite side. I then even out the tires. The object is to keep the tarp at the top of the pile from billowing up in a wind. The bottom edge can flop in the breeze, it doesn't hurt anything. I tried weighting down the bottom edges of the tarp with everything I could think of and nothing seemed to hold the tarp on the pile in the wind until a guy told me about this method. I am on my third year with these tarps. My friend is starting his fifth year and has had to just replace one tarp out of six. When not in use I fold up the tarps and store them inside out of the sun light. I have very little loss using this method and it is a lot cheaper then building a barn.
Dave
 

hillbilly

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I think it depends mostly on your baler.
If you have a net wrap baler that rolls tight bales you don't need a barn.
If you have an old new holland chain belt baler you need a barn.

The aparent rules of the game are;
[1] You have to spend all your money.
[2] You get to choose where you spend it.

Hillbilly
 

SPRINGER FARMS MURRAY GRE

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It has been said that a haybarn is the only building on the farm that actually pays for itself. It is well worth the expense in the long run if you can put it in the barn, saves time,labor,and hay!
 

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