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Topic: Moldy hay  (Read 5001 times)
jburgi
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« on: August 13, 2015, 01:38:07 PM »

We have been getting a good amount of moisture the past couple weeks, which is needed and great, but it is giving me woes. Right now my hay is being stored behind our shed. There is a covered overhang off the back. When the rain first started I noticed that there was water leaking down part of the back wall in between where the overhang and shed meet. I pulled the bale away about 6" and put a tarp over the top. Today when I was feeding and cleaning I noticed mold on the bottom of the bale. So my plan of action is to get a pallet to put the hay on so its off the ground (I am assuming it was soaking up water from the ground) and to bring it back a few more inches, then continue to cover with a tarp. Does this sound like a good plan? Any suggestions on how to do it better? Is the bale a total loss, or just the moldy areas? I was planning on getting a new bale this afternoon. The alfalfa bale is fine, it was purchased later and is further away from the wall. Not sure if that tidbit is useful info. I have been mixing the alfalfa and grass hay the past week and a half.
Thanks!
Jessica
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nancy d
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« Reply #1 on: August 13, 2015, 03:52:36 PM »

Pallets are a great idea!
Can you store farther away from the wall? I wouldn't risk feeding that bale at all.
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jburgi
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« Reply #2 on: August 13, 2015, 05:56:06 PM »

I put the good hay on the pallet and moved it about 4' to the side and 12" away from the wall. So hopefully that will remedy the problem.
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jburgi
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« Reply #3 on: August 13, 2015, 06:15:32 PM »

So I picked apart the hay and separated good from bad. If I can't feed with it, can I use it for bedding? Or is that too dangerous? I hate for the whole bale to go to waste if it doesn't need to. But I would much rather get rid of it entirely if it could be dangerous.
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imalilbirdie
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« Reply #4 on: August 14, 2015, 05:11:16 AM »

I know it's hard to take a bale cost hit and toss it, but please do that...mold will kill those babies...either polio or listeria one will set in and those are the number one killers of goats.  Do yourself a favor and pitch that entire bale.

Here's what I do...you have a few options.

I use those HUGE Rubbermaid totes with lock down lids.  I don't buy the cheapest ones, I do buy the good ones.  As they are big enough to fit an entire bale down into them.  The lid locks down and becomes water proof.  This keeps any sort of moisture out of the bale...if you feel the lid isn't locking down well enough, you can always put the tarp over it and set a heavy object on top to keep the tarp from blowing off.

The other thing I have used is a very large (brand new of course) trash can.  The bale will slide down inside of it and you can take it one flake at a time out of it, and the lid will go perfectly back on top and lock down.

Storing larger amounts of hay, you should put it up on pallets even if it's in the barn.  Moisture can be absorbed through the ground, so even if it's on concrete, it needs to be on a pallet.  Once hay molds, the spores are all throughout the bale.  It's way too risky to feed it.  It's safer to just pitch it.  Makes for great compost for your garden next year or around your flowers. 
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nancy d
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« Reply #5 on: August 14, 2015, 10:26:08 AM »

Never ever take chance on mold.
One time I ran into a bale of moldy straw. It was for birthing stalls. I pitched it out into a wet area.
Pam has some great ideas there for storing.
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jburgi
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« Reply #6 on: August 14, 2015, 10:39:40 PM »

Thanks everyone! Got rid of the moldy hay and replaced it with a new bale. There is a lot of trial and error happening here!  Roll Eyes
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bweaver1958
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« Reply #7 on: August 23, 2015, 08:58:01 AM »

Hay in NY is tough to find in my area because of the rain, it has been too wet here for a lot of farmers to get out on the fields.  We ran out of hay so we bought a round bale from a farmer up the road.  It weighed 400 lbs. and cost me $45.00.  I have never used round bales before but I did tell the farmer I needed to use it right away.  When we got it in the barn and opened it up, it smelled wet and it felt moist.  I was concerned about that but the goats loved it.  I saw no mold and unrolled some of it so it would dry.  A couple of days later there was white stuff all over it and the smell got worse.  I called my husband to the barn and we immediately got it out of the barn and put it in the old duck pond.  I watched the goats very closely to make sure they didn't get sick. The hay we bought was called "wet wrap hay".  I did not know it is supposed to set for a good amount of time to ferment and dry out before you use it.  This guy is feeding his horses this hay, so I thought it would be ok for the goats.  I learned my lesson. We now have square baled hay and won't buy round bales again.
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What works here on my farm may not work at yours.
imalilbirdie
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« Reply #8 on: August 24, 2015, 03:24:43 AM »

Hey Brenda...welcome back...good to see you again. Smiley

Yeah that's good hay if it's cured out right.  He should have told you that when you bought it, especially since you told him you were feeding it right away.  I would have demanded half your money back at least.

Where you had the rainy weather (which we did also but that was with the first cut of hay), we had the drought...our second cut hay came out really late...now we're getting some rain so the 3rd cut is looking more promising, but it's gonna be a long while before it will be ready.  Grass lands died and turned nasty brown looking, just flat burned up from the heat and no rain, so it's going to be awhile before the 3rd cut is worth cutting.

I've got 20 bales in the barn...I actually need about 20 more to be safe and secure until next years cut.
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bweaver1958
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« Reply #9 on: August 24, 2015, 12:00:18 PM »

I finally get a break now and then. Smiley  It was such a waste...all that hay ruined.  I didn't even dare use it for bedding, don't need anyone getting sick and dying because I am too cheap to throw it away.  We only get 2 cuts here and a lot of people didn't get the first cut this year so hay will be scarce.  I need another 100 or so bales to get us through the winter.  I only have about 50 in the barn now so I am scouting for hay.
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What works here on my farm may not work at yours.
Julie H
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« Reply #10 on: August 24, 2015, 12:59:52 PM »

I finally get a break now and then. Smiley  It was such a waste...all that hay ruined.  I didn't even dare use it for bedding, don't need anyone getting sick and dying because I am too cheap to throw it away.  We only get 2 cuts here and a lot of people didn't get the first cut this year so hay will be scarce.  I need another 100 or so bales to get us through the winter.  I only have about 50 in the barn now so I am scouting for hay.

I've never heard of wet wrap hay. I wonder if that is comparable to silage??   All I know is that if you bale anything but properly dried hay you will have mold.  $ 45 for a 400 pound bale seems very high.
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beginnergoater
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« Reply #11 on: August 24, 2015, 07:17:48 PM »

Yes it does sound like a lot, I can get pure alfalfa small bales(50-60 pounds) for $3.75.  It's from my cousin and usually he sells it for 4.50.  But still I could find grassy hay for 3.00 here in Iowa. 
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imalilbirdie
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« Reply #12 on: August 25, 2015, 05:07:17 AM »

Yes Julie it would be silage type hay. 

Brenda was it wrapped in a solid white wrapper?  If so that's silage hay.  If it was just green net wrapped or string wrapped that's not silage hay and I'd be back there getting my money back if I were you.

Beginnergoater, we buy small square bales of Argentina Bahia down here for $5.00 per bale.  If you're getting alfalfa that cheap, I suggest that you continue to do so.  That price is dirt cheap.  You won't find hay that cheap any where down here.  A small bale of alfalfa down here is $20.00 per bale and it's trucked in from up North, because you can't grow alfalfa down here.
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bweaver1958
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« Reply #13 on: August 27, 2015, 10:35:40 PM »

Yes, it was wrapped in a solid white wrapper.  It smelled so good when we first opened it, but by the second day it had started to mold.  I can smell mold a mile away and it was turning white, so I knew it was moldy and got it out of the barn immediately.  I hardly used any of it, but didn't even dare use it for bedding.  I don't take any chances when it comes to the animals. 
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imalilbirdie
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« Reply #14 on: August 28, 2015, 05:05:39 AM »

Yep that was silage hay...I would call him and let him know that you informed him you needed to feed that right away, and that the bale he sold you was not cured out, and demand your money back.

No you wouldn't use that for bedding...I don't use any thing molded for bedding or feeding.  That's why I stay away from any form of silage feeds.
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