How Long Will hay stay good for?

If stored correctly, hay will stay good for about 12 months after harvest before losing any of its fresh taste or smell.

How long does it take for hay to spoil?

The carotene concentration in hay declines rapidly, especially when exposed to sunlight, and much of that loss occurs within the first three to six months of storage.

Is year old hay still good?

Generally, hay that is two to three years old is still acceptable given the right storage conditions. So before you go tossing last year’s hay, give it a check over and feel confident feeding it if everything looks good.

Does hay deteriorate?

“Hay is a perishable commodity that deteriorates when exposed to weather. Time is a factor. For example, 90 days after cutting, the vitamin precursors’ loose “strength” and animals will require supplementation. The fat soluble vitamins A, D, and E are the first nutrients to oxidize.

Can horses eat 2 year old hay?

If the hay was of good-quality when harvested and stored in a dry place with sufficient airflow, hay is likely suitable for consumption for two to three years. Keep in mind that hay, even premium forage, loses much of its vitamin content in the first few months of storage.

How do you store hay properly?

Store hay where it’s accessible. Don’t stack hay higher than you can safely move it—this is especially important when stacking large round bales. And stack new hay behind older bales so you can feed the older hay first. Hay stacked on bare ground or concrete wicks moisture up through the bottom tiers, ruining the hay.

How long does a bale of hay last for one cow?

One round bale lasts about 8-10 days using our regular round bale hay net with 1.75″ holes. Without a net, a bale lasts approximately 5-6 days and half of it is wasted. Once the hay hits the ground, it gets urinated and defecated on or they use it as a bed and refuse to eat it.

How old should hay be for horses?

So how soon can you feed new hay? If the hay is cut and bailed in perfect conditions with less than 12% moisture in the bale, it should be safe to feed straight away. But due to how hard this is to get accurate; it is recommended to wait 2-8 weeks before feeding.

How do you keep hay bales fresh?

Storing hay in a dry place will prevent it from locking in moisture and growing mold on your rabbit food. It will also save your hay from getting wasted. You should store the rabbit hay in a plastic bin or place like a closet that will protect it from moisture and wetness.

How can you tell how old hay is?

Signs that your horse hay may be bad include a lack of color or dried-out appearance, a moldy smell, excessive dust, visible mold, or excessive heat towards the center of the hay bale. Because hay provides your horse with so many essential nutrients, you must provide your horse with the best quality hay available.

What can I do with last year’s hay?

If you decided to keep your bales in a barn, place them over old hay or straw so that they do not sweat or absorb moisture from other surfaces. Keep your bales in a dry space where moisture or direct sunlight will not reach it. If hay develops too much moisture, this can lead to mold growing in it.

Can you feed old hay to cows?

Leftover, weather-worn bales of hay can be used to fertilize pastures. Age, mold, moisture take toll. Bales can be used as fertilizer.

How long can you keep hay bales for decoration?

If you keep your bales out of the elements, especially moisture, they can last for years. However, if allowed to absorb moisture and heat, as would happen with a straw bale garden or planter, for example, hay bales will begin to break down and only last for one growing season.

Does hay lose nutritional value over time?

A: Hay begins to lose its nutritional value at the time of cutting and continues to lose nutrients both while drying in the field and while in storage. The nutrients most affected by harvesting and storing are vitamins. Conversely, the protein and mineral content of hay is quite stable.

Can you store hay in a shed?

Whole hay bales are easy to stack in the corner of a garage, shed, or coop, but once you open it up a hay bale or straw bale, it will be everywhere unless you have a plan. We fortunately have an attached garage that has worked fabulously as a wood shed, rabbit barn, and hay bale storage area.

How long does a bale of hay last one horse?

In general, a standard 40 lb. square bale of hay lasts one horse for about 3.5 days. But many factors such as age, workload, type of hay, and access to pasture grass affect how much they eat. I find most horses eat between 10-15 pounds of hay each day.

Can you feed this years hay to horses?

Any hay that has been properly cured and dried before being baled should be stable and can be fed as soon as needed. There are no nutritional advantages to storing hay for weeks or months prior to use.

Can old hay make horses sick?

You saw your horse consume hay that looked moldy. What should you do? Moldy hay can cause digestive upset that can lead to abdominal pain (colic), sometimes serious. In rare cases, hay containing toxic molds can cause life-threatening illness.

How do you store hay long term?

Another way to preserve your hay in long-term storage is to use plastic hay crates. These large crates come in different sizes and offer the perfect amount of space for hay bales. You can stack the crates to keep them organized and to prevent your hay from getting wet.

Is it bad to store hay outside?

Store hay inside

While this isn’t always possible, it is the best way to keep your hay intact. “Uncovered hay bales stored outside on the ground can result in high hay dry matter (DM) losses that could range from 5-20%,” Hernandez says.

How do you store hay without a barn?

Without a barn, you can adapt a large storage shed or cargo container. If you have to store hay outdoors, protect stacked hay with secured tarps or a plastic covering. Raise hay off bare ground using wood pallets or tires, or by building a pad of rocks or gravel.

How much does a 1200 lb bale of hay cost?

As you can see, the cost or value of the primary nutrients in a typical bermudagrass round bale is $20.30. If you add to this the cost of baling, about $15 per round bale, then your cost for a 1,200-pound round bale is now $35.30.

How many rolls of hay do you get from a cow?

Calculate Number of Bales Needed

Determine the number of bales of hay that each cow needs by dividing the cow’s yearly need by the adjusted weight of each bale. For a cow needing 8,190 pounds of hay per year and a bale weight of 960 pounds, divide 8,190 by 960 for a yearly need of about 8.5 bales per cow.

How do you keep cows from wasting hay?

Most cattle farmers experience waste due to improper feeding practices and poor storage techniques. Fortunately, wasting hay can easily be eliminated by the use of a hay feeder. A hay feeder can come in the form of a hay ring and certain variations.

How do you store hay for horses?

Storing Hay for Horses

  1. Be sure hay is dry before stacking it in a barn or shed.
  2. Store hay in a dry place.
  3. Stacking the bottom layer of bales, and then every second layer, with the cut ends up and the twine or wire on the sides will encourage drying.
  4. Allow air circulation under and around the bales.

Can hay be too dry for horses?

Hay that is baled with too much moisture will heat up, become moldy and/or dusty, and has a foul smell. However, if hay is baled too dry, it can get very brittle and dusty. Hay at the peak of maturity is ideal hay for horses. As hay becomes overly mature, it loses nutritional value.

How do you store hay outside?

If hay is to be stored outside, it is desirable to locate the storage site close to the feeding area because bales become more difficult to handle as they weather. It is easier to move them a greater distance when they are new and tightly wrapped. Well-drained upland storage sites are best.

How do you keep hay from molding?

Stack the bottom layer of bales on their sides, with the strings facing sideways instead of up. The uneven surface allows better air circulation and helps prevent mold from growing. Stack the second layer with the strings facing up, all pointing in the same direction.

Can I store hay in an airtight container?

Closed Container Storage

An air-tight container will slow the outside humid air from reaching it if it is not accessed too frequently. The small packages of hay sold in pet stores stored in plastic bags do not have mold problems due to the extremely low moisture content.