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Improvements to Hay Storage Shed?


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#1 mstuck21

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Posted 28 November 2020 - 10:12 PM

10+ years ago we bought a property that had a 40'x100' steel shed on it.  Tin covered, non insulated, concrete floors throughout, windows on each end along with 14' roll up doors on each end.  Over a handful of years it has slowly become by dedicated hay storage shed.  I'm wondering if there is anything I should be considering to do as far as improvements that would make it a better place to store hay?  

 

Any hay I put in the shed doesn't really seem to keep much color over time.  I've made a few haphazard attempts to cover the windows with cardboard or plastic to block sunlight, but windy days (when the shed is open hauling in hay, loading out customers, etc.) don't help and I know I need to improve on that end.  I stack usually 6 high on edge on pallets and 10 deep from the wall.  

 

Another thing I noticed is the shed also doesn't have any sort of vents built in anywhere.  I'm afraid I might be storing my good hay in a "hotbox".  I don't have any issues with hay molding or mildewing in any way just thinking I need to allow my shed to breathe some.  

 

Looking for some input and thoughts from others smarter than me.



#2 somedevildawg

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Posted 29 November 2020 - 07:42 AM

Mstuck....I have no business answering this because I’m a dumbass. So full disclosure.....
First, if you haven’t had issue with molding and especially mildew, I would say don’t change a thing....
You didn’t mention the bottoms of the bales on the Crete floor so I’m assuming you don’t have issues there.....
In my experience, air is what turns the hay brown, everywhere air touches the bale and has the ability to waffle into the bale a bit is what causes color degradation. I don’t think there is anything that can be done to alleviate that situation.
That’s a nice barn, maybe add some lean-to sides for more storage? That’s about all this idiot can suggest.....hth
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#3 r82230

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Posted 29 November 2020 - 09:36 AM

I'm going to try to finish one place in front of Big Dawg on possibly almost worthless info. :rolleyes:  My hay shed is 64' x 120' x 20'.  So I installed 4 louvered fans above the rafters on the east end (my shed is orientated east to west).  These fans are on timers, so I run them generally 9-10 am until 5-6 pm ONLY for about 3 weeks after new hay is placed in storage.  The total air movement capacity of these 4 fans (in theory) will displace all the air in the hay shed every 19-20 minutes.  Notice that they are on east side and louvered to minimize allowing light infiltration.   North side would have been better, but where I built shed wasn't conductive of that orientation. 

 

If you look closely at these pictures you will notice fans that I have placed in the rafters.  Of each set of two, one blowing horizontally, one on a 45 degree angle down.  These fans are place at 40' and 80' from east end wall.  There is 6 fans in each of two rows (just cheap 20" box fans).  Spaced roughly at 16', 32' & 48' from side wall, aimed towards east end of shed.  These fans I run 24/7, for 3 weeks after new hay is placed in storage.   I have no fans on the west wall, but I don't use that 40' for much hay storage (concrete floor verses asphalt floor on the east 80'). 

 

lites 2
lites 3
lites 6
lites 1
 
Now, I have a 20'x16' door on the west side, a 12'x16' and two 16'x16' doors on the north side, and a 16'x16' door on the east side of the shed.   Only one window on the north side (west end) that is not covered (has a screen so I do open in the summer).   All these overhead doors have electric door openers also, so they are only open generally when necessary.

 

I seem to be able to retain a fair amount of color with my methods (not saying there isn't room for improvement ;) ).  Here's a pic of 255 bales heading to a happy customer, just yesterday.   I grow alfalfa or alfalfa/grass hay BTW.

 

Hay 255
 
Now, what I would consider doing, to your shed IF you are losing color via light (not air as Big Dawg mentions) and you want to help maintain it. 
 
  • Block the light coming in from windows (window shades, cardboard, to paint)
  • Keep doors closed as much as possible
  • Created some sort of artificial air movement (to help disperse moisture during hay sweat).
  • Cover the concrete with 1 1/2" - 2" of asphalt (to reduce moisture migration up from floor). 
 
But I'm spending YOUR money.  :o
 
Lastly, it's generally only cosmetic on hay color, but in MY situation of selling hay for a premium price to horse folks.  They buy by color.  So I work to give them what they WANT. 
 
Larry

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#4 gradyjohn

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Posted 29 November 2020 - 05:47 PM

Mstuck21 ... have you busted a couple of random bales and see the inside? Ours will fade color on the sides exposed to light but not on the inside. Floor I don't have any experience with concrete floors. I would add a few more doors to aid in stacking. We have a 10 bale accumulator and turn around with the tractor would be a problem. We have a 50 x 100 with the center 25' sections open to the south ... no doors. One door on the north in one section. We load the end sections first the fill the center.


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#5 mstuck21

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Posted 29 November 2020 - 08:05 PM

Thanks for the replies. Yes I’ve busted a few open and they do have nice color on the inside. I know the color is cosmetic, just trying to do what I can to keep the bales in the best shape I can so when the customers pull in the hay talks for itself. Less talking on my end and more loading.

Also the shed was originally built by an ol welder/machinist in the 50s-60s for a shop. Not really with hay storage in mind, so just curious if I could do anything to improve it for my needs.

The concrete may be fine as is.. no clue if there’s a moisture barrier under there.. either way I still stack everything on pallets just to be sure.
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#6 r82230

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Posted 30 November 2020 - 09:16 AM

I have done this in another shed that's more open to light.  Bought some cheap plastic tarps from the local fleet store or Harbor stuff.  Then hung them on the sides or the stacks closest to the light source.  Green tarps look 'prettier' hanging on the sides of the hay.   I did not cover the top of the stack, wanting a place for the sweat moisture to escape.  The fading is definitely only cosmetic, but................... as you mention letting the hay talk for it's self has merit in some cases.  ;)

 

Larry



#7 mstuck21

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Posted 30 November 2020 - 09:43 AM

I have a handful of louvered fans that are leftovers from some of our past greenhouse projects. Those would be easy to install here over the winter. I should have a couple of hanging fans laying around too (also used in greenhouses) so I’ll get some air moving and then turn my attention to blocking out the light. A couple repurposed parts and some paint on the windows and I should be able to get by on the cheap.

Don’t worry about spending my money Larry bc it’s my dad’s $$ not mine lol.

#8 Ray 54

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Posted 30 November 2020 - 01:04 PM

Glad I can agree with the common wisdom here, green really doesn't matter and over time it goes away. Thankfully my cows don't read or hear the none sense from the citydot horse people that it has to be green. The Meditation Climate is great in many ways but green is not part of it long term. The grass was fading to yellow in May as the last rain was in April. Still waiting for fall rain to start (anytime from Oct to Nov is "normal"). Now that cold has got into the soil no green growth even if it rains a lot here until Feb or so and the days get longer. The good in my book is no snow to feed in, but the way 2020 has gone I would bet this is the one in 30 with snow.

 

I put 30 ton of grassy alfalfa in the barn 6 or 7 years ago it was very fresh and green, not so much anymore. Oat is the old time grass to grow for hay here, it gets used first but I have a block or so of 4 year old oat hay.  Trying to clean out the old oat surprised how gray the alfalfa was that is low in the stack. No air movement with all the mouse chewed oat chaff nor light had been there in years. But it still loses the green. But will keep my cow very happy to get no matter how faded and gray it looks.

 

 

 

msturk 21 since we are spending money that is not yours could you vacuum pack a few dry bale and see if lack of oxygen makes a difference. Of course we would want it stored in totally darkness too.


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#9 endrow

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Posted 30 November 2020 - 03:15 PM

Hay that is baled with just a point or two of moisture and treated with propionate acid,will hold its color in storage well.Our buyers want and pay extra for green hay they don't mind if just 1 side of the bale is bleached from sunlight during storage. But if the whole bale is bleached expect less $s
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#10 r82230

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Posted 04 December 2020 - 09:17 AM

I have a handful of louvered fans that are leftovers from some of our past greenhouse projects. Those would be easy to install here over the winter. I should have a couple of hanging fans laying around too (also used in greenhouses) so I’ll get some air moving and then turn my attention to blocking out the light. A couple repurposed parts and some paint on the windows and I should be able to get by on the cheap.

Don’t worry about spending my money Larry bc it’s my dad’s $$ not mine lol.

 

Found a pic that you can see all 4 of the louvered fans, above the rafters.  Extension cords you see hanging, go to the timers, BTW.

 

Hay2020
 
Larry

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#11 slowzuki

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Posted 04 December 2020 - 01:46 PM

Nice barn, stacks and glnause wagon!
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#12 RickShoop

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Posted 26 February 2021 - 03:23 PM

Hay Master 

Larry nice barn and installation.  What is your lighting solution for this barn?  (type, cct, cri?)  Do you experience any yellowing/browning related to the indoor lighting ?



#13 r82230

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Posted 01 April 2021 - 08:19 PM

Hay Master 
Larry nice barn and installation.  What is your lighting solution for this barn?  (type, cct, cri?)  Do you experience any yellowing/browning related to the indoor lighting ?

 
End goal is 96 of these lights:

https://www.amazon.c...0?ie=UTF8&psc=1
 

Have about 90+ up and installed.

 

No yellowing/browning, but I don't leave the lights on for extended periods of time.  Only one outside window on shed.  Near northwest corner on north side (pic is of said corner).  West end of shed (40') is primarily equipment storage.

 

Barn 058
 
Larry

 






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