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I am searching for suggestions on the direction to orient a new hay barn that will be open on each gable end with walls on the sides. I live in North Texas and my main concern is the best direction to keep small square bales shaded from the sun coming in the open ends. My first thought was a north-south orientation, but noticed a neighbor who stores small square bales has his running east-west. Not too concerned about ventilation as it will be open on the ends. Any suggestions?
 

· Gourmet Horse Hay Producer
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I don't know about Texas, but I am guessing it is a bigger problem than in VA, but, it's a big problem here. In my shop which is walled with doors and has some hay storage. Just being open a few days during propping hay overnight bleaches the hay right out. Of course, if you open the bale, it is a nice color but it looks like the devil on a casual look. We also have blowing rain to consider. If it were mine, I would at least close in one end and put a slider door to facilitate storage. The other issue here is the birds poop the place crazy when it is open which would probably have me never build an open shed again. I admit I have the two largest sheds open one side but the sun fade and birds drive me silly.
 

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In SW MI we have to run open sides to the east. I have a drive through hay shed that is open on both ends. The idea was it was something I could pull two loaded wagons into to get them out of the weather if they had to sit for a few days before getting unloaded. It’s only a 22 x 26 shed but with the big open ends and 10 foot sidewalls, it’s way too open. I still have to tarp up the ends of a wagons if it’s going to be raining.

For long-term hay storage I like a building to be completely enclosed. But maybe your weather there is very dry and arid. I even put cardboard up over windows in my barn, so the sun does not bleach the hay.
 

· Hay Master
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I live NE of Tyler, TX. I chose to orient our 50 x 100 ft hay barn, built 12 years ago with closed sides, open to the north and south and have never regretted doing so. Only the bales on the south side will be exposed to the sun in fall, winter, and spring, and even so, only the outer bales and the top bales will be exposed. The greatest advantage of a north/south orientation is the nearly constant flow of air through the barn. Yes, you aren't concerned about ventilation, but perhaps you should be. Also, an east/west orientation will put morning and evening sun on the bales.
 

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What Vincent said in his post makes sense considering where the OP lives. Here in the Southeast, I have my shed openings facing east because of the summer time thunderstorm driving rains we get here frequently plus typically 50 inches of annual rainfall. The prevailing wind is from the West and the North and the South can also get driving rains, but rarely does it come from the East. I also have additional protected ventilation openings on the West side of the three sided sheds.
 

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Funny how different the wind direction is in areas of the country. In Maine I quickly learned that you don't want doors on the north side where our 2 buildings are. Snow and ice build up and don't ever get any sun and most bad weather is from the northeast or southeast so I'd put the doors on the west side but it wasn't my choice as the buildings were there. And sliding doors are a pain as they need somewhere to slide to and that involves shoveling and ice chopping.
 
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