Tips for Maintaining a Healthful Hay Loft

Inspect and clean your hay loft or storage structure to help ensure the hay you store in it remains fresh.
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While your hay might be delivered in perfect condition, how you care for your hay loft or storage structure could determine the condition it’s in when it reaches your horses’ mouths.

Hay lofts need to be clean. Insects, wildlife such as raccoons and opossum, heat, moisture and old hay can be very detrimental to the fresh forage stored in the loft.

Take time to inspect your loft and give it a thorough cleaning. Sweep out the old hay, and check carefully for any insect nests or mold and remove those, as well. Check for gaps in your structure that could allow animals access to your loft, and repair them as needed. Also, be sure to check the integrity of the floor in your hay loft. Is it strong enough to support the amount of hay in it?

It’s also important to examine your hay-related equipment. Are the chains of your hay elevator adjusted to the proper tension? Is the electrical cord in good condition, or is it showing signs of wear? Have rodents chewed on it?

One last thing. Look up at the roof. Do you see any holes? Many cases of mold in hay are caused by unnoticed holes in hay loft roofs, so ensure your roof is solid to prevent precipitation from damaging your hay.

Give your hay loft an inspection and cleaning now to help the hay you store in it remain fresh and sweet.

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