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Where do you store your hay? If you have horses, you probably want to stockpile hay for them so that you can get through the winters more comfortably. You do not want to run out of hay, but you also need to make sure you are storing it somewhere where it will not be ruined. In this article, we will explore what the best type of barn is to store your hay and keep it dry.
Before we can look at the best barns to store your hay in, we should first look at the main enemies of hay.
Moisture is one of the biggest enemies of hay. If it is not properly cured or your barn is not waterproof, the hay can start getting moldy. If the hay gets moldy, it can begin to ferment, which means it has the potential to catch fire.
While some devices can measure the moisture of each hay bale without having to open it, a good, reliable tester can be expensive to purchase. If your hay is properly cured, you need to make sure that moisture cannot get to it wherever you store it. There is only so much that covering the hay with a tarp can do. To keep the moisture truly at bay, you need to store it in a barn.
Hay is an extremely flammable material that has contributed to many barn fires. It is usually recommended to keep your hay stored in a separate structure to keep a fire from spreading, especially keeping it away from grain silos, which can be explosive.
Even if you do not leave anything in the hay barn that can start a fire, if the hay's internal temperature exceeds 130 degrees, it can cause a chemical reaction that will produce a flammable gas. The gas can then ignite if the temperature gets too high.
Mice and rats love hay. It gives them great material to nest in, and they can ruin an entire bale crawling around in it. Raccoons also enjoy living near hay, and they can ruin it, too. You need a
barn that keeps these critters out to keep your hay safe. You do not want to risk your horses getting sick because they ate some hay that was contaminated by rodents and other critters.
Looking at all of the natural enemies for hay, you need a barn that is dry, fire-resistant, away from the grain silos and animals, and rodent-proof. The best barn that meets this criterion is a steel hay barn. Let's look more at why.
As we mentioned above, moisture is all around a bad thing for your hay and can lead to disastrous consequences if the hay gets wet. Steel buildings are designed to keep all moisture out, so you will not have to worry about any water getting in through the walls or the floor. You can also give your steel hay barn good ventilation so that if any bales end up fermenting, the gasses will have somewhere to go instead of building up until they ignite.
Since moisture cannot get into the building, you also do not have to worry about your hay barn getting moldy or having any boards rot; mold and fungi cannot grow on steel, and metal does not rot like wood does.
Did you know that steel is not flammable? You can actually get a lower insurance premium for having a steel structure because they are not flammable. If the hay in your barn catches fire, it is less likely to spread to other buildings on your property. The steel will help contain the fire, so your animals and equipment will be safer in a steel hay barn.
You might think that a steel hay barn would get too hot in the summer, which can lead to hay catching fire, but as long as you have the barn properly insulated, a steel hay barn will keep the interior cooler in the summer.
No matter how hard a mouse tries, it simply cannot chew through steel. So, unless you leave your hay barn door open, you do not have to worry about rodents or other critters getting access to your hay.
You want to keep your hay safe and dry, and the best barn to do that is a steel barn. They can be completely customized to meet your unique needs, so you will have one as large as you
need it to be. You will not need to worry about your hay getting wet and ruined in the winter months so that you can keep your horses well fed year-round.
About the Author
Auz Burger is a freelance writer who specializes in steel buildings. She has a BA from Washington State University and has been writing and editing professionally for over a decade.