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Three Tips for Storing Hay inside a Portable Garage
Storing hay bales in a portable garage is a great way to save space, stay organized, and free up room in the barn. However, before you start jamming hay bales into your new portable shelter, there are some things you should know.
Preventing Mold – Lack of air flow and heat during the summer can cause hay bales to get moldy. As you may know, moldy hay is no good for your animals and wastes a perfectly good crop. To keep hay bales from growing mold, there are some steps you can take. First, if your hay bales get wet or if your portable garage is damp or moist when you start putting hay bales in it, sprinkle a generous amount of table salt on your bales. Table salt will keep mold from growing, and it is safe for animals.
Another reason mold can grow is because you don't have proper ventilation in your portable shelter. To increase ventilation roll up the sides of your portable garage, three to six inches preferably. Also, don't jam hay bales together; leave at least a two-inch gap in between bales so that air can flow freely in between them. If this doesn't work, don't be afraid to keep a fan running in order to get proper air flow. If you have enough ventilation, mold shouldn't be a problem.
Keep Out Snakes – Vermin like rodents and snakes will seek out dry, sheltered hiding places, and a garage full of hay bales is the perfect place for them. Sure, they're not bothering anyone, but stumbling across a big fat snake while you're lifting a hay bale may not be the most desirable experience. To keep snakes out of your hay bales, feed your cats nearby. By feeding them in the portable garage, your cats will hang around, effectively driving out snakes. If you don't have cats, you can use a snake repellant. Some come in the form of pellets that you can simply spread around the base of your portable shelter.
Losing the Bottom Layer – The bottom layer of hay always ends up moldy and disfigured, no matter what you try to do to salvage it. As frustrating as this can be you can use the damaged layer to your advantage. Instead of throwing the damaged layer out and replacing it with new hay that will become moldy and ruined like the last bottom layer, leave it be! Restock your hay bales on top of the older bottom layer and you won't waste nearly as much hay or money. Some farmers admit that they've been using the same bottom layer of hay for the past two years. Go ahead – give it a try.
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