Hay storage in barn or not?

Discussion in 'Goat Management' started by Emrcornerranch, Sep 22, 2020.

  1. Emrcornerranch

    Emrcornerranch Member

    Jun 13, 2020
    Lincoln County, MO
    We have been talking about building a barn/shed to put the goats in on cold Missouri nights this winter plus use for kidding. We were hoping to breed next month or the next, but Shamrock had other plans... Pushed aside a wood plank we use as a precaution to keep THE BUCKLINGS in and wedged herself through the gate (about a 7 inch gap!). I saw her get mounted by Leprechaun like three times while I panicked. She arched her back afterward. Sigh. For now, I assume she’s pregnant. Sooooo, suddenly we are motivated to get the ball rolling on a real shelter to keep babies warm. I believe she would be kidding around February 16. We are excited, though.

    We are talking about a lofted shed 16x26 ish or more or less. We’ll add the pens in ourselves. My dad wants to put all the winter hay (Timothy square bales and alfalfa orchard grass square bales) in the loft above the goats. I am very concerned about fire hazards. I think we should just store the hay in a separate shelter my dad made. We could store extra goat grain and mineral bags in containers and a few bales of hay that we are going to use right away up in the loft. The hay bales are kind of sketchy to me. We are new to buying hay. I’ve found some Carolina horsenettle (which I think is poisonous to goats) and other weeds in it. Some bales are almost all stem. Some also seem kind of moist. Seems like a recipe for a barn fire to me. That said, would you ever store your hay bales above your goats? Would you put it elsewhere?
  2. goatblessings

    goatblessings Fair-Haven Supporting Member

    Jan 5, 2015
    Southwest Ohio
    Always have stored hay above. As long as it’s fully cured and well ventilated no issue. 20 years if doing this

  3. ksalvagno

    ksalvagno Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Same as Goatblessings. Been doing it for over 25 years.
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  4. Emrcornerranch

    Emrcornerranch Member

    Jun 13, 2020
    Lincoln County, MO
    Hmm. Maybe it isn’t as big an issue I thought. A lot of websites say not to store hay above the animals. I worry there won’t be enough ventilation because it will be in a closed shed and that the hay wasn’t cured well enough...a lot of time to think, though. We might get a “lofted cabin” shed. I like the porch. Haha. Ideas what I could use the cover porch space for?
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  5. SalteyLove

    SalteyLove Well-Known Member

    Jun 18, 2011
    New England
    The hay rack and mineral feeder could both be on the covered porch. And the goats love loafing in shady spots.
  6. MellonFriend

    MellonFriend Well-Known Member

    I have a covered porch on my barn. It is facing such that minerals would get rained on if put near the edge, so that would be something to test before you committed to a certain set up. My does do love their porch though, it's especially nice to know that no one can get bullied into standing in the rain if somebody decides to door guard. I also think that if I ever want to expand it would be easy to wall off the porch into more barn space.
  7. Caileigh Jane Smith

    Caileigh Jane Smith Active Member

    Dec 1, 2019
    Missouri, USA
    Make sure the upper story has good ventilation, so if you end up having to put hay up there that isn't fully cured, it will get good air flow. We've stored hay in the upper floor of our barn for a long, long time and never had an issue. But we do keep a very close eye on it and always keep windows open while it's still wet.
  8. Goats Rock

    Goats Rock Member

    Jun 20, 2011
    NE Ohio
    All the old cattle barns had haymows above the livestock. As long as you have good ventilation, the hay helps insulate against the cold. We only bale super dry hay, so fire danger is negligible and NO ONE is permitted to smoke anywhere near any barn. Fortunately, most people don't smoke anymore, anyway. My goats are in the old cow bank barns now and the more hay, the less the water freezes. Plenty of ventilation as the barn is over 100 years old.
  9. NDinKY

    NDinKY Well-Known Member

    Aug 3, 2019
    I wish we had a hay loft in our barn for storing hay. Like others have said, as long as it is put up right (dry) and has good ventilation it should be fine.
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