Old Hay Bedding Question

Discussion in 'Goat Frenzy' started by chrisrw, Jun 21, 2010.

  1. chrisrw

    chrisrw New Member

    Jun 8, 2010
    We're new goat owners and have a question about changing out the hay in their enclosure, specifically, ideas of what to do with the old hay. We have an acre for the goats (so its not a huge area) and we're figuring out whats the best thing to do for the old hay. We don't have an interest in making compost out of it, although making a compost bin may be the way to go. I worry that with changing out bedding every few weeks, we'll fill half of the property with dirty, stinky hay in just a few months. Are we over thinking this? Does it decopose down pretty quick?

    Thanks for any ideas!
  2. liz

    liz Well-Known Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    Shelocta PA
    If it's manured bedding it does compost pretty quick, if it's just old hay/bedding, I burn it.

  3. SDK

    SDK New Member

    Jun 26, 2008
    Yucaipa ca
    i compost.. but i dont give them bedding in the summer months, and i clean pens about onceaweek
  4. Perfect7

    Perfect7 New Member

    Apr 19, 2010
    South Georgia
    I go through each evening and shovel out any poo to help keep flies down, but then every Saturday I rake it all out and burn it. I also don't want a big fly magnet sitting around our property. It doesn't really "catch fire" and get a big flame, but will smoke slowly to where you think it isn't even burning. But when I go out a few hours later has all burned down to a pile of ash that the goats then love to roll in. Crazy things. :p
    I try to burn it upwind from the goatie shelter, but the wind shifts and that doesn't always work. The smoke runs all of the flies out of the shelter, though, and I do it through the day so the goats aren't in there. And it doesn't smell like anything but typical hay burning, no pee or poo smell.
    SDK, how do you keep them from laying in their own pee and poo without bedding? I'm not criticizing, just would like to NOT have to do bedding all summer because it does make them hotter to lay in it. :wink:
  5. liz

    liz Well-Known Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    Shelocta PA
    As far as goaties not laying in puddles or piles, I don't use bedding in the warm months either, I find that without bedding and plenty of space the girls either pee in one area and avoid laying there or they leave the shed to pee...the marbles are dry enough that even if they do lay in poop it doesn't stick. Another thing I have is a bench built against one wall...the 3 bigger girls sleep on top and the 3 younger ones sleep under it.
  6. Perfect7

    Perfect7 New Member

    Apr 19, 2010
    South Georgia
    Thank you, Liz. I will give it a whirl but mine don't seem to have the potty-in-one spot quite down. Maybe without the bedding they will be more discrete....and the bench inside is a great idea! I will build one this weekend.
  7. HoosierShadow

    HoosierShadow Senior Member

    Apr 19, 2010
    Central Kentucky
    We only bed down one stall - the one I keep my preggo girls in at night, and I either bed down half the stall or like tonight I put down a tiny bit all over. In the mornings I go out sift the poo and urine saturated hay out, and pile everything else up in a corner.
    My girls have a designated area to pee too! They prefer to sleep on the ground vs. sleeping on hay <that's why i typcailly bed 1/2 the stall.
    During the day the ground dries out, and so does any damp hay. If the hay is icky, I toss it, but if it's just moist I don't. No sense in wasting it...

    I don't let the goats in during the day unless it's raining, otherwise they stay outside. There is shade, and plenty to eat so no reason for them to be inside dirtying up the stalls.

    We have an about half an acre pen right now, maybe bigger? mostly grassy, with a creek seperating the wooded area.
    There are weeds by the creek the goats won't eat, so I spread the poo/hay there to help keep the weeds from growing. It doesn't stink, and I haven't seen any fly issues. it settles into the ground, and isn't gross either.
    Next, there is an area in our garden we aren't using that has weeds growing...I'll start spreading it there...

    Otherwise I am not sure what we'd do with it, but the garden area is a great place and it's big.
  8. Perfect7

    Perfect7 New Member

    Apr 19, 2010
    South Georgia
    :thumb: I really like that idea of raking the hay up into a corner to let the floor dry out, and then spreading it back down at night! Our shelter is 24-7 access so this would really help.
  9. Mully

    Mully New Member

    Jun 23, 2009
    Mt Ulla , NC
    I till it under on one of the rotational vegetable beds Makes great mulch around trees as you don't have to let break down with larger trees. Pile it in a heap put some lime on it (no flies) and keep it wet and you will have great compost.
  10. elchivito

    elchivito Active Member

    Apr 18, 2010
    Manured waste hay and bedding is the best garden mulch money can't buy. We have more than we can use in our own garden, so I periodically run an ad on craigslist and give it away. Somebody's always happy to bring a truck and pitchfork and get it.
  11. sweetgoats

    sweetgoats Moderator

    Oct 18, 2007
    Peyton CO.
    I just answered a add on craigs list. I posted free compost. I have had people for several months come clean my barn for me. It is great.

    BUT, my barn compost is from all winter long. It needs to have a good amount of urine and poop in it, and it is wonderful for the garden.

    Or just put it in a pile, compost it and put an add on Craigs list. I normally clean the barn way before this but I have been so busy. I do not put down bedding in the summer either, they like the cool ground.
  12. 4kids

    4kids New Member

    Jul 21, 2009
    I throw it in a pile and add leaves /twigs on top and it composts pretty quickly. When it smells a bit ripe I sprinkle on baking soda.
  13. toth boer goats

    toth boer goats Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Jul 20, 2008
    Corning California
    Brilliant idea Lori.... :thumb:

    I usually drag out the old stuff with a tractor.. to the back field area of our place...we spread it out to dry.... then work it into the ground..... :wink: