Back during my late elementary and early junior high days, we had what we thought was a great retort for when someone would walk up and interrupt one of our group conversations. The unsuspecting conversational intruder would try to get our attention by saying, “Hey!” Inevitably, one of us would snap back with this witty play on words: “Hay is for horses, aren’t you glad you’re a cow?” Boom, roasted! Man, we thought we were funny. Which we were.
But hay itself is no laughing matter, especially if you’re a farmer or rancher. What the hay is hay, anyway? Hay is essentially any type of herbage that has been cut and dried to be stored as fodder for grazing animals. There are essentially three main categories of hay – grass, legume, and grain. Grass hays like Orchard, Bermuda, and Timothy are common staples fed to a wide range of animals, from horses to rabbits to chinchillas. Legume hays like alfalfa have a higher protein content, and are a nice addition for animals with greater nutritional needs. Grain hays like oat, wheat, barley, and forage are another good high-fiber option you can work into the diets of your grazing animals.
Since hay is such a critical staple for horses and livestock, it’s important to maintain the quality of your stored hay for the good of your animals. Hay begins to lose efficacy as soon as it’s cut, but certain conditions lead to a much more rapid rate of compromise. If you just leave your bales lying around outside, your hay is much more likely to absorb moisture, which often leads to mold and bacteria growth – both of which can be toxic to horses and livestock. If, on the other hand, you live in an arid environment, unprotected hay can become a very real fire hazard. And no matter what type of climate you have, rodents and other pests can wreak havoc on hay that isn’t stored properly.
Bales that are kept out of the weather in a compacted state will last much longer and are healthier for your animals to eat than unprotected hay. But how to store it? Some farmers simply wrap or cover their bales and leave them outside, but that doesn’t really help with moisture retention issues or protection from pests. Simply covering a bale with plastic, tarps, or fabric won’t protect it from the potential fire hazard of a lightning strike either.
Indoor hay storage is really a safer bet, but what’s the best type of storage facility for a hay barn? Wooden barns can help keep some of the rain and moisture out, but they’re usually pretty easy for rodents and pests to infiltrate. Pole barns also require a significant amount of upkeep, and they are prone to rot and other negative effects from exposure to the elements.
Protecting your hay is important, and one of the best ways you can do that is by choosing the right kind of barn in the first place. Wooden barns have been around for generations, but they really don’t provide the best protection, AND they require regular maintenance. Horse owners and livestock farmers really don’t want to have to spend a lot of time or money on barn upkeep.
A steel barn or metal barn building is a better choice for several reasons. Steel structures are easier to clean, and they require less maintenance than pole barns or wooden buildings. Unlike wood, steel doesn’t rot from moisture, and it provides better protection from rain, snow, wind, and lightning. And because steel isn’t flammable, it offers better fire protection. Steel also isn’t susceptible to termites, rodents, or pests, and steel is a poor host for mold or mildew. On top of all that, wouldn’t it be nice to have a hay barn that you can expand and adapt as your storage needs grow or change? The list of benefits that come with choosing a steel barn carry is almost endless!
Choosing to get a metal storage barn is the right choice, but choosing to get it from Carport Central is an even better choice! Our metal building experts can help you design the perfect custom metal barn, and each of our structures is completely customizable. Want to take a stab at designing your own custom barn from scratch? You can do it right from the comfort of your couch with our industry-leading 3D Building Designer. It’s simple to use, and it lets you choose from a wide range of available styles, building dimensions, and customization options. Our design tool also provides an accurate basic estimate of pricing based on the options you select.
Need more than just a hay barn? We’ve got you covered! We can provide any sort of steel structure you can imagine, with any number of potential applications. And we provide a high volume of orders to our preferred American manufacturers, so we’re able to keep our prices very competitive, too. Oh, and here’s one more bonus for you – we include delivery and installation anywhere within our service area (including nearly the entire continental U.S.), all at no extra charge to you!
Need to go offline to talk to someone about a specific question? Carport Central has a full team of live humans who are trained, knowledgeable, experienced, and always happy to talk. We’ll help walk you through the whole process, from design, to ordering, to financing, to manufacturing, to building installation. We’re here for you every step of the way!
You can get the ball rolling by reaching out to us online, or just picking up the phone and giving us a call at +1 (980) 321-9898. Let us show you the Carport Central difference, and let’s get started on getting you your perfect hay barn or other metal structure today!
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