Hay can last a very long time, years even, when stored properly. Here are some pointers for proper storage of hay, shared by hay experts across the internet:
- choose a well ventilated, dry area for storage.
- avoid exposure to sunlight, as this will cause hay to lose its nutritional value.
- fresh hay stores moisture, and can become moldy without proper ventilation.
- therefore, don’t store hay in plastic, as plastic draws moisture, leading to mold and rot. Use a container made of materials which are able to ‘breathe’, such as a cardboard box, wooden box or woven nylon feed sack.
- if a cardboard box is used, make holes around the box to allow for better airflow.
- for wooden boxes, choose untreated wood. Chemicals from the sealant used to treat wood could contaminate hay, and also prevent the wood from ‘breathing’.
- don’t store hay on concrete ground, this draws moisture. Wooden grounds are fine, though.
- if hay is bought in bales, don’t break up the bale unnecessarily. This helps to keep the center of the bale fresh.
I just re-stocked the buns’ hay supply over the weekend. I’m so glad that, finally, we have more varieties of hay in Malaysia! Previously, the only grass hay available here was timothy hay, and the occasional bermuda grass hay. I like giving them forage with lots of variety.
Here are the Quality Control Officers, performing their routine inspection (which is mandatory for anything new brought onto the premises, hay or otherwise!). The current subject matter: a bag of 2nd cut timothy hay.
Stage 1: very intense sniffing, extremely rapid nose twitches – hay must smell fresh enough to appease the Officers’ highly-critical noses
*Sniff. Sniff. Sniff sniff sniff!!*
Stage 2: Tasting the goods. Deep concentration required.
Not even the camera can distract them from the job at hand!
*O-Kay! The Officers hereby declare this bag of hay fit for bunnies. Please proceed to store it under lock and key for future consumption! Oh, and we require some craisins for performing this highly difficult and specialised investigation!*
Well, I have about 4kgs of hay right now, stored in 2 boxes like this:
Yummm! A blend of timothy hay (of different cuts), orchard grass and botanical hay (a mixture of more timothy hay and 3 different herbs). Smells good even to me!
Happy foraging, everybun!