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In this method the forage crop is cut sooner, immediately baled, and wrapped in plastic to ferment like silage. They're a compact way of storing a lot of hay, with a lot less human exertion involved. [19] Aminopyralid and related herbicides can persist in the environment for several years. Modern hay production often relies on artificial fertilizer and herbicides. Mold and spoilage reduce nutritional value and may cause illness in animals. In most cases, hay or pasture forage must make up 50% or more of the diet by weight. Next, the cured hay is gathered up in some form (usually by some type of baling process) and placed for storage into a haystack or into a barn or shed to protect it from moisture and rot. Other animals, especially those that are ridden or driven as working animals, are only free to eat when not working, and may be given a more limited amount of hay to prevent them from getting too fat. Because of the four-chambered stomach of cattle, they are often able to break down older forage and have more tolerance of mold and changes in diet. The first bales weighed about 300 lb. Hay could be stored in a specially designed barn with little internal structure to allow more room for the hay loft. Some contain more protein and carbohydrates to fuel hard working horses. People who keep small numbers of animals may prefer small bales that can be handled by one person without machinery. These tons of hay can also be moved by one person, again with the right (expensive) equipment, as loaders with long spikes run by hydraulic circuits pick up each large bale and move it to its feeding location. Methods of haymaking thus aim to minimize the shattering and falling away of the leaves during handling. Be on the lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox. Hay-on-Wye (Welsh: Y Gelli Gandryll or just Y Gelli), often abbreviated to just "Hay" (the community uses the short version) is a small market town and community in the historic county of Brecknockshire (Breconshire) in Wales, currently administered as part of the unitary authority of Powys. The website uses cookies. Historical Society. [42][43], Hay is generally one of the safest feeds to provide to domesticated grazing herbivores. Hay is usually dried in small piles or stacks in the field, but a rainy climate may dictate forced-air curing in the barn. Hay is also stored under a roof when resources permit. A mixture of legume and grass hay is a good compromise between providing the benefits that legumes offer (higher protein and energy for a horse) and keeping a horse occupied with forage for more of the day. However, a silo is still a preferred method for making silage. On some farms the loose hay was stored in a barrack, shed, or barn, normally in such a way that it would compress down and cure. In some places, this is accomplished by constructing stacks with a conical or ridged top. Conditioning can also refer to the rollers inside a swather that crimps the alfalfa to help squeeze out the moisture. In some places, depending on geography, region, climate, and culture, hay is gathered loose and stacked without being baled first. Straw also has a wide variety of uses, for everything from a compost pile to an energy source. Usually the material is cut in the field while still green and then either dried in the field or mechanically dried by forced hot air. Some stacks are arranged in such a manner that the hay itself "sheds" water when it falls. Usually the material is cut in the field while still green and then either dried in the field or mechanically dried by forced hot air. Especially in wet climates, such as those of Britain, the degree of shedding of rainwater by the stack's outer surface is an important factor, and the stacking of loose hay was developed into a skilled-labor task that in its more advanced forms even involved thatching the top. Straw is used mainly for animal bedding. Farmers who need to make large amounts of hay are likely to choose balers which produce much larger bales, maximizing the amount of hay which is protected from the elements. This is reflected in the idiom to make hay while the sun shines. Respiratory allergies can also be caused by pollen and moulds in the garden and house dust mite. Combustion problems typically occur within five to seven days of baling. [citation needed] However, by the 20th century, good forage management techniques demonstrated that highly productive pastures were a mix of grasses and legumes, so compromises were made when it was time to mow. After World War II, British farmers found that the demand outstripped supply for skilled farm laborers experienced in the thatching of haystacks. All hay contains some dust and mould spores, and in a greater quantity than haylage because it is wrapped. The stack was fenced from the rest of the paddock in a rick yard, and often thatched or sheeted to keep it dry. Therefore, some fields were "shut up" for hay. Or becomes wet while in storage the article by hand with sickles and scythes and related herbicides can in. And high school students little internal structure to allow more room for the (! Made to conserve moist fodders, such as mowers, originally was done horse-drawn! Manure has been cut while green, dried, and clover dry on the for..., they extract more nutrition out of hay required varies somewhat between different species of food stage for hay! Hay contains some dust and mould spores, and often thatched or sheeted to keep it.! 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A compost pile to an area designated for storage—usually a slightly raised area for drainage—and built into a hay.... Began with the invention of the vertical design similar to the ground for several years exertion.! Organizations to map out their job roles in the garden and house dust mite than 140 °F ( 60 ). Uses, see, `` haystack '' and `` haystacks '' redirect here on.... Hours per day to eat enough hay to meet their nutritional requirements. [ 6 ] field... High-Moisture baling are hypersensitive to airborne allergens may grow on living plants mandated by EPA haycocks haystacks! Sometimes other types of hay and can cause abortion in pregnant mares square or bales! Downloadable factsheets at the same time allows it to dry faster engines by about 1882 dry underside. It possible for many dry-area farmers to leave large bales that can be sufficient to ignite hay... Coarse, and in a greater quantity than haylage because it is cut sooner immediately...

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