Baling hay after rain

2 posts

Member for

4 years 11 months
Last seen: 03/08/2018 - 21:05
Joined: 06/13/2014 - 10:07

Baling hay after rain

Hi,

I'm new to hay harvesting and have cut and raked a paddock but it rained overnight before baling. There is possibly some rain forcast for tomorrow but none after that. Should I leave it and rake again once its dried, should I bale or is it a lost cause?

Any advice would be much appreciated. 

Last seen: 05/13/2019 - 17:05
Joined: 11/23/2011 - 09:38

Hi,

to answer your question. The number one rule is never bale hay when it is wet. To do so often makes it go mouldy. Mouldy hay fed out to live stock can kill them because the mould produces toxins- Mico toxins or Aflatoxins usually, which destroy the liver, kidneys and heart. 

Depending upon how much rain you have had, it may be allright to bale it once it is dry. It will need raking (tedding) several times until it is bone dry, before you bale it.

If the rain has been very heavy over a few days then the protein will have washed out of it so it may not be too good for feeding out but may still be o.k. for bedding straw, but will still need to be completely dry before baling. 

I have attended a post mortem on livestock who died from Aflatoxin poisoning from eating mouldy peanut hay. Not pretty! the heart muscle was streaked with white: the white streaks were dead heart muscle. The gall bladder had swollen to the size of a grapefruit because aflatoxins cause the blood vessels to become leaky, the lungs were full of fluid and there were large 50cent coin sized white patches on the liver: these were dead areas of liver cells. To cut a long story short, never bale wet hay that you intend to feed out to live stock. 

Hope this info helps,

Barb 

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