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Thread: Storing Hay in Sealed Plastic Bin?

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    Cavy Slave
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    Storing Hay in Sealed Plastic Bin?

    I've been getting hay from Small Pet Select and storing a portion of it in a sealed plastic container. The plastic container just makes it easier to access on a daily basis but does it need more airflow? I haven't noticed any getting moldy.

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    Cavy Slave Kelsie's Avatar
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    Re: Storing Hay in Sealed Plastic Bin?

    I also store my hay in a large Sterilite container but I leave the lid off. I believe hay does need to breathe. I also picked up a tip from a member here regarding storing extra hay, I put it in a large Home Depot Lawn & Refuse bag and cover it with a sheet. It allows the hay to breathe and still protects it from anything getting into it.

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    Re: Storing Hay in Sealed Plastic Bin?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kelsie View Post
    I also store my hay in a large Sterilite container but I leave the lid off. I believe hay does need to breathe. I also picked up a tip from a member here regarding storing extra hay, I put it in a large Home Depot Lawn & Refuse bag and cover it with a sheet. It allows the hay to breathe and still protects it from anything getting into it.
    Thanks! So it's better to get the bulk of the hay out of the SPS box it came in?

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    Administrator bpatters's Avatar
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    Re: Storing Hay in Sealed Plastic Bin?

    I buy hay by the box. If it comes with a plastic liner inside the box, I take it out, remove the liner, and dump it back in the box, then poke a lot of holes it. Most hay sellers will tell you not to store it in airtight containers.

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    Re: Storing Hay in Sealed Plastic Bin?

    Quote Originally Posted by bpatters View Post
    I buy hay by the box. If it comes with a plastic liner inside the box, I take it out, remove the liner, and dump it back in the box, then poke a lot of holes it. Most hay sellers will tell you not to store it in airtight containers.
    Good to know! Thank you

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    Re: Storing Hay in Sealed Plastic Bin?

    A lot will also depend on how old the hay is from the time it was cut. Hay - being an organic product - will emit gasses for a good 3-5 months after it has been cut and baled, before it is fully cured and "dried down".

    As a large volume hay grower, we keep all of our hay in well ventilated buildings so it has constant airflow over all sides of the bales once it has been harvested

    The absolute WORST thing you can do with hay is to stuff it into a plastic bag after its been baled, seal it up and have just those piddly little round holes in the bag, stuff all of those bags into a cardboard master carton and then store it on a shelf in the dark, exposed to heat/cold cycles. Emitting gasses all the time as it is curing. Its the perfect formula for mold to form in the bags as all of this is occurring

    Storing it in a plastic bin is possible to do - just make sure you leave the lid "askew" so some air gets inside, keep it up off the ground on a skid otherwise as it is emitting gasses at the bottom, if the bin is flush against the floor, you will also trap moisture at the bottom and the mold process will start

    Always open that bag and smell your hay. if it smells at all moldy or musty or "earthy" - dont feed it. Take it back and insist on a new bag. Ruffle the hay uip - does a microscopic dust come off the hay at all? Does it smell acrid? If so - seal it up and get it out of the house and back to the store

    Hope this helps!

  7. "Thank you, TrueColoursProd, for this useful post," says:


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    Cavy Slave spy9doc's Avatar
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    Re: Storing Hay in Sealed Plastic Bin?

    Quote Originally Posted by TrueColoursProd View Post
    Hope this helps!
    Thank you for your post and the detailed response!

    Several of us are long-time cavy owners and our opinions are primarily based on our experience. It's always nice to have an expert opinion that has some weight to it.

  9. "Thank you, spy9doc, for this useful post," says:


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    Re: Storing Hay in Sealed Plastic Bin?

    Quote Originally Posted by TrueColoursProd View Post
    A lot will also depend on how old the hay is from the time it was cut. Hay - being an organic product - will emit gasses for a good 3-5 months after it has been cut and baled, before it is fully cured and "dried down".

    As a large volume hay grower, we keep all of our hay in well ventilated buildings so it has constant airflow over all sides of the bales once it has been harvested

    The absolute WORST thing you can do with hay is to stuff it into a plastic bag after its been baled, seal it up and have just those piddly little round holes in the bag, stuff all of those bags into a cardboard master carton and then store it on a shelf in the dark, exposed to heat/cold cycles. Emitting gasses all the time as it is curing. Its the perfect formula for mold to form in the bags as all of this is occurring

    Storing it in a plastic bin is possible to do - just make sure you leave the lid "askew" so some air gets inside, keep it up off the ground on a skid otherwise as it is emitting gasses at the bottom, if the bin is flush against the floor, you will also trap moisture at the bottom and the mold process will start

    Always open that bag and smell your hay. if it smells at all moldy or musty or "earthy" - dont feed it. Take it back and insist on a new bag. Ruffle the hay uip - does a microscopic dust come off the hay at all? Does it smell acrid? If so - seal it up and get it out of the house and back to the store

    Hope this helps!
    Yes! Thank you!

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