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Thread: Breaking up a bale

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    Breaking up a bale

    I bought a bale of Orchard Grass and am having trouble getting it apart to put in their cage. It's a compressed bale and I have a muscle disease so am weak. Any ideas on tools I can use to break up a bale? I just like to put hands full in their litter pans a couple of times a week.

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    Administrator bpatters's Avatar
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    Re: Breaking up a bale

    You can undo the packaging with a sharp knife. After that, the hay should just flake off.

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    Re: Breaking up a bale

    I just break a flake off and fluff it. I cut the straps with a box cutter.

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    Re: Breaking up a bale

    I already cut the top straps but there is nothing flaking off. I'm afraid to remove all the plastic for fear it might get wet. But if you're sure that's okay? And I will still be able to leave it sitting there on my driveway?

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    Administrator bpatters's Avatar
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    Re: Breaking up a bale

    You need to remove all the plastic -- hay should never be stored in plastic. It needs access to air to keep it from molding. You can put it in a cardboard box and poke holes in the box all the way around and that will work. But it has to be able to "breathe."

    And no, you can't leave it in your driveway. You can put in the garage, or in a basement or utility room if you've got one. But it has to stay dry.

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    Re: Breaking up a bale

    Quote Originally Posted by bpatters View Post
    You need to remove all the plastic -- hay should never be stored in plastic. It needs access to air to keep it from molding. You can put it in a cardboard box and poke holes in the box all the way around and that will work. But it has to be able to "breathe."

    And no, you can't leave it in your driveway. You can put in the garage, or in a basement or utility room if you've got one. But it has to stay dry.
    I poked holes in the plastic as soon as I got it. I can't move it anywhere else because it would be too far for me to walk. We have a lot of outbuildings, but I have a muscle disease and can't always walk to an outbuilding. It's only $15 a bale, so I guess I'm just going to have to make do, maybe tear the plastic down a little further and see if I can find those flakes you mentioned. Or maybe I can get my husband to tip it into a cardboard box and see how long it will last on the driveway with holes poked in it. The driveway is covered and moisture rarely reaches that far.

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    Re: Breaking up a bale

    this doesnt apply, but I CANT FIND OUT HOW TO POST A NEW THREAD!!! Can someone help me?

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    Re: Breaking up a bale

    Never mind, I figured it out!

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    Re: Breaking up a bale

    As many have already mentioned, hay needs to breathe - the more ventilation all around it the better! It also needs to be up off the ground to allow airflow underneath it. Even your bone dry driveway will go through hot and cold cycles through daytime/nighttime and sun and cloud and that will be enough to heat up/cool down your driveway and if the bale is sitting directly on it the plastic will heat up/cool down as well and start to form moisture between the bale and the plastic and then the mold process will start ...
    Have your husband go to the grocery store and get several smaller cardboard boxes that you can use and then cut the binder twine on the bale carefully and have him transfer a few "flakes" to each box to make it more manageable for you. Each bale traditionally has 8-9 flakes in it
    Keep the hay out of direct sunlight, up off the floor on a skid or cabinet or something similar, allow as much ventilation as possible on all sides and it should keep forever

    Hope that helps! Good luck ...

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


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    Re: Breaking up a bale

    Once a bunch of the hay blew off of the top I saw what was keeping me from releasing it! When I cut that one I realize what flakes were! That helped a lot! I thought I was missing some kind of tool.

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