I usually buy my hay from American Pet Diner, but it just got too expensive. About $60 a pop for 25lbs of timothy, a few of alfalfa, and some cubes. It only lasted a few months. There are some neighboring farms near where I go to get bedding (I could never afford the city prices!) so I had my dad go and ask about bales of grass hay. The farmer gave us a bale of mixed timothy and orchard grass for free, which was normally $5. MUCH less than APD, and it´s still seemingly good hay.
Only one problem. Bales are too compact, and don´t come with instructions for the city boy who doesn´t know how to work them! Whenever I try to pull hay out, I get more hay on the floor than I actually get in the rack itself. I find myself sweeping every day and having a pile of perfectly good hay wasted.
Can anyone help pathetic me? I guess city and country ways aren´t too interchangeable!
I have a bale and a half of hay on my front porch (started with three bales). I think it´s important to have a place where the hay can occasionally get dropped and not worry about it. My shavings are in a big container in front, I lay a tray down on this container and cover the tray (after half filling with shavings) with hay. I think messiness is kind of inevitable too.
Darn, that´s hard to explain. Did that make any sense?
Pretty much agree - mess is inevitable. BUT - there is a thing called a bale tidy - usually used for carrying them around in cars but could help minimise the mess when stored etc.. I´ve had a search around the net for you and found these.
For what it´s worth, this is what I discovered about storing hay from reading, talking to people and the extension service.