Friday, February 3, 2012

A Handy Little Item

Remember last fall when I got my hay delivered and there was some debate about being able to effectively store big squares outside?

Initially, I had the entire stack covered with just the blue tarp, which was plenty big to cover the top and sides of my hay. The problem was...even though the tarp was tied down, as snug as I could get it, with twine, the wind kept getting under the tarp and ripping out the eye-holes. After walking out one morning and finding that most of my humungous tarp had been ripped off the the bales, I decided THAT was most definitely not going to work for the entire winter. So I went to town to buy a replacement tarp and see if I couldn't find something that would hold the tarp down a whole lot snugger. I was thinking bungie cords, but I got to talking to the guy at the Co-op and he directed me to these handy dandy little items...
Hay Screws!

Since they were not exactly cheap, like $10 apiece, I just picked up a few of them to see if they would work as well as he said they did. Boy...do they ever...
When you screw them into the bale, they suck the tarp down snug and no wind gets under the tarp to pull the eye-holes out. They worked so well, that I went back and bought enough to snug the tarp down the full length of my stack on both sides. They are also waayyyy easier to undo and re-do than screwing with twine when I need to get bales out. They also make getting the tarp snug over the top of the bales easy, which helps it shed water too.

Granted, we have had an usually dry and mild winter, but we have had some moisture...enough to ruin hay if it's not protected...and under the tarps, my hay is just as green and fresh as the day it was delivered (see photo above). Considering the investment of thousands of dollars into hay, the $100 investment into the hay screws actually saved money. Not a single ruined bale. (two thumbs up)

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

Awesome! I have never seen those before.

Sooo glad my store-hay-outside days are over.

LOL, when we lived in AZ we stored hay on the front porch, which worked well except for the, um, wildlife it attacted. Ahem. Sooo glad we don't have venomous snakes here either.

~spotz58

fernvalley01 said...

those are great! thanks for sharing

Mikey said...

I've never seen those, but they sure look like they work. Very handy!

Crystal said...

I have seen those last year on small squares but didnt realize they were so expensive! But I guess they will last more than one year and a way better way to store hay. We hardly ever get much rain here (besides the last 2 years) that we can keep hay without being covered and it lasts a couple years and is still green. We are using round bales too so they may shed rain better or so I been told.

Cut-N-Jump said...

I wonder if the stakes for dogs would be any cheaper. Same shape and design...

Of course you have already bought these, but for anybody else going this route?

Who would have thought? We will be back to hay soon, but the weather is the least of our worries. Going to have to pen up Betsy cow or she will be dining at the hay buffet all. day. long. Weeds be damned.

BrownEyed Cowgirl said...

Crystal-That is true about big rounds. I actually prefer them as I don't have to worry about covering them. Unfortunately, big or small squares are all I can get and those darned things like to spoil over the faintest bit of moisture.

BrownEyed Cowgirl said...

CnJ-Funny you should mention that...I DID look at the dog stakes. ;-) They were not any cheaper (at least at the store I was in) and I also noticed that the 'twist' was slower on the hay screw than on the dog stakes. I don't know if the tighter twist would make it difficult to screw the stakes into the hay or not...???

Nuzzling Muzzles said...

Interesting. We've always used bungee cords to tie down the tarps, but they rot and snap fairly easily. Also the wind can work the hooks out of the eye holes.

Word Verification: ferking

Ferking bungee cords!

Shirley said...

I bought about 20 of those at UFA 5 years ago- they work great! I only paid about $2 each.

Anonymous said...

Very nice! I think I may have to invest in some! Thanks for sharing!

-OS

BrownEyed Cowgirl said...

$2? Dang...Talk about inflation! I will say, our local Co-op is expensive on a lot of stuff.

Trainwreck said...

Nice!! Hay is way to expensive to take the chance of getting ruined! At least those look like they will last a long while...

Anonymous said...

I see FarmTek carries these (catalog and online) and they are $4.69. They are listed under Hay Tarp Anchor Kit, 18" Ground Stakes.
Just in case someone needs a source!
~spotz58