How to Wash Hay to Get Rid of Mold

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Hay is grass that has been harvested, baled and stored as animal fodder. Domesticated livestock, without access to pasture, commonly feed on hay for sustenance. Hay can become moldy if dried incorrectly after exposure to moisture such as rain or high humidity. This mold can damage livestock's lungs and makes the hay unappealing for the animal. According to Richard O. Kellems and David C. Church, authors of "Livestock Feeds and Feeding," you can salvage moldy hay if you follow proper procedures.

Things You'll Need

  • Spray nozzle hose
  • Tarp
  • Lay out a clean tarp on an even surface.

  • Lay the moldy hay on the tarp in an even layer, no higher than 6 inches.

  • Wash each separate section of hay, using a water hose with a spray nozzle attached, to remove any visible mold. If water pressure alone does not remove the mold, softly pull apart the moldy hay with your hands while spraying it to loosen the mold.

  • Move the wet hay off the tarp and lay it out on dry ground in full sun. Allow it to dry for three to five hours.

  • Feed the hay to your livestock within three days of removing the mold. If you leave it sit for any longer, you risk the mold returning and ruining the hay completely.

Tips & Warnings

  • Never allow livestock to feed on moldy hay. The animal will inhale the mold spores as it feeds, contaminating its lungs and increasing risk of illness.

References

  • "Horse Health & Nutrition For Dummies"; Audrey Pavia and Kate Gentry-Running DVM CVA; 2008
  • "Livestock Feeds and Feeding"; Richard O. Kellems and David C. Church; 2009
  • Photo Credit Paul Edmondson/Photodisc/Getty Images
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