Possible moldy hay questions......please help.

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by aznewmom, Jan 30, 2011.

  1. aznewmom

    aznewmom In the Brooder

    Mar 28, 2008
    Hey all (yeah, pun intended)

    We just got back from the feedstore w/a bale of straw.
    They were the only place around that had some, so we waaaaaaay over paid (IMHO) at over 12 bucks.
    Came on home with it. I cleaned out the nesting boxes while my DH wheeled back the bale and cut the strings for me.
    As I started to take off some pieces, I noticed that it was dark in some places. Not too bad, but brown.
    The pieces of straw are all very small.........smaller than normal.
    Then as I tossed it around the enclosure (non into the boxes yet) and the girls started to scratch it around.
    The smell hit me. Even through my dust mask, I could smell the musty/moldy smell.
    Now I'm very upset and worried that the hens will get sick!!!
    #1 -- Will they?
    #2 -- How dangerous can this really be?
    #3 -- Should I return this bale straightaway?

    I have NOT put it anywhere in the nesting boxes.

    Please tell me that my girls will be okay![​IMG]


  2. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    If it is totally-outdoors it is probably not a huge issue (although obviously it would be better, all things being equal, to avoid it). If this is in an enclosed coop, I'd try to remove it if it's moldy enough to actually smell musty/moldy. But, that said, it is unlikely to kill all yer chickens dead overnight or something like that. It is just not good for them. You know?

    You can pile it somewhere to use as garden mulch.

    If you had not used it yet, you could take it back to the feedstore for another one (everybody knows that even under the best conditions you can run into the odd moldy bale, it should not be a big issue) but if you have used most of it then you may be out of luck.

    Good luck, have fun,

  3. aznewmom

    aznewmom In the Brooder

    Mar 28, 2008
    Whew!!! Thanks Pat.
    I was thinking that mold is 'natural' and out there in the yard anyway.
    However, yes......concentrating it into the nesting boxes would be a bad idea.

    I just got back from outside and I had some alfalfa left and put that into the nesting boxes for them.
    Then I put a tarp between the bale ( it is leaning up against where they go for the night/coop) and the chicken wire side of the coop.

    Yes, it is all outside.
    We live in Tucson, so it's not cold right now and it will all be open.

    Thanks again for the input.
    I get nervous when something weird like this happens.

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