You may remember that we have been renovating the barn – “winterizing” it as best as I can due to finances and being a rental. We decided not to add in additional stalls on the west side but to just deal with the existing stalls on the east side.
I had been debating about the first stall – remove the front and make it a place to store tools and a riding lawn mower? Build in a chicken house? Since we couldn’t really open it up with a stall door to the pasture, making it a stall where a horse had to be moved into it from the aisle with no access to pasture or paddock really made no sense to me.
Eventually, I opted to make it a hay room. Leaving the front stall intact meant it could be converted back to a stall when we left the rental. We did increase the height of the wall between stall #1 (now hay room) and stall #2 which is the stall Z prefers. The cutout at the bottom is something that was there previously and I’m assuming for a water tank – we are leaving that as is.
We increased the height of the wall between Stall #1/hay room and Stall #2 by using lumber already left in the barn. It’s not glamorous but nothing in this barn is pretty, trust me. I’m opting for function and keeping expenses down as much as possible.
On the wall we increased in height we mounted (with screws for later removal) a 2×4 with hooks to hang the hay nets. This allows us to pre-fill, hang and then have helpers put them out if we are gone – or just for quicker feeding when it’s dark and cold, and lingering outside isn’t desirable.
We double stacked pallets because there is some damp runoff that happens through this area due to the poor drainage but not enough that it would flood up to the level of even on pallet (two is just added insurance). If you put hay directly on the ground, eventually damp and creatures damage the bottom portion of your hay. Always stack it on pallets.
If there was a real chance of horses getting into the barn on this side I would put in a stall door. This event is highly unlikely as I don’t use the center barn aisle for moving horses and those doors are always locked with horse proof latches. The entrance into the barn aisle on this end is a metal gate which I also keep closed.
Feasibly, I’m guessing you could stack over 50 bales of hay into this area. We were using the barn area on the north side but it was farther away from where we needed it, requiring extra steps, and it was harder to stack directly from the vehicle. This location at the front of the barn aisle means I can back the truck or trailer right to the unloading area, saving time and labor.
A great barn idea if you have a separate hay barn is to portion out a small area – maybe 4′ wide and the length of the stall or tack room in the barn where the horses are kept. Use it to store short-term use hay for easy access. This can get you through a storm without having to plow through snow drifts or freezing rain to your year long, hay barn.
In one of my “dream” barn layouts I had planned for this: