Moving and Storing a Bale of Hay Made Easy


hay bale at the edge of a pickup

Probably the hardest physical job in having rabbits is buying and handling a bale of hay every so often. Moving a king size mattress is easy by comparison.

Rabbits should always have as much hay as they want to eat, but keeping them well-stocked could be an exhausting chore.

This method shows how to do it easily without hurting your back or having the bale fall over once it is opened.

Push the bale to far edge of your tailgate where it balances to nearly falling off.

bad over the bale

Cover the bale with a twin size mattress bag. Get the bag as far up as possible because you want the end of the bag on the bottom of the bale.
tub on the end of the bale

This is a critical step to easy handling:

add a storage tub to fit the bottom of the bale snuggly. Shown here is a 28 gallon Rubbermaid tub. Measure the dimensions of the bale to get the right size.

The tub give a structure and provides handles to a formless mass of hay once you cut the bands open.

Place a cart where the bale will land when you tip it over from the tailgate.


bale on a cart

The bale drops gently on the ground since half the weight is still on the tailgate. The fall will be a little harder if you have an SUV or full size pick up. You can reposition it by grabbing the tub or moving the hand cart. The bottom of the bale can take some abrasion because of the tub.

The bag is open on top to let moisture evaporate and prevents the hay from getting moldy.

hay platform A couple cinder blocks and a piece of plywood keeps the bale off the ground.
lever the bale on the platform

The cart tips over at just the right height on the platform and the tub bottom helps slide the bale on the plywood. Use the handles on the tub to position the bale where you want.

The bag keeps nasty garage stuff away from edible hay.

Fold the top of the bag loosely to keep dust and junk out.

shim under the tub Add a board under the front of the tub to be sure the bale leans back against the wall or a stable support.
perfect hay storage

The bale is kept neatly, ready for hungry rabbits.

At no time do you lift the weight of the bale or put any strain on your back during this process.

last updated may 17, 2011