Spring is here, and that means it’s time for spring cleaning. Spring cleaning your barn is a perfect time to do a sweep for common barn safety issues. When you start spring cleaning your barn this year, make sure to add these important safety tasks to your list.
Remove Old Hay
Old hay accumulates dust and begins to lose its nutritional value. If you have old or loose hay building up in your hay loft, now is the time to get rid of it. While you’re in the hay loft, check to make sure that your hay is stored properly, and be on the lookout for bales that contain mold. Moldy hay is a fire hazard, so if you find moldy bales, get rid of them immediately.
Check Feed Room Expiration Dates
When you head to the feed room, check the expiration dates on the feed bags and supplements that you are storing. Be sure to empty old feed out of feed bins, and finish up with a thorough sweeping to help discourage rodents.
Store Poisons and Chemicals Properly
Gasoline, bleach, motor oil – all are standard supplies in any barn, but none of them should really be stored in a barn. If you have chemicals and poisons in your barn, make sure that they are stored in an area located far from any heat source where they are secure. Ideally, invest in a small shed or other building separate from the barn where these items can be stored.
Cobwebs aren’t only unsightly, they are also fire hazards. Grab a broom or duster and get to work removing cobwebs from your horse stalls. Tip: Wait for a day when all of your horses are turned out, and dump all of the water buckets before. Decobwebbing day also makes a great day to scrub out all of the grain troughs and corner feeders.
Check Stalls for Damage and Sharp Edges
Don’t forget to check your stalls for any damage they may have sustained. Broken boards, loose panels, and sharp edges could all potentially injure a horse, so give your stalls a thorough checking over during your spring cleaning.
Walk the Pastures
When the weather is nice, take some time to walk your pastures. As you walk, look for poisonous weeds that have sprouted and check your pasture fencing for damaged or weakened areas. If your pastures are large, take some friends with you so that you can cover the area more thoroughly and quickly.
Rake Riding Arenas
The footing in your riding arenas has likely taken a toll over the winter. Spend time raking and grading your riding arenas to ensure that the footing is ready and safe for the heavy use that it will withstand over the spring and summer. Don’t forget to keep an eye out for any rocks that may be pulled up when you drag your arena. Now is also a great time to identify any drainage issues that your arena may be having, as well as to assess the quality of the footing and whether you may need to add more.
Your spring cleaning is the perfect time for you to check your barn for safety issues as well as to get ready for the upcoming busy summer.
Original source: Spring Clean Your Barn for Safety