Many barns utilize the space just below the roof and above the stalls (the loft) for storing things.
In locations where the temperatures are moderate, lofts are usually large, with room for large amounts of hay. When the temperatures are very high, there are no lofts or only partial lofts as this space is used for ventilation. In other words, a ceiling is not covering the stalls. Further, any hay stored in a barn loft where temperatures exceed 100 F (38C) for most of the year will bake out the hay’s nutrients and possibly start a fire or cause spoilage.
Cold temperatures take advantage of the insulation (either fabricated or in a layer of stored hay) above the stalls. However, the freedom of air movement is reduced, and there are plenty of spaces for dust, mold and dirt to fall from the stored materials above the horses to fall into the stalls – and into the lungs. When keeping things in lofts above horses, care must be taken to protect their health in all temperatures.
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