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magicteetango
Nov. 25, 2009, 12:09 PM
I have two Thoroughbred geldings living out on an 8 acre pasture right now. The grass is dieing, of course, and I'm currently feeding small squares. I'd like to keep hay in front of them 24/7 and found a great deal on some horse quality orchard grass round bales however I am concerned that two horses will not eat it before it goes bad.

Does everyone here use a round bale feeder? I have a friend who fed round bales, and she used them with and without the bale feeder, but she had a lot of horses to eat them very quickly.

Would you put the bale inside the run in shed, or leave it out in the weather? The run in shed is 10 x 20.

How long do your round bales typically last you?

I'm sure it's been done to death and I did look for information and learned a lot... but had a few more questions =)

sk_pacer
Nov. 25, 2009, 12:26 PM
Last question first - how long they last depends on how big they are. Round bales can weigh anything from 400 pounds up to 1500 or more, depending on forage crop. I get about 35 days per bale but i also don't let them eat non-stop until it gets colder but even in -40 weather, the bale still lasts 25 days or so.

No feeder here, and stuff I feed outside, I just drop over the fence. pull the netting off and let them have at it. Inside feed, I peel off and dole out. Don't know what to say about feeding in the shelter. Might work, might not, depends on how well your horses get along eating from the same pile of hay. It can work but it can also make one horse very hungry and thin and if that is the case, feed out in the open so the horse at the bottom of the totem pole can get away and snatch feed on the run

Everythingbutwings
Nov. 25, 2009, 12:29 PM
We have two tb geldings and get almost 3 weeks out of a large (4x5) mixed grass round bale. We keep them on pallets and covered with a tarp until we use them so they're only exposed to the weather once they are in the feeder.

Most definitely use a round bale feeder or half will be wasted, pooped and peed on and spread about in a huge mess within days.

Compared to a good sized small square bale a day ($5/bale), the $40/round bale is inexpensive and they can eat all they want. I'd be spending about $100 in hay in the same amount of time.

If we had a way to put them under a roof, I'd do that but it gets eaten up pretty quick. We don't worry about spoilage.

Our Tb's are rather fat...

magicteetango
Nov. 25, 2009, 12:55 PM
Fat is what I am looking for! Going to start looking into some RB feeders!

SK, do you find that the bottoms of the bales get nasty and wet or do you not have any issues with it?

moonriverfarm
Nov. 25, 2009, 01:04 PM
I find that there will always be al little waste with round bales but it is worth it to me to have hay available to them all the time. We got a calf and put him out with the horses so I am sure he will be in charge of cleanup when the bale gets low. I have five OTTBs on this bale and it should last me 2-3 weeks. We use the metal hay rings as it does cut down on waste and mess.

coloredhorse
Nov. 25, 2009, 02:01 PM
Because I just have two horses, I will often keep the round bale in their run-in shed, where it will be somewhat sheltered from damp. However, I mostly just resign myself to the idea that there will be more waste than if I had a larger group eating the bale. I do try to purchase smaller bales to minimize that waste.

CoolMeadows
Nov. 25, 2009, 02:16 PM
I keep mine in their sheds. The shed for two horses is 12 by 18 and the shed in the three horse field is 12 by 56 (runs the length of the barn). The two go through one in about three weeks and the three boy field is done with theirs in 8 - 10 days... that field has one piggy Tb who stuffs his face 24/7. I'd be too scared to try a traditional roundbale feeder, but I can't say enough good things about the Big Bale Buddy. (http://www.bigbalebuddy.com/page/page/2674952.htm) They're awesome! Absolutely no waste and I don't worry about anyone beating themselves up on a feeder, plus they're really affordable!

Hampton Bay
Nov. 25, 2009, 02:25 PM
I keep my big round bales in the barn and dole it out by the wheelbarrow load. Otherwise my filly would be the size of the goodyear blimp because she is a big pig.

I've found that the load will last them about 2 hours, and then they will leave and nibble at grass, then come back and pick up the scraps they left behind the first time. In winter I feed 5 loads a day, and they also get fed alfalfa cubes for breakfast and dinner. It keeps them eating almost full-time, without wasting anything. Because contrary to popular belief, horses do rest during the day instead of eating 24/7. Except for my piggy filly anyway.

Tom King
Nov. 25, 2009, 04:25 PM
We feed round bales mostly under a shelter I built especially for it and in rings. I buy a variety of different type, quality horse hay and switch around. They also have Ryegrass to graze on. They average about 5 or 6 days for 7 horses and there is little waste when fed in the rings. Under the shelter, I push the ring aside with the front-end loader, clean it all out with the landscape rake kept on the back of the utility tractor in winter, slide the ring back in place, a helper cuts the net off over the ring, and the bale is dropped in. No handling of hay other than with the front-end loader.

If the weather is going to be nice for a number of days, I'll unroll one on a hill in the pastures.

sk_pacer
Nov. 25, 2009, 08:45 PM
SK, do you find that the bottoms of the bales get nasty and wet or do you not have any issues with it?

No real issues with that because I live in a dry area and winter here produces heaps of white crap, and no mud. At any rate, the hay goes in the barn so that when 40 below hits, I can just turn the horses loose and let them at an unwrapped bale. Anything I feed outside, never a problem and they don't waste much except for a few weeds, cattails, and some grasses they don't care for.

magicteetango
Nov. 25, 2009, 09:26 PM
Thanks everyone for their insight. This looks like it may be a very economical and fattening solution for my boys. I think I'll order one for next week and see how it goes, I still have plenty of squares left worst case!

Krallen
Nov. 25, 2009, 10:18 PM
Feeding round bales has changed my life....I love it! I always had ideas that the horses would eat too much, there would be too much waste, and the silly notion that it was a little too...hmmm...redneckish? You have to admit, you don't exactly see many nice farms that feed round bales.

However, I breed also, and want the mares and babies to be able to eat free choice grass hay. So before foaling this past spring, I went searching for the "perfect" round bale feeder. I found something called a poly ring that is very horse friendly. It is all plastic but very durable, has fairly high sides, and doesn't have any spaces or metal for foal legs or feet to hit or get stuck in. The babies have reared on it, fell in, kicked it, etc, without a hair getting out of place.

I don't feed in the sheds. I also don't have a problem with the hay going bad. When it rains or snows, only the top few inches get wet, and the horses will eat that in a day or two. I live in a relatively dry climate.

One small problem we've encountered is that one of the mares loves to bury her head as deep as she can in the hay. For a little while she was getting a little wheezy and coughed during work. This disappeared as soon as we switched her to a round bale feeder that was more open at the bottom, to allow for better airflow. The horses all look....um, healthy, but not fat by any means.

Winter chores have been the best they've ever been. No lugging small bales, no hay stuck in my hair or socks, and no foul words directed at my husband as we unload a few hundred small bales into the barn. For us, it's a bit more expensive, but well worth it just in time saved.

Bells
Nov. 27, 2009, 10:36 AM
About 2 weeks ago I bought the poly ring that Krallen mentioned. The horses love the constant feed and the 1st 3 days didn't move from it.

So far I love not feeling like I have to rush home to feed and even skipping a meal won't kill them. I hope it holds up under our hot sun next summer.

Carrera
Nov. 27, 2009, 03:22 PM
I have a round bale feeder and I love it. Really keeps the wasting down. I want the poly ring, but its just out of the budget right now!

I wish my horses would take 3 weeks to go thru a round! Its more like 3 days around here :rolleyes: But then again they are out on it 24/7 and they are all huge WBs!

Jaegermonster
Nov. 27, 2009, 03:29 PM
I have the Better Than Nothing round bale feeder. It's basically a circle, made of 4 pieces of recycled rubber. I LOVE IT!!

it weighs 80 lbs., I can flip it on it's side and roll it, then drop it over a new roll by myself, you don't need a tractor to move it, It's great.I heard about it on COTH a few years ago and got one. You can also use the quarters in a corner ofa stall if you wanted.

I agree with many who stated that it seemd a bit "redneckish" to feed rolls, but once I realized that the rolls and the squares I thought were better came from the same field I got over it.
A roll lasts me about a week now with 6 horses on it, longer in the summer when I have grass. And it is much cheaper for me to feed a roll than it is squares, at least the way I feed. It's almost 1/3 cheaper.
I still keep squares for in the stalls and the trailers but in the pasture they get rolls. I haven't had a bit of problem with one yet.

pony grandma
Nov. 27, 2009, 04:54 PM
We feed round bales from Nov to the first of April. We go thru 6/month (5 horses). They have all day access to them. It's long strand clean pure grass hay, no weed, inside stored, never been weathered. $15/big bale!!! It really helps to get my expenses down and put the money where I more importantly need it.

I absolutely LOVE the freedom they give us. I can sleep in some mornings when I can and not give it a thought. Sunday mornings with the paper and coffee and still in my pjs! We can safely be gone for a day, or more if I have someone just come to check on them (and we have Nelson waterers).

We put them in the corners of the run-ins. Gramps sets them up off the ground on a pallet. Then he ties two pallets around the fronts, they are set in a deep corner, and he ties them to the walls. As the rounds are eaten down he tightens the pallets. (have done this for the past 5 yrs and have never had a horse get hurt on the pallets, including babies, maybe they learned to be smart about it too) At the end we remove the pallets in front and let them finish off the bale. We do have a regular round bale feeder out in a field and we drop a bale out there after the ground has frozen for them to have pasture movement without badly tearing up the fields.

I feed higher quality alfalfa squares a.m/p.m to the growing youngsters. But the snack bar works to keep them happy and their systems moving 24/7. And move they do -- all that hay makes for a lot more poop ;).

VarsityHero4
Nov. 27, 2009, 05:57 PM
How about round bales for horses that aren't out 24/7. Mine go out in groups of two (although the 2 yearlings do indeed live outside) for 10-12 hours a day. My fields are a bit of a walk from the barn and lugging hay down to them every evening is such a pain. Especially since one is blind and when she's trying to find the hay she'll walk all over it which leads to lots of waste.

Do you think the bale would go bad too fast only being snacked on for part of the day? Do any of you have issues with it getting moldy when you have a really rainy season (like the one we're having). Mostly I'm just looking to reduce my waste, save time and money.

tinah
Dec. 4, 2009, 11:22 AM
Even if the bale is only snacked on for part of the day, they really don't seem to go bad very quickly. When we were out on the land, I had one horse and a pony, and they only went through about a round bale every three weeks (on pasture). Even if I threw them a new one before they were finished with the old, they would "clean up" the leftovers on the old one and only leave about a bale or so of "waste" that was mainly stem. Of course, my mare was a pig, and I fed on two different spots that were graveled since my guys were barefoot, so YMMV.

RegentLion
Dec. 4, 2009, 11:41 AM
We grow and store our own hay. Squares are stored in the barn as are some rounds, but we just don't have room for it all.

The rest of the round bales are stored outside and the outer layer of the round bale DOES get kind of gross looking. The inner layer is fine. Bales stored in the field last us a year for horses and more for cows. Cows are able to extract a lot more nutrients from foods than horses.

When we put the bale in the field (without a feeder) the horses tend to "eat out of the middle" and ignore the gross/crusty outer layer. This eventually becomes a "bed" for them. Good hay is rarely wasted by the two OTTBS. They take a few weeks to go through a bale. The "bad" hay that ends on the ground is their "bed" that they lay and sleep in during the day. They are in at night.

The other two horses (a large pony mix and an Arab) are much messier. They rub/itch/scratch/run through their round bale so that it is trampled down fairly quickly. They could use a round bale feeder! They take much less time to go through a bale and waste a lot more.

I would say that for us the waste is not so much an issue; we like the fact that I'm not trying to drag squares through the snow/mud year round to feed outside. DH can just drop one in the pasture with the tractor.

shakeytails
Dec. 4, 2009, 11:45 AM
I just put my outside-stored round bales on the ground- no feeder. They're somewhere in the 1000# range. My three 2-year olds will eat one in a week. I have two older mares in another paddock- they get a new bale about every 2 weeks. I don't mind the waste- it gives them a really soft place to lay down, and since I feed bales in the same place all winter, it builds up a pack that stays mud-free. I just clean up the old hay pile in the spring with the loader tractor.
As someone else mentioned, if you want to eliminate waste get a cow. When I had both in the same pasture, there was hardly any waste- the cows ate what the horses wouldn't. And eventually I had a freezer full of beef!

sublimequine
Dec. 4, 2009, 12:35 PM
We grow and store our own hay. Squares are stored in the barn as are some rounds, but we just don't have room for it all.

The rest of the round bales are stored outside and the outer layer of the round bale DOES get kind of gross looking. The inner layer is fine. Bales stored in the field last us a year for horses and more for cows. Cows are able to extract a lot more nutrients from foods than horses.

When we put the bale in the field (without a feeder) the horses tend to "eat out of the middle" and ignore the gross/crusty outer layer. This eventually becomes a "bed" for them. Good hay is rarely wasted by the two OTTBS. They take a few weeks to go through a bale. The "bad" hay that ends on the ground is their "bed" that they lay and sleep in during the day. They are in at night.

The other two horses (a large pony mix and an Arab) are much messier. They rub/itch/scratch/run through their round bale so that it is trampled down fairly quickly. They could use a round bale feeder! They take much less time to go through a bale and waste a lot more.

I would say that for us the waste is not so much an issue; we like the fact that I'm not trying to drag squares through the snow/mud year round to feed outside. DH can just drop one in the pasture with the tractor.

I've found this true for my mare's herd as well. They eat all the good stuff, and the bad becomes the bedding around the bale. With all the mud we've had here lately, it works out perfectly. The bales are obviously high traffic areas, so can get really muddy. But with the hay down, the horses walk on the bad hay and not the mud. One day when I went out there, trudging through the mud in my rubber boots, I get a few yards away from my mare standing at the bale, her little hoofies on the bad hay bedding, dry and clean. SHe also refused to come over to me because she didn't want to walk in the mud, brat! :lol::lol:

mht
Dec. 5, 2009, 10:39 AM
These are the hay feeders I use for five mares outside 24/7. No waste, hay always gets cleaned up right to the bottom.

http://www.duplessishorsefeeder.com/HomeUSA.html

Romany
Dec. 6, 2009, 01:47 PM
These are the hay feeders I use for five mares outside 24/7. No waste, hay always gets cleaned up right to the bottom.

http://www.duplessishorsefeeder.com/HomeUSA.html

You beat me too it :lol: - I was just about to recommend them also! They've just gone up in price - a LOT :eek: - but even so, I think they're still worth the price because no hay is wasted and they're so safe. Nice people to deal with, too.

SPF10
Dec. 7, 2009, 01:41 PM
I've been thinking about round bales but am concerned that the more dominant horse (only have 3) will keep the old docile guy away and he won't get any to eat. Is this an unfounded concern? Thoughts and advice welcomed.

LauraKY
Dec. 7, 2009, 02:00 PM
I've been thinking about round bales but am concerned that the more dominant horse (only have 3) will keep the old docile guy away and he won't get any to eat. Is this an unfounded concern? Thoughts and advice welcomed.

How big is your pasture? We have 5 on 10 acres and the dominant ones do get to eat first, but they wander away and the others have their chance at the round bale.

Meredith Clark
Dec. 7, 2009, 06:04 PM
I've been going back and forth about getting round bales. I like the idea of them having hay 24/7 (2 horses on 5 acres) but they sort of seem like a hassle - arranging delivery and stuff. I sort of like buying x amount of bales and being able to watch and regulate how much I use so I know when to buy more.

rideagoldenpony
Dec. 7, 2009, 07:50 PM
If you're going to leave them out on the weather, be sure they are put out on their sides -- ie the same way they come off of the baler. They basically have their own thatched roof that way! :lol: If you put the end up, then the rain runs in much deeper.

We've routinely fed round bales to our mares for many winters, and I have nothing but good things to say about it. It is really nice when the weather is cold, and they can munch, munch, munch to help stay warmer. The downside, is that our girls tend to waste a lot of it by peeing on it. Such an unfortunate habit!!

We currently put up our own hay in small square bales, so we are seldom feeding round bales anymore. Last winter I was feeling anxious about how much hay we were going to have to get through the winter/spring, and I went ahead and bought a month's worth of round bales for the mares and fillies -- and then ended up with TONS of extra hay, so it was totally unnecessary!


I've been thinking about round bales but am concerned that the more dominant horse (only have 3) will keep the old docile guy away and he won't get any to eat. Is this an unfounded concern? Thoughts and advice welcomed.

Usually whatever aggressive horse you may have (in a situation where there are only a couple) will end up on one side of the bale, and the others will end up on the other side. Plus, my experience has been that they often get into eating and quit thinking about the buddy that is bugging them. You can also unroll it a bit to spread out the hay in a larger area.

Meredith Clark
Dec. 7, 2009, 08:53 PM
If you're going to leave them out on the weather, be sure they are put out on their sides --.

stupid question/mental image.... what if it rolled over a squished a horse? :eek:

Tamara in TN
Dec. 7, 2009, 09:28 PM
stupid question/mental image.... what if it rolled over a squished a horse? :eek:

unless it's a 6x6 and the horse in question is a mini not much is gonna happen;)

Meredith Clark
Dec. 7, 2009, 09:34 PM
unless it's a 6x6 and the horse in question is a mini not much is gonna happen;)

I'll make sure my mini horses know to run if it starts to roll toward them :lol:

Tamara in TN
Dec. 7, 2009, 09:36 PM
I'll make sure my mini horses know to run if it starts to roll toward them :lol:

my big horses have sent more than one rolling down a hill side by using them as scratching posts

yellow-horse
Dec. 9, 2009, 11:03 AM
I have 3 horses and 2 goats, I feed round bales, 2 of the horses are on it 24/7, one horse, my old horse comes in at night during the winter and I peel off hay for her from a round bale to feed her at night.
My husband made a cheap round bale feeder/ storage thing. Along the fence line we have a cover made of 2 rows of t posts with cattle panels bowed across the top fastened with palstic ties and tarps covering it, when we get 10 rounds delivered, we undo the tarps and cattle panels and roll the rounds into the t post chute, then recover with the cattle panels and tarps, we leave the last part thats in the paddock open and put a board across it to keep them out of standing in it, as they eat the round, we rake out what is left and push the next one forward. 2 of us can roll a round bale, they weigh about 800 lbs. If you want to move the whole thing you can pull up the t posts and put them somewhere else.
My crew eats about 1 round bale every 10 days.
If you don't want to roll the bales, each time they eat a round you can just pull up that set of t-posts and covering.

Cheyenne is my Jumper
Dec. 9, 2009, 12:36 PM
How easy is it to manage feeding round bales if you don't have a tractor? I can get plenty of man power to roll them....

Romany
Dec. 9, 2009, 06:48 PM
How easy is it to manage feeding round bales if you don't have a tractor? I can get plenty of man power to roll them....


Depends how big and heavy they are! Shop around to find someone who will make them a manageable size/weight for you.

Meredith Clark
Dec. 9, 2009, 08:04 PM
How easy is it to manage feeding round bales if you don't have a tractor? I can get plenty of man power to roll them....

I was thinking the same thing! If I can get them to drop it off pretty close I'm hoping I can roll it and set it up where I want it.

I shouldn't be complaining, my horses still have grass in Dec.

Leather
Dec. 10, 2009, 01:28 AM
How easy is it to manage feeding round bales if you don't have a tractor? I can get plenty of man power to roll them....

IME a big factor is whether it was baled using net wrap or twine. Net-wrapped bales tend to hold the "round" shape much better and roll easier.

Bale with net: http://jlmonline.com/jlmonlineimages/roundbale.gif

Twine: http://www.mitzenmacher.net/blog/wp-content/uploads/2007/08/baling-hay_001.jpg

A "smaller" bale (around 800 lbs) is pretty easy to move around. I just got one today and the hay guy and I rolled it off the trailer it was stored on and into the bed of my truck. When I got to the barn I just drove into the paddock and rolled it off the truck (by myself) and then my friend and I rolled it up on a pallet and put the hay ring over it.

I have an adjustable plastic hay ring that I love: http://www.agiproducts.com/HAY%20RINGS.htm

I plan on getting a net to put over the bale to regulate consumption and reduce waste, a la Paddock Paradise: http://paddockparadise.wetpaint.com/page/Round+Bale+Options

No experience with moving "big" bales (1200+ lbs).

Meredith Clark
Dec. 10, 2009, 10:46 AM
I have an adjustable plastic hay ring that I love: http://www.agiproducts.com/HAY%20RINGS.htm

.

LOVE that! That's what I want, easy to move, simple, but safe so that my suicidal horse won't get a leg, head or anything else caught in it.

I e-mailed the company for prices and if I can get one in MD

Cheyenne is my Jumper
Dec. 10, 2009, 11:09 AM
So I am officially on the hunt for a good round bale supplier!

Leather- Thanks for the links! Especially the net! Two out of the four of my guys are really easy keepers, that would be a great addition!

I had no idea they could bale those rounds with twine. I have only even seen them with the netting. Hopefully that is what I can get. I can drive the bale up to the gate to the field but I think I would have to roll it the rest of the way, its just too muddy/soft from all the rain! I might get the 4x4 truck stuck! And note to self..ask how many pounds they are!

hctjudge
Dec. 10, 2009, 11:25 AM
I used to haul round bales in a pickup. When I got to the spot
I wanted to unload it, I would tie it to a fence post and drive out from under it.

Now I use a trailer with a ramp and just drive through a shed
and roll them off. I have a tarp under the roll so it stays dry
through 10 bales or more before I pull it out to clean.
My ring is an all purpose one and, on the advice of a friend, cut the bottom section off so they don't catch and pull their
manes out on the bolts. First I tried cutting and filing the bolts and wrapping duct tape around that area, but finally just cut
it off. Works fine except my mini mule ducks under the top ring and is often inside.

The twine and net is o.k. if you don't have a way to contain
the roll, but I had a friend whose mare required surgery for
an impaction and it was a huge ball of that twine. :eek:

sk_pacer
Dec. 10, 2009, 11:30 AM
I had no idea they could bale those rounds with twine. I have only even seen them with the netting. Hopefully that is what I can get. I can drive the bale up to the gate to the field but I think I would have to roll it the rest of the way, its just too muddy/soft from all the rain! I might get the 4x4 truck stuck! And note to self..ask how many pounds they are!

Wrapping depends on the baler - parts can be changed on most newer ones to go back and forth between - if I understood my rentor correctly it seems he said they changed the balers over to netting. I will tel you that it is much easier to deal with 25ish feet of netting (6X6 bales) than to deal with 22ft of twine multiplied many times over and you can't miss cutting some string and then stand there and wonder why the $&%*&@ sh!t doesn't come off the $*&()&*# bale. Netting is one cut, straight down and then walk around the bale and that is it.

Hollywood
Dec. 10, 2009, 12:06 PM
How easy is it to manage feeding round bales if you don't have a tractor? I can get plenty of man power to roll them....

We don't have a tractor and fed round bales for the first time last winter. My hay guy brings me several bales on a trailer and parks it. My hubby and I push one off and roll it to it's spot.

It's exercise for sure, but you can do it. We always rolled it out when the ground is frozen, I cannot imagine rolling it in the mud! The other thing, is once they've been sitting around, the side they lay on gets flat, so it does make them harder to roll.

And the first couple of times we were laughing so hard b/c I am quite sure we looked like total hilljacks!

We weren't thinking last year...This year we are going to try to push it off the trailer into the bed of the truck and drive it out.

I have three horses, 2 TB's and one Draft cross - the draft cross does have to get muzzled part of the day b/c he doesn't work and he has no self control. The bales last anywhere from 7-12 days depending on size and how cold it is.

I do not use a feeder, so I get lots of waste, but it is worth it to not have to worry about them not having hay, and it saves money when not feed 2-3 square bales a day.

Romany
Dec. 10, 2009, 01:54 PM
Wrapping depends on the baler - parts can be changed on most newer ones to go back and forth between - if I understood my rentor correctly it seems he said they changed the balers over to netting. I will tel you that it is much easier to deal with 25ish feet of netting (6X6 bales) than to deal with 22ft of twine multiplied many times over and you can't miss cutting some string and then stand there and wonder why the $&%*&@ sh!t doesn't come off the $*&()&*# bale. Netting is one cut, straight down and then walk around the bale and that is it.


If you can tip the round bale - manually or hanging on the tractor spikes - so the twine runs horizontally, it's easy enough to just snip each strand and then pull off a handful of short lengths; there's no way I can "slip" the twine out from under a bale once it's flat on the ground!

sk_pacer
Dec. 10, 2009, 08:46 PM
If you can tip the round bale - manually or hanging on the tractor spikes - so the twine runs horizontally, it's easy enough to just snip each strand and then pull off a handful of short lengths; there's no way I can "slip" the twine out from under a bale once it's flat on the ground!

I been doing that for years now but the netting my rentor uses now is MUCH nicer to deal with. Nothing like handling half a mile of string in 40 below weather :) I will take the 25' of netting, much easier to ball up and toss, no loose ends

Everythingbutwings
Dec. 11, 2009, 08:35 AM
Originally Posted by Cheyenne is my Jumper http://www.chronofhorse.com/forum/images/buttons/viewpost.gif (http://www.chronofhorse.com/forum/showthread.php?p=4546615#post4546615)
How easy is it to manage feeding round bales if you don't have a tractor? I can get plenty of man power to roll them....


We get our round bales on a flatbed trailer, the kind bobcats are transported with. Three bales on the bottom, two on top of those, and one in the bed of the truck. When we get to our barn, we pull the trailer up parallel to our fence where we have a bunch of pallets lined up. We tip the top two bales off on to the pallets and position them side by side like lifesavers in a roll. Then we move the trailer at right angles to the next pallet, drop the loading ramps and roll the other three off and into position on the pallets. Cover with plastic tarps and secure the tarps with wire or baling twine to the pallets. Since the paddock where we store them is also home for our blind pony, we use step in plastic fence posts to run electric tape around the bales, keeping him from pigging out.

When we need to move a bale out for the big horses, we use either the pickup or my Volvo wagon and a tow strap to drag the bale out to the other paddock. Once it is where we need it, we erect a three section round bale feeder around it.

The downside to this is that my truck doesn't have four wheel drive and we are rather limited to moving bales when the ground is dry or frozen. This past month has been too muddy to do that and I've been feeding square bales. OW!!!!

We feed two tb geldings that go through a round bale in almost 3 weeks. Getting 6 bales at a time is a huge savings on time and fuel as we used to get them two at a time in the bed of the truck, drop one in their paddock and the second one in our grass ring and shut the gate. When the first bale was gone, we'd open the ring so they'd have access to the second bale but we were really hosed if the ground was muddy when it was gone. Now that we figured out how to store them and move them ourselves life has gotten much better around our barn. :)

horseowner40
Dec. 11, 2009, 04:44 PM
I feed 1500 lb round bale and 1 bale last my horse 2 months, I live in South Dakota and have pretty harsh winter conditions, she gets to eat 24/7, I do leave my bale out without cover and it does not go bad here, but we don't get much rain, and the snow blows off the hay quickly, be sure if you buy round bales that it is good hay, I have bought hay in the past and it was moldy inside and very dusty.:)

JSwan
Dec. 11, 2009, 04:49 PM
How many of you vaccinate against botulism?

horseowner40
Dec. 11, 2009, 05:06 PM
How many of you vaccinate against botulism?

Not me, should I?:confused:

Leather
Dec. 11, 2009, 05:53 PM
How many of you vaccinate against botulism?

I asked my vet (who specializes in poison control) and she said that in our area (Minnesota) it's not necessary. If we were in KY or Mid-Atlantic, absolutely.

One thing to keep in mind with the vaccine is that it's only effective against type B toxoid, it doesn't do anything for the other types of botulism. (I think there are 7 recognized types.)

So a vaccinated horse can still get botulism poisoning if a type other than B is present.

chai
Dec. 11, 2009, 06:28 PM
J Swan, that is the reason I have held off using round bales, too, but I am beginning to wonder if it really is that big a problem now that farmers are making round bales for horses.
The thought of setting up a round bale in the pasture to keep the horses busy and warm during these cold New England winters is very tempting. I just paid $9 a bale for grass hay at our local feed co-op, and I can easily go through two bales a day. Then there's the hauling-it-out-through-the-snow factor, making piles for everyone and a round bale starts to sound as good as a vacation....if I could be sure it would be safe.

horseowner40
Dec. 11, 2009, 06:34 PM
Ask your vet what he/she thinks? My vet said here in South Dakota that there is no problem, but I again we don't get much rain.:)

JSwan
Dec. 11, 2009, 06:43 PM
Didn't intend to frighten anyone - I was just curious. Plenty of folks feed round bales to horses around here - but there are "cow hay" round bales and "horse hay" round bales. (around here anyway).

Never cared for them but I'll be putting them out soon - they're a lot easier on my back than square bales. I can just pick one up from my hay guy and put it in the sacrifice paddock as needed.

I'll just let the pigs root in the wasted mess in the spring; they'll break it down fast. (hopefully!

I vaccinated even though I don't really need to - evidently it's not too big a risk in my area but only if the bales are very local..... and I figured better safe than sorry.

AppJumpr08
Dec. 11, 2009, 08:16 PM
All of my horses are vaccinated. We feed good quality hay that has been stored inside, and haven't had any issues so far :)

Penthilisea
Dec. 12, 2009, 12:56 AM
Does the agriproducts hay ring have a floor?

As a basic home made version can I put a round bale on wooden pallets and cover the top with a tarp? Two horses eating off the side

yellow-horse
Dec. 12, 2009, 07:05 PM
I vaccinate, the guy I buy my round bales from makes squares out of the grass,the hay is the same which every shape it is.
I just had 10 bales dleivered for 25 dollars a bale ,it is orchard grass with some fescue in it, it was stored inside and the only crappy part I can find is the part that went flat on the pallets.

Meredith Clark
Dec. 12, 2009, 07:09 PM
Does the agriproducts hay ring have a floor?

As a basic home made version can I put a round bale on wooden pallets and cover the top with a tarp? Two horses eating off the side

No, I just e-mailed her asking for more info/ prices.

However I never like putting a tarp or anything that will collect water b/c then if it rains a lot the water will rot the bottom layer of hay.

KBEquine
Dec. 30, 2009, 09:59 PM
How many of you vaccinate against botulism?

I just saw this thread. We have been feeding round bales for years.

We DO vaccinate against botulism; it's important in our area, but I know that it just isn't done in other areas.

With regard to moving round bales - we have what I like to call a "small, ladylike tractor" that can't lift round bales . . . but we also bought a "round bale mover" from an Amish farmer (you can get them to attach to either a tractor or a draft horse!) and it's a pretty slick way to move the bales easily.

Most of our horses prefer round bale hay to small square bales. (Just telling what I've observed; not trying to explain WHY they do!)

And in my humble opinion . . . there's no better way to keep horses fat & warm in the winter than with round bales so they can eat hay 24/7!