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View Full Version : I have round bale envy...



buck22
Jun. 25, 2012, 01:41 PM
Every year I'm envious of those who put up rounds for their horses... the cost savings and what appears to be a big time saver too.

My hay farmer does rounds of great quality horse hay, in addition to small squares each year. Each year I'm tempted to try, but I have no farm equipment or tractor, I would be managing all this by hand :eek:... so each year I get skeered and back out of the idea. :lol:

This year the temptation of cost savings is *really* tempting, but I have friends saying its not worth the hassle, that round bales mold up too fast. Please help me figure out if I can indeed pull this off, or if its a hugely bad idea.

I believe the rounds are 600#.

I pick up my own hay with a uhaul box truck, usually a 24', holds about 120 50# squares. If the farmer is willing to load up a few rounds for me (I'm thinking 4), is it feasible that I could roll these off the truck myself? I'm thinking backing the truck right up to where I'd be storing the bales and rolling them right off.

Are they going to bounce and flop over on their sides? Do they fall over easily? I'd be royally screwed if that happened :lol:

All things being equal, are round bales generally wetter than small squares? Can they be stored like squares or do they need significantly more air circulation? I have two barns I put hay up in... one has a low ceiling and even though its 24x14 I can only fit 125 squares in it, I think it would be ideal for rounds but it doesn't have great air circulation (decent, squares do fine in it). I might be able to open up one wall though.

To make the hassle worth the $avings I'd like to put up 12 rounds for the year and intend on feeding them all winter into spring. I'd be pulling off hanks to feed daily, not setting it out for the horses to eat on.

Any advice you have to share is GREATLY appreciated. I have zero experience with rounds and I feel like I might be biting off more than I can chew. I'm so terrified to go through all this hassle only to have them mold up on me.

Thank you!

WildBlue
Jun. 25, 2012, 01:57 PM
Rounds roll a lot more easily if they're net-wrapped, as opposed to twine-wrapped. If you must wrestle twine-wrapped, make sure they got 'em tight and used enough twine: the only bales I haven't been able to move have been the floppy, loose round bales. Get a friend to help. Two adults can usually roll (and flip) a tight round bale. If you do run into problems, a stout board and block works fine as a lever. ;)

We store ours in the hay mow, just like squares, but up on pallets. That's probably not necessary, since the squares are just fine without. It's easy to peel off and feed with a pitchfork.

Re: 'wetter'. Make sure you buy the hay from someone who is reputable and who spent the time and effort to get the hay good and dry before baling. A properly-made round bale should be no different to store than good squares. Do make sure you leave a bit of breathing room around each bale for air circulation, though, just in case (and so you can walk through to check).

buck22
Jun. 25, 2012, 02:12 PM
Thank you so much! They are net wrapped.

Another question...

Can I store them in a hay barn flopped over on their sides and pile squares on top of them? My hay "tent" has better air circulation, but I have great head room and can stack 7 high, I hate to give up that prime realestate for rounds, but if I lay them on their sides on pallets, can I stack squares up on top? Will it "breathe" upwards the same as squares?

Thank you!

JB
Jun. 25, 2012, 02:18 PM
As you know, I do round bales. Last year my farmer's usual 600-700lb bales just ended up really, really crappy for reasons not of his doing, so I had to find another source.

Thankfully there is a guy not too much farther (my regular guy is literally a mile down the road, new guy about 4). He does 1000lb bales.

We don't have room to store more than about 5 of the smaller bales, and 4 of the bigger ones. All bales get loaded into my F250, 2 at a time.

I drive home, and with hub's help (but if the smaller ones are put on right, I can usually do it myself), we roll them off the truck right at the barn, roll them into the barn, and there the stay.

Twice a day I peel off hay and put it in the pasture.

The hay should have been cut/dried/baled/stored just like your squares - properly for horses LOL Mine are stored in the farmers' barns on pallets - dirt floor for the regular guy, gravel for the new guy.

Netted or twined doesn't make too much difference in how they roll, IME, rather, how they've been stored. Regular guy does twine, new guy does nets. I got a few netted bales that ended up smooshed against another bale, leaving a flat side. Mr JB and I had to give them a good roll to get them over the flat side LOL But absolutely, if they are bound with twine, it's got to be tight, and that's a factor of the baler setting. Nothing worse than rolling a twine-wrapped bale that's unrolling along the way LOLOL

If you have the space to store them, DO IT. Store them on their side so you can move them around if you need to, and you CAN by yourself to some degree, especially "just" 600lb. If I can scootch a 1000lb on it's flat side across a concrete floor a bit, you can maneuver a 600lb bale on it's round side :)

buck22
Jun. 25, 2012, 03:10 PM
I was hoping you'd respond :)

So, when you roll the bale off your truck, does it land with a thud and stay upright? I'm curious how tame these things are, I'm having visions of me dropping it off the truck and it going bounce-bounce-splat and then I'm skee-roo'd :lol: or finding a slight grade I didn't know existed and taking off mowing everything in its path down.

The SO is one of the people who thinks this is a horrible idea and he's convinced its going to roll out of control and I'm somehow going to end up underneath the thing :lol: He is NOT boosting my confidence.

You otoh are though, thank you!!!!

JB
Jun. 25, 2012, 03:19 PM
Yep, with very very few exceptions it stays on its side. The key is to get it to come off the tailgate slowly - we pushed one too hard and it rolled and bounced and came into it's flat side :mad: :lol: If you are afraid it might roll too much or fall over, you could roll it off right into the barn wall, just enough space between the tailgate and the barn so it just...plops.

do things go wrong? Yep - it's horses after all :D

We did get one of the first 1000lb bales stuck on the truck because it was so tight against the cab we had no leverage. I learned at that point to lay a long rope on the bed, lengthwise, end coming up over the cab, to the bale would be put on it. Then when we needed to get it off, one of us would hold the bottom of the rope while the other pulled the top, and we literally pulled-rolled it off that way, instead of pushing. THAT'S when you gotta get out of the way :eek: :lol:

They ARE heavy, but heavy things don't tend to get going fast very quickly, so you're good :)

quikchik
Jun. 25, 2012, 03:21 PM
We feed rounds in the pasture. My dad puts up smaller rounds,probably about 500lbs, and loads them on my truck 2 at a time. I turn off the fence, drive right up to it, let down the tailgate, and push the back one out and take off the twine. 3 horse and 2 ponys finish off a bale in about 5-7 days, then I do the same with 2nd bale.
I have needed my truck while the 2nd bale is still onboard, I just pushed it off in the barn and then rolled it out to the pasture when I needed it. Luckily the pasture is slightly downhill from the barn. It rolled easily once started.
I keep squares on hand for rainy times, but have been thinking about just keeping an open round in the barn to fork off of when rain is in the forecast.

buck22
Jun. 25, 2012, 03:23 PM
Awesome tip! I can see one getting wedged into a corner in the box van. Thank you SO much!

JB
Jun. 25, 2012, 03:26 PM
Keep in mind some of our sticky issues have to do with the immovable gooseneck hitch ball in the middle of the truck bed LOLOL

Another trick to getting a bale unstuck from the corner/back is to back up and slam on the brakes, particularly if you can do it back up downhill.

walknsound
Jun. 25, 2012, 04:20 PM
My hay man delivers 1200 lb. round bales, rolls them off his flat bed under my hay sheds in the pasture. They do sometimes have to be rolled a little, no problem for these brawny guys. My horses can gather round and eat hay that stays dry. Surprisingly, they waste very little.

buck22
Jun. 25, 2012, 04:24 PM
Well, I only have my own brawn to count on but I am encouraged that its seeming very doable. Thank you so much, and thank you for the great tips!!

PoohLP
Jun. 25, 2012, 04:39 PM
Some hay guys will deliver. MY Bo's delivers free so long as we are getting two or more. We put ours in the field and order more as needed. We're regulars so he calls us to let us knw if supplies are running low and will save some for us. Eliminates the need for storage and pickup. Most pastures have two horses on a roll and they last about two weeks. Paddocks with one horse will last longer (depeding on the horse and how much grass they have). When they're available, we sometimes get half rolls for the slow eating singles.

shakeytails
Jun. 25, 2012, 09:50 PM
It would have to be a HUGE difference in price for me to pull hay off a round bale daily. The advantage to round bales is dropping the whole darn thing in the field and not having to haul hay out daily. Not to mention we don't even have to touch the bale except to cut and pull strings off. Beats the hell out of stacking wagons and putting squares up in 100 degree heat. Anymore we just put up enough squares (plus 200 or so just in case)to feed the inside horses. All the outside critters get rounds. Our rounds are stored outside, uncovered, in rows with the cut edges tight together. The outsides get nasty, but my horses won't eat the yucky outside. Just like squares, if it wasn't too wet when it was rolled, it shouldn't get moldy.

Cindyg
Jun. 25, 2012, 11:01 PM
I have all the same problems you do with no equipment plus I have a small property with no storage. It's not even possible to get a big truck in my driveway or through my gate.

I found someone who will deliver one bale at a time, in the back of a pick up truck, which will fit through my gate. We net it as it rolls off the truck and under the roof of my barn (on a concrete pad).

The barn roof keeps it mostly dry. The net eliminates waste.

Round bales are expensive here (all hay is); but I think this is the most economical and easiest way to keep hay in front of them.

buck22
Jun. 26, 2012, 06:55 AM
It would have to be a HUGE difference in price for me to pull hay off a round bale daily.
If I could put up only rounds, it would cut my hay bill by 75%.

There is no option of delivery though. Very few people do rounds or giant squares in my immediate area, most people are like me with a couple of horses in the back yard (though I board in someone else's back yard) and no need - no to mention no room - for heavy equipment.

Rounds in my area have the reputation of being "the stuff that was too wet to make a square bale out of", the money is clearly in small squares, so rounds are usually thought of as cow hay. I happen to know one farmer though that does do lovely rounds of good horse hay, he only does a few.

If I could figure a way to store 10 or so, I'd save nearly 50% on my annual hay bill.

WildBlue
Jun. 26, 2012, 07:21 AM
I buy about 40, 900-1,100 lb rounds, delivered straight from the field and we put them up in the hay mow. More go in the pole barn for the cowz. As they get heavier, how they're made and tied makes a huge difference for how round and rollable they stay. I can muscle a 500-600 lb bale pretty much however it's made (well, except for the one big, fluffy bale of orchard without enough twine I got one year. I was putting those up alone when one tipped over and exploded. It took rachet straps squishing it back together, lots of cussing, and the one of my boarders arriving as I was nearly in tears of frustration to get that one back on edge...)

You should be able to guide the smaller bales and, if one does fall over, two adults can generally stand one back up. However, hay *does* bounce and roll (tie up the dog, lock up the cats, chickens, and anything else that might try to get squished) and has been known to run off down hills...and then fall over.

Some people store rbs flipped flat side down. I don't buy hay from them, as I've found it gets really musty--even the ones on top of the stack. Rbs do waste a LOT of space if you don't stack them or pack them tightly, but the results are a lot better.

Paddys Mom
Jun. 26, 2012, 09:39 AM
Voice of dissent here...
I too fell for the lure of the cheaper round bales.
They are a pain in the ass to move, to pull hay off of (be prepared to get covered in hay), and to gauge how much hay you are feeding.
Also, despite the fact that my friend purchased lovely round bales from Farmer Ted, half of the ones he sold me have turned out to be moldy inside.
Now I have the unenviable job of trying to get rid of opened moldy round bales!! :mad:

I cannot wait to get these nasty heavy things out of my barn and get some good squares in there!

JB
Jun. 26, 2012, 09:46 AM
I don't get covered in hay. At all. My bales sit on the flat side when I'm ready to start on them. I peel hay off with a pitchfork and pack it in the wheelbarrow.

I get MORE hay on me by pulling square bales off the top of a stack :lol:

I've had to deal with disposal of a 600lb bale that ended up being crap, but fortunately I can just wrap twine back around it and roll it out the back of the barn to my compost pile. If the hay has to physically vacate the property, that's a huge pita.

You can end up with a ton of small squares that are/go bad just the same as a couple of big rounds.

Moldy hay inside a round is a function of the drying process - it would have been the same if they'd been small squares.

LauraKY
Jun. 26, 2012, 09:48 AM
When I had more horses, I fed rounds in the pasture. My hay guy usually has hay available all winter...if it looks like he's getting low, I prepay and he holds them for me. I pick up one at a time, load upright and just push off the back of the truck in the pasture. Unless you're on a hill, it's not a problem.

This year, I'm down to two horse, one is 30 and really not able to eat hay, so I'll be using square bales.

Although...New Vocations has a beautiful horse going up on the website...Advice, a Derby contender. I keep telling myself, no more horses, no more horses. $700 adoption fee...take a look.

Somermist
Jun. 26, 2012, 10:05 AM
When I had more horses, I fed rounds in the pasture. My hay guy usually has hay available all winter...if it looks like he's getting low, I prepay and he holds them for me. I pick up one at a time, load upright and just push off the back of the truck in the pasture. Unless you're on a hill, it's not a problem.

This year, I'm down to two horse, one is 30 and really not able to eat hay, so I'll be using square bales.

Although...New Vocations has a beautiful horse going up on the website...Advice, a Derby contender. I keep telling myself, no more horses, no more horses. $700 adoption fee...take a look.

:lol::lol::lol:lol: Take a look? I think you need him and you should take a look?! C'mon, you know you want him.;)

hundredacres
Jun. 26, 2012, 10:07 AM
Well, I only have my own brawn to count on but I am encouraged that its seeming very doable. Thank you so much, and thank you for the great tips!!

Buck, I'm not sure if you are a man or woman.....I am female, and I can't flip a large bale on my own. We have a tractor and a spear and this makes life easier, but on the occasion when my husband will drop it where I don't want it the only way I can move it is to use the 4 wheeler. If it's on a slope, I can sometimes shove it a few times and will eventually flip, but the ATV is my "shover". I don't have a strong back. We stack ours 2 high when we bring it in from the field and I can't get a bale down from the top. My husband has been known to climb up and shove one off, but he's also fallen and been hurt doing it. It really is safer to use the proper equipment for that.

The neighbor tried round bales without a tractor spear and they gave up and went back to squares.

Coincidentally....I'd LOVE squares, but we don't have square bale equipment :(. I feed rounds whole, in nets, as well as peeling off for individual feeding and I feel like it causes more work and is harder to contain the mess. I'd love to be able to pop open a bale, grab a flake a toss it in a stall.

JB
Jun. 26, 2012, 10:21 AM
I agree, rounds are a pita for filling up stalls or hay nets. If I had horses who lived inside on any regular basis, I might consider a stock of squares as well. But, mine live out, rarely staying in stalls more than a few hours, so I don't often have to put hay in stalls. I've even gotten good at peeling off very whole "flakes" from the rb, stacking them, tying them with twine, and stuffing them into a hay net LOL

LauraKY
Jun. 26, 2012, 10:50 AM
Somermist, I do want him. But he's not the right horse for me. I have no one to turn him out with and he would just go to waste here. But he's a hoot! And a stunner. Needs an experienced horsewoman/man, needs an older, less dominant gelding for turnout and cannot be turned out with mares.

Sorry to hijack the thread. I've never had trouble with good quality round bales going moldy any faster than squares. The problem, around here, is finding good quality. Most round bales are cattle quality...with just a few exceptions. And we all keep those to ourselves once we find them.

I can flip the smaller round bales with no problem too. Bigger than 700lbs, that's a problem.

hastyreply
Jun. 26, 2012, 11:01 AM
We have a hay field but it's leased out in return for providing me hay. Often he doesn't small bale so I've learned to live with round bales. I've fed them whole with and without a hay ring. Either way I ended up with a lot of wasted hay, dead spots with yucky, pee-poopy soaked hay and horses who over eat (all you can eat buffet). So now when I have round bales I store them in barn. I do have tractors that can move them. I put them on pallets to keep the bottoms from getting yucky.

I've found if your careful and systematic about it you can peel it off and it's not so bad to feed that way. If you have a lazy helper (as I do) who just pulls it willy nilly off it can be me a mess. Usually I prefer to have it on end when I do this and I can just unwrap it around. A bit will fall off but it's not to hard to get going. I have fed it off the bale on it's side. Then I just do the top half and then the bottom half. It's doable I load it into large rubber maid wheel barrow to transport it and fix the next day's hay for my helper.

Eleanor
Jun. 26, 2012, 12:01 PM
when I had my boarding barn I would go through 40-80 big (1200lbs) rounds and 1000 square bales a year. 80% was feed in the winter. (Alberta winter)

I wish I had a video how I moved the round bales around. I did all my feeding by myself with only my 4x4 truck. The round bales where stacked on there sides in a row or two bottom and one on top 'A' shape.

I have a metal cable with a loop at each end and a sliding hook. Back truck up to bale. Take cable and wrap around bale and hook one loop to sliding hook and put other loop over ball on hitch. pull out to feild. If done right I would filp bale up on to end. move to where I want it unhook cable and drive away.
It worked great.

For those that have no place to store the bales. I have seen people line the bales along the fence on end (flat side) with 4' between each bale and then tarp the top side. Use one bale and then move on to the next bale when that one is gone. If you put a tire under the tarp it keeps the rain/snow from sitting on the bale. Work just fine but you have to be willing to have the bales sitting along your fence line.

PeteyPie
Jun. 26, 2012, 03:18 PM
...Advice, a Derby contender. I keep telling myself, no more horses, no more horses...

You should get him just for the bragging rights.

buck22
Jun. 26, 2012, 03:44 PM
Now I have the unenviable job of trying to get rid of opened moldy round bales!! :mad:

I'm grateful you wrote, it was your thread that prompted me to give this idea a serious second thought. I will have to hope and pray someone will be willing to come pick it up and use it for their cows because there is NO PLACE I can dispose of 600# of hay. I have a hard enough time composting a 50# square.

I'm actually going to go look at some first cutting rounds tomorrow. The guy will do a moisture reading for me and they told me how to spot a dry one versus a wetter one, and he does do really good quality horse hay exclusively..... so, I'm cautiously optimistic. But if I make a poor decision I will be woebegone for sure.

buck22
Jun. 26, 2012, 03:48 PM
Buck, I'm not sure if you are a man or woman.....

What?!? Buck isn't obviously feminine? :lol: I have no atv, I have no one to help me with this. I am reasonably strapping but in no way a superior physical specimen :lol:. All I have to help me is my suv, a comealong, and my iron-will (aka pigheadedness) :lol:. I hope its enough. It must be enough.


I am intending to peel-n-serve, and I do fully expect to be covered in hay, but I am everytime I pull down a square thats taller than I am anyhow so I'm used to picking bits of hay out of my underthings on a daily basis.

Pushing the round out into the field is not happening - not only are my horses impersonating piglets these days, but I keep my 32yr old's joints lubed by spreading hay far and wide and forcing him to walk walk walk. Forking into a wheelbarrow suits me just fine.

Since I don't have the capacity for all the rounds I'd need to feed my small herd for a year, I am going to be putting up small squares anyhow... its just going to be real nice if I can shave several hundred off the bill this year.

candyappy
Jun. 26, 2012, 04:00 PM
Voice of dissent here...
I too fell for the lure of the cheaper round bales.
They are a pain in the ass to move, to pull hay off of (be prepared to get covered in hay), and to gauge how much hay you are feeding.
Also, despite the fact that my friend purchased lovely round bales from Farmer Ted, half of the ones he sold me have turned out to be moldy inside.
Now I have the unenviable job of trying to get rid of opened moldy round bales!! :mad:

I cannot wait to get these nasty heavy things out of my barn and get some good squares in there!

I prefer the convenience of square bales mostly because it is easy to know how much you are feeding. My kids are teens and because we know we won't have them much longer we sold our square baler and this year I will be feeding all our livestock off round bales only ( instead of both sq & rd).

I always have turned the round bale up on the flat side so you can just unwind the hay. It keeps it together and is not so messy as trying to rip it off in hunks. A 600 lb bale will be surprisingly easy to tip on the flat when you are ready to use it.

After you get to feeding you will be able to gauge the feel of it in your arms and it should be pretty consistent. I would also record when you opened a new bale and keep track so you don't overfeed and lose your savings!!

Hay is hay and round bales put up properly have just as much quality as squares. Keeping them out of the elements will ensure you get the most for your money.

JB
Jun. 26, 2012, 05:07 PM
Oh, it's definitely not hard to figure out how much you're feeding. A bathroom scale tells you what you need to know IF you need to be specific.

hundredacres
Jun. 26, 2012, 05:08 PM
What?!? Buck isn't obviously feminine? :lol: I have no atv, I have no one to help me with this. I am reasonably strapping but in no way a superior physical specimen :lol:. All I have to help me is my suv, a comealong, and my iron-will (aka pigheadedness) :lol:. I hope its enough. It must be enough.


LOL...thanks for the laugh (I was pretty sure those were female markers but one never knows!).

LauraKY
Jun. 27, 2012, 09:55 AM
One last hijack. Advice (from New Vocations) has already been adopted and will be joining Miner's Escape, a Belmont contender in MI. Now all they need is a Preakness contender.

JackSprats Mom
Jun. 27, 2012, 04:04 PM
Just started feeding round bales last winter and I LOVE THEM!!! I roll on into the lean too and let the horses have at it.


So, when you roll the bale off your truck, does it land with a thud and stay upright? I'm curious how tame these things are, I'm having visions of me dropping it off the truck and it going bounce-bounce-splat and then I'm skee-roo'd :lol: or finding a slight grade I didn't know existed and taking off mowing everything in its path down.


*cough* er first time I unloaded by myself I thought "oh, it will stop when I push it out' field has a slight gradient to it. That bugger hit the ground and started rolling until it hit my fence line...wasn't sure it was even going to stop then but it did! :o:eek:

They are tough to move around on your own (no tractor?) thats the only down side I've found.

Tom King
Jun. 27, 2012, 07:44 PM
No difference in quality of hay from square to round bales from good hay farmer. Horse round bales don't sit out in fields. They pick them up and store inside as soon as possible after baling. They keep just as well as squares if kept inside.

One of the best things I've built is a hay shed to stack them in. Little waste if fed in rings. Much less time and effort to unload a trailer load.

We limit intake by feeding in paddocks that have gates.

With loader, total time hay handling per week for 7 horses is a few minutes.

I wouldn't feed them if I had to handle them one at a time by hand, unless they were available really close by, which they aren't here.

DesignerLabel
Jun. 30, 2012, 12:56 PM
Yes, it is a pain to pull hay off a round bale. I cuss those bales every winter. One tip is to take a chain saw and cut them as you would a pie, makes it easier to peel off the hay.

They can be hard to move, even with 2 people. I unload 4 at a time from by trailer by hooking nylon straps together, looping it around the first bale on the trailer, and attaching to the trunk of a large tree. Get in the truck and drive the trailer out from under the hay. Haven't pulled the tree over yet.:lol:

Another way to move them individually is to take a piece of pipe 6 feet long and drive it through the center of the bale. I usually use the non-chopping side of an ax to do this, and it can be very difficult if the bales are tightly packed. Attach one end of your nylon tow strap to each end of the pipe which is now sticking out about a foot on each side of the bale. Loop the tow strap over the hitch on your truck and drive off. The bale will follow you like a giant wheel.

I bought a bale dolly a couple of years ago; best $450 I ever spent. Now this year I finally have a tractor that will move bales. What will I do with all the free time I'll have???

Liz

buck22
Jun. 30, 2012, 05:38 PM
^^^OMG my sista from another mista! :lol:

I got the bale off the truck by sinking a hay hook into the top center, wrapped a tow strap around the hay hook, tied it off to a tree and drove away :lol: worked like a charm.

And I had a piece of pipe standing by to do exactly as you described should I need to move it a long distance.

My grand plan was to get this bale through a small doorway and into the only area suitable for hay storage that I was willing to sacrifice for experimentation. I used a combination of scootching it by hand with the aid of a hay hook, and tapping it along with the bumper of my truck. It wasn't until I had the bale jammed halfway in the doorway that I realized it wasn't going to work :lol: The barn is old with a dirt floor, the doorway was large enough but the door jam (or lack thereof) is built up years of pack dirt that I didnt' take into account. Its a large mound on one side and kept kicking the bale sideways. When a non-supporting beam started to wiggle, I decided its not worth ruining someone else's barn over my hay (I self care board). So I sunk my hay hook into the middle backside of the bale, tied it off to my truck and pulled it back out.

The bale sat out over night, and yes, it poured, and yes I sat up in bed at 2am listening to the thunder rumble and fretting over my hay.

This morning, the bale looked soaked (4" rain overnight), but boy did it ever shed water!! I was BEYOND impressed. The horses were dying to get at the gorgeous timothy hay, so I peeled the outer layer off, rinsed it off good and they gobbled it up.

And then I proceeded to the painful process of disassembling the entire bale and heaping the loose hay armful by armful into the clean dry barn where I'd planned to store the RB.

Once I got down to a core that was about 3' in diameter I was able to flip it end over end out of the way, tie it back up and then flip it end over end into the barn.

After 4 hours and a gallon of ice water, I had everything done, packed away, and was just raking up the last bits around the doorway when the BO rode up. I shared the story and she and mentioned that beam (the non-supporting one I was jiggling loose) was put up as an afterthought years ago and easily comes out if I wanted to.

Now just where is that [headdesk] icon at? :lol:

Very gracious of her to allow me to modify her property to help my needs, and so when I get this mountain of loose hay moved or fed, I'll have space for 6 round bales and not have to go through this ordeal ever again. :lol:

I have to say though, I LOVE the hay and I am so glad I got this bale. Its so clean and sweet and fragrant and soft and lovely, moving it armful by armful was almost a pleasure.


Thank you all! this has been one heck of a learning experience, but I'm so glad I did it. I would not have had the courage to do this if it wasn't for your help pointing out pitfalls, etc.

MISSION ACCOMPLISHED thank you!

JB
Jun. 30, 2012, 07:57 PM
:D :D :D

yes, you will still end up with a crappy bale of hay if you use them long enough. Everyone does. And you'll figure out how to deal with it then. It took me 7 years to get to that first crap bale LOL

Glad you're hooked ;)

Just BE CAREFUL using those hay hooks - when one pops loose you do NOT want to be anywhere near it :eek: :eek:

gumtree
Jul. 1, 2012, 06:44 PM
Personally I find round bales to be a PITA. Our horse population is around 40 so of course we need a lot more hay then the average poster. Round bales don’t stack nearly has nicely as large squares. Around here SE PA round bales have fallen out of favor with hay producers over large square balers and I think they will in most of they country as hay producers replace equipment. I have found large squares are easier to mover around. I lay a log chain out and roll the bale over with my bucket and then chain it to the bucket. Only takes a few minutes. I stack them this way also. Or with a fork attachment in place of the bucket.
We bale all our own hay mostly for our own use but in good years sell a lot, small squares. But we buy 750 lb large squares of alfalfa. Not much of a saving over small squares around here, be it alfalfa or orchard/timothy Each flake weights around 17 lbs which is just about the right amount per horse per day. No guess work and they fit perfectly on the back of our utility equipped “gas golf cart” to take out to the broodmare pastures. We will always bale small squares for convenience and quality control. But when I find the money we will buy a large square baler. Used round balers can be bought pretty cheap now but I will hold out.

What do we do with old hay, bad hay that we baled? We sell it. We are situated in the mushroom growing capital of the US and they need it. This year it is bringing around $120 a ton and they pick it up. Cleaned out my hay loft and had a small load that got rained on while baling. Pushed it into a pile, got picked up and received a check for $750. The mushroom people pick up our straw muck pile once a month also and send us a nice size check every 3 months. Cuts out bedding expenses by half.
When the “mushroom soil” is spent they will deliver it for free. It is an excellent organic compost to spread on our paddocks, pastures and hay fields. Its good to live in an Ag area!

hundredacres
Jul. 1, 2012, 07:20 PM
Yes, it is a pain to pull hay off a round bale. I cuss those bales every winter. One tip is to take a chain saw and cut them as you would a pie, makes it easier to peel off the hay.


Liz

Don't you get oil in the hay doing that? And isn't there a risk of fire if the blade gets hot? And doesn't it tangle up? That seems risky to me!