My three OTTB's live outside 24x7, but they do have their stalls they can go to for inclement weather (like now!). Here is my question.
We feed a round bale to the three horses. However, after alot of rain, the hay starts to go bad. There is alot of waste as the horses loose interest after the hay gets rained on, gets hot, and has a slight moldy smell.
What do you do to keep the waste down? Any ideas and suggestions are very very welcomed!
There was a thread a while ago about "preserving" round bales and someone posted pictures of a bale holder they had built into the fenceline, it jutted into the paddock. That way they could just back up and unload the bale without having to go into the field. It had a roof, raised floor and was fenced on 3 sides.
I'm still planning on building one.
We built a box in the big, double, run-in shed for a round bale. We used the back wall and built a short 5' long wall opposite and the 2 sides that join them are 2"X10"X5' boards we can slide in and out when we need to put a new bale in.
We have a couple of other sheds that we put the bales right into. Works great for keeping the bales dry but the horses stay inside all day and make a mess of the sheds!
Simplest solution for keeping round bales dry in the field is a roof. Put in 4 4"X4" posts, frame a square on top and add some metal roofing. Give it a slight slant so the rain runs off on end.
I also put a round bale in the corner of my larger run in shed. I use no climb wire clipped to screw eyes in the wall to hold it in place, and fold about 1' of the wire down for ease of access. Works great.
On the other feeding area, for the moment I am using a ring that I cover with a tarp when there is a threat of rain. That's a PIA, and I am supposed to finally pick up my feeder this weekend. It's a square 'guard shack' looking thing with a roof, a platform about 18" high, a door on one end and bars around it. Hopefully they can feed easily and there will be no more running around when it rains.
[quote=baysngreys;4391345]There was a thread a while ago about "preserving" round bales and someone posted pictures of a bale holder they had built into the fenceline, it jutted into the paddock. That way they could just back up and unload the bale without having to go into the field. It had a roof, raised floor and was fenced on 3 sides.
I'm still planning on building one./quote]
That would be Sidepasser. Search for her posts and you'll see it. It's fab!
Shelter is a must, because tarping it doesnt really help since it will dew every night.
set it up on 1-2 pallates so there is air flow underneath and it's raised out of the mud
The crucial part is you must clean up around the round bale daily. I take the fallen hay and toss it back on top. soiled hay gets chucked. This keeps them from pissing on it and wasting hay.
With the 3 horses we had munching on RB's last year out of the whole RB i only had one small muck bucket's worth of wasted hay.
i like the idea of holding it with no climb wire i may try that this winter