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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr. 14, 2003
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    Shenandoah Valley, VA
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    1,356

    Default Large Square Hay Bales 3x3x7 - Do you use them?

    If you use them, how do you use them? How big are the flakes? Can they be put in a round bale feeder? There seem to be quite a few for sale around here and I'm having a hard time finding good quality small squares and round bales. I have a tractor with a round bale spear, but I have no idea how to deal with these large squares.

    I feed high quality small squares (alfalfa/orchard) in the stalls once or twice a day (depending on weather). The horses are turned out the other 22-23 hours a day with a round bale (mixed grass) to munch on. I was wondering if the large squares would work for the stalls and/or the pasture. I also have a "fat pasture" of horses who do not come in for the small squares and who get WAY too fat with a round bale 24/7 so they get small squares thrown in the pasture 2x a day when the ground is covered with snow (which has been most of this winter!). I'm wondering if I parked a large square by their pasture and threw a few flakes in 2x a day if this would work. But I have no idea how big the flakes are. Any advice from people who have used them is appreciated. Thanks!



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov. 4, 2003
    Location
    Dallas, Georgia
    Posts
    16,674

    Default

    I can't specifically speak to the large squares, but I do have an idea for your plump ponies---a Freedom Feeder Hay Net

    I have two very easykeeping mares (1 draft cross and 1 full draft). Both are hay vacuums and making their hay last, without overfeeding, has been an issue.

    Other hay nets (like the Small Mesh ones from Millers) are just to small to hold enough hay and others I found were way too expensive.

    The Freedom Feeder Net holds up to 35 pounds STUFFED full. I adore these nets!!! They're very tough, are easy to fill and 9 times out of 10, when I arrive in the evening, there's still hay left over.

    Come Friday, I'm ordering 3 more
    <>< Sorrow Looks Back. Worry Looks Around. Faith Looks Up! -- "When they try to tell you these are your Golden years, don't believe 'em.... It's rust."



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep. 27, 2006
    Location
    kentucky
    Posts
    459

    Default

    Just like the small square bales, the flakes in the large bales will vary. I have fed them and it seems that each large flake would be equal to anywhere from 2-3 small bale flakes to 5-6 small bale flakes. Does that make sense?
    You may be able to move the bales around with your spear if you are real careful. We use a spear that has 2 spears on it and it works great. Forks work well, too, if you have a loader.
    april
    Equine Retirement at
    www.StonyRidgeFarm.webs.com



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb. 16, 2006
    Posts
    718

    Default

    We use them. I like them. Just figure a 4" flake feeds two horses. Our horses are in a run-in situation I either throw flakes in or out depending on mud. They can be cumbersome, but with the right equipment it makes life so easy. We use either the bobcat with a 4 prong spears or my tractor with forks and it beats hauling in all the little bales. They stack much nicer then round bales. Just besure the the fella you buy them from knows what he is doing otherwise mold could be a problem as with any hay.

    I am looking at feeders for the them so I can just put a whole bale out at a time. So easy.
    The View from Here



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep. 2, 2008
    Posts
    91

    Default

    We use them. They stack in our barn and take up much less room than small squares. We use a skid steer with forks to stack them. Each flake weighs about 20#. We use a cargo sled and lay them one on top of the other. Haul them out to the pasture and break them up in small piles. We feed 8 or 9 flakes for out herd of 12 horses and ponies 2 times a day. Actually we are getting a semi load today, it takes about 5 hours to unload and put them in the barn, but we then have enough hay to last us a very long time. As compared to hauling them ourselves on our trailer it would take days to get this much. WE are getting orchard grass today coming from South Dakota. The last load was Timothy and grass and smelled wonderful. we use the same hay broker to find good hay for us and he does a great job.



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan. 12, 2007
    Posts
    4,227

    Default

    Many farmers have gone to this method because it is not labor intensive. I sometimes get alfalfa in lg squares. It is very rich. It runs $65 a bale. Each horse gets 1/2 to 1 flake in their stalls at night. They are out on 1500# grass rounds all day. The man i purchase from ships all over the country but is located in Streator, IL. Dart Hay Company. He also has other grades of hay and I pick them up to deliver to people in need via the Hay Angels. It's just easier. Dart Hay supplies a lot of hay to make hay cubes. He ships it to Indiana for that. It's a big reason I love the hay cubes! I KNOW what goes into them and it is very nice!

    Personally since I do not have the proper equipment to handle them I prefer the small squares for in the stall use.
    "If you don't know where you are going, any road will take you there"



  7. #7
    Join Date
    May. 22, 2003
    Posts
    9,625

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by ChocoMare View Post
    I can't specifically speak to the large squares, but I do have an idea for your plump ponies---a Freedom Feeder Hay Net
    Oh I LIKE that.

    You always enable me.

    How does that work in a stall?



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov. 4, 2003
    Location
    Dallas, Georgia
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    16,674

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Phaxxton View Post
    How does that work in a stall?
    I'd install two eye-bolts at an appropriate height, at the correct width of the net, on the stall wall. Then, using two double-ended snap hooks (instead of the provided cord), connect each corner of the net to the eye bolts, with the net's flap at the back.

    The net comes to you with 3 small caribiner clips. The barn staff would unhook each caribiner from the front and fold the flap back away from them. Stuff/cram the hay in and then, pulling forward/down, rehook the carbiners TIGHTLY.

    I really pull on the net/clips to get as far down as I can before rehooking. This avoids a big opening for a mouth to grab too much hay
    <>< Sorrow Looks Back. Worry Looks Around. Faith Looks Up! -- "When they try to tell you these are your Golden years, don't believe 'em.... It's rust."



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr. 14, 2003
    Location
    Shenandoah Valley, VA
    Posts
    1,356

    Default

    Cool! Thanks for all the replies. I will check into it. The large bales look like they would be easier to store, but not necessarily move around. I have noticed a LOT more large squares advertised in recent years than round bales.

    That freedom feeder looks very cool. I will definitely get one for my small pony who I always feel like I am starving in the summer. She eats her ration of hay in about 1/2 hour, then mopes around the rest of the day. She is happy in the winter when she gets to go out and graze on dead grass. So, if you have the freedom feeder outside on a fence, do you put one per horse? I will consider it. This is a strange winter and it is usually not a problem because the fatties do just fine on the winter pasture. It is only when it is covered with snow that they have nothing to do and nothing to eat!

    Thanks!



  10. #10

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by avezan View Post
    Cool! Thanks for all the replies. I will check into it. The large bales look like they would be easier to store, but not necessarily move around. I have noticed a LOT more large squares advertised in recent years than round bales.
    part of that comes from crazy high fuels prices a few years ago...gone are the days when a man can afford to send a truck a long distance and only bring home 9 tons of round bales instead of 22 tons of big squares...

    we can stack them 6 high on a 3x3x8 footprint...no way you can have that economy of space with rounds...

    round bales eat up floor space and are mostly air and not weight...and now that there are presses like ours on the east coast an honest use can be made of the big sqs outside the great dairies and feedlots of the west

    Tamara in TN
    Production Acres,Pro A Welsh Cobs
    I am one of the last 210,000 remaining full time farmers in America.We feed the others.



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Dec. 27, 2001
    Location
    Washington, DC
    Posts
    6,574

    Default

    The main facilities guy at our barn built some wooden hay racks for the square bales and sticks an entire one in at a time. Works great, and doubles as a mounting block if you want to ride bareback in the field.
    The big man -- no longer an only child

    His new little brother



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec. 17, 2007
    Location
    Meadowview VA
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    2,169

    Default

    Have them, love them, horses have free access to them. I usually get orchard grass or a combo of alfalfa/orchard grass if it is available.



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jan. 2, 2006
    Location
    Dallas, NC
    Posts
    2,313

    Default

    We had a BAD drought here a few years ago and couldn't find hay anywhere. Someone had these large square bales shipped in (125.00 per bale!!) and we bought them. We have a "golf cart" parking spot in the barn (in winter is a stall just by adding a metal gate across the front) we could load two of these in there, they fit the wall great, and I did love them! The horses loved them and they were packed so TIGHT and the flakes were good and heavy.

    Would love to buy some more now (at a reduced price, LOL!) but I don't know where anyone has them around here, they aren't popular in NC.
    I want a signature but I have nothing original to say except: "STHU and RIDE!!!

    Wonderful COTHER's I've met: belleellis, stefffic, snkstacres and janedoe726.



  14. #14

    Default

    We have some of the 3x3x7 ones and love them. Can get a lot of them on a load to transport them. We have a two prong loader on the tractor and that really makes it nice.

    We've even put them out to feed in a round bale feeder. We just centre it over the feeder and cut the strings.

    For the stallions, we just put one on pallets outside their paddocks and feed 1/2 flake to each twice a day. We keep it covered with a tarp and it works much easier than leaving the bale in the barn and moving it with a wheelbarrow in the winter.

    Nancy!



  15. #15
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    Apr. 14, 2003
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    Shenandoah Valley, VA
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    Default

    Sounds like I will have to try them! So, can you move them at all with a single prong (with 2 smaller prongs) round bale spear on a tractor? How much do the 3x3x7's weigh? Approximately. I know there will be variation. I'm just wondering how I'm going to stack them in my barn. I like the idea of keeping one outside the fatty's field under a tarp and throwing them flakes as needed.



  16. #16

    Default

    [QUOTE]
    Quote Originally Posted by avezan View Post
    Sounds like I will have to try them! So, can you move them at all with a single prong (with 2 smaller prongs) round bale spear on a tractor?
    if you are very very careful yes


    How much do the 3x3x7's weigh? Approximately. I know there will be variation.
    680-900 pounds depending on product

    Tamara in TN
    Production Acres,Pro A Welsh Cobs
    I am one of the last 210,000 remaining full time farmers in America.We feed the others.



  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jan. 10, 2003
    Location
    white pine, tn, USA
    Posts
    448

    Default big squares

    Tamara's weigh every bit of 900 lbs and the horses lick the ground when you put it out. Zero waste.



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