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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct. 6, 2004
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    PA
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    Default Round Bales?

    My pasture has had it. I have to keep my 2 horses off of it until late spring to have any hope of saving it. I'm looking into a covered round bale feeder and was wondering if anyone has had success with round bales with only 2 horses?



  2. #2
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    Dec. 13, 1999
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    Greensboro, NC
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    Why not? If you keep the hay out of the elements and keep it from being trampled and peed and pooped on, however you do it, it lasts as long as square bales.

    I've used round bales for 2, 3, and now 4 horses. However, I don't put it in the pasture - I *don't* want them standing there in pee and poop for hours and hours a day. I want them walking. So, I keep the bales in my barn and Peel-n-Wheel twice a day. Hardly any waste, no matter how many horses
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  3. #3
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    Apr. 27, 2008
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    Yes. I use round bales for 1.5 horses (one is a miniature donkey). I use a small-mesh net from Cinch Chix, and I store the hay under a roof and on a stall mat so it doesn't get rained on or sopped in mud. There is virtually no waste. A round bale lasts the two of them (1.5 of them) roughly three months, depending on many things, of course.
    Last edited by Cindyg; Dec. 11, 2012 at 11:24 PM.
    I have a Fjord! Life With Oden


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  4. #4
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    Mar. 7, 2003
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    Mudville, GA ;-)
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    Default

    I've had good luck with round bales. In fact, our hard keeper does better in the winter with round bales than the summer with green grass.

    I like to get the horse to hay ratio such that a round bale is cleaned up within 2 weeks max (right now, that's one bale for three horses). Any longer than that and I feel like it's been in the elements too long. My bales aren't covered, but I have found a Big Bale Buddy to be helpful in reducing waste. The last place I boarded did the peel and wheel and I hated it! I'd rather just feed square bales than spend so much time peeling off enough hay for the gang.
    Y'all ain't right!



  5. #5
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    Dec. 13, 1999
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    Greensboro, NC
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    Beastie, that's funny, my easy keeper WB does better with free choice hay than muzzled grass LOL Honestly, he's been on stall rest before and I've literally just stuck the round bale in front of his stall door, so he's truly eating as much as he wants, which probably equated to 35-40lb a day, and he maintained a trim profile. Gotta love the "different" horses LOL
    ______________________________
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  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul. 24, 2008
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    3,167

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by JB View Post
    However, I don't put it in the pasture - I *don't* want them standing there in pee and poop for hours and hours a day. I want them walking. So, I keep the bales in my barn and Peel-n-Wheel twice a day. Hardly any waste, no matter how many horses
    This is what I do, for my two horses. I spread it out to keep them busy walking around to look for it.
    Jigga:
    Why must you chastise my brilliant idea with facts and logic? **picks up toys (and wine) and goes home**



  7. #7
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    Dec. 13, 1999
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    Greensboro, NC
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    Yep - 10-14 piles in the pasture
    ______________________________
    The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb. 26, 2008
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    764

    Default

    Round bales work well for me, even spots with 1 horse.

    I generally try to put them on high/dry spot, set up a temp. electric fence around the bale and move it as needed to provide access/reduce it. I have to monitor it to make sure the amount being consumed is appropriate and that no horsie genius takes the fence out, but the waste is minimal and the horses have free choice hay 24/7. Generally the fence can be set to be moved every couple of days, but since I am out there several times a day, sometimes I move it more often. You get to know if your critter can reach 3' or 2" over/under the fence and do what works, it is not hard.

    I find that net wrapped bales set with the net up (so it sheds rain/snow) works the best for me, but I have had twine wrapped work out well too. If the bale falls and rain is coming, I will tarp the part that will not be eaten, then remove it as they eat the bale down. My horses are all pretty plastic/tarp proof by now

    Pm if you want more details - I have used the system for years and it has worked well for many horses in many different sized groups.
    Horses should be trained in such a way that they not only love their riders, but look forward to the time they are with them.
    ~ Xenophon, 350 B.C.



  9. #9
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    Mar. 28, 2002
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    They work for me with only one horse. He just eats what he wants and a bale will last 6-8 weeks deoending on the temperature; he's eating pretty good now with the colder temps, so cold his face was frosted today and he is inside.
    Founder of the Dyslexic Clique. Dyslexics of the world - UNTIE!!

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  10. #10
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    Feb. 1, 2012
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    Vermont
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    Default

    One round bale lasted my horses 10 days I think...I can't remember. It wasn't any longer than that though.

    I need to get either a horse style round bale ring, and/or a cinch chick net. They pulled the hay down and stood in quite a bit of it. I could've gotten another 2 days out of it without that waste.

    We were going to put up dry rounds this year for my horses, but brand new round baler crapped out in the first week, and it spent most of its time at the dealership getting repaired over the course of the summer. So, we didnt' have a round baler while doing the horse hay. Hopefully this coming summer we can put up at least 10 of them, in addition to my squares.
    "If you think nobody cares about you, try missing a couple payments..."



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Nov. 17, 2008
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    609

    Default

    I use hay huts over round or big square bales...my one pasture it feeds my yearling and senior, and my other one feeds 4....they are wonderful!


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  12. #12
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    Nov. 12, 2009
    Location
    New England
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    Default

    I put out round bales for my 3. I have a "homemade" feeder that is covered and a cinch net. There is hardly any waste and it saves having hay spread all over the place.

    http://s1172.beta.photobucket.com/us...tml?sort=3&o=6

    http://s1172.beta.photobucket.com/us...tml?sort=3&o=7


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  13. #13
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    Jan. 21, 2010
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    One large roundbale fed my two Morgans and another for three days. Literally. After that, the "fat kids" got the less palatable bales.

    My old boarding barn fed all of their outdoor pastured/paddocked horses from round bales exclusively. Most of the paddocks only had 3-4 horses in them. All of the roundbales were uncovered and while during the wet season there was a little more hay stomped into the mud, I didn't notice much waste.



  14. #14
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    Dec. 13, 1999
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    Greensboro, NC
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    You can't talk about how long a "round bale" lasts 1 horse without talking about how big it is

    I used to get 4x5 loosely packed bales that were in the 600lb range, sometimes up to 700, occasionally 500. That's a whole different animal than the tightly packed 5x5 bales that are 1000lb+ And, there are rounds that are bigger than that.

    That's just a peeve of mine, sorry. Asking "how many square bales of hay do I need for the Winter?" with answers of "300" tells you nothing. 35lb bales? 45? 75? 100?

    Talk in terms of weight of hay
    ______________________________
    The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET



  15. #15
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    Oct. 6, 2004
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    PA
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    Default

    I guess I'm just gun shy of round bales. A long time ago I tried one when I just had my gelding. Did the whole unwind and wheel to the horse as needed. I kept the bale covered but it was outside. The horse got sick and I panicked and threw out what was remaining of the round bale. Never tried it again because I felt like I wasn't using it fast enough and it went bad. Granted I was only 13 or so at the time. Hay may have been perfectly fine. The horse has since been diagnosed with ulcers and has been treated and feed changes made.



  16. #16
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    Dec. 13, 1999
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    Default

    If hay is covered/out of the elements, "not using it fast enough" is of no consequence If you buy 500 square bales in Sept and are only using the last of it in April...
    ______________________________
    The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET



  17. #17
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    Oct. 6, 2004
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    PA
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by JB View Post
    If hay is covered/out of the elements, "not using it fast enough" is of no consequence If you buy 500 square bales in Sept and are only using the last of it in April...
    True. It's probably all in my head.



  18. #18
    Join Date
    Oct. 3, 2002
    Location
    Boogerville, USA
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    858

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Cindyg View Post
    ... A round bale lasts the two of them (1.5 of them) roughly three months, depending on many things, of course.
    WOW, I am jealous! Twice this fall I've put a round bale out in pasture, only to have it gobbled by one horse in 12 days!



  19. #19
    Join Date
    Dec. 21, 2008
    Location
    Missouri
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by JB View Post
    Why not? If you keep the hay out of the elements and keep it from being trampled and peed and pooped on, however you do it, it lasts as long as square bales.

    I've used round bales for 2, 3, and now 4 horses. However, I don't put it in the pasture - I *don't* want them standing there in pee and poop for hours and hours a day. I want them walking. So, I keep the bales in my barn and Peel-n-Wheel twice a day. Hardly any waste, no matter how many horses

    Me Too!! Just keep track of how long one lasts and if you know what the weight of the bale is, you can get pretty good at just knowing how much you are feeding everyday. As long as you keep a bale in some kind of feeder and out of the weather you won't waste much. My experience is that any animal with 24/7 access to a round bale will learn to pull hay out of it and waste it to some degree. That is why I feed by hand 99% of the time and have zero waste.



  20. #20
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    Aug. 15, 2009
    Location
    Knoxville, TN
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    I put our current bale (probably about 1,000 lbs) out three weeks ago, and it's about 50% gone. That probably means I jumped the gun. I have four horses on 30 acres of pasture in east TN, so they are still mostly grazing. I may end up pushing it off in the woods with the tractor and putting out a fresh bale, since we've had some hard rains, and it isn't covered. With a horse hay ring, I don't have much waste, assuming I'm smart enough to wait for them to want hay.



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