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Round bales

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  • Round bales

    So, being new to the south, I have started to feed my pastured horses round bales. As I have driven around I have seen that alot of farms have those round bale holders, I dont know what they are actually called. I saw them at tractor supply and they are quite expensive! I had no idea why everyone had them, I didnt get why people would spend that much on something just to put around the bale?
    WELL, after cleaning up the remaining hay my horses scattered in a good 30 foot circle in the middle of the field, I think I figured it out. What a mess! They thought it was thier bathroom I guess. It was a nightmare to clean after the rain. SO, is this actually why people use those metal holders? And does anyone know of any used ones for sale, or where to get them fairly cheap? Thanks

  • #2
    Not from your area so not sure where to get them used or cheap. But yes, a round bale feeder saves you a LOT of money in the long run. From wasted hay, poured on hay that gets moldy, hay becoming toilet paper for the horses, etc.
    Hopefully someone from your area will chime in and help you out. But also try a search for round bale feeders on here. Over time there's been a lot of good suggestion on how to make or rig something up yourself.
    You jump in the saddle,
    Hold onto the bridle!
    Jump in the line!


    • #3
      Make sure you purchase one made for horses and not cattle because the designs are different. Yes, some horse people use cattle ones with no problems but if your forking over the $$$ get the right style.

      Something made out of metal/steel/pipe won't be very cheap. Around here there are several smaller pipe fabrication companies that make "knock off" ones which cost less.

      Once you have one you will love it!! I also feed use it when feeding hay from square bales. Just toss the rations in the middle of the feeder and walk away. It keeps the horses from trashing it out.


      • #4
        Keep your eye on Craigs List. Sometimes one will show up at a darned good price.


        • #5
          Agri-Supply had the best prices on them when we bought ours. They've paid for themselves many time over.


          • #6
            They are pricey, but worth it in the long run. Maybe post a wanted ad in your local newspaper or feed store?
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            • #7
              I have one called the "Better than nothing Round bale feeder". You can probably google it, or search the forum, I heard about it here.
              It's great. it wasn't cheap but it is easy for one person to handle and move by hand without a tractor and it does a great job saving the hay.
              "Perhaps the final test of anybody's love of dogs is their willingness to permit them to make a camping ground of the bed" -Henry T. Merwin


              • #8
                I highly recommend getting a plastic feeder one vs. a metal feeder. Much lighter, more durable (doesn't rust) and IMO safer.

                I've got a hay ring from AGI products, it was about $250.

                Another great thing is to use a net with the round bale. A feeder combined with a net virtually eliminates waste. I made my own similar to this one out of sports netting: http://cinchchix.com/the-cinch-products.html


                • #9
                  I can get them all day long at the Southern States store, about 125-150 bucks? Metal, horse friendly design, in two pieces. I am not terribly stout and I can tip it on its side and roll it to a new location in the field if the current spot has gotten boggy. Absolutely worth the $$ as horses, lacking any substantive ability to reason, can't figure out they are pooping on their breakfast if left to their own devices.


                  • #10
                    I've switched to the plastic rings and like them much better than the metal ones. You might also check with your local farmers or tractor places for large tractor tires. Some people have succcess with the tires as round bale holders.
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                    • #11
                      I just saw the result of a horrific accident with a metal round bale holder. After much suffering, the horse had to be put down. They're really made for cows, not horses. Yes horses can manage to hurt themselves anywhere on anything, but why go asking for trouble.

                      Our guys don't waste too much, we then periodically just burn the leftovers.


                      • #12
                        There is a round bale feeder that I assume is made for cows that I see quite frequently in photos in various horsey publications. It is painted rusty red, and has loop style stanchions with a flat piece of steel bracing the middle of each loop.

                        My alpha gelding runs the round bale. You want to eat you best talk to him first. One day (April Fool's day, actually) he did his usual I'll take a nap and guard the bale while I'm at it. The kids found him lying on his side with one rear hoof poked through the loop. He and they could not get it out. Fortunately he didn't thrash, which would have destoyed his fetlock and pastern. The b/o's DH was able to sledge hammer the thing apart and get that leg out. Other than being a bit stiff and sore, he was fine. It could have been a catastophe.


                        • #13
                          I remember someone here had posted a picture showing how they enclosed their round bale by modifying their fence line.

                          Hopefully this makes sense:
                          One section (8') of fence was opened up and then an 8' square in the paddock was fenced (2 posts added, 2 sides with rails, back with rails) leaving the opening, well, open. They built a "landing" for the round bale so it was slightly raised off the ground (pallets would work too). They could back the truck up to the opening, push/pull the round bale onto the landing where it was accessible from the paddock over the new 3 sided fencing. If I recall correctly, the 3 sides on the enclosure were lower than fence height and lined with mesh wire.
                          The horses could easily reach into eat but not climb on top of the bale.

                          The best part of their "bale enclosure" was that they put a roof over the top. Just a simple slant roof, but it kept the bale dry.

                          How are your horse taking to their "buffet"? Whenever I put a new bale in the mares paddock I have one girl who runs at it, full tilt and body slams it! I learnt to place theirs up against a tree!!
                          You're entitled to your own opinion, not your own facts!


                          • #14
                            Yeah less waste is one main reason we use round bale holder. Another reason is so it's much harder for any horse to claim the whole bale. This becomes more important when feeding multiple horses. And be sure to get the ones designed for horses not cattle...


                            • #15
                              the one I have is designed for horses, thanks for the concern but it is horse friendly by design.


                              • Original Poster

                                yeah my horses like to scratch thier heads and necks and rub thier chests on it, they get very close to it so I was curious if anyone else has used those nets, or has had any bad experiences with them? They seem like a good idea and something I could make myself, as someone posted they used sports netting. But I am nervous of them getting feet caught up in it.
                                Also, someone mentioned plastic holders, I cant find those on any websites, could you send me a link to where you got yours?
                                I was thinking maybe wood might be the safest way if i cant find a plastic one, that way if any of them got caught up it would just break rather than the metal or the net. eyeyey horses! I feel like the simplest things you try to do, they make so compicated because unfortunetly, they just arent always too swift!


                                • #17
                                  I found mine brand new on Craigslist for $100. Mine is easy to move around (I have no problem moving it by myself by hand). Mine also is 3 separate pieces- I tie them together with baling twine instead of bolts- easy to break if a horse were somehow to manage to get caught
                                  "As soon as you're born you start dyin'
                                  So you might as well have a good time"


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by dwbonfire87 View Post
                                    yeah my horses like to scratch thier heads and necks and rub thier chests on it, they get very close to it so I was curious if anyone else has used those nets, or has had any bad experiences with them?
                                    I was thinking maybe wood might be the safest way if i cant find a plastic one, that way if any of them got caught up it would just break rather than the metal or the net. eyeyey horses! I feel like the simplest things you try to do, they make so compicated because unfortunetly, they just arent always too swift!
                                    I bought the sports netting at Leather's suggestion. My QH with jaws of steel promptly ripped 2-3 nice holes in it instantly. It DID slow them down, and it's safe inside the RB metal feeder of death, I mean hay. I repaired said holes with yee olde orange hay string. So far so good. It's a bit of witch to get on the bale, it must still be spiked so you can truly wrap it round and over. That does double the life of the bale. It gets gross if it rains, though. YMMV