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Building a Round Bale Feeder

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  • Building a Round Bale Feeder

    I got a great deal on some round bales and have been feeding them by pulling hay off the big bales and feeding as if it were regular flakes- major PITA.

    Anyway, there's just no way I can afford to buy round bale feeders right now. DH is, however, quite handy and we have all kinds of materials laying about. Has anyone built their own round bale feeder before? What did you make it out of? HOw did it work out for you? Any thoughts, suggestions would be much appricated!
    "As soon as you're born you start dyin'
    So you might as well have a good time"

  • #2
    Have you looked into some old used ones? Even if they are a bit rusty or need some smoothing down, you may be able to find one for cheaper then building . GL
    "For some people it's not enough to just be a horse's bum, you have to be sea biscuit's bum" -anon.
    Nes' Farm Blog ~ DesigNes.ca
    Need You Now Equine


    • Original Poster

      Originally posted by Nes View Post
      Have you looked into some old used ones? Even if they are a bit rusty or need some smoothing down, you may be able to find one for cheaper then building . GL
      I've actually looked several times for used ones and can't seem to find any that don't want an arm and a leg for them. I've even posted ads for them.
      "As soon as you're born you start dyin'
      So you might as well have a good time"


      • #4
        Yeah I thought you might have :| What about a bale-buddy? They are big bags that go over your whole round bale and I think they're only about $80 around here (I've never actually used one but maybe someone else has).

        Can your hubby weld? I think that's your best bet for building something sturdy enough but I've seen them made just out of piping.
        "For some people it's not enough to just be a horse's bum, you have to be sea biscuit's bum" -anon.
        Nes' Farm Blog ~ DesigNes.ca
        Need You Now Equine


        • #5
          Feeders quickly pay for themselves by decreasing wasted hay.


          • #6
            How about a better then nothing plastic feeder:


            You could make something like that, if you can't buy one.


            • #7
              My husband built our feeder last year, and I love it, and I must add he did a good job on it.We bought 4, I think 12 ft. treated 4X4's set those in the ground, he made a floor out of well made pallets. The sides are 2X6 boards about chest high to the horses and they are screwed in, so if we need to lower them, we can. He made the roof out of treated 2X4 close together, put a tarp on top of them and then put metal up, he has the roof higher in the front and lower in the back. He built it between two paddocks, and the one is where we keep the blind rescue pony. He used a section of a cattle panel on the end where the pony is kept and we just open that up to put the round bale in with the tractor. The hay stays nice and dry,its easy to load in the feeder, I just love it, and so do the horses.....


              • #8
                Gazenna can you post pictures please? We have a heck of a time with the horses keeping the hay in the feeder, they pull it out, poop and pee all over it and make a general mess. We have tried the Tractor Supply round bale feeders but the guy who delivers our rounds doesn't always pay attention and has broken two of them already. We are now trying a huge rubbermaid water trough to put the round bales in but that is not working out well as they can pull hay out of that as well...

                so this is a great topic....


                • #9
                  Hey, maybe try the Hockey Net idea? Great way to slow down their consumption, keep it contained and avoid the waste.
                  <>< Sorrow Looks Back. Worry Looks Around. Faith Looks Up! -- Being negative only makes a difficult journey more difficult. You may be given a cactus, but you don't have to sit on it.


                  • #10
                    I have these feeders, http://www.agiproducts.com/HAY%20RINGS.htm
                    and love them. My hay tossers are unable to toss the hay out, (unless you overload it - we feed small squares it them) and they are easy to move, durable and safer than metal, IMO.
                    Tracy Geller
                    Find me on Facebook!


                    • #11
                      I started feeding round bales last year. In one paddock, I placed the bale in the corner of the run in shed and secured it with a section of 48" tall no climb fence, fastened with snaps to screw eyes on both sides. I bent over the top 12" of fence to allow easier access.
                      The other feeding area is out in the open in a round bale feeder. I have to cover the hay when it rains, a major PIA. This time of year, it will mold too quickly if I don't.
                      We've been talking about putting four posts in the ground and installing a simple roof over it.
                      The bale buddies look intriquing, but ever time I tried to see about getting one, they were listed as back ordered.


                      • #12
                        We are just in the process of deciding how to build these - we bought 4 12' posts and are going to sink them - then put a rail on each side - going to use 2/6 spruce for the side rails and have one board slide out so we can drive the bales in - also going to put a roof on it.

                        Have seen them - but I have one mare that I wonder how long she will leave these feeders standing - here's hoping.


                        • #13
                          Belplosh....I will see about getting pics this weekend. The horses did toss some of the hay on the ground, but some of the problem was the hay. I have found a new hay supplier and the round bales are beautiful, the horses love it and they are eating instead of tossing. Before I found this new hay source we would go and pick up the hay the horses tossed that was clean and put it in the wheel barrow every evening, and feed it to Miss Piggy, a mare who would eat herself to death if we let her, and the donkeys. The waste was very minamal though.