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Another round bale question....

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  • Another round bale question....

    So, I'm biting the bullet and bringing my mare from VT, out to WY with me. After exhaustive searching, phone calls, visits, and wild goose chases, I have found a place that has good quality care. I've had to resign myself to the fact that there are no cute little enclosed barns with nice indoors out here. But this place is very safe and workmanlike, and the owner/manager is from the east coast and is understanding of my culture shock
    My only issue is that she feeds round bales. She puts them in herself, they look great, and her horses look wonderful. But, I grew up learning that round bales for horses = evil (kinda like barbed wire, you just don't do it). So-- is it possible to get a well dried round bale? I'm concerned about rot and botulism, which are far more likely to occur in these bigger bales. Any thoughts?
    THANKS!

  • #2
    I've been feeding round bales to horses for 45+ years now with not one problem. If you are uneasy, vaccinate your horse for botulism. This year alone, I have probably fed out 200 round bales between our broodmares and our stall fed horses. I will say I am very picky about who I buy round bales from if they don't come from our fields (we do run out occasionally).
    Susan N.

    Don't get confused between my personality & my attitude. My personality is who I am, my attitude depends on who you are.

    Comment


    • #3
      W/out rounds I think I would be physically worse off. Rounds are wonderful, been using them for almost 20 years and have friends that have been using them for more than 35 years. It's never been an issue. It's convenient and I always get mine from the same hay guy(s) I've worked w/ the four years I've been back here.

      Rot is a non issue for my crew, as they go through two of them in a week, so it's never out long enough for anything to happen and they go out dry, but sit out in the weather.

      They're happy w/ their 24hr buffet, I'm happy.
      A Merrick N Dream Farm
      Proud Member of "Someone Special to me serves in the Military" Clique

      Comment


      • #4
        Round bales FOR horses are wonderful things

        Round bales for cows that are used for horses are terrible things

        The risks of everything are the same, just a little bigger with the rounds because of their density, and that's mostly in terms of botulism from dead animals that might have gotten trapped.

        But really, if it's grown, cut, fluffed, baled, and stored with horses in mind, a rb is no different from a square bale
        ______________________________
        The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET

        Comment

        • Original Poster

          #5
          Thanks for the imput guys!
          Bludejavu- Good point about vaccinating. Don't know much about it, but I will definitely look into that.
          Amd- I definitely agree they can be labor savers. My concern with rot was not them rotting while being eaten, but with them not being dry when baled, and rotting/molding/heating up as a result. I think getting them from someone you know is really key, as with any hay!
          JB-
          "Round bales FOR horses are wonderful things
          Round bales for cows that are used for horses are terrible things"
          I love it! Makes total sense, and basically that is what I was asking--if there IS such a thing as one that is safe for horse's messed up GI tract. Sounds like you all think that there is, so I will give this whole thing a try. On the plus side, I think if I really get in a bind, I have someone with squares that I might be able to buy in a pinch.
          Thanks! (Any other opinions out there, chime in!)

          Comment


          • #6
            I finally "broke down" and started to put out round bales last spring.
            My older horses love being able to munch whenever they want, not have to wait for me to "serve" them and my 2 horses with ulcers have gained weight and look better than ever.

            I buy from the grower, they are wrapped and kept stored. I put them inside the run-ins so they don't get wet and since I only have 1 or 2 horses eating each bale they last about 3 weeks.
            I'll add feedings of Orchard/Alfalfa am & pm once the grass dies.

            Quality of the hay and storage is key, same as if you were buying square bales.
            You're entitled to your own opinion, not your own facts!

            Comment


            • #7
              Seems to me that your answer lies in your new boarding situation. You said she feeds rounds and everything looks great. Chat with her to see if she's had any issues with her supply, or any other questions you have. She knows her climate best.

              I've been feeding round bales for quite some time to 4 TBs with no issues. We go between grass, cane, oat and I feed OFF the alfalfa bale (that one I keep inside the barn fyi). Alfalfa rounds are the ones you have to be careful with because they get ruined the easiest out in the weather.

              If a round was baled improperly, the whole supply will be ruined and should be returned for a refund. Its likely that won't be the case though considering her horses look fine.

              They're not as scary as you've been taught...especially not in WY's climate.
              Kelli
              Horse Drawings!

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Kaytaz86 View Post
                Sounds like you all think that there is,
                We KNOW there is, not just think

                I too was leary about it, having heard all the "omg, you feed a rb to your *horse*??!!!". I then boarded for 6 months where the BO fed her horses rb's, had for years. For the first few months I bought square bales (I provided all my own hay), and then decided to give the rb a try.

                This will be my 6th Winter using the same guy's round bales The cost savings is amazing - I pay roughly $.04-.05 per pound, compared to 2-3 times that for square bales.


                On the plus side, I think if I really get in a bind, I have someone with squares that I might be able to buy in a pinch.
                Thanks! (Any other opinions out there, chime in!)
                IMHO, having some squares on hand is always nice, purely for convenience, if you trailer places on a regular basis. Forking loose hay into hay nets or hay bags is just not as much fun as plopping a few flakes of hay in And, if you're going for an extended stay, a rb just doesn't give you options.
                ______________________________
                The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET

                Comment


                • #9
                  I started using round bales 10 years or so ago. They make morning chores so much easier! No SCHLEPPING! And the horses can eat all they want when they are hungry. I have never had a problem with them self regulating. When they realize there is PLENTY, they eat slowly, take a break, go play, take a nap, etc. And they look FABULOUS! When sm squares are hard to come by i roll a bale in to the back of my indoor and peel off what I need for each horse - very economical but MESSY!
                  "If you don't know where you are going, any road will take you there"

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Messy is right!

                    When I boarded, because the BO did it for her horses, I also put the bale out in the middle of the paddock. Because she had to take her equipment and clean up the leftovers when it was trampled through, she did mine as well (trust me, I tried to get her to let me, but she always just did it )

                    So, because I didn't want to 1) deal with that mess at my place, and 2) didn't want my horses continuing to stand around the bale all day, I dole out hay twice a day now. I wheelbarrow out 40-50lb twice a day, spread out among 10-12 piles through the pasture. No waste, no "round bale hole" in the pasture.

                    The mess is in the barn now. Hay everywhere LOL! But, also free grass seed! If it's cut at a time when there is seed, you get the seeds falling on the ground. I absolutely scoop up those piles and save them for spreading out in bare spots in late Winter
                    ______________________________
                    The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Kaytaz86 View Post
                      Thanks for the imput guys!
                      Bludejavu- Good point about vaccinating. Don't know much about it, but I will definitely look into that.
                      Amd- I definitely agree they can be labor savers. My concern with rot was not them rotting while being eaten, but with them not being dry when baled, and rotting/molding/heating up as a result. I think getting them from someone you know is really key, as with any hay!
                      JB-
                      "Round bales FOR horses are wonderful things
                      Round bales for cows that are used for horses are terrible things"
                      I love it! Makes total sense, and basically that is what I was asking--if there IS such a thing as one that is safe for horse's messed up GI tract. Sounds like you all think that there is, so I will give this whole thing a try. On the plus side, I think if I really get in a bind, I have someone with squares that I might be able to buy in a pinch.
                      Thanks! (Any other opinions out there, chime in!)
                      Oh, sorry. If they were baled wet, my hay guy won't sell them to me, but they're fine for cattle. Yes, finding a grower/supplier that you can trust takes time but is well worth it.

                      I try to keep squares on hand for going away to shows, trail riding, etc... but also for when I'm inbetween rb's and waiting for the next ones to show up. Usually weather related when there's a delay. I live on a hill and any wet conditions hamper getting them up there and maneuvering in their dirt/mud pasture.
                      A Merrick N Dream Farm
                      Proud Member of "Someone Special to me serves in the Military" Clique

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        We have been feeding round bales at our stables for a few years. No problems as you have suggested except that a few horses had some dust reactions (heaves). So now the BO's are very picky about the roundbales they receive. If they are dusty, they go back. Otherwise it has been great for the horses to be munching all day!!!!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I missed the part about being baled when wet:

                          If they are, they are not being baled for horses. It's no different from small square bales - the hay must be fluffed and dried correctly before being baled. Small square bales can mold, rot, and combust just like big ones

                          re: the dust - yes, that's another reason I don't want the bales just sitting in the field - I want my horses' heads down, out of the "dust" of the hay.
                          ______________________________
                          The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET

                          Comment

                          • Original Poster

                            #14
                            Thanks for all the thoughts and replies! I am struggling to balance the quality horsemanship I learned back east with the differences out here. Your advice was really helpful.
                            Cheers!

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              In WY you enjoy the benefits of a dry environment. I feed RBs in Alabama, I am just careful when I buy it, my sources, so I know it was put up right...

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