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Feeding large (800lb) square bales

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  • Feeding large (800lb) square bales

    Does anyone use the really big square bales? Since the discovery of Ducky's secret foal, I've been looking for a nice alfalfa mix for her because my hay is a local orchard/clover/fescue mix.

    I found a supplier 2 hours away with some gorgeous 800lb timothy/alfalfa bales at $50/bale. I can get two in my truck but the problem is how do I handle these things? I'd like to put one in her shed, and use flakes off the other one (do these giant bales break up into flakes?) for her stall.

    If it goes well, I'll buy a trailer load and have it delivered since he's also got lovely straight timothy that my boys would enjoy but I don't want to end up with 12 tons of monster hay that I can't move. So, without a skid steer, how do you deal with giant bales?
    Please don't try to be a voice of reason. It's way more fun to spin things out of control. #BecauseCOTH - showhorsegallery

  • #2
    They flake and I just carry the flakes and lay them in the barn.
    The rider casts his heart over the fence,
    the horse jumps in pursuit of it.

    –Hans-Heinrich Isenbart

    Comment


    • #3
      If you can get your truck into place where you need it, with help you should be able to push/slide it off.

      For moving any sort of distanct, a pickup bale spear would be your best bet:

      http://www.hayspear.com/product/BSPU...and_winch.html


      As Europa said, they do flake. But they are BIG flakes!

      Comment


      • #4
        Right now, I am getting two such bales put into my pickup (one on top of the other, lengthwise) by the hay supplier on an as-needed basis. My friend and I work together since it's easier with two people -- she climbs into the bed of the truck and guides 2-3 flakes down to me. I put them on top of a wheelbarrow and go from stall to stall with it. Each horse gets between 1/2 to 1 flake per meal.

        I can deal with it by myself but as I said, it's easier with two. My dream would be to have a flatbed trailer so my truck isn't tied up all the time. When I need my truck I either tie up and tarp whatever hay is in there, or remove it all and stack it under cover.

        I wouldn't want it on the ground, even on a pallet -- it would be too hard to lift the flakes. With our hay, one individual flake is apt to disintegrate but a pile of 2-4 stays together nicely. My back does better getting the hay down from above rather than lifting from below... but that's just me. Others may have different preferences, or different aches and pains!

        For the price, it's worth the hassle for us.
        Shall I tell you what I find beautiful about you? You are at your very best when things are worst.
        Starman

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Leather View Post
          For moving any sort of distanct, a pickup bale spear would be your best bet:

          http://www.hayspear.com/product/BSPU...and_winch.html
          Leather, could you explain how this works? I couldn't figure out from the pics on the site. It goes on a gooseneck (in-bed) ball? What does it do with the bale?
          Shall I tell you what I find beautiful about you? You are at your very best when things are worst.
          Starman

          Comment


          • #6
            Cool, is it the same hay fromn the guy on craigslist? i was thinking of calling him, but like you have never handled large squares, we get 8-10 round bales and can roll them off but i don't see how you manhandle a large square
            anyway, for those of you who had them is it possible to unload it by breaking thm up into a more manageable size, like a small square or do they fall apart easily
            one thing i have done with rounds in the past is back the pick up near a tree and then tie the bale to the tree and drive off pulling the bale off is this possible with the large squares

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by JoZ View Post
              Leather, could you explain how this works? I couldn't figure out from the pics on the site. It goes on a gooseneck (in-bed) ball? What does it do with the bale?
              You back into the bale with the spear, lift it up and then you can move it.

              Here's a hydraulic one in action:

              http://www.herhayhauler.com/spear.htm

              The one I posted has a manual winch, and is much cheaper.

              Here's another option, sometimes called a hay buggy. Same principle, it involves spearing the bale and winching it up off the ground, but it's pulled like a trailer rather than mounted to the truck.

              http://www.lgportables.com/HAY%20BUGGY.jpg

              I'd love to find an old stone boat like this for moving hay:
              http://www.lilligren.com/homestead/stoneboat.htm

              (I don't have any of these, I've just done a ton of research into how to move hay without a tractor.)

              Comment


              • #8
                I used timothy/orchard grass big squares, and the flakes stayed together really well. The hay guy had a flat dump trailer... I put a tarp down, and he would dump them in front of my hay shed. I then cut the strings and moved and stacked the flakes. Took a bit of time and effort, but the hay was beautiful and it was much cheaper than smaller squares.

                I also went and picked up two of them at a time, he bobcatted them on spears into my truck. Same thing, just flaked and stacked the flakes when I got them home.

                He doesn't do them anymore for some reason, so could the OP PM me with your hay guy's info? :-)

                Comment

                • Original Poster

                  #9
                  Originally posted by yellow-horse View Post
                  Cool, is it the same hay fromn the guy on craigslist? i was thinking of calling him, but like you have never handled large squares, we get 8-10 round bales and can roll them off but i don't see how you manhandle a large square
                  anyway, for those of you who had them is it possible to unload it by breaking thm up into a more manageable size, like a small square or do they fall apart easily
                  one thing i have done with rounds in the past is back the pick up near a tree and then tie the bale to the tree and drive off pulling the bale off is this possible with the large squares
                  If it's the guy in Staunton, then yes! It's nice hay. Are you in the SW VA area? I was going to check around to some local barns to see if anyone wanted to split a trailer load.

                  Looks like my handling worries are over! My neighbor has a skid steer and will help me out with the big bales. So... feeders? I have some extra stall mats for the bottom. Has anyone used plastic pallets with a 2X4 or something slid through them to create their own rectangular large bale feeder?
                  Please don't try to be a voice of reason. It's way more fun to spin things out of control. #BecauseCOTH - showhorsegallery

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Here's how I do it when I get them-
                    I set 2 of them across the bed of the truck so that they are sitting on the bed rails- not actually in the bed of the truck

                    Then when I get home I back up to a tree, tie a stout rope around the back bale and pull forward- viola bale on the ground.
                    Lather, rinse, repeat- second bale on ground. Then I just tarp the bales and pull flakes off.

                    PS_ I take the tailgate off before I pull the bales down so the weight doesn't fall on it and damage the tail gate
                    "As soon as you're born you start dyin'
                    So you might as well have a good time"

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I do something similar to what Tabula said. However, I pick them up from the hay guy with a little golf cart trailer. I pull into the barn aisle, lower the back ramp/gate and then run a heavy duty chain across the barn aisle between the bale and the truck and then pull forward. The bale runs into the chain and the bale stays put while I pull out from underneath it. (Ok, so it took me a few times to figure out the best way to get the stupid thing off the trailer!! This was hubby's suggestion and it takes no time at all! )

                      I just leave it in the barn aisle and put a tarp over the top of it so the horse in the stall next to it can't chow down on it! Each flake seems like the equivalent of about a half bale of "normal" hay (probably 30'ish pounds?).

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I get mine loaded into my in stock trailer. It fits one of them lengthwise. Then I use the tree-.rope- pull out from under it trick to unload.
                        I back the trailer so it straddles over two pallets in front of the tree, so when I pull out from under the bale it is on the pallets.
                        Patty Stiller CNBBT,CNBF,CLS, CE
                        Natural Balance Certified Lameness Specialist ,instructor.
                        www.hoofcareonline.com

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