Round Bale for one horse? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 28 Old 12-09-2010, 05:16 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Indiana
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Question Round Bale for one horse?

I REALLY want my guy to have free choice hay this winter, but he is the only one in his pasture during the day. He is stalled at night. I'm thinking about maybe getting a round bale, but I worry that it might go bad before he would be able to eat through most of it. He doesn't have a shelter or a round bale feeder. Someone said they can be put on the ground though? I have no experience with them though.

So my question is, do you think it would be worth it to purchase a round bale for just one horse to eat through the winter or do you think it would go bad too quickly?

Thanks for your time! I appreciate it!
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post #2 of 28 Old 12-09-2010, 05:32 PM
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At our place we have one horse on a round bale by himself. He goes thru a bale a month usually and it never goes back. Just make sure your hay is good and you will be fine.
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post #3 of 28 Old 12-09-2010, 05:37 PM
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If you can get a wrapped one do and just open it a quarter way down as he eats the wrapper will fall down itself cutting down on waste as well

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post #4 of 28 Old 12-09-2010, 06:53 PM
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I don't know what the weather is like in your area, but I have two horses and tried them on round bales. I found it frustrating. If I didn't roll out the hay on the ground, it went bad. If I did roll it out on the ground, snow would cover it before they'd eat it and, although they would dig for it, a lot got wasted. So I tried rolling off sections every day or every second day. That was more work than small square bales. I'm back to my small bales and will never go back.

Oh, if the bale is "wrapped" be careful -- if it's wrapped with twine, you don't want to leave that in the field of course. If it's plastic wrapped, you need to have your horse on shots before feeding due to risk of botulism.
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post #5 of 28 Old 12-09-2010, 08:40 PM
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I'm using round bales but I'm getting the smaller sized ones. When I just had Cinder, there was a bit more wastage than I would like but not really enough to worry me. Now I have 3 on the same bale it's less wastage. I rednecked it up and laid a tarp out before the round bale got put down and I haven't had any issues with it.

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post #6 of 28 Old 12-10-2010, 01:03 AM
Green Broke
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One 600-800 lb bale will usually last one horse 3-5 weeks. You might check out the "Bale Buddy" bags for round bale feeding. They aren't terribly expensive and they will help protect the bale from weather and trampling.
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post #7 of 28 Old 12-10-2010, 01:13 AM
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I buy Nelson a round bale on a regular basis. I have it put directly on the ground, I do not have a feeder or anything fancy - and the round bale does just fine.

He is in a large paddock with 1 other horse, the two of them share the bale and it lasts just over a month.

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post #8 of 28 Old 12-10-2010, 01:35 AM
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i would love to have my mare on a round bale, as it would be much easier work for the BO...not sure my mare would fare so well on it though...she'd probably turn into a blimp!

At any rate, we fed round bales at home, and with 2-3 horses on it, it lasted 3-5 weeks, depending on how cold it got; we didn't have a feeder, and they weren't covered...we've never had any problems with them going bad; but that said, we had more snow, than actual rain in the winter, so I think that was a big factor.

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post #9 of 28 Old 12-10-2010, 01:44 AM
Green Broke
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can I also ask a question, it still has to do with round bales.
If you were to buy bulk of them in the winter and put them undercover, they could last for ages, right?
Like they wont go mouldy or anything just sitting there?
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post #10 of 28 Old 12-10-2010, 09:02 AM
Green Broke
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Originally Posted by RedTree View Post
can I also ask a question, it still has to do with round bales.
If you were to buy bulk of them in the winter and put them undercover, they could last for ages, right?
Like they wont go mouldy or anything just sitting there?
As long as your tarp them nice and tight, they will last the year. However, if it rains and they are directly on the ground, the bottom of the bale will get moldy and mushy. I don't really mind that little bit of hay going to waste. I just pull it off after I put the bale out in the field, or make sure that is the end on the ground (we roll them out by hand, no tractory ATM).

I use tent stakes to stake a tarp down to the bottom of the hay bales, with the stakes angled up. This allows for some ventilation at the bottom of the bales, but keeps the tarps closer to the hay, which prevents the wind from getting under the tarp. I only have one round bale left, with 9 more stored at my hay guy's barn (I pre-pay at the beginning of the season). When I have the rest delivered, I think I am going to buy smaller tarps and tarp each bale individually. My big tarps haven't been lasting very long with our high winds at times, and they are pricey. Buying 10 little tarps is cheaper if I buy them in bulk online!

Also, one horse will go through one 600-700 lb 4'x5' round bale a month, give or take, if there is NO grass to eat and they are on the bale 24/7. During the summer, one round bale would last me 2-3 weeks for 5-6 horses, but that's because they did have some grass to munch on in their pasture (not much, but enough).
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