round bales

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round bales

This is a discussion on round bales within the Horse Nutrition forums, part of the Horse Health category

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    04-07-2013, 07:09 PM
round bales

Hi !! How much nutrition is in the hay of a round bale- it looks like straw and the hay that is fed at my boarding barn also looks like bedding, nothin' green about it. Owner of barn feeds all 60+ horses this, including his own and my girl. Thoughts ?
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    04-07-2013, 07:13 PM
Originally Posted by pinkpony555    
Hi !! How much nutrition is in the hay of a round bale- it looks like straw and the hay that is fed at my boarding barn also looks like bedding, nothin' green about it. Owner of barn feeds all 60+ horses this, including his own and my girl. Thoughts ?
You'd really have to take a sample and have it tested to know... Without a picture or analysis it's hard to say. A picture can give an idea of quality, but again, still hard to say for sure. If it looks like straw, it doesn't sound all that great. But a round bale can be any mix of grasses or alfalfa, 'round bale' is not a term encompassing all hay types :) it's merely a shape. Hope that helps!
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    04-07-2013, 07:20 PM
Totally depends on the content of the hay contained in the roundbale. Hay does look different in a roundbale than a square because the baling process is different, a square bale will have shorter blades of grass because it more chopped up to fit the bale whereas the roundbales will have long ones.
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    04-07-2013, 08:05 PM
I've also noticed most round bales are sun bleached to some extent. But most are green inside. So don't let the outside appearance be your only opinion. Reach in there and grab some from a few inches in. Or look inside once the horses have got to it.
Not to say it isn't low quality hay, but it could be better then it appears on the outside.
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    04-07-2013, 08:06 PM
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Is it this years hay? How does it look? I use round bales and have had very good success with them...The bales I use are horse quality, You'd get the same stuff in a square bale...
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    04-07-2013, 08:17 PM
What type of hay ? Grass ? Oat ? Alfalfa? Blend ?
Grass can have high levels of sugar and look dead and dry and still have a high protien etc. as well as alfalfa . Oat hay looks "straw" like and is very nutritious.
I like to have alfalfa for morning hay , and oat hay for evening hay. And for my pastured (irrigated grazing bermuda) I prefer an oat hay as a balancer.
Only way to tell is to have it Tested.
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    04-07-2013, 08:59 PM
If you're worried about nutritional value, you cannot judge it by look or smell. Only an analysis will tell you. I learned a long time ago that there are only two things that count with hay... 1) nutritional value and 2) that the horses eat it. I've seen the prettiest looking and smelling hay (to me) that horses wouldn't even touch.
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