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Round Hay Bales

This is a discussion on Round Hay Bales within the Horse Nutrition forums, part of the Horse Health category
  • In a bad winter how many round hay bales will two full grown horses eat?
  • Bad spots in hay bales

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    12-05-2012, 09:47 AM
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Several options, from homemade to storebought, for small and roundbales

You're the one who has to decide what works best.
I wouldn't bother with the roundbale nets, since you already have squares and would instead get several small nets, and provide a days worth of hay for them like that, hang them on fenceposts, spread out, so they move around. Not much difference filling them with square or round baled hay. The plus side is, rounds can have bad spots, and by giving it in small nets you can see the bad stuff and discard if needed.

I feed rationed hay with small nets. I got me a little fishing scale and weigh the filled nets.
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    12-05-2012, 09:47 AM
Originally Posted by heathermstalnaker    
Yeah I have heard horror stories with the round bale feeders. I am such a worry wort with my guys.
There is a horror story associated with every single thing in the world.

We've used the same round bale feeders for over 15 years. They were designed specifically for feeding horses. 8 place tombstone style feeders. Very little waste, no mane rubbing, all welded with 6 foot connection pins. Spendy but more than made up for the initial purchase price with use.
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    12-05-2012, 11:47 AM
Round Hay Bales

I just wanted to say thank you for all of your help!

I have 5 4x4 Round Bales of Mixed Grass Hay, Orchard Grass, Timothy and Fescue ordered and they are delivered to me on Sunday.

Right now I have 4 horses but sold one and he will be moving on Jan. 1 so I will be down to 3. Hopefully this will last me a little but and I still have the 150 square bales to use but atleast this will help me not having to go over every morning to feed and my guys will be happy.

Thanks again!
    12-05-2012, 01:21 PM
Buy the round bale feeder of your choice, put out 1 round bale at a time and just let them have at it. I have 4 full grown horses on 1 round bale and it lasts approximately 2 weeks. I feed Strategy grain in the evening and they get small bale hay if I put them in the barn due to weather. If you have a good supplier of round bale hay, the 150 squares can last you most of the rest of the winter if they have free access to the round bales. Your 4X4 bales are considerably smaller than the ones I get, so maybe will last 7-10 days. It's still waaaay cheaper than buying more small squares.
    12-05-2012, 01:55 PM
When I have bought roundbales in the past, it has been when we go on holidays & for convenience to my son who takes care of things when we are gone, we put the rounds straight in the pasture. These weighed about 1000 to 1200 lbs and lasted 10 days, 2 horses. This year in addition to the squares, I got several rounds as Daddy-O now has a bobcat to move them around. We store the hay under cover close to the paddock & I pitchfork feedings to them rather than free choice. Same size bale lasts 21 days so they were way overeating and were quite fat when let to free choice it. It takes more time & effort feeding this vs. giving flakes of square bales but I figure I am saving close to $100 a month on hay. In fact, we are going to save the squares & go get more rounds & store them in the breezeway of the barn. However I would not do this if we didn't have the machine to move them around.
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    12-05-2012, 04:16 PM
We have round bales there 850 to 900 lbs when we put them out one bale last 2 horses 10 days. 1 bale for 1 horse last 16 days we buy 49 rounds to get through the winter and part way through summer. I always have a year and a half worth of hay in my barn this year iam good for 2 years. Not putting out the bales this year they wasted way to much last winter. But I feed twice a day and theres always some hay left over from the last feeding. If they have no hay left at pm feeding I know I didnt feed them enough don't like my horses going more then 2 hours with nothing to eat.
    12-05-2012, 04:27 PM
Feed two big rounds at a time prevents one horse getting bullied away from the hay. Do set them as absolutely far apart as possible. They will walk back and forth with is good for digestion. Mine are set at the far end of two long paddocks/small pastures and to change bales they have to come all the way up to the top end to round the fence then back . By way the crow flies they are maybe 75' apart. If you can afford them invest in a couple of large Cinch Nets, which have small mesh and greatly reduce waste.

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