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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
  • Baseball net hay bale
  • Are round bales more dusty than square bales

 
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    02-20-2011, 08:55 PM
  #11
Green Broke
Round bales can get moldy if they are baled and the hay hadn't dried enough or is left to sit in water. Also, round bales are usually dustier than square bales, which is bad for their lungs, especially if they have heaves or allergies. You can feed individual horses with a round bale but it is difficult and messy. I think for indoor feeding, square bales are easier to store and use. For free choice feeding and outdoor feeding, round bales work better. I think you get more hay for less cost with round bales, but I could be wrong.
     
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    02-21-2011, 08:48 AM
  #12
Started
I feed about 22 rounds per year to my four head... IF they are baled properly it doesn't matter where they are stored the inside will be good while you might lose alittle bit off the outside edges.

If you only have on horse they waste more then they eat
     
    02-21-2011, 01:49 PM
  #13
Green Broke
We feed round bales most of the year, only taking a break in summer when we have plenty of grass..We have six horses on 17 acres of grazing..in winter and fall we have the horses split up..(my two by theirselves)..they are on about 7 acres and they will eat a round bale in about two weeks..They eat around the bad spots but I always make sure to get good quality hay..I also have NEVER had a horse colic on it before.it is also cheaper for me to buy round bales and it's free choice for my horses..Where I live almost all of the peple who have horses turned out use round bales..they are VERY messy when you do pull hay off the bale though and it's very annoying to just get a little bit.
     
    02-21-2011, 02:38 PM
  #14
mls
Trained
Quote:
Originally Posted by usandpets    
Round bales can get moldy if they are baled and the hay hadn't dried enough or is left to sit in water. Also, round bales are usually dustier than square bales, which is bad for their lungs, especially if they have heaves or allergies. You can feed individual horses with a round bale but it is difficult and messy. I think for indoor feeding, square bales are easier to store and use. For free choice feeding and outdoor feeding, round bales work better. I think you get more hay for less cost with round bales, but I could be wrong.
Sorry. Rounds are not MORE dusty, it's just the physics of the situation. Horses bury their nose in the round bale and breath in more particulates.

It is also not difficult or messy to feed small portions off of a round bale - if you have a good hay supplier that makes nice tight round bales.
     
    02-22-2011, 02:05 PM
  #15
dee
Started
I agree with MLS. Round bales aren't more dusty than square. Many years ago, we only fed standard 80lb square bales to our livestock. We baled them ourselves, and they were often quite dusty, depending on the weather conditions when they were baled. When we switched to baling round bales, I didn't see any signficant difference in the dustyness.

We have a neighbor that trains horses and has some sort of contraption that she sticks a round bale on and just peals off however much she wants for each horse she has. She says it works great, but I haven't seen it, so I really can't say.

We do feed round bales exclusively - we have five horses in the front lot, and a bale will last close to a week. We have two stallions in separate areas. Scooter will eat a bale in about two weeks, but we've noticed that somehow a lot of it winds up in his shed. Never heard of a horse building a nest, but he seems to have done it.

Junior is in the back pasture and he'll eat a bale in about 2-1/2 - 3 weeks. Guess he takes so long because he has access to winter grass and doesn't rely solely on the hay. We rob hay from his bale for the goats, too. They don't eat a great deal of hay - they browse on general junk when they are turned out anyway.

Haven't had any issues with rotten hay. The hay on the very bottom of the bale, where it sits on the ground isn't any good, but the horses generally don't get down to that part before we put out another bale, so I have no real concerns there. That junky part gets thrown in the chicken pen - it's often loaded with grubs and bugs - the chickens think it's great!
     
    02-22-2011, 02:35 PM
  #16
Weanling
There is what we call the junkyard rule! Buy a $500 horse and put him behind one string of barbwire in a junkyard and he will live on a rd bale and a nasty pond until he dies of old age at 35yrs. Buy a $50,000 horse and put him in the same conditions and he will die or at least be at the vet hospital inside of 12 hours.

Feeding round bales to horses is summed up in this story! The more pampered your animals are, the more likely you will have severe problems feeding rd bales to them outside. The less pampered your animals are, the more likely you will never have problems feeding rd bales to horses outside, in the rain, in the mud, etc.
     
    02-22-2011, 02:48 PM
  #17
Started
Quote:
Originally Posted by Production Acres    
There is what we call the junkyard rule! Buy a $500 horse and put him behind one string of barbwire in a junkyard and he will live on a rd bale and a nasty pond until he dies of old age at 35yrs. Buy a $50,000 horse and put him in the same conditions and he will die or at least be at the vet hospital inside of 12 hours.

Feeding round bales to horses is summed up in this story! The more pampered your animals are, the more likely you will have severe problems feeding rd bales to them outside. The less pampered your animals are, the more likely you will never have problems feeding rd bales to horses outside, in the rain, in the mud, etc.
that is a VERY interesting story/analogy.
     
    02-27-2011, 08:18 PM
  #18
Showing
We've never fed round bales. I know a lot of people who feed them because it is very cost effective. I am fortunate to own our 2 hay fields and we bale it ourselves in square bales. I know exactly what they are eating and that it was dry when baled.
     
    03-01-2011, 03:08 PM
  #19
Foal
In my experience with round bales, they'll avoid the mold/rotten parts as long as there's enough to eat. It's when there's nothing else but the rotten stuff that there's a problem.

Mine eat round bales and so far (knock wood) have been fine.

If your horse wants to gorge, you can wrap the bale in a baseball net. It acts like a hay net and slows them down quite a bit. Worked great for my IR horse who couldn't have pasture and would gorge bad on a round bale. He could eat 24/7 if he wanted, he just had to work harder at it.
     

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