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Rideordie112 12-17-2013 09:08 PM

Benefits of using round bales?
I've seen many people on here mention that their horses have 24/7 access to a round bale.
My horse gets two flakes of alfalfa daily, and grazing space in his pasture (not super great, but it works) And that's just the way it's always been done where I am.
So what's the point of 24/7 access to hay?
Or using a round bale?
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amp23 12-17-2013 09:13 PM

Horses' guts are designed for food to constantly be going through it, so it's healthier for them to be eating hay or grass all day long. Round bales just make it easier to make sure they constantly have hay (and it's much cheaper), rather than throwing out flakes at a time for multiple horses.

gigem88 12-17-2013 09:22 PM

With the round bales I don't have to get up early and feed hay when it's cold and rainy outside before I go to work!

Sharpie 12-17-2013 09:29 PM

Nothing wrong with square bales, but round bales last longer and are less work once you've got them put out. Just making sure you're getting quality hay fit for horses and it's not getting rained on/wet enough to mold before it's eaten.

Dreamcatcher Arabians 12-17-2013 09:36 PM

If I only had 1 or 2 horses, unless it was winter, I wouldn't bother with a round bale. They need to be eaten fairly quickly so as not to mold or mildew. I go through roughly 3 1800 lb round bales/2 weeks, so that's pretty close to 3 tons of hay every 2 weeks. I feed squares (50 lbs each) when I bring the horses in during foul weather, it takes about 4 squares per meal for all of mine, so that's throwing out a lot of hay several times a day if I didn't have the round bales. As it is, they eat all they want 24/7 and stay in good flesh, especially in winter.

aforred 12-17-2013 09:55 PM

For me, it's a combination of economics and convenience. Most people around here put hay up in round bales, and it's cheaper to buy than small squares. My horses go through a 1800 lb bale a week, and it's easier to just put one put once a week than messing with small squares, especially since I'm allergic to hay.
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Tarpan 12-17-2013 10:18 PM

I'd rather feed an all-you-can-eat hay buffet then mess with throwing out flakes of hay twice a day.

Rideordie112 12-17-2013 10:24 PM

Well I guess that's just how I was taught to do things. My horse is happy, and healthy with lots of green grass.
But Man, that does sound easier than feeding 30 something horses twice a day
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Trinity Ridge 12-17-2013 10:28 PM

i got a friend that has nothing on his hill for grazing. grass simply put will not grow. so he has to keep a round bale out for his at most all times. esp. this time of yr. plus 4x4 round bales can be bought for $25 where as sq bales are $3-5 apiece.

i use sq bales but i only have one mouth to feed and he is stalled 4-5 days outa the wk.

paintedpastures 12-17-2013 10:29 PM

We have squares & round bales for feeding in winter.The rounds are nice that you don't have to go out & feed 2-3 times a day when it is bitterly cold,just plunk a bale in the bale feeder & they can munch 24/7:D Bale lasts my 4-5 horses one week. So I try to look at feeding the rounds if know we are going to be away or if we're going to get some nasty weather,Otherwise I go out & feed the squares.With squares you can regulate their intake. Rounds unless you are forking it,the horse eats at his leisure:-)So unless you have a horse that needs to be in the" jenny craig" pen then letting them eat when they want is better for them:wink:. Hay is only fed in winter here,once the snow starts melting & pasture growing the horses are out in pasture:D.
Always like to have squares for if I have horse in the barn or paddock:D.

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