Feeding Round Bales or Large Squares?
How many horses does it take to make it worthwhile to feed round bales or large (800#) square bales? How fast do you want them to eat it? Would it be practical for 2-4 horses, or should I just stick with small squares??
We have four horse and feed round bails. We go through one a week ( plus alfalfa, but only 1/2 flake daily) They are fed more than they can eat twice daily. We purchase a years worth at a time and it lasts better than small squares. Peel off the first layer and the rest is just cut fresh. If you give them the full bail, we found most of it just gets laid on! LOL. Our four are stalled at night and out during they day, unless it is pouring.
I have two horses and feed large squares. But I just flake it off and feed it to them. I go through about 2 per month give or take 1/2 bale depending on the weather. Both of my horses are a little fat right now...
I feed round bails the way I think Peetz does. It's in my barn and I peel off what I need per feeding. Doing it that way, it stays fresh, clean, and none of it gets wasted. I also find that the round bails are much less expensive - which is a bonus.
Well worth the price to feed round bales. I do highly recommend a horse specific round bale feeder though. Less waste!
I fee both round and small square bales The rounds I put on end on pallets cut the strings and un role them. Works well no real wast and they last quite some time.
I have 5 horses and I peel it twice a day (AM and PM). One of my horses can't eat hay, he just chews it so I am really only feeding four with it and get about a month.
I'm feeding 2 horses and 2 minis right now and a 1/2 ton bail lasts me ~3 weeks. My guys are usually out on pasture from the PM feeding until the AM feeding; other times they are out 24/7. My pasture is just starting to come back from the winter so I can begin to cut back on the PM hay feeding.
I fed round bales for 2 horses (lasted 2 - 3 weeks) and 3 horses (lasted 7 - 8 days.) My horses are out 24/7. Way, way cheaper than square bales.
A round bale feeder designed for horses is a huge help; with only 2 horses, covering the bale is a great idea.
Do consider how you're going to move the bales. We have a 50hp tractor with a spike to move our bales, our neighbors feed square bales because they have a smaller tractor and can't handle the bales.
If you're relying on your hay dealer to deliver the bales on an as needed basis, have some square bales as back up in case you run low before the hay dealer can bring a new bale.
I can't feed round bales to my horses. In NY the round bales are always either really moldy and wet or dusty and dry. And we don't have such a thing as "horse specific".
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