The Horse Forum banner

Status
Not open for further replies.
1 - 20 of 23 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
90 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
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??
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
61 Posts
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.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,540 Posts
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...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13,166 Posts
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.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,471 Posts
Well worth the price to feed round bales. I do highly recommend a horse specific round bale feeder though. Less waste!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,349 Posts
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.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
26,791 Posts
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.
Me too. I HATE peeling round bales but it's a lot cheaper. I get ALMOST a month out of mine. They are large bales though (not sure what they weigh). I had to go to a local dairy farm for one a couple weeks ago because my farmer wasn't home and it was much smaller, lasted about 2 and a half weeks.

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.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13,166 Posts
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.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
5,300 Posts
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.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,527 Posts
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".
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
262 Posts
Dry airid parts of the world are an exception to this rule - ie. airizona, but generally, you do not want a bale of hay to last more than 1 week due to mold and spoiling outside in the weather. That means the 800lb bale needs to be eaten and replaced in 7 days. 4 horses x 30lb hay day free choice = 120lb /day x 7 days = 840lb/week! Looks very doable!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
673 Posts
Wow, I can't believe I never thought of just peeling off a layer of the round bale at a time. I had just been putting whole round bales in a feeder and leaving them out.

My heart is breaking over all that wasted hay... and the wasted time scraping up the wasted hay with the tractor to get it out of the field :(
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
12,825 Posts
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".
You can find them. It is just not as common as in other areas.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
5,300 Posts


This is a round bale feeder specific for horses. It lacks the bars across the top that tend to rub the horse's manes out.



This is the type most frequently used for cattle that *will* rub the horses manes out.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
26,791 Posts
Those round bale feeders are nice. I did once have a friend that had a foal break it's neck in one. It got crowed by bigger horses and slammed in just the right way, just something to be aware of.

As for the round bales, one thing to think of though, you might want to add a botulism shot to your regimen.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,471 Posts
Dry airid parts of the world are an exception to this rule - ie. airizona, but generally, you do not want a bale of hay to last more than 1 week due to mold and spoiling outside in the weather. That means the 800lb bale needs to be eaten and replaced in 7 days. 4 horses x 30lb hay day free choice = 120lb /day x 7 days = 840lb/week! Looks very doable!
Might want to rethink your theory - in MN the vast majority of round bales are stored outside. Some covered - some not. A person that knows how to stack (my husband, BIL, hay supplier) can do so in such a manner that we do not have issues with maintaining the quality of our hay.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
5,300 Posts
Yes, I would question that assumption as well.

I have very well cured hay that I keep undercover before feeding - I've never had a problem with mold or spoilage after the hay's set out.

Perhaps the difference is if the hay is run through a hay conditioner before baling?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
597 Posts
It takes my two big horses and a pony just about 2 weeks to go through a round bale. I leave it out ( thought about peeling it but that seems like a lot of trouble and I am a little on the lazy side) and make them clean up most of what is wasted on the ground before I put out a new one. 1 large horse quality round is $70. That is $35 a week. Squares are $6.50 and I go through a bale a day x 7 is $45 a week. So I save myself about $10 a week feeding rounds and this way they get as much hay as they want.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,210 Posts
i have one stabled horse 24/7 and i feed only round bales as i get them off my dad one large bale lasts me about 6 weeks with 3-4 feeds per day
very worthwile much better them small bales as you decide exactly how much to give and its not dependent on flake size very handy for weighing as well
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
262 Posts
Might want to rethink your theory - in MN the vast majority of round bales are stored outside. Some covered - some not. A person that knows how to stack (my husband, BIL, hay supplier) can do so in such a manner that we do not have issues with maintaining the quality of our hay.
Hay spoilage in rd bales is lessened with net wrap, multiple layers of twine, etc. Many times and in many climates, spoilage loss in the winter is not severe due to frozen conditions and "dry" snow.

You will not have a premium hay product - don't care what part of the world it is in - stored outside! The producers who want top prices put the hay in sheds! Putting the hay in a shed does not mean it is a premium product, it is just a better way to protect a premium product.

In any part of the world when you have conditions available for hay to mold - moisture and moderate temperatures - your hay does not need to be outside for more than a week! You can stack the hay in the hay mound any way you want to, but when you start feeding it, the outside protective layer of the hay is ruptured and the inside is exposed. You will cause trouble for yourself if you leave this bale in a feeder for more than 1 week.
 
1 - 20 of 23 Posts
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top