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Discussion Starter #1
We have always fed square bales, but we just got our first round bale. The bale weighs about 1000#. We have three geldings : 6 yr old 1200#, 7 yr old 1000#, 1.5 yr old 800#. They are all healthy and in good weight. The temps here range from 25F-10F there is some wind as well. Ther have a shelter and pine trees. How long will the bale last do you suppose? I know they waste more of the rounds. I just am wondering what to expect.
 

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If there is no bale feeder - a few days. They will tear it apart for the 'good' stuff. They will use the rest to lay in and as a bathroom.

With our feeders, a 1000 pound bale lasts 4 geldings a week in moderate temps.
 

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I would put down a tarp or mat under it so it dosent get muddy. I would say anywere from a week to two weeks, it really depends on the individual horse. It there is hay out they are going to eat it, probably constantly.
 

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I use a hay ring one made for horses, if you get one that has a ring about 4 ft off the ground its made for cows. Horses can use them they usually with rub their withers and mane off if you use one of them.
I have 3 full drafts and a roll will last about 6 days with the cold weather we are having (for Florida its cold)
If you get a hay ring about $250.00 they won't mess up as much of the hay. I also put a pallet under the roll to keep it off the ground (its not perfect but it helps) that way if it rains the roll is somewhat off the ground.
They do pull some of the hay out of the ring and but not that much it's worth having one. Look on your local craigs list you might can find a used one cheaper, probably have better luck finding a used one in the summer, this time of year everybody that has one is using it.
 

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^^ it might but I dont know horses who eat every scrap of these bales, and by the time they get to the bottom you should be getting a new one anyway. i'd rather have it on a tarp then sitting in a muddy pasture absorbing the water from the ground.
 

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If you know your herd, you know how they eat and how often you will be putting bales out. Our horses are able to clean up the bales as we only feed good hay. A questionable bale is fed to the cattle, returned to the supplier or burned.

We've been feeding round bales for over 15 years. Our feeders are specifically made for horses. "Tombstone" style so no rubbing of mane. Welded wire mesh to allow air flow
 

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It depends on your horse, we have three eating one here with no hay feeder at the house and even in the cold it has lasted 2 weeks and we probably have another week on it. Most horses the longer they eat round bales the less they waste. We normally put ours where there is decent drainage so the water runs away from it, but when it gets to the bottom we have a new one out so its not a big deal for the bottom to be soggy.
 

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Ours are around 1300lbs and will last 4 full grown horses 10 days. Longer if I go out and pick up around the bale every day. We keep it in a bale feeder that I put a tarp on top of so it stays dry if it rains or snow. I have a couple of old tanks and some hanging feeders I keep filled with the "run off" from the big bale. I Just use a pitch fork and a cart to move it around.
We pick up our bales as soon as its cut and put them up on pallets. We get less rot that way and of course less waste.
Our feeder is like this one made from PVC pipe
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks for the replies. I'm going to guess a little less than two weeks. One of our guys is a tubby and we are concerned he may over eat. He has been taking breaks though and galloping with the young colt. So everything should be fine. I'll let you all know how long it takes.
 

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If you can cover it somehow once its been broken into it will last longer.
If it gets wet down inside they seem to waste more.
I just went out and took a photo of my fancy tarp job on our bale feeder :lol:
 

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One 800 -1000# bale lasts my three piggies exactly eight days; there is very little waste. I do not have a bale feeder, wish I did.

My husband wants to construct a wonderful ******* covered bale feeder that he saw in SW Virginia. It's a regular feed like Vidaloca's with the old style solid fiberglass satellite dish inverted on the top as a cover. Looks like all heck but works great.
 

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^^^ :lol: the satellite dish actually sounds like a good idea except it would be to heavy to move around. I'll bet he could come up with something set up permanent that would be just as attractive :wink:

I searched and serched for a round tarp but couldn't find one :-(
 

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You put your round bale feed on wooden runners and use a truck or tractor to drag it to a new location. Don't be looking for any of those old satelite dishes in Central VA; they're mine. :)

We have a different, very unusual method. Our very large vegetable garden is actually inside the horse pasture. In the fall we take down the electric around the garden and put the round bales on the garden spot. Come spring we plow the whole mess; all the manure and old hay, into the garden and refence it. Saves wear and tear on the pasture and you avoid getting those round bale spots in the pasture. Also makes for great compost for the garden.

Not for everybody, but works for us.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
It took thirteen days. It appears to be a much more economical as well as less labor intensive way to feed three horses. All three horses are in good condition after the two weeks. My portly one did not blow up like I feared. My youngster seems to have grown a little, and my rescue horse has a nice amount of flesh over his ribs. I think I will feed rounds next year all winter.
 

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Lucky you - 13 days!

I have 800 pound round bales that last seven days with two horses and in the other pasture five days with three horses. We are all quite FAT here.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Mine seem to spend a lot of time playing and galloping around. That might help them keep their figures.
 

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I actually hated feeding round bales...Lol! BUT it was 'easier' knowing that they had plenty to munch...just not extremely 'healthful', especially for the piggies at heart...hahaha! At the place I boarded at prior to moving, there were a couple of young horses who had actually managed to figure out how to climb IN to the feeders, as well, so that was an additional safety hazard to feeding rounds, at least there. I much prefer to feed everyone a good amount twice during the day, and then separately at night...that's just me though...that may change in 20 years...ahaha
 
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